The thought of chainsaw chaps might bring to mind an image of a bowlegged cowboy walking with a stiff-legged gait, the slap of leather chaps harmonizing with jingly spurs. But while the thought of wearing chaps might conjure up some comical mental images, the protection that a good pair of chainsaw chaps can provide is no laughing matter.
In fact, if you’re using a chainsaw while wearing jeans or a pair of ordinary workpants, you’re completely unprotected from the most common type of chainsaw accident.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more chainsaw accidents involve the knee/upper leg than any other single part of the body. And these are usually quite serious injuries, because they often involve the chainsaw ripping into the body while running at a high speed.
That’s why chainsaw chaps are among the most important of chainsaw protective clothing items.
So slap on a pair of safety chaps and endure the laughs – maybe even chuckle a bit yourself. Because when the unthinkable happens and you have an accident with your chainsaw that could’ve slashed your flesh to the bone, everyone will still be laughing. Albeit a bit nervously!
What to Look For in a Pair of Chainsaw Chaps
Comfort and fit are certainly important considerations in choosing a pair of chainsaw chaps. But the most important criteria, of course, is the effectiveness of the chaps in preventing or minimizing injury in the event of an accident.
You can be sure that a pair of chainsaw chaps will offer the protection you expect by checking to see that it conforms to ASTM F 1897-2008. These are standards set by ASTM International (formerly known as American Society for Testing and Materials).
ASTM F 1897-2008 standards require that a pair of chaps have the ability to stop a chainsaw turning at 2,750 feet per minute without penetrating the innermost layer of the chaps.
That’s pretty impressive protection!
A pair of chaps offering that level of protection is well worth any expense and inconvenience (and giggles, too!) that may be involved in wearing them.
Here’s a sampling of some of the chainsaw chaps currently available on Amazon.com:
Elvex Chainsaw Chaps. Elvex chaps utilize a proprietary material called Prolar to meet the requirements of ASTM F 1897-2008. Prolar essentially ‘explodes’ into a mass of fibers when touched by a spinning chain, stopping the chain almost instantaneously by jamming it with the fibers. The effectiveness of Prolar allows Elvex to make their chaps light and flexible, so that comfort isn’t sacrificed for safety.
Elvex chainsaw chaps range in price from around $80 to a bit over $100, depending upo n size and style. Click here to browse the selection of Elvex chainsaw chaps.
Husqvarna Homeowner Chainsaw Chaps. These Husqvarna apron chaps are designed to provide safety with comfort. They are lightweight, machine washable, and conform to ASTM F 1897-2008.