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Are all chainsaw chaps created equally?

Post in 'The Gear' started by WestVirginian, Feb 20, 2006.

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  1. WestVirginian

    WestVirginian New Member

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    Hi--

    Just got my first chainsaw, and have started looking for chaps. But I'm pretty confused in trying to compare the different types, materials, brands. Still can't figure out if one brand is more effective in stopping the chain than another brand.

    Any guidance?

    Thanks. Ian

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    When they first came out and started gaining popularity, the quality of chainsaw chaps varied somewhat, and there was the usual commercial bad-mouthing going on between manufacturers.

    I don't know this for a fact, but I assume that over the past 15 years the industry has figured out the best way to make a safe, affordable chap, and that's what's available. I suspect they're all pretty much the same, although there are still different designs (velcro vs. snaps, for example) that might make a difference to you.
  3. MALogger

    MALogger New Member

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    Greetings.

    This is what I have learned about leg protection. There are basically 2 types.

    Type 1: Saw jamming. Husky chaps and pants use this so do stihl, (swedepro)

    Type 2: Kevlar which blocks the saw briefly to give you time to react and some also have polyester felt to do a combo of both.

    I use the jamming type pants and I can tell you form experience they work (372xp just above the left knee) didn't get to my leg and the saw was stopped completely and instantly. Took a while to get all the fibers out of the sprocket of my saw but that was certainly better than a trip to the hospital.

    If you run a saw buy a good pair it is money well spent.


    Hope that helps!

    Craig
  4. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    I don't have experience with chain saw chaps specifically, but as a general rule, safety equipment like that has to meet a minimum requirement for performance. This is true of things like steel toed boots, safety glasses, hard hats, etc so I don't know why chaps would be any different. I would say that if you have a pair that meets the spec, it is probably as good as any other pair.

    Corey
  5. MALogger

    MALogger New Member

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    There are minimum standards for the chaps to be UL listed but that doesn't mean they are all created equal.
    I don't know exactly what the minimum is to be UL listed but some chaps/ pants have 4 layers(2 kevlar 2 felt)
    Others that are the jamming type have 6-9 layers of either Red line fabric (husky pants/chaps) or Engtex (swedepro/stihl)
    So just because they meet the minimum standard doesn't mean they are all created equal.
    Just because a poulan will cut wood doesn't mean it is as good as a stihl!!
  6. ourhouse

    ourhouse Minister of Fire

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    I agree with MLlogger the brand we are issued at work are not as good as the ones I wear. Mine have more buckles and straps for a better fit. They also wrap around the back of my calves. They fit better, wear better and I think they protect better.
  7. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    The ones with all the buckles and wrap around your calf are "pro-forest chaps" and the others are "apron chaps" I like them both but thay do have there place. You wouldnt want to use the proforest chaps up in a tree nor would you want the apron chaps in heavy thick brush with the lack of ties . I bought both the proforest and apron chaps from Husqvarna and hope to never find out what is the better chaps .
  8. MALogger

    MALogger New Member

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    I wear the pro forest pants 98% of the time and full wrap chaps the other 2%. I had 2 pairs of the pants but my 372xp took one pair out of commission. The saw made it through 4 and into the 5th layer and jammed as it is supposed too. Good thing they have 6 layers!

    The reasons I like the pants are they don't get caught on stuff all the time, you put them on in the morning and forget they are even there and they offer full protection in the front, around the left side of your leg and from the knee down in the back.
    Someone else had posted in another thread that they like chaps in the summer because they are cooler but if you get the summer weight chaps they are breathable polyester in the back and I feel they are far cooler than a pair of jeans.

    Plus I have seen people take there chaps off because they weren't going to be cutting for a while then next time they needed to make a couple cuts they didn't bother to put their chaps back on and got bit by a saw!

    If you are wondering why I wear the chaps 2% of the time it is when it is really cold and I have wool farmer jean things on!

    Craig
  9. ourhouse

    ourhouse Minister of Fire

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    On the contrary, I do wear the "pro-forest chaps" in the tree everyday. Whether I'm pruning, doing removals, land clearing or logging I wear them if there is a chainsaw in my hand or on my saddle. Unfortunately, I know they DO work very well because in 2 instances that I am not very proud of I took a 394 across the right thigh and a 272 on the left knee. I had my pro-forest chaps on both times and was lucky they worked extremely well and did not get cut.

    This of course is just my opinion. In general it is all up to what you are comfortable with. I think we'll all agree though that ANY protection is better than none.
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