Chainsaw Chaps – Types & Designs

In this article, we’ll be discussing the different types and designs of chainsaw chaps available, as well as discussing the best use for each.

What are chainsaw chaps?

Chainsaw chaps, also called saw pants, chainsaw protective pants, or forestry chaps, are a type of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) designed to protect the legs from contact with a running chainsaw chain. Chaps are made of a heavy-duty fabric such as denim or kevlar and are fitted with padding and metal reinforcements in high-risk areas. Some chaps also include Kevlar cuffs to protect the ankles.

Chainsaw chaps are rated according to their Level of Protection (LOP), which is determined by the level of impact and abrasion resistance they offer. The highest LOP rating is Level 1, which means the chaps will stop a saw chain running at full speed. Lower ratings (Level 2 and below) offer less protection, but may still be suitable for certain applications such as trimming branches or felling small trees.

The different types of chainsaw chaps

There are two types of chainsaw chaps: those that fit over your clothes (external chaps) and those that go under your clothes (internal chaps). External chaps are easier to put on and take off but may be less comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Internal chaps are more comfortable but can be more difficult to put on and take off.

Of these, there are three additional sub-types of chainsaw chaps available on the market today. Below is a description of each type along with their pros and cons.

Type 1: Chainsaw Chaps with Laces – These chaps have laces running up the back of the leg which need to be tied in order for the chap to stay in place. The good thing about this type of chap is that they are adjustable, so you can make them tighter or looser depending on your needs. The downside is that they can be a bit uncomfortable if they are too tight, and they can also come undone if the laces are not tied properly.

Type 2: Chainsaw Chaps with Buttons – This type of chap has buttons running up the back of the leg which need to be done up in order for the chap to stay in place. The good thing about this type of chap is that they are adjustable, so you can make them tighter or looser depending on your needs. The downside is that they can be a bit uncomfortable if they are too tight, and they can also come undone if the buttons are not done up properly.

Type 3: Chainsaw Chaps with Velcro – This type of chap has Velcro running up the back of the leg which needs to be done up in order for the chap to stay in place. The good thing about this type of chap is that they are adjustable, so you can make them tighter or looser depending on your needs. The downside is that they can be a bit uncomfortable if they are too tight, and they can also come undone if the Velcro is not done up properly.

Chainsaw chaps are made of heavy-duty fabric, usually Kevlar or other bulletproof material, and are attached to your belt with loops. The chaps themselves are divided into two parts: the legging, which covers your leg from mid-thigh to ankle, and the apron, which covers the front of your thigh and drape down over your knee.

How to choose the right chainsaw chaps for you

When choosing chainsaw chaps, you should look for a pair that is made of high-quality materials and fits well. There are specific factors to look for:

  • Safety Rating: You should make sure that the chaps you choose have been rated by a credible organization such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or the British Standards Institution (BSI). Once you have chosen a pair of chainsaw chaps, you will need to take care of them properly to ensure that they continue to provide protection.
  • Chain Rating: If you’re using a standard or aggressive chain, it’s important to choose a pair of chaps that is rated for that type of chain. When shopping for chainsaw chaps, always check the sizing chart to make sure you’re choosing a pair that will fit properly. Chainsaw chaps are rated by their chainsaw speed, which is measured in feet per second (fps). The higher the rating, the more protection they offer. For example, a chap rated at 3600 fps will stop a chainsaw rotating at 3600 feet per second.
  • Size: The other factor to consider when choosing chainsaw chaps is the size. Chainsaw chaps come in different sizes depending on the manufacturer. Most manufacturers use waist size as the criteria for sizing but a few use inseam length.
  • Fit: When trying on chainsaw chaps, make sure you can move freely in them. Chaps that are too tight will restrict your movement and could cause you to trip or fall. In addition, make sure the chainsaw chaps fit snugly around your legs so that they do not ride up when you are working.
  • Defect-free: We suggest that users check the chaps before purchasing to ensure that they are in good condition and free from defects.

And be sure to read the reviews before making your purchase to see what other customers have said about the chaps you’re considering.

How to use chainsaw chaps properly

Chainsaw chaps are an essential piece of personal protective equipment (PPE) for anyone who uses a chainsaw. When used properly, they can prevent devastating injuries, including amputations. In fact, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that workers who use chainsaws wear chaps or cut-resistant gloves.

Chainsaw chaps are typically worn over regular work trousers or jeans, and should be snug-fitting to ensure they don’t get caught in the saw chain. It’s important to ensure that the chaps cover the entire length of your leg, from waist to ankle. When putting on chainsaw chaps, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure maximum protection.

Chainsaw chap fabric can be damaged by abrasion, so it is important to avoid dragging them on the ground or catching them on rough surfaces. You should also avoid exposure to high temperatures, as this can cause the fabric to break down over time.

The benefits of using chainsaw chaps

Chainsaw chaps, or sawmill aprons, are one of the most important pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) that a worker can wear when using a chainsaw. Chainsaw chaps provide a barrier between the worker and the chainsaw chain, reducing the severity of injuries if the chain makes contact with the body. They are typically made from Kevlar or another high-strength synthetic fiber and are designed to tear open if the saw hits them, quickly stopping the chain.

Chainsaw chaps come in multiple sizes and lengths to fit different users. Many models include features like reinforced stitching, reflective stripes, and adjustable straps to help ensure a comfortable and secure fit. Some models are even made from water-resistant or fire-resistant materials for added protection in extreme conditions.

The dangers of not using chainsaw chaps

When working with a chainsaw, it is important to always wear chainsaw chaps. Chainsaw chaps are made of a Kevlar-type material that will stop the chain if it makes contact with your legs. There are different types of chaps available, depending on the level of protection you need.

Most chainsaws have a speed between 2700 and 3400 fps, so you will want to choose a chap rated at 3400fps or higher. Wearing chainsaw chaps is the best way to protect yourself from serious injury if the chainsaw should kick back or come into contact with your legs.

Many sawyers opt for heavy-duty chaps made from multiple layers of Kevlar for added protection against fast-moving chains, while workers in less dangerous environments may be able to get by with lighter-weight chaps made from a single layer of material.

Chainsaw chaps – pros and cons

Chainsaw chaps can provide valuable protection in the event of a chainsaw accident, but they have some potential drawbacks that users should be aware of. First, chainsaw chaps can interfere with the operation of the saw if they are not properly fitted or if they are too loose. Second, chainsaw chaps can become entangled in the saw’s chain if they are not properly secured. And finally, some users find that chainsaw chaps are hot and uncomfortable to wear in warm weather. Overall, we believe that chainsaw chaps offer valuable protection for users who operate chainsaws regularly.

How to care for your chainsaw chaps

Chainsaw chaps, like other garments, need to be cared for properly. Here are some tips:

  • Remove chainsaw chaps after each use and hang them up to dry.
  • Do not store chainsaw chaps in a humid or damp environment.
  • Routinely check chainsaw chaps for rips, tears, or other damage. If any are found, replace them immediately.
  • When putting on chainsaw chaps, be sure that the chainsaw is not running.
  • Chainsaw chaps should fit snugly but not too tight. They should also be comfortable to move in.
  • Make sure that chainsaw chaps cover the entire length of your leg, from the waist to the ankle.

FAQs about chainsaw chaps

Q: What are chainsaw chaps?

A: Chainsaw chaps are designed to protect your legs from being cut by a chainsaw. They are made of thick, durable fabric and usually have padding in the knees and thighs.

Q: What types of chainsaw chaps are there?

A: There are two main types of chainsaw chaps: full-length and waist-length. Full-length chaps cover your entire leg, from the waist down to the ankle. Waist-length chaps only cover the lower half of your leg, from the knee down to the ankle.

Q: How do I know which type of chap is right for me?

A: It depends on what you will be using your chainsaw for. If you will be using it for tasks that involve a lot of kneeling or stooping, then waist-length chaps may be a better option since they will not impede your movement as much. However, if you will be doing tasks that require a lot of standing or walking, then full-length chaps may be a better option since they will provide more protection for your legs.

Q: How do I know which size chap to buy?

A: Most manufacturers offer sizing charts on their websites or in their product catalogs. Be sure to measure your legs before ordering to ensure you get the correct size.

Q: How do I know if a particular brand or model of chap is any good?

A: You can check online reviews or ask someone who has experience with chainsaws and chaps for recommendations.

In Closing

Regardless of the type of chap you choose, it is important to inspect your PPE before each use and replace it immediately if it shows any signs of wear or damage. With proper care and maintenance, chainsaw chaps can provide years of reliable protection against serious injuries.

NEXT UP: What Are Chainsaw Chaps Made Of?

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Leon Ashcraft
About Leon Ashcraft

Leon Ashcraft is a Safety Instructor and consultant in Colorado with focus on OSHA, environmental health and safety, transportation safety, oil & gas, rescue operations and construction safety. Learn more about Leon here or connect with him on Twitter | LinkedIn | Medium