If you are going to operate a chainsaw, you need to practice extreme caution. After all, we might have heard horrendous stories about people being severely injured due to user error or issues with the chainsaw itself.
Aside from wearing hearing protection and tough gloves, you would also need some form of protection for your lower body.
No matter how tough you think your pants and your buddies are, you have to get the best chainsaw chaps before laying your hands on the cutting tool.
Reasons to Buy Chainsaw Chaps
So, why are chainsaw chaps specifically called that way instead of just pants? First of all, this safety clothing is specifically intended to protect chainsaw users from getting their legs, among other body parts, injured.
The average jeans won't do any good in protecting your skin from incredibly sharp chain teeth moving at a rapid speed.
Unlike ordinary pants, chainsaw chaps are created using cut-resistant materials.
Even when a running chainsaw chain suddenly lands on your lower body, the chainsaw chaps will either stop it from operating or at least get the garment slashed instead of your precious legs.
Still, it has to be clarified that chainsaw chaps are not a surefire guarantee to protect your lower body from a running chain.
Most of the time, this protective clothing will give you an ample amount of time to either stop the chainsaw from running or move it away from you.
Having a good chainsaw chap can mean life or death. You won't have to say hello with the reaper. On a lighter note, this will also keep your legs from being scraped if you accidentally trip or fall.
Even if you are an expert chainsaw user, you can never guarantee that there will be no accidents whatsoever. Buying chaps will cost you a bit.
But it will definitely be cheaper if, and if, you suffer a chainsaw-related injury and pay hospital and medical bills. If you are a beginner, this clothing will ease you into using a great, powerful yet risky tool.
For people who do not want to wear such safety garments, they should hire a professional to operate a chainsaw.
Factors to Look For
Before purchasing a couple of chainsaw chaps for yourself, first let's take note of several factors. The market is abundant with these safety garments.
Some are manufactured by famous companies while others are from small businesses. Regardless of their price and their brand, here are some of the things you should be on the lookout for.
While it is not cut-proof as you might have wanted, chainsaw chaps are still the best option in keeping your lower body safe from immediate and severe harm during cutting operations.
In choosing the right pair of chaps, you have to check both the outer and inner section.
The external layer of the most effective chainsaw chaps is typically slippery with the material being tightly woven together. Why make it slippery?
Well, in case the chainsaw chain does attempt to dig into your legs, the slippery surface will make it difficult for the teeth to get stuck in your pants and reach your skin.
During those few seconds of the chainsaw teeth slipping due to the chaps, you'll have the opportunity to escape from harm's way.
Likewise, the inner section of chainsaw chaps features ballistic fibers. This is the primary safety feature of the garment as these fibers are made of Kevlar material.
Just like the outer material, the ballistic fibers are tightly woven together. However, this doesn't work like the slippery material as this does not merely deflect the teeth away.
Instead, the ballistic fibers in the inner layer of the chainsaw chaps protect you by allowing themselves to be quickly torn and shredded apart.
Once the chainsaw teeth sink into them, the fibers are flung in many directions. Before you can even observe what is happening, some of these ballistic fibers will enter and jam the chainsaw up.
This is the last line of defense of the garment, and it does a fine job at it.
Here's a video of the chainsaw chaps in action:
2. Fit and Comfort
Aside from protecting you, the chainsaw chaps shouldn't hinder you from comfortably operating the chainsaw. As we all know, you would have to constantly move around to find the best angle to cut a tree.
Some chainsaw chaps, particularly those made with hard polyester, are so thick and restricting that you won't be able to do your job in the first place. Worse, you put yourself at risk of accidents if you operate a chainsaw when you cannot move properly.
In other words, there needs to be a balance between user safety and flexibility. A lot of chainsaw chaps are manufactured to be quickly adjustable.
Still, you should not buy a pair that's meant to accommodate all sizes. Ideally, you need chainsaw chaps that fit you well. You cannot have a pair that won't cover the body parts that are most prone to getting hit by the chain.
The chainsaw chaps you buy should have straps and buckles that will allow you to get the best fit possible.
On a related note, it should be easy to take off whenever you want to. You are already wearing pants underneath the chainsaw chaps, so it can be warm quickly especially during hot summer days. It's important that you can remove it quickly during your breaks.
Another thing affecting your comfort with the chainsaw chaps is the weight. A heavy pair of this garment will mean the exertion of a bit more pressure than usual to move around.
Do not choose chaps that are bulky as these will accelerate your fatigue during cutting operations. There are variants out there that are light yet strong enough to keep you safe.
Lastly, you have to get chainsaw chaps that comply with the requirements set by relevant organizations and associations.
These entities create rules and tests to ensure that each product is safe enough to be acquired and used by any individual.
When looking for chainsaw chaps to buy, look for those with certifications from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Underwriters Laboratories (UL), or the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), among other reputable groups.
Top 3 Chainsaw Chaps
Best Chainsaw Chaps - My Choice
In the end, our favorite pair of chainsaw chaps is definitely the guy from Forester.
While all of them have an apron-style design, a handy pocket, and certifications from various organizations such as OSHA, UL, and ASTM, we think that the Forester Chainsaw Safety Chaps have the overall advantage. Even if it cannot be used for electric chainsaws, these chainsaw chaps are a fantastic choice for gas-type chainsaws.
First of all, this is the only pair of chainsaw chaps that have 12 layers of protection.
Secondly, the outer section of the Forester Chainsaw Safety Chaps is made up of oil-resistant and water repellant Oxford fabric.
Likewise, it's comfortable to wear since our movement isn't restricted. There's even a waist belt to ensure that we have the right fit during each sawing operation.
Thus, the Forester Chainsaw Safety Chaps are our favorite because the garment has all three factors we are looking for: quality materials, fit and comfort, and certifications.
We hope that our guide on picking the right chainsaw chaps helped you in making an informed decision. If you have any queries, do give us a comment.