7 Must-Have Chainsaw Safety Gears
Chainsaws are some of the most dangerous power tools you can use, but they are handy for various professionals and DIYers. Hence, the best thing you can do is ensure you have proper safety gear to minimize the risk of this tool. The good news is that there is a vast range of safety gear out there for chainsaw users, and here we look at 7 of the most crucial ones.
1. Chainsaw Helmet
A helmet is vital when using a chainsaw as it protects the head from falling trees or branches and provides protection against the impact that can result from typical chainsaw kickbacks. But not just any helmet will work for chainsaws users.
A good chainsaw helmet should have a hard hat, face shield, and earmuffs to protect against the loud noise these saws generate. Remember, a typical chainsaw can produce a noise that is up to 110 dBA, meaning without hearing protection, you can damage your hearing over time.
2. Chainsaw Glasses
If your chainsaw helmet includes a face shield, you might not necessarily need to wear safety glasses or goggles. However, these glasses are still crucial for an extra layer of protection if the face shield does not hold up well.
Chainsaws glasses protect the eyes from the wood dust and flying debris as you cut. Their design includes side and top shields meant to protect the face and eyes from the flying wood chips. Furthermore, they also have tough lenses that will not shatter easily when hit by trees or debris.
3. Chainsaw Ear Protection
If you go for a chainsaw helmet with a complete system that includes earmuffs for the ears, you might not need extra ear protection. However, if you use these saws often, it is still vital to have some chainsaw ear protection.
Chainsaw ear protection comes in two types, which are the in-ear protectors and over-ear protectors. In-ear protectors are made from foam. They are similar to what people use when going to sleep, and you only need to compress and push them inside the ear.
The over-ear protectors cover the entire ear, which makes them more effective and are the most popular types with professional chainsaw users. Regardless of the style you prefer, it must reduce the noise exposure to under 90 dBA.
4. Chainsaw Gloves
You need gloves when using a chainsaw as they help prevent cuts to the fingers and hands. Remember, there will be sharp wood pieces all over, and you can easily get injuries if you touch one accidentally.
Besides the wood, these gloves can also prevent cuts from the chainsaws as they are made to be super tough and highly cut-resistant. However, apart from having a cut-proof fabric, a good chainsaw glove should provide a non-slip grip and be adequately padded to dampen some of the vibrations from the saw.
5. Chainsaw Jacket
A protective jacket is also handy for a chainsaw user, which is more so for those who tend to use it a lot. Chainsaw jackets are meant to protect the upper body. They feature a protective, cut-resistant material that slows down the chain’s cutting rate and then stops it eventually.
6. Chainsaw Chap
While leg protection when using a chainsaw is easy to overlook, it is still one of the most important ones. Here, the chainsaw chaps are perhaps the best form of protection you can have for your legs.
The chainsaw chaps are meant to be worn over protective pants to prevent deep cuts to the legs. They consist of multiple layers of tough but still flexible and breathable material like Kevlar. When the chain cuts the Kevlar in the chaps, its fibers are drawn into its mechanism. These fibers help stop the engine before the saw can do a lot of damage.
You can get the chainsaw in two common types. The first one is the apron-style with straps at the back, and it protects the front section of the legs and provides good ventilation. For the second type, you get the chainsaws pants that offer protection for the entire leg, but these can get extremely hot.
7. Chainsaw Boots
Proper footwear is crucial when using a chainsaw, and here you need to invest in an appropriate pair of boots. Most of these boots are similar to standard work boots that include metal toecaps and rugged leather material.
However, chainsaw boots have protective fabric on areas likely to contact the saw in an accident. Before settling on any boot, make sure it is indicated to be suitable for chainsaw use, and always go for those made from rigid materials like ballistic nylon or cut-resistant fabrics. If using them in wet or muddy conditions, make sure the sole is rubber to maintain good traction.
Chainsaws are pretty handy and fun tools to work with, but you should never overlook safety gear when working with one, given the significant danger they pose. It is vital to ensure you have adequate protection for all parts of the body, from the head and face down to the feet. Good protective gear reduces the extent of injuries considerably in case of an accident.