Typically, when we hear about chaps and try to picture people in chaps, it is safe to assume that our minds inevitably stack up pictures of cowboys out on the ranch. Yes, those common images in our heads are certainly glamorous; however, there are several other practical reasons for lacing on a pair of chaps. One of the important situations where you have to throw on a pair of chaps is whenever you are planning on using a chainsaw. A chainsaw is a very powerful device or tool that is able to cut through even harder surfaces like wood or ice. Now when using a chainsaw, it is very important to get kitted up in the right places so as to avoid accidents or health risks. This is where chaps come in.
Chaps are able to provide the vital protection that is needed for your legs, and they should definitely be an essential piece of safety and protective equipment for anyone who is operating a chainsaw. It is just ideal for every chainsaw user, especially those that do professional heavy-duty tasks. In as much as it is fun to operate a chainsaw, you need to ensure you have on your safety gear on. Yes, it may feel a bit uncomfortable but it is also very necessary. Chainsaws are devices that can injure you badly if you mishandle it. Having the right protective gear on will really go a long way in safeguarding you and keeping you out of harm’s way.
Do you wonder why chaps are necessary for chainsaw users? Do you have questions on why you should use a chainsaw chap? It’s alright; you have come to the right place. This article has been designed to not only answer your questions but also to provide all the necessary information that you need on chaps and its uses. Also, no site on chainsaws would be complete without having to take a closer look at chaps and this article has been created to provide the necessary information to look out for when looking to purchase a pair of chaps.
Are Chainsaw Chaps Necessary?
If you have been practicing woodwork for some time, then a chainsaw should not be an unfamiliar tool to you. The same applies to protective equipment and clothing items such as chainsaw chaps; they shouldn’t be new to you as well. Certainly, the moving chain of a chainsaw cannot be guarded and this can cause it to become hazardous, requiring certain preventive measures. So, chainsaw safety chaps come into play in a very logical manner. In the rest of this article, you will find a thorough overview of these safety chaps and everything you need to know to form informed opinions.
Regardless of how thick or tough they are, chaps are still several times safer than a pair of jeans or pants. Chainsaw chaps have been specially designed in such a way that they can withstand and slow down the chainsaw’s rotating speed and help reduce the risk of an injury to the user. They are able to stop a saw that is spinning at 2700 to 3200 feet per minute. Yes, they are that amazing! So if you’re still wondering why you need a chainsaw chap, I hope you’ve gotten the answer that you need.
Frequently Asked Questions
In the next sub-headers are commonly asked questions that can help you know more about your chainsaw chaps and also influence your decision-making process.
What Do Chaps Mean For Chainsaw Workers?
The main purpose of safety chaps is to protect and guard the legs when using the chainsaw or cutting a tree. In situations where you accidentally drop your power saw, the layers embedded within your chap can conveniently offer maximum protection to your limbs. Also, chaps will protect you from the flying splinters.
If you want to be distinguished from a typical logger, then this protective equipment should be a part of your routine. Besides, safety equipment such as protective chaps for chainsaw will also give you a very neat and professional appearance. Asides these advantages, your chainsaw chaps can offer even much more benefits. These benefits include:
- Chainsaws chaps are available and are affordable
- They are oil and water-resistant: Chainsaw chaps are able to withstand water or rainfall, protecting users in those conditions, and they are resistant to oil.
- They are available in different sizes: Ranging from small to large sizes, chaps are readily available in any size that suits the users.
- Have adjustable waists for extra comfort: They usually come with adjustable straps that fasten the chaps to the legs of the users.
- They are made with heavy and thick fabrics in order to offer the most reliable protection while still providing comfort.
How To Measure Chaps For A Chainsaw Worker?
It is important that your pair of chap has the right size or measurements so that you can feel comfortable in it. Chainsaw safety chaps are usually measured from your belt loop to the bottom area. However, if you have been using it for a while or you already know your outseam length, then selecting the right chainsaw chap would be easier for you. There are some manufacturers that produce their chaps in different outseam lengths, which range from 32 to 40 inches. Now the important question is, how do you take the right measurements?
If you are looking into half-length chaps, these are the steps involved:
- Measure around your calf: To do this, you would have to sit down with your feet lying flat on the ground. Then go ahead to measure the widest or largest part of your calf with a measuring tape.
- Measure the height of your chap: This type of measurement is done all the way from your ankle up to your kneecap. If you take this measurement correctly and accurately, it will ensure that your half-length chap allows you to bend your legs comfortably.
If your choice is the full-length chaps, here are the steps in taking the right measurements:
- Measure your thigh region: Take the measurements around the biggest area of your thigh while wearing jeans. This should be about two to four inches underneath the area where your thigh bends.
- Measure both of your thighs: When taking the measurement of your thigh, make sure you add one to two inches to your figure, so it doesn’t get too tight or uncomfortable to bend.
After taking the correct measurements, you can then go ahead to select your chaps based on those measurements that you have taken. However, try to get an inch larger for a tauter fit and get about two inches bigger to achieve a looser fit.
Also, if you think you don’t want your chaps hanging over your heels, you can have them adjusted to a length that best fits you. Just be sure to sit down and take the best length measurement so as to make sure that your chainsaw safety chaps aren’t cut too short.
What You Need To Know About Chainsaw Chaps
Now that you have realized how essential and necessary safety chaps are for your sawing experience and how badly you should get one, the next topic to look at is getting to know about chainsaw chaps. Since there are several safety chainsaw pants on the market, it can get a little bit confusing when you become faced with selecting the right one. In order to help you make the right choice, here are some major factors to consider:
Types of Fabric
Now, most construction materials, especially fabrics, are often classified into three classes. These classes define the amount of resistance that the fabrics have against an operating chainsaw. For the most user experience, you should totally focus on class 3 fabrics as they will offer you the most resistance and maximum amount of leg protection.
The outer layer: It is important for you to know that the outer surface of your chap is the major protective layer. So the most amazing chainsaw chap will have a really smooth and super strong outer layer that will be able to withstand the chainsaw’s impact and other damages that can be caused by liquids and oils.
Flexibility and comfort: It is important that woodworkers feel very comfortable and move freely around while wearing their chaps, I mean, sawing in chaps should feel safe and great. So make sure you try on your chaps, and if you feel that you cannot move unreservedly or you feel hot, leave the pair alone and try out other options.
Type of chaps – There are Type A and Type C chaps. The Type A chaps only protect the front area of your leg. However, the Type C chaps have a front and back covering, which protect the entire leg. They are commonly known as chainsaw trousers.
Oil and water resistance: Having chaps that are not only water-proof but are also oil-proof can be very helpful when you need to clean up. They would be easier to clean and maintain. Also, these protective chaps for chainsaw users are supposed to keep you dry, especially when working in the rain.
Compartments and pockets: If you are a chainsaw user when cutting down trees, you would probably want to have some handy tools in your pockets instead of going over to your toolbox every-time you need to get something. So, when shopping for your chaps, make sure you get one that has really convenient and probably big pockets for storing the tiniest of any tools for your work.
Style of Chaps: Different companies provide different styles of chainsaw chaps. The wrap and apron style are two basic designs. The apron-style chaps are made to cover the shins and thighs but they do not cover the calves. Instead, they are able to keep you cool in working conditions that are somewhat hot. On the other hand, the wrap style chaps cover the entire thigh, the shins, and the calves and they offer more protection.
Fit the following criteria
While chainsaw chaps are great and necessary, they should be able to fit into the following criteria:
1. Standards for Chainsaw Chaps
Okay, it may not be a must for chainsaw protective chaps to abide by the chainsaw mechanism or principles, but be sure to read the label on them to be sure if they meet the principles that are required for your job. There is a certain standard for testing chaps, ASTM F 1414-92A (1997), and there is another for chap performance, ASTM F 1897-2008. Even with that, there is still a certification program by the Underwriters Laboratories and chainsaw chaps specification by the U.S Forest Service: 6170-4F. Your chainsaw chaps should be within this regulation for your safety and that of the environment.
2. Regulation For Chainsaw Leg Protection
Most of these top chainsaw chaps should be able to conform to the rules and regulations set for chainsaw safety and leg protection. These organizations provide these regulations to ensure the safety of chainsaw users.
3. Suitability for Electric Chainsaw Operation
On the market, you will hardly find any chaps that are applicable for use with electric chainsaws. Electric chainsaws are designed to have higher torque, which can pose a different type of hazard when compared to the gasoline-powered chainsaws. Hence, it is not a good idea to use chaps when cutting with an electric chainsaw.
Other Uses of Chainsaw Chaps
Chainsaw chaps are the recommended safety clothing for protecting the user’s body while working with a chainsaw. However, these are not the only use of chainsaw chaps. Some people prefer to use them for other purposes, such as when gardening when cutting firewood, and more.
The Right Care and Maintenance for Chaps
When it comes to the care and maintenance for your chainsaw chaps, there are two important things to pay attention to repair and cleaning. When your chap gets damaged, always make sure that you repair even the smaller cuts and tiniest holes in the outer layer of your chaps immediately. You may use products like a seam grip to repair any sort of damage on the nylon shell. The tool creates some sort of abrasion-proof and a water-proof patch that will keep your pad safe from contaminants and damage.
When it comes to cleaning your chainsaw chaps, you should wash them with your hands and allow them to dry while outside. However, if the manufacturers have provided a different technique for washing and maybe the kind of detergents to use, follow these techniques carefully so as not to ruin your chaps. Otherwise, just clean them in the same way you would a pair of jeans, then hang them outside and allow them to dry.
Finally, wearing the perfectly sized pair of chainsaw safety chaps is very important. Having the right size will help your sawing experience and make it comfortable. It can also shield your legs from a chainsaw accident that could make you take a trip to the hospital. Be very careful and wise about it; always make sure that your chaps are on you whenever you are using your chainsaw because if a saw can cut through a thick tree trunk in a few minutes, it could slice through your limb in seconds. So if you haven’t already chosen your chainsaw chaps, there is still enough time to do so now. Not only are they important, but they are also very necessary for chainsaw users. You can just stop the health risk now by getting chaps that will fit you perfectly.
On that note, we will be doing a quick recap of everything that we have talked about.
- Chainsaws chaps are protective trousers that are made of special fabrics, designed to protect chainsaw operators or users from being cut by a running chainsaw. These chaps are a part of the personal protective equipment recommended by manufacturers for all occasional and professional chainsaw users. Hence, chainsaw chaps are necessary.
- Chainsaw chaps are usually made of really tough and slippery outer material and layers of loose fibers of other fabrics on the inside. These protective clothing are designed to prevent or minimize the risk of hazards and injuries that may occur if the lower limbs of the chainsaw operator become accidentally exposed when the chainsaw is running.
- Finally, if you are searching for an ideal pair of chaps that would suit your needs, then you should look for a pair that is durable and comfortable, and one that is waterproof and oil proof for easy maintenance.
Over time, there is a good chance that you may accidentally lose control of your chainsaw while cutting. In that situation, wearing a tough pair of pants or a pair of jeans wouldn’t simply be enough protection against running saws. This is where your chainsaw chap becomes very necessary. Always remember that your safety comes first, so try to act on that.
We hope that this article has been able to answer your questions and have also provided the guide that you need to purchase your chainsaw chap. We wish you the best!