If you do a lot of outdoor work in a wooded area, you’ll want to invest in a pair of durable, high-quality chainsaw chaps. Even if you’ve never had a close call with a chainsaw yourself, you probably know somebody who has avoided a substantial – and perhaps life-threatening – injury by wearing a pair of chainsaw chaps. Let’s face it; a pair of jeans alone is not going to stop a high-powered chainsaw from ripping into your leg.
Most of the best chainsaw chaps on the market today are designed for professionals, such as those in the logging and timber industry. These people work with chainsaws frequently and, understandably, want to make sure they have the best chainsaw chaps possible. As a result, you’ll see that organizations such as OSHA, ANSI and ASTM specifically certify many of these chaps.
But who besides industry professionals wears them? If you’re cutting firewood for a cabin in the woods, clearing trees after a nasty storm, or cutting away tree debris, you’ll want to invest in a good pair of chainsaw chaps.
As part of any best chainsaw chaps review, it’s important to evaluate chainsaw chaps on three critical criteria:
- How well they protect you from chainsaw blades;
- How much total body coverage they provide;
- How comfortable they are to wear.
If you’re logging timber in Oregon or cutting away tree debris in Houston after a big tropical storm, you’ll want a pair of chaps that can be adjusted and won’t make you too hot after a long day. And you certainly want a pair of the best chainsaw chaps or best chainsaw pants that are “cut-retardant” (the official industry term) against any type of blade. The cut-retardant material ensures that you don’t lose a leg or accidentally cut into bone with a chainsaw.
Needless to say, having the right pair of chainsaw chaps can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in hospital ER bills. And if you live far from medical help, having a pair of sturdy chainsaw chaps can save you from bleeding out in the woods after a nasty cut. So what are the best chainsaw chaps out there?
As you can see from the following comparison table, the best chainsaw chaps come in a variety of materials (all of them designed to stop a chainsaw blade very quickly), as well as a variety of sizes and configurations (everything from a full bib to a pair of chaps designed only to protect the upper legs). Based on a consideration of the three criteria we’ve outlined above, here’s a review of the six best chainsaw chaps.
|Forester Chainsaw Apron Chaps||Forester||Orange||2.9 pounds|
|Husqvarna Technical Apron Wrap Chap||Husqvarna||Orange/Grey||3.3 pounds|
|A.M. Leonard Chain Saw Chaps||A.M. Leonard||Green||2.1 pounds|
|Sawbuck Four-Ply Para-Aramid Chain Saw Chaps||PGI||Green||1.9 pounds|
FORESTER CHAINSAW APRON CHAPS WITH POCKET – Best Budget Option
For a very reasonable price, you get a great mix of comfort, durability and design with these chaps, making the Forester Chainsaw Apron Chaps our clear winner in the budget category. As an added bonus, these Forester Chainsaw Apron Chaps come in a number of fashionable colors (including bright orange), as well as different sizes from 36” and up. These chainsaw chaps are relatively lightweight, making them a good choice if you’re going to be working out in the sun all day.
The Forester Chainsaw Apron Chaps meet both OSHA and ASTM chainsaw operator standards, so even though you’re paying considerably less than for other chainsaw chaps, you’re getting a good amount of protection (not to mention a fair amount of stylish design). Moreover, these apron chaps are quick to put on and take off, and won’t restrict your movement. You will have a remarkably wide range of movement with these chaps.
These chainsaw chaps may not offer the full protection required if you’re a professional in the timber or logging industry, but they are a great choice if you have a weekend cabin in the woods or do some occasional part-time work like clearing tree debris or rounding up firewood.
HUSQVARNA TECHNICAL APRON WRAP CHAP – Best Premium Option
As you might be able to tell from the name of this product, this Technical Apron Wrap Chap from Husqvarna was clearly designed with the industry professional in mind. You’re getting far more protection than with lower-priced Husqvarna options. Here, that added protection means 1000 denier polyester with a PVC coating, combined with Tek warp protective layers. These chaps can give you plenty of peace of mind if you know you’ll be working in the woods for a long period of time.
Another distinguishing feature of the Husqvarna Apron Wrap Chap is its full set of customization features. There are acetyl Delran buckles and plenty of straps to get exactly the right fit. For example, there are 4 straps per leg (3 on the lower leg and 1 on the upper leg), so you can really imagine what kind of snug fit you’re going to get, right? Unlike other chainsaw chaps that might flap around or come undone, these chaps are designed to stay in place and do what they do best: protect your legs and lower torso from any nasty chainsaw mishaps. You can really optimize the fit so that you can focus on the job ahead of you. Once you’ve set the straps, you’ll forget that you’re even wearing them.
All of these features – including extra pockets for gear – make them the best choice for the busy industry professional operating a chainsaw on a regular basis. If you spend most of your day logging and clearing timber, you’ll want the full protection of the Husqvarna name behind you. These chainsaw chaps are an unbelievable bargain. They offer the optimal mix of protection, durability and comfort at that price point.
A.M. LEONARD CHAINSAW CHAPS – Best Overall Value
These A.M. Leonard Chain Saw Chaps are a good value at a very reasonable price. They’re not quite a budget option, but they are certainly more affordable than some of the chainsaw chap options from premium, well-known brands. These chaps compare well with the most affordable chap options from Husqvarna.
In terms of functionality, you’re not sacrificing much with these A.M. Leonard Chain Saw Chaps. You get 400 denier nylon protection in addition to a special prolar weave. While that’s not as much protection as you’d get with 1000 denier nylon, it’s still substantial enough to slow down an errant chainsaw blade.
You can think of the asymmetric design as providing an additional layer of safety. However, if you are more experienced with the chainsaw, you might be able to find another offering at a slightly more affordable price. Moreover, some users will prefer to go with a premium, well-established brand name like Husqvarna or Stihl.
SAWBUCK FOUR-PLY PARA-ARAMID CHAINSAW CHAPS – Best Specialty Option
These Sawbuck Four-Ply Para-Aramid Chainsaw Chaps offer a lot of extras that are specifically designed for professional chainsaw operators. They have four layers of Para-Aramid protection, capable of stopping the operation of a chainsaw on contact. That’s combined with a 1000-denier nylon protective outer layer. Any chainsaw blade trying to cut into these chaps will quickly clog up and come to an immediate halt.
These chainsaw chaps are also remarkably flexible and highly adjustable. They fit waist sizes 32 to 36, and feature a number of quick-release buckles. Overall, the Sawbuck Four-Ply Para-Aramid Chainsaw Chaps offer a comfortable fit and durable quality. As such, these chaps are recommended for industry professionals who operate a chainsaw on a regular basis.
For some, the only question might be whether they want to pay for chainsaw chaps in the super premium category. Plus, if you are looking for chaps in a color other than green, you might want to look elsewhere.
As you can see from the above product reviews, the best chainsaw chaps offer plenty of protection, provide enough coverage to protect (at a minimum) your legs, and offer enough comfort for a full day of logging in the woods. But there are certainly two factors that you’ll want to keep in mind before you buy:
- Type of material
- Fit and adjustability
Let’s assume for a moment that you don’t really care about the color of the chainsaw chaps, as long as they work to protect you from the blade. In that case, you’ll want to focus on the TYPE OF MATERIAL used to give you protection from a chainsaw blade. These materials are all designed to stop a blade by shredding into lots of fibers, but some are better than others.
As you might have guessed, price is a big indicator of how much protection you are going to receive. Most chainsaw chaps are OSHA and ASTM certified, meaning that they meet all minimum requirements for protecting chainsaw operators. However, there’s a big difference between “minimum” requirements and “maximum” requirements, right? When it comes to chainsaws, it’s better to err on the side of caution.
So always check the type of material providing the protection. Husqvarna, for example, uses a Kevlar-like material (kevmalimot) containing threads that will shred and string out to stop a blade. The top-of-line Stihl chainsaw chaps use Entex cut-retardant material. Other chainsaw chaps use polyester as a protective layer, and here it’s important to note the denier count of the polyester. The more expensive (and thus, more protective) polyester is typically 1000 denier and above. Less expensive chaps may only be 400 denier.
You should also pay attention to FIT AND ADUSTABILITY. When ordering, most of the top chainsaw chaps brands will give you choice of sizes from 36” to 42”. The larger the size, the more coverage you will get for your legs. It’s really a matter of form and function, and whether you want the chaps extending to the top of your work boots or not.
It’s worth reading what other customers have to say about these chainsaw chaps on the official product pages, as many of these reviewers will talk about what fits best for their specific waist size and height. Most of the chainsaw chaps are meant to be highly flexible and adjustable, but it’s always easiest if they work well right out of the box. Plus, some of the adjustable buckles are not as sturdy which will result in you having to constantly adjust them.
As a rule of thumb, it’s best to trust the name brands with the greatest experience and expertise. Some brands – like Stihl – are world-renowned for the quality of their hardware, power tools and accessories. That mark of quality extends to their top-of-the-line chainsaw chaps. But not everyone is willing to shell out for a pair of premium chainsaw chaps, and there are plenty of offerings in the value and budget categories. Just remember – the more you are willing to pay, the more protection you are going to get. You are also going to get a more comfortable fit as well as materials that are completely oil and water-resistant.
The choice is up to you, but just keep in mind that the high-powered chainsaw is one of the most dangerous tools ever created. (Not convinced? Just watch any of the scary horror films that come out every Halloween!) If you’re like most people, you’d rather avoid an injury or cut before it ever occurs. To make that a reality, you’ll need to invest in a pair of high-quality chainsaw chaps. The next time you head to your cabin in the woods or clearing timber on a mountain, you’ll thank yourself for having invested in a pair of high-quality chainsaw chaps.