Working with trees for a living offers fresh air and strong muscles, but it can be rough on your skin and wardrobe! To protect yourself and avoid roughing up your garments, you'll need the best chainsaw chaps out there. Some prefer to work in arborist pants, while others prefer working in their normal, lay-back clothes with a tech apron on top. No matter what your preference may be, the gear listed below will definitely make your work easier:
Chainsaw chaps offer protection to the most threatened part of the body when handling a saw; the thigh. A bad cut to your leg out in the forest can mean your life. Invest in high-quality chainsaw chaps that fit you well and use them each time you take your chainsaw out and about. Even the most expensive chainsaw chaps are far cheaper than an emergency room visit, the risk to your overall health, the pain and recovery time involved, and not to mention the lost work time.
The most important protection offered by Kevlar chaps is that of keeping the chain from hitting your leg. As shown in the video below, the Kevlar lining shatters and binds up against the chain, stopping it from spinning.
However, your chainsaw chaps can also protect you from other issues common to chainsaws and to working in the woods. For example, chainsaws throw oil. The fine nylon lining on your chaps will deflect most oil and protect your jeans from getting soaked, too.
Your chaps can also protect against brambles, thorns and other snags found in the woods. Luckily, the nylon covering offers few areas for thorns to snag your chaps, allowing you to move through dense undergrowth without a worry.
While chainsaw chaps offer great protection, they don't offer great airflow or keep the user cool. It's said that woodwork warms you up thrice; once when you cut it, once when you stack it and finally when you burn it. Kevlar chaps offer another round of warming and can be quite the bastards if you're trimming trees or cutting branches during the warmest part of the year.
When ordering, note the wide variety of waist sizes that will work with any pair of chaps. Most offer waist coverage from 28 to 44 inches, which is quite a large range. Depending on your preference, you can place the waistband high or roll it over a couple of times and keep it riding low, under the waistband of your jeans.
However, your chaps should extend down to cover your lower leg, wrap and buckle around your ankle. This will shield the top of your boot, reduce your risk of injury and at least limit the number of woodchips you take home.
Here are a couple of tips on how to keep your cool while wearing chainsaw chaps:
Kevlar chainsaw chaps will undoubtedly reduce the damage you and your clothes take when cutting wood, but don’t rely on them too much. Always remember to increase chainsaw safety by keeping your two hands on the chainsaw while working with it.
According to OSHA wearing chaps and keeping both hands on the machine reduce chainsaw injuries by at least 75%. Moreover, basic training is critical when working with chainsaws.
Most chainsaw accidents come from being poorly trained, or when a well-trained user gets distracted or too confident. How many stitches does a person need for the average chainsaw injury? Over a hundred, and over 1/3 of these injuries are below the waist.
Even the best chainsaw protective pants gear cannot save you from distraction, inattention or improper training. If you don't know what you're doing or how to handle a tricky situation, contact a professional. Chainsaws aren't the right tool for a "Let's give it a try and see how far we get!" attempt.
Finally, never forget the other critical safety gear you'll need, including safety glasses, chatter resistant gloves, and long sleeves to protect your arms from flying wood chips.
The best chainsaw chaps review can't help you much if you're at one of the extreme ends of the size range. If so, you might want to check out professional arborist and logging publications to see which products they recommend for their members.
Also, take your climate into consideration. If a chainsaw chaps comparison article mentions that some products are warmer than others and you live in Michigan, that extra warmth might not be such a worry. However, if you're working in Texas, any added heat will not be welcome!
These bright orange Husqvarna chaps will cover you across the front, from the waistband of your jeans down to your ankles. This style of chap is known as an apron wrap because the top fastening is at the waist. If you're especially short, you can roll the waist over before fastening to shorten these chaps.
It's important to apply these chaps with walking in mind. If you're hiking through rough terrain or tall weeds, having your chaps too tight can make climbing over rough patches very difficult, so leave plenty of knee flexibility when you fasten the straps.
The forester chainsaw chaps are available in forest green, orange, safety green, camo, and denim. These durable chaps are easy to adjust and will fit waists from 28 to 44 inches. The leg length is available in three sizes: shorter users from 5' to 5'4" will be very pleased with less fiddling at the straps to get these to fit. Users between 5'4" and 6' are covered by the medium length, as are tall users from 6' to 6'4" tall.
These chaps are built with a Kevlar core that will give you the chance to get your gas-powered chainsaw back under control, but it will not stop an electric one. As stated above, electric saws have a higher torque, so the Kevlar fabric won't jam up the saw sprockets as designed.
For those working in climates with high heat and humidity, this lighter chap offered by Husqvarna will be an excellent option, though they are an extra layer of fabric and will still retain some body heat.
The 531309565 chaps are 36" long overall. They offer full coverage across the groin and buckle above the back of the knee and around the calf. The waistband of the chaps hangs a bit below the waistband of your jeans, but has a good track record of staying in place.
The Oregon chaps are a great option for anyone who needs to work in extremely warm conditions. While it's true that they don't offer full groin coverage, they do allow for great airflow and can take some of the stress off your body while you're working hard.
These chaps are very lightweight and come in only at a pound. They have a Kevlar lining and offer durable protection against a gas-powered chainsaw cut. The Oregon 36" apron chaps are available in 32" or 36" lengths and fit a wide range of waist sizes.
These are the best arborist pants on the market today. If your job includes climbing trees or ladders, bending to inspect root health or any outdoor work, these pants are an ideal addition to your wardrobe.
The Arborwear Men's Tech II Pants offer double fabric coating at the knees for excellent wear and will hold up longer than ordinary jeans. On hot days, these pants will make it possible to keep working without cooking.
Please note: these pants will make it easy to get around on a tree. They will not stop a chainsaw!
If you use a chainsaw, you really need chainsaw chaps; if you're just starting out on a chainsaw, buy them together. Of all the chainsaw chaps reviewed in this listing, the ones I personally recommend are the Husqvarna 587160704 Technical Apron Wrap Chaps. These chaps will protect your legs and won't need constant adjusting at the waist. While no Kevlar fabric should be considered protection against an electric chainsaw, the 587160704 are built with five layers of Tek Warp. They offer excellent protection against a gas chain and more protection than most against an electric.