Chainsaws are powerful and dangerous tools that require proper protective gear to operate safely. Chainsaw chaps or trousers are a vital piece of personal protective equipment for any chainsaw user. But with different types like Type A and Type C available, it can get confusing to select the right chainsaw trousers for your particular needs.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide an overview of Type A and Type C chainsaw trousers, their key differences, intended uses, standards, and tips for choosing the proper protective chainsaw pants based on your work requirements. We’ll also cover proper care, top brands, and frequently asked questions to help you buy the ideal chainsaw trousers and stay safe on the job.
What are Type A Chainsaw Trousers?
Type A chainsaw trousers are designed to provide protection primarily to the front of the legs when operating a chainsaw on the ground. They are ideal for professionals like forestry workers, arborists, landscapers, and lumberjacks who need shielding from chainsaw cuts on their front legs.
Front leg protection
Type A chainsaw pants have protective layers made of special cut-resistant fibers like Dyneema or Kevlar on the front side of the legs from the upper thigh to below the knees. This region is most vulnerable to injury from chainsaw kickback or accidental contact. The seamless protective fabric helps prevent serious laceration wounds.
Intended users and purposes
Type A trousers are intended for ground workers who use chainsaws in a standing position or kneeling forward. The partial leg coverage is ideal for maneuverability and ease of movement compared to full protection trousers.
Features and benefits
- Lightweight and breathable fabric for comfort in warm weather
- Elasticized waistband and boot lace attachment for customized fit
- Utility pockets and loops for holding small tools or gear
- High-visibility colors and reflective trims for safety
- Durable water repellent (DWR) coating sheds rain and debris
- Meets EN 381-5 Class 1 certification for moderate chainsaw protection
Type A chainsaw trousers like the Pfanner ProConcept Freestyle provide front leg defense against chain speeds up to 20m/s and are perfect for professional ground workers.
What are Type C Chainsaw Trousers?
Type C chainsaw trousers provide all-around protection to the legs when operating a chainsaw in various positions. They are designed for arborists, tree surgeons, and climbers who work at height and different angles.
All-around leg protection
Type C trousers have cut-resistant fabric layers on both the front and backside of the legs as well as the inner calves. This provides complete protection from accidental contact injuries.
Intended users and purposes
Type C trousers are made for climbers and aerial arborists who need to operate chainsaws above ground and in awkward positions while suspended on ropes or in harnesses. The snug fit and stretch panels allow freedom of movement.
Features and benefits
- Lightweight yet rugged abrasion-resistant outer fabric
- Elasticized crotch gusset and knee pads for flexibility
- Multiple harness connection points for climbing/rigging
- Reinforced seams and leg cuffs prevent premature wear
- Quick-access chest pocket and thigh tool holders
- Meets EN 381-5 Class 3 standard for maximum chainsaw protection
Type C chainsaw pants like the SIP Protection Arbortec Pro Climb trousers defend against high chain speeds up to 28m/s, ideal for tree surgeons.
Chainsaw Trousers Classes and Standards
Chainsaw protective trousers are categorized into different classes based on the EN 381-5 European standard, which indicates the chain speed they can withstand before cutting through.
Class 1, 2, and 3 explained
- Class 1 chainsaw trousers can resist chain speeds up to 20m/s
- Class 2 chainsaw trousers can resist chain speeds up to 24m/s
- Class 3 chainsaw trousers can resist chain speeds up to 28m/s
Higher classes provide more cut protection but may be less breathable. Class 3 chainsaw pants offer the highest level of safety for intense chainsaw work.
EN 381-5 standard
This European safety standard sets the requirements and test methods for chainsaw protective clothing. To receive EN 381-5 certification, chainsaw trousers must pass stringent resistance tests against a rotating chainsaw chain under laboratory conditions. This ensures quality and reliability.
When shopping for chainsaw trousers, look for the EN 381-5 class rating on the label to choose pants that meet your protection needs.
Choosing the Right Chainsaw Trousers
With different types and classes available, you need to assess your specific chainsaw work requirements to pick the right protective trousers.
Assessing your work requirements
Consider the typical positions and environments you use a chainsaw in – on the ground, up on trees, brush clearing, logging, etc. This will determine whether you need Type A, Type C or another specialty trouser.
Comfort and fit considerations
Look for breathable yet durable fabrics with features like stretch knee panels and vent zips to allow ease of movement and prevent overheating. An adjustable waist and boot lace hook enable a secure custom fit.
Material and durability factors
Abrasion-resistant outer fabric protects against cuts and snags while ripstop reinforcements prevent tear propagation. Look for robust real-world testing over just laboratory ratings.
Proper Care and Maintenance of Chainsaw Trousers
Caring for your chainsaw trousers properly is key to prolonging their protective performance.
Washing and cleaning
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for washing and drying. Mild detergent, low temperature washes and air drying help maintain water repellency and avoid shrinking or damaging the fibers.
Inspecting for wear and tear
Check your chainsaw trousers before each use for any tears, fraying seams, or damaged fabrics, and discard immediately if found. This ensures no degradation of protection.
When to replace your chainsaw trousers
Most manufacturers recommend replacing chainsaw trousers every 12-24 months depending on your frequency of use. Heavily used trousers may need replacing annually.
Top Brands and Manufacturers
Some top chainsaw trouser brands known for their quality and protective performance include:
Arbortec makes premium Type C chainsaw trousers designed for tree surgeons and arborists, featuring innovative Climasphere breathable fabric and FlexiFit comfort system.
Pfanner offers robust Type A chainsaw trousers like their bestselling ProConcept model, made with durable Cordura fabric and KEVLAR Protectors.
SIP Protection specializes in Type C chainsaw trousers packed with safety features, made with durable yellow UltraProtect material.
Chainsaw Trousers vs. Chaps
Chainsaw chaps are an alternative to trousers, so what’s the better option?
Advantages and disadvantages
Chainsaw chaps cover just the front and wrap around legs, providing good mobility. But trousers give all-around protection, especially for aerial work. Trousers also hold up better against abrasion versus chaps.
Choosing the right option for your needs
For ground operators who need mobility, chaps are ideal. For climbers and tree surgeons, trousers are better suited to protect from all angles. Assess your specific risks and requirements.
Chainsaw Trousers for Climbers and Ground Workers
There are some key differences between chainsaw trousers designed for climbers vs. ground workers:
Differences in design and features
Climber trousers have body harness attachments and articulated knee pads for mobility while ground trousers offer robust front leg cut protection without impeding movement.
Selecting the appropriate trousers for your job
Look at your typical working positions – climbers need flexibility and all-around coverage while ground workers need resistance to front-on chainsaw cuts. Choose trousers aligned to your needs.
Chainsaw protective trousers are essential safety gear for anyone operating a chainsaw, whether up on trees or on the ground. Type A trousers provide front leg shielding for ground workers while Type C offer all-round coverage for climbers and arborists. When selecting chainsaw pants, consider the fit, comfort, certifications, and durability along with your specific job requirements and risks. With the right chainsaw trousers, you can work confidently knowing your legs are protected against dangerous cut and kickback injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I wear chainsaw trousers for other types of work?
Yes, high-quality chainsaw trousers can be used beyond chainsaw operation for general groundskeeping tasks or forestry work that risks leg cuts from brush, thorns etc. Their cut-resistant material provides protection from laceration hazards.
How often should I replace my chainsaw trousers?
It’s recommended to replace chainsaw trousers every 12-24 months with frequent use. Inspect trousers before each wear and discard immediately if you notice any tears or damage that may compromise their protective ability.
Are chainsaw trousers available in different colors and styles?
Yes, many brands offer chainsaw trousers in a variety of colors like orange, yellow, green, grey, and camouflage prints. Some also have women’s models with a tailored feminine fit. Features may vary across models.
Can I wear chainsaw trousers in hot weather?
Yes, most modern chainsaw trousers are made of lightweight, breathable fabrics with vent zips to allow air circulation and prevent overheating, making them suitable for hot conditions. Look for moisture wicking and quick-dry materials.
What is the difference between Class 1, 2, and 3 chainsaw trousers?
Class 1 trousers resist chain speeds up to 20m/s, Class 2 protect up to 24 m/s, and Class 3 up to 28 m/s. Higher classes offer more cut resistance but can be less breathable. Choose based on your risk level.
How do I find the right size chainsaw trousers?
Refer to the size chart provided by the manufacturer. Measure your waist, inseam length, thigh circumference and other dimensions as required to find the closest size match for a comfortable secure fit.
Are there chainsaw trousers specifically designed for women?
Yes, many brands offer chainsaw trousers made specifically to fit the female form, with features like adjustable waists, articulated knees, and leg cuffs designed for smaller statures. Look for “women’s fit” models.
Michael Boyle is the founder and main author of Chainsaws Finder, boasting over 20 years of experience in the chainsaw industry. Hailing from Texas, Michael combines his extensive knowledge and hands-on expertise to provide reliable advice and top-notch service. His vision is to empower chainsaw users to tackle any project with confidence, making Chainsaws Finder a trusted resource in the field.