Wearing the right clothing while chainsawing could protect a person from being injured. Chainsaw chaps are a type of protective gear worn by many chainsaw operators. But do they work? Find out in this post.
Chainsaw Chaps Vs. Pants
Which provides more protection for chainsaw users: chainsaw chaps or chainsaw pants?
Chainsaw chaps differ from pants, in that they do not provide all around protection for the legs. However, they are still very effective at preventing injury.
Chainsaw chaps are also called chainsaw clothing, and chainsaw protection.
Chainsaw chaps provide similar protection to pants. While chainsaw chaps do protect the operator’s legs, they may also fully cover their upper torso. This offers greater protection when slicing through dense brush and branches.
Since chainsaws are often used in fairly dangerous conditions, operators can receive injuries where clothing is not worn or compromised. The best makers of chainsaw chaps sell them for $200 to $400 a pair.
Chainsaw pants can help protect the wearer from severe cuts from the chainsaw chain on the lower torso and extremities. They are often made of leather or any other tough material that will offer some degree of protection.
Particularly good chainsaw pants come supplied with knee pads; these protect the kneecap and patella, which is one of the most likely areas on the legs to suffer accidental injuries via chainsaw injury. The right chainsaw pants can make you both more confident and safer while cutting.
So, which is best?
While chainsaw pants are worn just like regular trousers, chainsaw chaps can be removed when needed if they get too hot or uncomfortable. They also add another layer on top of your normal pants. This gives them the edge.
Standards For Chainsaw Chaps and Pants
Effective chainsaw chaps and pants will need to meet certain safety standards, which include:
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
Standard Council Of Canada (CAN/BNQ)
UL performs the testing and classification for chainsaw chaps that meet industry standards.
Does OSHA Require Chainsaw Chaps?
OSHA Chainsaw Chaps
Its important to only use chainsaw chaps that meet OSHA safety standards, especially in logging operations. However, other safety standards are just as important, which you can see above.
The OSHA standard applicable to chainsaw chaps is 1910-266 – Logging Operations.
Do You Need Chainsaw Chaps?
Chainsaws can be very dangerous to the operator. One way to stay protected is to wear chainsaw chaps. Are they needed? Not necessarily, but some form of leg protection is recommended when operating a chainsaw.
The idea of chainsaw chaps came about when a man got his leg cut up by a chainsaw because he wasn’t wearing anything to protect himself. This can easily happen to anyone using a chainsaw, even if they are careful because accidents do happen.
Types Of Chainsaw Chaps
There are different types of chainsaw chaps, however they are all very much similar. The
main reason for using chainsaw chaps is to protect the chainsaw user from the chainsaw. Chaps that are used in forestry and wood cutting can be quite expensive; however it is well worth paying a little more than losing a limb or your life. Most people think there should only be one type of chaps, but this is not true.
The style and type of chainsaw chap depends on the manufacturer and what the wearer is looking for. Generally, chainsaw chaps have the following characteristics:
- Full leg / full torso chainsaw chaps
- Hi Vis Orange coloring
- Slim fit
- Extra stretch for easy movement
- Matches jean equivalent sizes
- Calf wrap
- Apron style
- Elasticized waist
- Extra abrasion resistant knee fabric
- Durable zippers
- Durable plastic boot hooks
- Waterproof / water resistant
- Reflective stripes
- Available for both men and women
Sizes Of Chainsaw Chaps
Chainsaw chaps come in a range of sizes to fit anyone who needs protection while chainsawing. The chaps are measured by laying them flat and measuring the hips, the waist, and the thigh. There is at least 2 inches of overlap to ensure that they will stay on while chainsawing.
Chiansaw clothing is available for sale in sizes small through XXL. Chainsaw chaps will match the sizes in a jean sizing chart.
How Do Chainsaw Chaps Protect?
Chainsaw chaps, also sometimes called chainsaw pants, are pieces of clothing that cover your legs while using a chainsaw. When in use, these chaps go over your regular clothes. The chainsaw chaps are built from strong but lightweight materials.
Chainsaw chaps protect the legs and torso of the wearer from cuts, scrapes, and punctures from the chainsaw chain and other debris, such as branches, sticks, and wood chips. They prevent the chainsaw chain from cutting through the pants and flesh.
What Should You Wear When Using A Chainsaw?
Using a chainsaw is dangerous, so wearing the right protective clothing is necessary to stay safe. The chainsaw chaps, pants and other chainsaw clothing should include a number of features to ensure protection from the moving chains during cutting.
Before you buy a chainsaw, learn what protective equipment is necessary.
Chainsaw Safety Equipment
Chainsaws are dangerous because they grind up wood with rotating teeth on a chain, which throws off pieces of wood as it cuts. They can also severely cut the person using them.
Chainsaw safety equipment should be worn and includes the following:
- Safety glasses with side shield
- Chainsaw helmet
- Protective gloves
- Chainsaw trousers / pants / chaps
- Hi-vis pants and shirt
- Heavy workboots with steel toe
- Longsleeve shirt
- Hearing protection
Do You Wear Trousers Under Chainsaw Chaps?
You can wear any form of pants or trousers underneath chainsaw chaps. This includes denim jeans, shorts, khakis, even sweatpants. However thick denim jeans or trousers are the most recommended.
What Are Chainsaw Chaps Made Of?
Chainsaw chaps are made of strong but flexible materials. One of the most common materials is Kevlar. This material is a synthetic fiber that was originally created by DuPont in 1965. It has been used extensively in modern bulletproof vests because it is five times stronger than steel and very resistant to heat, electricity, and chemicals.
Chaps can be made out of different types of cut resistant materials, including:
- Proprietary chainsaw protection materials
How Many Layers Do Chainsaw Chaps Have?
Chainsaw chaps are made of several layers of material for added protection. The more layers your chainsaw chaps have, the better they will protect you from flying debris.
Chainsaw chaps are usually composed of 3 to 8 layers of fabric. The outside layer is treated with special fire-resistant / water resistant chemicals and the inside layers are made for cushioning.
Extra layers can be added to the knees for added abrasion protection.
Are Chainsaw Chaps Cut Proof?
No, however they are very cut resistant. Chainsaw chaps are designed to resist cuts from chainsaw chains. Chain saws are designed to cut through wood, so they pose a risk of cutting human flesh if care is not taken.
Chainsaw chaps are clothing that fit over the legs and groin area to protect from chainsaws.
Can Jeans Stop A Chainsaw?
Jeans are capable of withstanding some sharp objects, even knives. But what about a chainsaw? Can jeans stop a chainsaw?
The answer is not likely. It is best to not expect your regular denim jeans from protecting your legs from a running chainsaw. However, they can help protect your legs from flying wood chips and brush as you move around.
So, do chainsaw chaps work?
Well, the answer is that chainsaw chaps can work well to protect you from getting hurt by a chainsaw. But they don’t always work and they will not keep you completely safe in all cases. The idea behind them is great but there are some issues with their effectiveness and the way people wear them.
It is always best to not come in contact with a running chainsaw chain. This means keeping alert and holding the chainsaw away from your body while you use it.