When you are working with a chainsaw, safety should always be the priority. Chainsaws is are possibly the most dangerous hand tools available and can cause serious injury if not handled correctly, and you have all the required safety equipment including chainsaw chaps or pants.
The chainsaw chaps are made from strong material so that in case you come in contact with a chainsaw, it can prevent the saw from cutting in long enough for you to get to safety.
The standard procedure of operating a chainsaw is that you always need to wear safety clothing including chaps. This is necessary to prevent any ugly accidents. I have to admit that I did not always wear them until I had a near-miss the could have cost me a leg. It will not happen again.
How well do chainsaw chaps work?
There are some debates regarding the matter of how effective the chainsaw chaps are. But let’s be realistic for a moment, the only way to prevent a chainsaw blade from penetrating your skin is to wear bulletproof pants, and that’s not possible.
Chinsaw chaps or pants are not ment to guard against any injury but to prevent serious injury.
The maximum protective pants can do is delay the blade’s contact with your skin, so you get enough reaction time to get yourself to safety.
Chainsaw chaps work on the same principle. These chaps are like normal clothing with the difference that they are made of some ballistic fibers. These fibers snag the chain when they come in contact with the chaps.
The main purpose of the fibers is to get jammed in the chain and stop the engine. If it does not stop the engine then at least it slows down the chain and hopefully prevents it from reaching your skin.
So there’s some debate regarding the effectiveness of the chainsaw chaps. This is because in cases where you are using a big powerful saw it can cut right through the chaps and cause serious injury. But in the majority of cases they do work well.
So the chainsaw chaps should be seen as a precautionary method instead of fully protective clothing. Whatever the effectiveness, it’s always recommended that you wear them before handling dangerous machinery like the chainsaw.
What are chainsaw chaps made of?
There are quite a few variants of the material used for making of chainsaw chaps. Some chaps are made with slippery outer material and stringy inner ones.
The reason for making the outer layer slippery is that when the chainsaw comes in contact with it, the outer surface of the trousers are drawn out.
This causes the inner strings to come out in straight lines, and get tangled in the chainsaw. This is effective in stopping or jamming the saw, giving you time to turn off the saw.
The fabrics of the chainsaw chaps are prone to damage if washed excessively. So take care not to wash these fabrics as often as normal clothing.
These chaps are for one-time use only, meaning that you need to get a new one once they have been ripped with a chainsaw.
A word of warning: never use chainsaw chaps that have some tearing or ripping on them.
How are chainsaw chaps measured?
Chainsaw chaps are not measured like pants and you should not use your pants size when ordering. Instead, measure from the waist (where you wear your belt normally) to your instep to get the correct length.
What size chainsaw chaps do I need?
Now that you have decided to get a chainsaw chap, the next question is, what size do you get. You cannot just get any size of the chap. Generally, there are three sizes of chainsaw chaps available: 32, 36, and 40 inches.
Which size you need depends on your dimensions. Just be mindful that whatever size of chaps you get, its length should always reach two inches below the boot tops. Also, the waist and the legs straps should be tight and snug fit.
Chainsaw pants or chaps
There is a common debate among the loggers as to whether chainsaw pant or a chap are best. The answer completely depends on your preference. The chainsaw chaps are more economical, water and snow repellent, and very comfortable.
On the other hand, the chainsaw pants are easy to put on and off. They are like normal pants and can be worn all day long, and the design provides protection for all around the leg and not only the front.
So the choice depends on your preference entirely. If you don’t mind a powerful and heavy protective add-on, then the chaps are your go-to option.
However, if you want more freedom of movement and less hassle, then the chainsaw pants are the better option.
I have learned from bitter experience that chainsaw protection gear is a must. It can be awkward to work with sometimes especially during warm weather. Chainsaw chaps or pants should be a top priority and now I have them on before I even pick up the saw.