Chainsaw Chaps: A Quick Introduction
Wearing a good quality pair of chainsaw chaps is, without doubt, one of the simplest ways to prevent injuries when using a chainsaw. Chainsaws injuries are actually surprisingly common even amongst professional chainsaw users – and often involve just a momentary lapse in concentration.
Chainsaw chaps work by stopping the chainsaw before it cuts through your clothing. They achieve this by using special fabric to jam up the chain and stop the saw. Several safety standards across the world govern this material – and quality products have to meet those requirements.
That said, you’ll be wearing these things for a few hours at a time – so there’s a lot more to think about – including comfort, temperature, fit, and price – to name a few. In this review, we’ll take a look at some of the best chainsaw chaps on the market right now.
1. Husqvarna 587160704 Technical Apron Wrap Chap
⤍ Very reasonable priced
⤍ World-renowned forestry brand
⤍ Meets all the relevant safety standards
⤍ Comfortable strap positioning
⤍ Durable clips and stitching
Taking quality, performance, and value all into account for our top choice – there was a clear winner in the Husqvarna Technical Apron Wrap Chap. Husqvarna has a rich heritage in forestry equipment stretching back to the previous century – and that experience has clearly been deployed effectively in these chaps.
Digging into the details, these chainsaw chaps meet all the critical safety standards (ASTM f1897, ANSI z133.1, OSHA 1910-266, and UL certification). They are the heaviest in Husqvarna’s range and utilize a 1000 denier PVC polyester layered in combination with Tek warp material. When the chainsaw connects with the material it intentionally shreds into fibers that clog the saw.
In terms of fit, you have two size options to work with – and reviews suggest they run slightly on the short side. Since these are an apron-style chap, the buckle around the back of the leg which means the larger size will work just fine with tall and slight frames. We’re a big fan of the apron style design – which can be quite a bit cooler compared to a full wrap pant design. The downside, however, is a slight reduction in coverage on the rear part of the leg.
You have two colors to choose from – orange and black, and both options feature reflective strips for added safety at night. Fastenings are taken care of by heavy-duty plastic clips, which are easy to adjust to the correct size.
With glowing reviews and a very reasonable price point for such a well know brand, these chaps are a great choice. From our point of view, they were a standout overall winner.
Best Premium Choice
2. STIHL Performance Apron Chaps
⤍ Very lightweight while still ASTM and UL compliant
⤍ Open chap design with good rear coverage
⤍ Cargo pocket
⤍ Oil and water resistant material
⤍ 2 straps per leg
Like Husqvarna, Stihl also have a rich heritage in forestry, being one of the first companies to successfully develop and sell the chainsaw. While not the cheapest products on the market, their range of equipment is very well regarded by industry professionals and retains an extremely loyal following.
The Performance Apron Chaps utilize a 6-layer construction to meet UL and ASTM standards whilst maintaining an extremely lightweight feel to the material. The material is also oil and water resistant – which will be a welcome addition to those in the wetter parts of the country. Buyers mention the lightweight nature of these chaps being a particular attraction, as they come in almost ½ a pound lighter than the Husqvarna options.
In terms of design and fit – these are a one-size-fits-all design, which buyers seem to be broadly happy with. The apron style is a little fuller than some of the other designs, offering good coverage on the rear all the way up the leg. One strap secures the chaps around the waist, and two around each leg at the calf and the thigh. While that is certainly fewer than some other chainsaw chaps in this review, we didn’t see any reason to believe the coverage was ineffective.
All in all, these are a very lightweight chainsaw chap from a highly respected brand. Performance-wise, you are getting a very lightweight chap which will be suited to demanding buyers and hotter climates. Although a little more expensive than some options, these are an excellent premium choice.
Best Value Choice
3. Forester Chainsaw Apron Chaps With Pocket
⤍ Wide range of colors and sizes
⤍ Very attractive price point
⤍ OSHA, ASTM and UL standard compliant
⤍ Single cargo pocket
⤍ 2 leg straps with plastic clips
Forester, as their name suggests, specialize in protective equipment for outdoor workers, and have several chainsaw chap offerings. These are their apron chaps – which are a high-performance product at a very attractive price.
One of the main appeals of the Forester Chainsaw Apron Chaps has to be wide variety of colors and sizes you can get them in. With three size options and seven colors – from flouro yellow to denim – there’s a size and style to suit every taste. Buyers have been extremely happy with the extra fit options – as typically most chainsaw chaps come in just one or two sizes.
The material is a 4 layer oil and water resistant type, and complies with OSHA, ASTM and UL standards. Several buyers have reported how these chaps prevented them from injury they came into contact with a running chainsaw. Although you hope it wouldn’t happen to anyone – it’s nice to read reports of them working!
In terms of additional features, these are a simple 2-strap apron design, which will suit most buyers. The cut is a medium cut – with a touch less coverage than the Stihl chainsaw chaps. They also come equipped with a cargo pocket on your left side for tools and other accessories.
To sum up, these are a very affordable prices pair of chainsaw chaps, with a heap of glowing reviews online. While they don’t yet have the brand recognition of the two companies previously mentioned – they offer great performance, a wide range of colors and sizes and a very appealing price point.
4. Forester Full Wrap Chainsaw Safety Chaps
⤍ Wrap around leg design
⤍ Zip closure on the inside of the leg
⤍ 4 ply OSHA/ASTM/UL compliant material
⤍ No pocket
⤍ Great value
For buyers looking for a fuller coverage on their legs, the Forester Full Wrap Chainsaw Safety Chaps could be the product they’ve been searching for. As we discussed earlier in this review, Forester specialize in produce different types of safety equipment for outdoor workers, and have a wide range of offerings to suit all sorts of tastes.
Unlike the apron designs we’ve discussed earlier in this review, these are a full pant design – which is designed to be worn over a pair of jeans underneath. Instead of the straps found on the apron chaps, these use a zipper which runs up the inseam of each leg. The benefit of this design is that it gives you full protection around you leg. The downside is that they can be hot, and are a touch trickier to remove for some people.
These chaps utilize a 1200 denier oxford polyester material in a 4 ply design, which meets OSHA, ASTM and UL standards. It is however slightly lighter weight that some of the other chainsaw chaps in this review, and several buyers suggest these might be a better choice for light brush cutting work.
One slight downside to this particular design is that they aren’t equipped with a pocket, which is a shame. Many buyers won’t mind, but it can be a nice addition to have for small tools and keys you need to keep handy.
For buyers who don’t like dealing with the plastic clips found on most designs, or who want more coverage around the back of their legs, these chainsaw chaps are a great choice. Like most Forester products, they are offered at a very reasonable price – and if they came equipped with a pocket they might challenge for a top spot in the review.
6. Forester Arborist Professional Cutter’s Combo Kit
⤍ Chaps, helmet, muffs, visor & glasses included
⤍ Uses Forestry’s apron chainsaw chaps
⤍ Available in three sizes
⤍ Meets a variety of standards for the equipment
⤍ Great value gear bundle
For first time buyers who are looking to purchase safety gear, Forester’s combo kit is a great way to get all the safety equipment you need in one go. With Forester’s competitive pricing, you can pick up a helmet and a pair of chaps for the same price as a more expensive pair of branded chaps!
On the chaps side of things, this kit contains Forester’s standard apron-style chaps in three size options. They offer great coverage around the leg, along with a great 3-ply material which is OSHA/ASTM/UL standard compliant. With a cargo pocket and a comfortable strap design, these are a great pair of standalone chaps in themselves. You are, however, restricted to the orange color with this combo pack.
Also included is Forestry’s safety glasses and Forester’s Safety Helmet. The helmet incorporates ear muffs and a face mask, which are both a must-have for chainsaw use. Without delving into the many standards for ear muffs, helmets, and glasses, these meet most of the main requirements for residential chainsaw usage.
Buyers have been very happy with this set for homeowner use, and have reported very little in the way of criticism. For shoppers looking for a one-stop-shop safety solution at an affordable price, then this bundle from Forestry is a great way to go.
7. Husqvarna 531309565 Chain Saw Apron Chaps
⤍ Lightweight, high mobility chainsaw chaps
⤍ Meets ANSI/ASTM/OSHA/UL standards
⤍ Low coverage 2 leg strap design
⤍ Good in warm climates
The 531309565 model are another offering from Husqvarna, this time aimed at the more lightweight end of the market. For buyers looking for lightweight protection in a warm climate, then these might be a perfect choice.
Utilizing the same Tek warp cut resistant technology as their heavier weight brother, these chaps instead make use of a lighter weight 600 denier polyester fabric. This makes for a more maneuverable and lightweight pair of chaps, albeit with slightly reduced protection and warmth. That said, these chaps still meet the ANSI/ASTM/OSHA/UL standards, so you should not expect diminished safety performance.
Husqvarna have also looked to save weight and increase mobility in the cut of these chaps, which is not as full as others on this test. They don’t offer a huge amount of coverage on the rear half of the leg, which can be a turn off to some buyers. That said, the benefit is clear to many owners who are willing to sacrifice some protection for lower working temperatures and more mobility. In addition, these chaps feature just two straps on the leg, located on the calf and thigh.
If you are looking for a good quality set of lightweight chaps, then these are a great choice. Meeting a huge variety of safety standards, you can still feel confident in their protective capabilities, and of course in the reputation of a trusted brand like Husqvarna.
8. Elvex JE-9136Z ProChapsZ
⤍ Easy-to-reach outer-leg zips
⤍ 1000 denier ripstop nylon
⤍ Cargo pocket
⤍ Easy to take on and off
Elvex’s ProChapsZ is another wrap-around set of chainsaw chaps, which use a clever combination of zippers and straps to achieve a comfortable fit. While Elvex isn’t as well-known compared with other brands in this review, these chaps feature an intriguing design which we think is worthy of a more detailed look.
Equipped with a 1000 denier nylon outer and a prolar padded inner layer, these chaps meet the UL and ASTM standards for chainsaw chaps. The ripstop outer is also waterproof, and when combined with the extensive coverage of these chaps, offers an attractive proposition for buyers in wet areas of the country.
Unlike the Forestry chaps, these feature zippers on the outside of the leg rather than the inside. This makes them much easier to reach when putting the chaps on and means you don’t have loose straps causing a safety hazard. In addition to the zips, these chaps also feature a thigh strap on the reverse for extra security and a left side cargo pocket for tools and accessories.
These chaps appear well designed and have a patent for their asymmetrical style. While there are a number of industry reviews online, we struggled to track down buyer’s reports and as a result where hesitant to rate them higher. Nevertheless, they are a great set of chaps that will be a good choice for most buyers.
9. Makita 841008-A Chain Saw Chaps
⤍ Apron-style chainsaw chaps
⤍ Two rear buckles per leg
Makita are typically a top choice for our premium or performance buyers, but in this case, we found their chainsaw chaps to be fairly basic in design and features. These are simple apron-style chaps, with medium coverage around the leg.
The two-strap design offers a degree of security, but they don’t have the same comfortable fit as many other chaps in this review. We were also disappointed to see no pocket on the chaps, which we find helpful when working with the chainsaw.
Overall, while Makita typically produce great products, we think there are much better pairs of chainsaw chaps on the market.
What To Consider When Buying Chainsaw Chaps
With so many different chainsaw chap designs on the market, it can be hard to know which features to focus on when choosing to buy some. In this section, we’ll go over the elements we think are really worth paying attention to when choosing your chaps.
Chainsaw chaps are, first and foremost, a piece of safety equipment. There are numerous international and US standards that cover their protective qualities, so let’s try to simplify things a little bit.
For professional buyers, you may have certain specific requirements about what standards your chaps have to comply with. Although it seems unimportant, it has huge implications for the validity of your insurance policies. You should always check those and your state regulations about which standards you need to comply with.
For homeowners, however, the situation is more straightforward, unless your state or country has requirements of its own. We recommend you buy chaps that comply with the major regulations – namely those of ASTM, OSHA, and UL. These all demand a good level of performance in terms of stopping a saw cut. They are adequate for most home chainsaw work. Obviously, you can’t protect yourself from everything, but this is a good place to start.
Regulations or company policies typically govern coverage. However, sometimes it just comes down to personal preference. Some chaps will give you coverage only around the front area of the leg. These are the most basic style of apron chaps.
Other designs will give you protection around the calf area, and more protection around the back of your leg. Generally, we do believe more coverage is better since it helps prevent accidents. However, it will mean the chaps are hotter and more restrictive.
Chainsaw chaps come in a number of different materials. Some materials will have water- and oil-resistant capabilities, while others will not. Generally, we like to see these features, as they help the chap to protect your leg from sharp chainsaw cuts.
Fit is very important in getting the chaps to perform properly. If they are too loose, the saw can move the material out of the way in an accident. This prevents them from working properly. You should aim to have a snug fit and to keep the straps well-tightened as much as possible.
Chainsaw Chaps Buyer’s Guide FAQs
We get lots of questions about chainsaw chaps. So we thought we’d collect several of the most common to help your buying research.
What are the best chainsaw chaps?
This is a difficult question to answer because it really depends on what your local requirements are, and what your use case is. That said, we think that the Husqvarna 587160704 Technical Apron Wrap Chap is an excellent all-round choice. Why? Because it offers compliance with all the major standards, features a great deal of coverage, has a good pocket, and sells at a reasonable price. What more could you want!
Do chainsaw chaps really work?
Chainsaw chaps won’t prevent every type of chainsaw accident, but they certainly help to limit some of the damage caused when a chainsaw strikes the body or clothing. When wearing chainsaw chaps, the chainsaw effectively tangles itself in the thread of the chaps, halting the saw. The idea is that this stops the saw before it cuts your body. This might not happen in all instances, but they are widely accepted to significantly reduce the chance of injury when operating a gas or electric chainsaw.
Do I need chainsaw chaps?
If you are operating a chainsaw, then yes, you absolutely do. They are an indispensable set of safety gear, that can prevent nasty accidents. In the US, there are 28,000 chainsaw injuries annually – a large number of which would be less serious with chainsaw chaps.
What are chainsaw chaps made of?
Chainsaw chaps are made of a wide variety of materials, including nylon, polyester, and Kevlar fabric blends. Obviously, not all of the material is functional in helping to stop the chainsaw.
The material that does help to stop the saw is designed to unweave itself into the chainsaw blade on contact. It then jams up the saw. This stops the blade from moving and can help to prevent injuries.
Can you wash chainsaw chaps?
Yes, you certainly can. In fact, you should keep them clean to ensure they work correctly. This is achieved by washing them in cold water, with very mild detergent. Chainsaw chaps should always be washed by hand, and never in a washing machine. To dry them, simply hang them up to be air-dried. Drying them in a dryer can damage the material and prevent them from working properly.