It kind of amazing to see how simple, yet effective, protective clothing like chainsaw trousers or chaps actually works. A chainsaw is built for cut wood with efficiency, unfortunately, it works pretty well in cutting human flesh and bones as well. Due to that, when working with a chainsaw you need protection. Chainsaw protective clothing (PPE) like trousers, pants or chaps is the solution.
Is working with chainsaws dangerous?
Unfortunately, yes, it is very dangerous. This is due to the cutting power of the saw chain on the chainsaw, with 50 or more sharp teeth
moving in a staggering +20 meters per second when on full throttle.
Because of this, as a chainsaw worker, you need two things at least: knowledge and protective clothing.
It’s all about clogging
You can see how chainsaw protectives work in the animated GIF below. Between the visible outer layer and the lining, this clothing has several layers of a special fabric consisting of millions of tiny, yet strong, threads. Their purpose is to clog up the saw chain and rim sprocket as fast as possible, causing the chain and motor to stop immediately.
An unintentional cut to the leg can be done in many ways. Because of that, there are several layers of this special fabric, ensuring that even the worst cut will never reach to the lining.
Trousers or Chaps?
Depending on where you work in the world there seem to be different traditions favoring chaps or trousers. North America seems to use chaps whereas Europe seems to have stronger tradition towards trousers.
Stronger, lighter, smarter
No one wouldn’t probably argue when saying trousers were a struggle to wear 10 years ago. They were heavy and you had an agility of a steel construction. Lot’s has happened though, and 2017 the chainsaw protective trousers weighs nearly as much as a pair of work jeans. They also have stretch material in strategic places, making you a veritable ninja in the forest.
We are planning to dig deeper into the subject of protective clothing and chainsaws later on.