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No chainsaw protective jackets; use a motorcycle safety jacket?

Blue42

Blue42

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I was surprised to find that there are basically no chainsaw protective jackets. One old thread asked whether there were jackets, I went to the links that were recommended, and those jackets are basically all no longer sold.
https://www.arboristsite.com/community/threads/chainsaw-protective-shirt-jacket-vest.59490/
Also this page:
This jacket from Europe may still be sold.
https://mammothworkwear.com/deltaplus-lumberjack-chainsaw-jacket-p1736.htm
I haven't even gone to the Stihl site to see the price on theirs.

I wonder about anybody's thoughts on a motorcycle protective jacket for chainsaw use. The mesh ones for hot weather normally don't have protection up on your chest, front-side of your arm, and neck where you would want it. So they are generally not going to be any good for it. But the colder weather ones do. There are also leather ones, of course, that can take serious damage from the road.
 
Husky Man

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Husqvarna offers a jacket that matches their chaps, BUT the description doesn’t specify IF they offer similar protection to that of the chaps. If the jacket offered similar protection, I would be interested, if not, Not so much

Doug :cheers:
 

ATH

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Are arm chaps still made? They were a banner on this site for a while.

Jackets aren't a thing because they don't protect against a common injury. How do you hit your torso without the inertia brake activating? Even arm injuries almost never happen if you keep 2 hands on the saw. Most who are really safety conscious keep 2 hands on the saw...so they don't benefit from arm chaps. Those who spend a lot of time 1 handing are not likely concerned with safety enough to use arm chaps....

Will a motorcycle jacket stop a chain at full RPM?...no. But I'm sure it will provide better protection than not.
 

sb47

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The inner core of chaps have nylon strings that will quickly bind up and stop a turning chain. Motorcycle jackets don't have that feature. I'm sure they will provide a minimal amount of protection. As for leather I'm not sure they would offer much protection as leather cuts easily. Leather does provide abrasive protection but chains are full of sharp knife like cutters that would quickly cut leather. I'm sure it's better then nothing and the nylon jackets should be better as they may shred and bind up the chain like the core of chaps do. I guess you could do a test on an old cheap jacket and see how it behaves when it comes into contact with a chain. Like I said leather does provide abrasive protection and the reason they are so popular and they break the wind better then a nylon jacket does. I have a nylon riding jacket but it's a 300 dollar jacket so I'm not going to experiment with it. Many riding jackets have vents that zip open or closed and also come with a zip in inner liner for colder weather. I wear my riding jacket and riding pants even in the summer when it's 100 degrees. Sliding down a road is bad enough, but if that road is 150 degrees, your gonna get burns along with the abrasion. Yes you do sweet your ass off when you stop, but once you start moving the wind along with your sweat actually cools you off pretty good.
 
Blue42

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Good points.
Husqvarna doesn't sell the actual protective jacket any more; although the one they are selling is the same price. Doesn't make much sense there.
I could see the leather of most jackets cutting pretty easily, whereas nylon might jam up the chain effectively. Leather in motorcycles is meant for abrasion protection. And there is no man-made substance better for that, by the way. Good leathers are still the best protection. And leather used to be a good protection against cuts. I think it depends on how it's cured. Marines are called leathernecks because they used to wear leather neck guards to protect from sword cuts.
Good point about the brake engaging before the saw hits your shoulder.
I found it pretty odd that most injuries were to the LEFT side. I don't know where I read that, but I made a mental note of it because it didn't make sense.
 
arathol

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Good points.
Husqvarna doesn't sell the actual protective jacket any more; although the one they are selling is the same price. Doesn't make much sense there.
I could see the leather of most jackets cutting pretty easily, whereas nylon might jam up the chain effectively. Leather in motorcycles is meant for abrasion protection. And there is no man-made substance better for that, by the way. Good leathers are still the best protection. And leather used to be a good protection against cuts. I think it depends on how it's cured. Marines are called leathernecks because they used to wear leather neck guards to protect from sword cuts.
Good point about the brake engaging before the saw hits your shoulder.
I found it pretty odd that most injuries were to the LEFT side. I don't know where I read that, but I made a mental note of it because it didn't make sense.
A saw will go through a motorcycle jacket even with Kevlar plates in it like it was a pair of jeans.
Left side injuries are for the most part caused by holding a top handle saw in the right hand and trying to hold the branch with the left. If the branch swings hard or the branch is to heavy it can cause your arm to hit the moving chain. Also, some try to cut with the right hand while reaching over the top of the bar to hold the branch. If the branch is heavy it will pull your arm right down onto the chain.
As to protective jackets, I use this
Has the same protective padding as chaps in all the right places.
 
uniballer

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Don't trust the motorcycle jacket to provide any protection against a moving saw chain. That jacket is all about abrasion protection.

Likewise, I wouldn't trust my dog bite gear to protect me against a chainsaw, and I wouldn't trust my chainsaw chaps for taking a leg bite from a serious dog.
 
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Ted Jenkins

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Very interesting. I am way more concerned with upper body injuries than leg injuries. So much so that I have brought out my MX protection gear. My gloves worked really well against a chain with Kevlar and all. My body armor proved very effective against a running chainsaw. My chest protector has many ventilation holes and ports so it is not unbearable in warm weather. I had some old unusable armor parts against a running saw looked good. I would rather have a jacket of sorts with the same material as the protective chaps. Probably will have to sew some protective gear. I am not so concerned about my safety, but what about my helper who is just learning. Thanks
 
arathol

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I have the Husqvarna jacket. It's thick chainstop arms and shoulders only, and possibly in the collar. Very hot. Impossibly so in warm weather.
Yeah I have a similar one that isn't marked Husqvarna. It doesn't breathe very well. Its like wearing a trash bag when its hot. The denim one is sooooo much better....
 
Philbert

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I was surprised to find that there are basically no chainsaw protective jackets.
Upper body protection is more common in Europe, and are not sold retail in the US. Here are some things I found with a quick Google search (others likely available):




* different descriptions on similar looking Husqvarna jackets - some are not chainsaw protective.


Screen shot 2020-03-25 at 7.15.22 PM.png

I wonder about anybody's thoughts on a motorcycle protective jacket for chainsaw use.
As noted, they are unlikely to have the same types of protective fabric embedded in them.

I found it pretty odd that most injuries were to the LEFT side. I don't know where I read that, but I made a mental note of it because it didn't make sense.
Hold a non-running chainsaw properly in your hands. Then try to intentionally swing the bar and chain into your right and left legs, hips, shoulders, etc. Will make more sense.

Philbert
 
arathol

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Upper body protection is more common in Europe, and are not sold retail in the US.

Here are some things I found with a quick Google search (others likely available):

That is the other protective garment I have, its really a jacket more than a shirt, and it sucks. Its heavy, stiff, and way too hot in the summer. The only good thing is that it helps keep off the rain and snow in winter.....


Hold a non-running chainsaw properly in your hands. Then try to intentionally swing the bar and chain into your right and left legs, hips, shoulders, etc. Will make more sense.

Philbert
The left arm injuries are from using a top handle saw incorrectly. Lots of leg injuries are from walking with the saw running and your hand on the trigger, one stumble or fall and its done....Thats why you never walk with a running saw. Some injuries are from a saw that isn't running right, as in the clutch doesn't disengage properly and the chain keeps moving at idle or the idle is too high for it to disengage. If you don't realize that the chain is moving it is pretty easy to bump your left thigh with the bar while working and cut yourself.
 
Philbert

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That is the other protective garment I have, its really a jacket more than a shirt, and it sucks. Its heavy, stiff, and way too hot in the summer. The only good thing is that it helps keep off the rain and snow in winter.....
Thanks for that feedback. I had not seen it before, and it looked interesting for $70. Hard to tell from a photo and catalog description.

Philbert
 
Philbert

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The left arm injuries are from using a top handle saw incorrectly.
If a user is not holding the top handle with their thumb wrapped, the left hand can slip off of a conventional, rear-handle saw during a kickback event. The term 'incorrectly' could apply here as well.
But I am amazed at the ways I have seen people using a chainsaw, and I am confident that I have hardly seen anything near all of the possibilities!

In some cases, the saw might be someone else's, where 'the victim' is a 'swamper', 'helper', 'spotter', etc. Again, the term 'incorrectly' could apply here as well.

Surprising at how hard it is to find upper body protection here in the US, if someone wants it for whatever reason.

The arm chaps look awkward: I would be interested to hear from anyone who has tried / used them.

Philbert
 
arathol

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If a user is not holding the top handle with their thumb wrapped, the left hand can slip off of a conventional, rear-handle saw during a kickback event. The term 'incorrectly' could apply here as well.
But I am amazed at the ways I have seen people using a chainsaw, and I am confident that I have hardly seen anything near all of the possibilities!

In some cases, the saw might be someone else's, where 'the victim' is a 'swamper', 'helper', 'spotter', etc. Again, the term 'incorrectly' could apply here as well.

Surprising at how hard it is to find upper body protection here in the US, if someone wants it for whatever reason.

The arm chaps look awkward: I would be interested to hear from anyone who has tried / used them.

Philbert
More top handle accidents are from "reachovers" as I described above. I believe that is the reason that the arm chaps exist, for climbers or bucket operators using a top handle.
Most in the US associate chaps with using a saw to cut firewood, following the "rule" that says you don't cut higher than either your waist or shoulder depending on who you listen to. However, in the real world where people do this for a living, quite often you need to use the saw above your shoulders or in other odd positions. When doing storm damage for instance is quite common to cut overhead limbs off fallen trees. This is where you'd need upper body protection more than leg protection. Also, if you are working from a bucket leg protection isn't nearly as important as upper body protection.
 
Ted Jenkins

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For most part I am only concerned about protection for the upper body. For small logs under 18'' regular chaps would offer plenty of common protection. For the logs from 20'' to 60'' kickback is more unmanageable. Rounds tend to pinch as the log shifts which cases the saw to move around quite dramatically which is where I think protection is need. Not sure what type of jacket is practical. Thanks
 
arathol

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For most part I am only concerned about protection for the upper body. For small logs under 18'' regular chaps would offer plenty of common protection. For the logs from 20'' to 60'' kickback is more unmanageable. Rounds tend to pinch as the log shifts which cases the saw to move around quite dramatically which is where I think protection is need. Not sure what type of jacket is practical. Thanks
Kickback only happens if you let it.....watch what you are doing closely and keep the tip away from places that will cause kickback. Use wedges or even small sticks and thick pieces of bark to keep the kerf from closing on the saw. Plan your cuts accordingly so things don't move unexpectedly. Of the jackets I have owned and used the blue denim one is the better choice. Thats the one I have worn for quite some time while the others just sit...
 
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