Chainsaw Chaps: What They Are (Why Vital To Protection)

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Man in red chainsaw chaps cutting down a tree in his yard

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If mishandled, chainsaws can do loads of damage , causing horrible injuries. Because of this, it’s important to take safety precautions when handling this equipment.

One of the most commonly recommended options is chainsaw chaps. But what are chainsaw chaps, and how do they protect you? 

Chainsaw chaps are a specially designed form of leg covering which goes over the top of your pants. They are filled with fibers that will jam the blades of the chainsaw, preventing people from accidentally cutting themselves. They must be worn each time a chainsaw is used. 

There are a few things that you should keep in mind about this essential piece of safety equipment.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about chainsaw chaps and how they keep you safe when using a chainsaw. 

Man in red chainsaw chaps cutting down a tree in his yard

How Chainsaw Chaps Work

Let’s start by looking at chainsaw chaps and how they work. These are leg covers that go over the top of your pants.

There will be straps at the top of the chaps and at the base of each leg, allowing to hold the chaps in place. It should be noted that, unlike conventional pants, they won’t be joined at the crotch.

This will give you more flexibility. 

Furthermore, these pants are made from a sturdy material. Often, it will be made from something like Kevlar.

When the chainsaw blade strikes the chaps, the filling fibers should jam it up.

This stops it from moving, stopping your legs from getting cut if the chainsaw kicks back, which can occur when it hits a harder part of the log.

A kickback is one of the most common types of chainsaw injuries

There are a few other reasons to wear chainsaw chaps. First, they can protect you against wood chips.

These can fly out and potentially embed themselves in the skin. This type of cut can lead to infection.

Secondly, they are waterproof. This allows you to use them in harsh environments, like lakes or during poor weather. 

While chainsaw chaps are always strongly recommended, they are a legal requirement if you are using a chainsaw in your workplace.

You could face severe penalties, including harsh fines, if you don’t comply. Some of the other safety equipment that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) needs operators to wear are: 

  • Head protection
  • Eye protection
  • Hearing protection
  • Steel-capped boots or other suitable footwear

Because it is a legal requirement, you might be able to get your workplace to pay for chainsaw chaps. 

How To Choose the Right Chainsaw Chaps For You? 

The protection chainsaw chaps will provide will depend on how well they fit.

Here are some things to keep in mind when purchasing your chainsaw chaps: 

  • Get the right fit. This is one of the most essential elements to consider when choosing your chaps. Most will come with adjustable straps, so you can change the fit to suit your needs better. 
  • Consider the length. The chainsaw chaps should cover the top of your shoes, going to the third or fourth shoelace. If they are too long, they can make it harder for you to walk. But if they are too short, your ankles could be left unprotected. 
  • Make sure that it’s not too heavy. You should still be able to move around freely when using chainsaw chaps, allowing you to quickly get out of the way if the tree isn’t falling as you would expect it to. 
  • Get something that is comfortable. Your chaps should be lightweight and breathable. This is especially important if you use them for work, where you must wear them for hours. Sometimes, you might be able to find summer and winter chaps varieties. 
  • Functionality. Choosing a variety that comes with pockets can be a good idea. 

It’s often best to purchase chainsaw chaps in person. This will allow you to try them on and make sure that they are comfortable.

If you are purchasing online, it’s important to make sure that you check the returns policy, so you can send them back if you don’t like the way they feel. 

When To Replace Chainsaw Chaps? 

Old or damaged chaps might not be able to stop the chainsaw, causing substantial damage effectively.

If the chaps have been involved in a chainsaw accident , leaving them torn, they won’t be able to provide adequate protection. As a result, you will need to replace them. 

Sometimes, though, they will be old. Sometimes, oil can seep into the chaps over time. This will damage the underlying filler material and limit the protection they can offer if they get hit by the chainsaw.

Because of this, you might want to consider replacing your chaps after a few years of use. 

How To Take Care of Chainsaw Chaps? 

It’s also important to make sure that you are taking care of your chainsaw chaps. This will ensure that they will last for a long time.

Here are some simple tips to keep in mind: 

  • Don’t use bleach or fabric softener when washing the chainsaw chaps
  • Close fasteners and zips when not in use
  • You should tumble dry
  • Take note of any tears in the chaps. These should be repaired as soon as possible. 
  • Pay attention to the amount of wear and tear your chaps experience. If they are starting to become too worn you might need to replace them with a fresh pair. 

It’s always a good idea to read through the manufacturer’s advice to understand what you can and can’t do with your chainsaw chaps. 

Are Chainsaw Chaps Really Necessary for Protection?

When it comes to operating a chainsaw, safety should always be a top priority. Chainsaw chaps worth investment because they provide essential protection for the legs in case of accidental contact with the chainsaw. Investing in a quality pair of chainsaw chaps can prevent serious injuries and offer peace of mind.

Final Thoughts on Chainsaw Chaps

Safety is paramount when using a dangerous tool, like a chainsaw. If you accidentally cut yourself, the consequences can be devastating.

Because of this, if on a work site, OSHA regulations make wearing chainsaw chaps a legal requirement.

If you are at home, common sense should make them a necessity.