Do you always get confused between chainsaw chaps and chainsaw pants? If yes, then you’re not alone! Many people think that the two of them are the same thing, however, that isn’t true.
Chainsaw pants vs chaps are two very different pieces of PPE kit, and they’re both critical for your safety. Essentially, they both work on the same principles of protecting your legs from accidents using their protective layers. However, both of them have their differences and pros and cons.
Chainsaw pants vs chaps – Does one protect better than the other?
The use of chainsaw pants or chainsaw chaps is very important when operating a chainsaw. In fact, it is a necessary chainsaw protection gear and is recommended by OSHA. The significant number of chainsaw-related cases indicate that there is awareness needed for chainsaw users about safety gears’ importance. The protective fabric in both chainsaw pants vs chaps works in the same way.
Any cut made into the garment slows down the chainsaw chain before stopping it. This will give you time and opportunity to avoid the accident. When the chain hits the protective pad, the fibers present will get putted out in the area the cut occurred. The fibers get dragged into the sprocket area, jamming the chainsaw, within a fraction of a second.
Chainsaw pants are not meant for only climbers. They are great for groundcrews who can undergo a variety of tasks including cutting, pruning, and general tree work. Wearing chainsaw pants will mean that they have enough chainsaw protection with them. This will maximize their safety and productivity. There are certain tasks that cannot be done in chaps or pants, including working aloft or operating chippers. This happens due to the snagging hazard involved with the two safety garments.
But is one of them really better than the other? There isn’t a clear answer. It will entirely depend upon the needs and requirements of the user. Further, the environment they’re working in will also play a part.
Pros and cons of using chainsaw chaps
You wear chainsaw caps similar to how you would wear an apron. There will be clips along your legs and at the belt. This way, the front of your legs gets covered whereas your backside does not. Some types of chainsaw chaps will wrap around the calves with a zip. Then, it’ll just be the hamstrings and above that will be left uncovered.
On average, chainsaw chaps will be comparatively cheaper than chainsaw pants. The primary reason for this difference is the material used. Chainsaw chaps will not require a lot of material, as they simply fit over the top of your legs. If money is a crucial factor for you, simply go for chainsaw chaps.
Sharing with others
You can simply wear your regular pants, which means they’re very easy to share around. You can easily buy one pair between your colleagues, and it’ll save you a lot of money.
Cooler in hot weather in summers
Tree work can be quite hot, especially when it is warm outdoors. Wearing chainsaw chaps during the summer months can easily keep you cool while also keeping you safe. Chaps come with an open back, this will let your legs breathe. Some chainsaw pants come with vents, but vents cannot compare to open back chaps.
Chainsaw chaps will last longer than chainsaw pants
Depending on how often you’re using them, chainsaw pants can last around a year or two. These will come with a limited number of washes before they end up breaking down. After a certain period, the protective material in the chainsaw chaps will start sliding down the leg. The chainsaw pants will reach a stage where the protective material gets bunched up and leaves your thighs exposed. If this happens, you’ll have to get rid of the pants.
Chainsaw chaps will last longer as you won’t need to wash them regularly. When you’re eventually washing them, you won’t have to use a washing machine. For washing chaps, you will need to soak them and scrub them.
Easy to maintain
Chaps are far easier to maintain than chainsaw pants. They will not need to be washed as often as you won’t be wearing them as long. For maintaining your chainsaw chaps, you’ll need to give them a scrub every once in a while. Further, you’ll need to store them in a dry place while also monitoring them for cuts.
Chaps will not fit as well as pants
Chaps will have clips all over your legs, which means they won’t have a fit like pants. Chainsaw chaps will still protect your legs, but you won’t feel as comfortable. Moreover, you might not be able to move as well.
Hard to move around
You’ll find it harder to move when you’re wearing chainsaw chaps. The job you’re undertaking will determine if the lack of moving around will be a problem or not.
Chainsaw chaps will make it hard for you to climb trees, bend over, chip branches, or move around in general.
Chainsaw chaps will be ideal if you have to cut while standing in one spot. The second you are moving around, you’ll find them to be restrictive.
Time-consuming to wear and take off
When working with chainsaw chaps, you will need to wear them. Each time you have to put on chaps, it’ll take a couple of minutes. This entire process can be irritating and time-consuming.
To wear chaps, you’ll need to clip the belt around your waist. Then, clip each buckle down your legs. Each leg will have around 3-5 clips. In comparison, you simply have to slide your chainsaw pants on.
Buckles and clips can get in your way
It is very easy for the buckles and clips to be snagged in branches when you’re working. This snagging could range from annoying to extremely unsafe. When you’re climbing a tree, getting snagged in branches could be very annoying. However, getting caught on limbs going through the chipper can be devastating. You must be mindful of the surroundings when you’re wearing chainsaw chaps.
Pros and cons of using chainsaw pants
Chainsaw pants are essentially a pair of pants that you wear like regular pants. They are incredibly easy to wear and much more comfortable.
Better fit for comfort
Chainsaw pants will fit far better than chainsaw chaps. A better fit will mean more comfort, which will feel great on long days. A decent pair of chainsaw pants are comparatively heavier than regular pants, so they will not feel much different. The quality of your chainsaw pants will be key.
Easier to move
You will find it easier to move in chainsaw pants as compared to chainsaw chaps. A quality pair of chainsaw pants will feel almost like standard pants. You’ll have no trouble climbing, chipping, or cutting when using chainsaw pants.
Fewer chances of being a snagging hazard
Chainsaw pants will not come with any loose clips or buckles that could snag on branches. This means there is one less thing for you to worry about on your worksite. You’ll notice the difference when you’re climbing trees. Your task will be made easier if you don’t need to unhook yourself every few minutes.
It is easier to throw on a pair of chainsaw pants than to put on chainsaw chaps with several clips. Convenience will be an important factor. With pants, you will be able to protect yourself without actually having to think about clips and other issues.
Using a pair of chainsaw pants isn’t a fashion parade. However, you should admit that chainsaw pants will look far better than chainsaw chaps.
Chainsaw pants are comparatively pricier than chainsaw chaps. Sometimes, the price difference could be between $100 and $200 more, which is considerable. When you’re purchasing chainsaw pants, you should consider how much you’d be using the chainsaw to justify pants.
Have proper research and think of all the options before purchasing. Remember that you will need to protect yourself. However, you shouldn’t try to cut without any protection.
Hotter in summer
Chainsaw pants will feel pretty hot during the summers. Some chainsaw pants will come with breathable vents, which is great. However, it cannot be compared to backless chaps.
Hard to maintain
You should wash your pants at least once a week or so. IF you are working regularly and sweat in them all day, you’ll have to wash them even more regularly. Washing will not be too bad as pants can easily go with your regular washing material. However, all the washes will take their toll on your chainsaw pants, eventually reducing the lifespan.
Thanks for reading. Hopefully, now you know all about chainsaw pants vs chaps, which will help you make your choice. There is no clear answer as to which one is superior among chainsaw pants and chainsaw chaps. It will all come down to whether your task requires you to wear chainsaw chaps or chainsaw pants. Further, the price, comfort, and the weather in which you’re going to use them will play a role as well. If you’re a professional, chainsaw pants will be the better option.
However, if you’re tight on money, and you need something for cheap, then chaps are the way to go. If you’re working around the trees and forests, then chainsaw pants are the easy choice. However, for backyard garners and pruners, chainsaw chaps will perfectly suit your demands. Regardless of whichever option you go for, remember to never operate chainsaws without them or without any other necessary safety equipment. Wearing a PPE kit could be pivotal to saving you from a fatal injury.