In today’s article, we’re going to answer one of the questions that people who take their safety seriously always ask “how do chainsaw chaps work?”
If you think you could come out well with only a scratch or a few stitches when handling your chainsaw without safety chaps, then this article is definitely the one for you.
You are very likely to change your mind upon reading the following article and it is all for your own good.
Related: How To Choose The Best Chainsaw
Whether it’s a helmet when you’re riding your bike, motorcycle gear for your kids when they’re playing sports, or even the seat belts in your car, it makes just as much sense and is just as important to wear personal protective items when you’re operating your power tools as well like your heavy-duty chainsaw in particular.
You’re not immune
No matter how experienced you are and no matter what you might be using that chainsaw for, always remember your safety gear, safety glasses, hearing protection, a face shield, and last but not least your protective chainsaw chaps.
In case you have ever wondered how chainsaw chaps work and why you have to wear them while operating your heavy-duty gear, here is what will convince you to do so.
Using a chainsaw is a risky job and more often than not, people are at risk of getting injuries.
In fact, these aggressive tools are associated with more than 30.000 severe injuries
Have a look at this list of accident location and frequency as related to chainsaw use:
- Leg injuries: 12.851
- Arms and hands: 12.035
- Foot injuries: 2.579
- Upper body: 1.121
- Head injuries: 2.342
How Do Chainsaw Chaps Work?
So, how do chainsaw chaps work and how are they designed to protect you?
Chainsaw chaps are made from tightly packed layers of rugged, cut-retardant ballistic fibers that reduce the risk of injury.
They’re designed to quickly stop the moving chain on your chainsaw in case it accidentally comes in contact with your leg.
They are made of wholly aromatic polyamides which belong to a family of high-performance materials due to their exceptional thermal and mechanical behavior.
Polyamide is a strong, tough, stiff, high-melting fiber used for radial tires, heat or flame-resistant fabrics, bulletproof clothing, and fiber-reinforced composite materials.
Can chainsaw trousers stop a powerful chainsaw?
For those of you who remain skeptical, we decided to let you judge for yourself how well this pair of trousers can protect your legs from serious injury.
Chaps vs no chaps
No chainsaw chaps on
A small test demonstrated how a chainsaw ripped a pair of jeans. As soon as the chainsaw got hold of the denim it caught it and ripped it open causing a two inches nick.
Imagine if that was your lag instead of the log.
Obviously blue jeans provide ZERO protection against a chainsaw and you’d definitely be on your way to an emergency room.
With chainsaw chaps on
What happens when we decided to strap on a pair of chaps over a new pair of jeans?
The chainsaw went through the outside layer of the chaps.
When it went into the inside, it caught all the fibrous material and jammed it, wrapped it around the chain of the chainsaw jamming the sprockets of the turning wheel, and stalling the engine instantly.
You can see there’s only a small cut in the jeans, which might draw blood and you wouldn’t likely even need stitches for.
But, compare that to the jeans, it’s way less damage
As you can see, a new pair of quality chainsaw chaps is a small price to pay for your safety. The difference that a pair of chaps makes is really the difference between a life-altering injury and a minor cut.
So if you use a chainsaw make sure that you wear your chaps and other personal protective equipment that is recommended in your instruction manual that comes with your saw.
How to prevent injuries?
Here’s a couple of important points about your chaps to help you prevent chainsaw injuries. Just make sure you read your manual very carefully.
In the event that your chainsaw comes in contact with your trousers and cuts into the layer of the chaps, they should be replaced immediately because they lose their protective effectiveness.
Also, it is recommended to wash your chainsaw chaps before you even use them.
You are probably saying why you would do that? They’re not dirty, yet the reason is, it actually strengthens the fibers of the chaps and makes them more effective.
Chainsaw chaps are available in different sizes and most of them are fully washable.
Your behavior matters
In addition to product design, several operators’ behaviors may be implicated in injuries found.
- Operators should cut at waist level or below due to the difficulty in managing the chainsaw when trying to cut overhead.
- A sharp chain will result in much smoother cuts and require less force by the operator to complete the cut. This will reduce the risk of the operator using excessive force or movement of your chainsaw
One last tip
I would never buy the cheapest chainsaw chaps I could find. I would always stick with a better quality such as an Oregon brand, Stihl, or Husqvarna. Anything that comes from a reputable company versus items made from dubious brands or so.
Always stay prudent!
You never know when a kickback could happen. The saw could kick up or down but it’s best to be prepared with proper protection.
So there you have it. I hope we were able to answer your question “how do chainsaw chaps work?”
If you already have a chainsaw chap that you’re really happy with, please share your experience in the comments section below.
Stay safe 🙂