What are Chainsaw Chaps?
Chainsaws chaps refer to trousers made of special fabrics that are designed to protect chainsaw operators from being cut by a running chainsaw. They are a part of the personal protective equipment that is recommended for all occasional and professional chainsaw users. Usually, they are made of a tough and slippery material on the outside and layers of loose fibers of other fabrics on the inside. They are generally designed to prevent or minimize injuries that may occur if the lower limbs of a chainsaw operator are accidentally exposed to a running chainsaw.
How Chainsaw Chaps Work
There are no chainsaw chaps that are cut proof. However, depending on the type of the fabric used, chainsaw chaps may either slow down the chainsaw speed or tangle the teeth of the chainsaw and even stop it running. In case of an accident, the chainsaw may cut through the outermost layer but it will be immediately drawn and wrapped around by the inner filler materials which are usually polyester, Kevlar or nylon.
This usually protects the chainsaw user by stopping the chainsaw from running or giving him or her time to switch off the machine in those critical seconds before the chainsaw comes in contact with the skin.
Importance of Using Chainsaw Chaps
Although the chainsaw is one of the most useful and versatile tools, it also happens to be one of the most dangerous machines than can cause serious injuries and even deaths. A majority of the thousands of chainsaw injuries reported each year in the United States alone involved the lower limbs as they are more exposed to the chainsaw in case of accidents.
In case of an accident, the Chainsaw chaps bear the first impact of the chainsaw teeth. Even though there is a chance that the teeth may still come in contact with the legs of the user, they will not cause deep cuts as they might otherwise have.
Any chainsaw operator who does not wear chaps puts himself at a high risk. This is because it is very easy to stumble or lose control of the chainsaw and if this happens, the chainsaw user can lose a limb in a matter of seconds. If the accident happens in a remote area, the victim is likely to lose his life because of loss of blood.
Types of Chainsaw Protective Trousers
There are basically two regular types of protective chainsaw trousers; Type A and Type C.
Chaps are categorized as Type A trousers which can offer protection only to the front of the legs. They are usually worn on top of regular work trousers although they can also be worn as work trousers on their own.
However, there are other types of old style chaps which include apron style chaps and wraparound chaps. They also work in the same way as Type A chaps but are not very user friendly.
These types of chaps are best suited for homeowners who use chainsaws occasionally and any chainsaw user who is working on the ground.
Type C chainsaw trousers refer to overalls or special trousers that give all-round protection to the legs. They are always worn as conventional work trousers as they do not need to be tied with belts or to be worn over other clothes. Type C chainsaw trousers are designed for professional chainsaw users like foresters and arborists who climb trees and often have to operate the chainsaws in difficult or uncomfortable positions. They offer maximum chainsaw protection unlike chaps which only protect the front.
The Best Chainsaw Chaps
Chainsaw chaps and other protective trousers come in many varieties depending on the price and quality. The best protection will usually depend on the type of work that the chainsaw is being used for. Professional users are usually required to use Type C protective trousers because they use chainsaws regularly and often in high risk positions. They are more at risk and thus need maximum protection.
Homeowners and occasional users often operate chainsaws on the ground and often in less risky positions. In such cases, it would be uneconomical to buy highly expensive Type C protective trousers. Type A Chainsaw protective trousers would be best for such users because they are cheaper and offer sufficient protection for ground work.