Top 6 best chainsaw trousers to keep you safe (May 2020 Updated Review)
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If you live in a traditional period home, there’s a good chance that you have a wood burning fireplace to cozy around during winter. These fires need fuel so you’ll either have to buy the wood pre-cut or chop it up yourself from timber in your garden.
If you have the upper body strength, fitness, and don’t mind a bit of a sweat, a good axe can do the job just fine. There are also log splitters you can buy that will half the timber sections you have cut. However, for cutting down big branches and slicing them into usable sections quickly, it is hard to beat a chainsaw.
Chainsaws are very effective at doing what they are intended to do, but the problem is that they are quite dangerous. Every year, hundreds of people who work with chainsaws are injured by them and often the wounds are on the legs and caused by the operator dropping the chainsaw or slicing through the target too far and fast.
This is why you should always wear a pair of high quality chainsaw trousers ( and chainsaw boots) whenever you are wielding such a tool. Chainsaw trousers usually have a slippery outer layer that prevents superficial or surface deep injuries to the flesh. Underneath this is the second layer which can be made out of Kevlar (the same material used in bulletproof vests) or ballistic nylon. You should consider all protective chainsaw clothing options really. It’s a very serious tool in the wrong hands and even the most experienced users will wear protection.
This second layer not only protects the leg but also has the added benefit of stopping the chainsaw from doing any further damage by wrapping around the working parts and jamming it. It’s both clever and simple, and if you’re using a chainsaw, a potential life saver.
So, now that we have established that working with a chainsaw without proper chainsaw trousers is not a great idea, it’s time to review the best chainsaw trousers in the UK so you know where to spend your money, and we have also provided you with a buyer’s guide too. Let’s dig in.
1. Forester Chainsaw Apron Chaps with Pocket
While some would argue that these chaps should not be technically called trousers, I have decided to group them all in together because-
1- Its easier that way
2- I’m not a pedantic psychopath who worries about such differences.
Yes, they are chaps but they still cover your legs, or at least a good portion of them, so for the sake of argument, they are now chainsaw trousers, and for the money they are a good pair too.
When buying chainsaw trousers, it is important that you buy the right kind to match the kind of work you will be doing in them (read our buyers guide for more information on this). Chaps like these, that only offer protection to the front of the legs, are fine if you are working only on the ground and can control the angle of the cut with the chainsaw.
So, for things like chopping firewood they are perfectly fine, but if you plan to get up on a ladder to take out some overhanging branches, you would be better off with something that offers more all-round protection due to the increased risk of injury.
These Forester chainsaw trousers don’t have any groin/crotch protection in them either so you might want to think about wearing something underneath for extra safety. They do have good coverage from the top of the leg to the bottom though, and the material is thick enough so that you feel confident that they will do their job
One of the advantages of chainsaw chaps is that they are easy to slip on over your jeans and then you just use the three straps (one at the waist and two on the legs) to secure them in place. This makes them a good choice if you think you are going to be in and out of the house a lot as you can just slip them off when you enter and not risk getting dirt and oil everywhere, which would no doubt make the wife very happy….not.
Available in 3 sizes- short 35”, regular 37”, and long 40”, and also in 3 different colours, the Forester chainsaw trousers are also waterproof and oil resistant, which is important because some oil and chemicals can damage the inner safety fibres in these kinds of pants and leave them not as effective, so it’s good to have that protective outer layer.
At 1.27kg these chaps are light enough so as not to bother you or restrict movement too much and you won’t feel like you’re wearing something that wasn’t meant to be worked in, which I often feel about low cost protective clothing.
These chainsaw trousers feature a single pocket on the left leg, but it is very large and you could easily fit a few hand tools in there which would come in handy of you are a carpenter, an artist working on an ice sculpture, or just someone who wants a place to keep their phone and other valuables while working.
What Forester have brought us in these chainsaw trousers is a product that is inexpensive, and one that is perfectly capable of protecting you during some amateur chainsaw based tasks at home. For more industrial work, you would be better with “type C’ chainsaw trousers that offer all round coverage of the legs.
2. Oregon Yukon Type A Chainsaw Trousers Large
A best-selling product that has been getting great feedback from customers are these Yukon type-A chainsaw trousers from Oregon. This brand makes the Yukon model in both A type and C type, but for general home use, I think the type-A trousers are the right way to go as they are cheaper and lighter.
These are very comfortable chainsaw trousers. The two way stretch polyester material, along with the light weight, makes it nice and easy to move around in them. I was wearing them for a whole day while testing and I appreciated the comfort and manoeuvrability they afford.
Even though they are not heavy, they are still well padded in the front and side of the legs, but not in the rear as they are type-A (see our buyer’s guide for more details). The outer layer of the Yukon chainsaw trousers is abrasion resistant so that they won’t wear down easily, and also resistant to heat, fuel, and oil, keeping that important inner protective layer intact.
All together there are 5 layers to these trousers which is more than you usually see with this kind of lower cost product. These extra layers means that the material can be lighter while still offering good protection, and this adds to how comfortable they are to wear.
These trousers are available in six sizes ranging from small to XXX-large, and it is nice to see that the price difference between each size is very small, so you won’t feel punished for being a bit on the heavy side or exceptionally tall.
There are three pockets on the Yukon type-A chainsaw trousers -two in the front, and one in the back. The front pockets are a good size and you would have plenty of space to keep smaller tools or other things in them, although I did find that the Velcro openings meant that some sawdust got into the pockets themselves while I was working and also scratched my wrists a little when I reached into them. These were hardly deal breakers, but I do prefer zipped pockets.
One thing I did like about this product is the breathability of them. Even though it wasn’t a particularly hot day when I wore them it certainly wasn’t cold and I soon worked up enough body heat to be thankful that they didn’t add to my rising body temperature.
Apart from the little niggle about the pockets, I have absolutely nothing bad to say about the Yukon type-A chainsaw trousers. Oregon has done a great job at making them lightweight, comfortable, and affordable, and you can’t really go wrong with them if you are looking for something to use at home.
3. Rocwood Chainsaw Bib & Brace Type A Class 1
Rockwood are a UK based company (Wrexham to be precise, but don’t hold that against them) who have brought us these bib and brace type-A chainsaw trousers for a budget price.
Not only are they inexpensive, but are also very practical and, above all, extremely comfortable. Whether I was rushing around, climbing over the gate, or crouching down, I didn’t feel any parts of these chainsaw trousers pinching at me. Not even in the back of the knees or inner groin which I have had problems with in the past with other brands.
The bib and brace design is something that I wasn’t sure about until I wore them and found that the braces do a great job of keeping the back of the pants from sagging down too much and also provide more coverage, higher up on your front and back.
The braces are also adjustable so if you are a bit taller than most, you have a little bit of extra length at your disposal.
Rocwood have given these chainsaw trousers 9 layers of protective material to keep legs safe, and I was pleased that although these are type-A trousers, the padding covers not only the front and sides, but also arches round further than some towards the rear. They are not offering complete protection, but every little extra helps.
One thing I will mention is that the waist sizes seem a little tighter than some other brands. I’m fairly fit and have a 35-36 inch waist and I usually order large or maybe extra-large if I’ve been a bit naughty with my diet. The large pair I tried with these Rocwood chainsaw trousers weren’t overly tight on me (wearing over the top of jeans) but I would have definitely gone with the XL instead if I had to choose again.
Being class 1 chainsaw trousers they are designed to protect your legs from chainsaws that operate at 20m/s and nothing gave me any impression that these are not up to the job. They feel very well put together and I had complete confidence in their ability to protect my legs should the chainsaw suddenly kick back or I do something a little bit stupid.
In these chainsaw trousers Rocwood have given us yet another low cost, comfortable and good quality product to stand next to both the Yukon trousers and the Forester chaps. The brace and bib styling is something that I wasn’t sure about but it actually won me over quite quickly thanks to the advantages it brings.
To sum up, you won’t be disappointed if you invest in a pair of these, and the low price tag just makes it even more of a good choice.
4. SWS- KWF certified cut resistant dungarees, cut protection trousers
As the name implies SWS cut resistant dungarees are chainsaw trousers that are KWF certified to EN 381-5 level. This means that they have been thoroughly tested by the German Center for Forest Work and Technology, so you can be sure of their reliability and safety standard.
You would think that you would have to pay a premium for this standard but actually these are some of the cheapest chainsaw trousers available in the UK priced at just over 50 pounds on Amazon at the moment. That’s some food for thought when you’re making your purchasing choice.
As these are dungarees, they cover you from ankle all the way up to the upper chest and also higher up the back than conventional waist high trousers with an elasticated waistband.
Like the Rocwood Bib & Brace chainsaw trousers, these also have adjustable, elastic, shoulder suspenders so you can get them just the length that you want for added comfort.
There is a large front pocket on the front of the bib that comes in very handy and the fact that it has a zip rather than Velcro means that it is better at keeping sawdust out and stop whatever is inside getting covered in the stuff.
Despite being thickly padded on the front and sides, these chainsaw pants are not heavy at all and only weigh 1.3 kilograms which is about the same as most of the products reviewed on this page.
They are comfortable to wear as long as you get the right size, and this is where you have to be careful when ordering. Unlike the usual small, medium, large, etc. SWS chainsaw trousers are offered in European sizes which can be confusing.
As a general guide though sizes 48-52 are about medium 54-56 are large, and 58 to 60+ are extra-large. If you have a 35 inch waist like me you should go for a size 58 if you want to wear these over some jeans.
The elasticated waist is helpful for keeping sawdust out of your underwear and so it tends to get trapped behind the bib instead. This is much more preferable for me as I could just slip the braces off my shoulder and empty it out in seconds.
Apart from the issue of having to think hard to get the right size, these chainsaw trousers are yet another product that offers you very good value for money.
5. Oregon 575780 Universal Type A Chainsaw Safety Leggings
Our next review is of these excellent chainsaw chaps from Oregon, reasonably priced at around £58.00 at the time of writing.
Comprised of the same six layer material that their equally excellent Yukon chainsaw trousers are made of, they offer a very good level of protection while still being flexible and easy to move around in.
Being chaps, they of course give you the convenience of being able to take them on and off easily by releasing the four rear straps that can also be adjusted, along with the waist strap, for a perfect fit.
Saying that, even after adjusting the waist on my pair, I still felt that the crotch hung down a little bit too far for my liking. This is the problem with universal, one size fits all style of chainsaw trousers- there are just too many body sizes and shapes out there so you are going to get some discomfort for some people, somewhere along the line.
However, these straps can also be a little bit uncomfortable when you squat down, especially the one close to the back of the knee as the plastic buckle got trapped there on myself sometimes. After a little adjusting though, it was ok with no further issues.
Another advantage of chaps is that because the back is open, it is easier to stay cool and this makes them a good choice if you are working outside in summer.
At less than a kilogram in weight, you hardly feel like you are wearing these chainsaw trousers at all and the padded protection covers all of the front and sides of the leg well and they would cover even the widest of thighs easily.
The outer material is made of 100% polyester and is resistant to the usual culprits such as water, oil, and abrasion. This material is also nicely breathable.
These chainsaw trousers are a good buy for someone who maybe intends to let someone else borrow them from time to time as they can be adjusted to fit. They are also a good choice for working in warmer weather. Their super lightweight also makes them a good fit for people who are moving around a lot while working.
6. Husqvarna – Classic Tree-Surgeon Trousers
Husqvarna are a trusted name in this industry and for good reason. They have years of expertise when it comes to making protective clothing for forestry and can be relied upon to always deliver outstanding quality. These chainsaw trousers are no different, with a level of workmanship that is hard to beat.
There are 3 main things we look for in good chainsaw trousers and that is comfort, safety and durability and these trousers tick all three boxes with ease.
Firstly, they are extremely comfortable and fit nicely with no overly tight parts or sagging areas. That being said, these are European sizes so you should read the past customers’ comments on Amazon about that before you buy. I’ve read through them and the general feeling matched my own, that was that the sizes are smaller than expected.
I’m 5ft 10” and a fit 14 stone, and I tried out XL size and I found them to be just about right for me, but I do like to have a bit of room to move in my chainsaw trousers.
A great comfort feature of these trousers are the zipped vents on the back of the legs which can really help to cool you down after grafting for a while by letting heat out and cool air in.
Safety-wise these are excellent, with protective padding that covers at least a 180 degree arc across the front and sides of the leg. The tough polysester/cotton twill material provides protection from all the things you would expect-oil, water, etc. and has been safety tested in Europe to make sure that they will stop that chainsaw blade when needed.
To ensure durability, Husqvarna have made sure that there is absolutely no way fopreign objects can get into the inner material, no matter how small. The protective layer is completely covered and all seams are sealed so that not even small particles of sawdust can get it.
One common problem with chainsaw trousers is that the inside bottoms can often get worn out by rubbing against boots and this can compromise their effectiveness. The makers of these have considered this and have reinforced the trousers in that particular area, so two thumbs up to Husqvarna there.
For higher quality, you have to pay a premium, such is the way of the world. However, while these chainsaw trousers are 30-50 pounds more expensive than our other reviewed products, you really do get what you pay for, and that is a superior product.
In conclusion, if you have the extra few quid to spare, I would go with these trousers every day of the week. However, if you are on a tighter budget or just don’t use chainsaws enough to warrant paying a hundred quid, any of the other, cheaper products would more than suffice.
Chainsaw Trousers Buyer’s Guide
If you’re new to using chainsaws and wearing chainsaw trousers, you might need a little bit if help understanding what you should be looking for in a good pair. Fear not, as this helpful guide will fill some of blanks for you. Let’s begin.
Type of chainsaw trousers
There are 2 main ’types’ of chainsaw trousers- types A, and C.
Type-A trousers only have the protective material padded around the front and sides of the leg. There are pros and cons to this. On one hand it makes them lighter and more comfortable, but on the other it leaves your legs vulnerable to the rear. This is why type-A chainsaw trousers are only really for use while you are on stable ground.
Type-C trousers offer all round protection from cutting and these are the ones you want to use if you are going to be cutting up at heights or at strange angles due to the higher risk of the chainsaw slipping.
Full trousers, dungarees or chaps?
Again, there are pros and cons to each of these styles and it really comes down to a mix of personal preference and how you will be working. Full trousers and dungarees will offer more protection, even if it’s only a little bit in the case of type-A trousers, but unless they have zipped vents in them, they can trap heat inside, making you very hot. Chaps are open at the back which is obviously a lot cooler way to work, however they do leave the rear of your legs completely exposed. The straps to fix chaps in place and sometimes be an annoyance too. Dungarees have adjustable suspenders/braces so they can be a good choice for taller people as they can alter the length easier.
The best materials to look out for are Kevlar (although models with this can be more expensive) and polyester, however ballistic nylon and denier are also good materials. You want something that not only provides protection but is also light and flexible enough to wear comfortably. Something that is easy to clean is also something to consider.
Extra design features
These are the little things, the icing on the cake. Some useful things are adjustable waistbands, zipped vents, full crotch protection, reinforced inner legs, and good sized/multiple pockets. I prefer zipped pockets to Velcro has I find they keep sawdust out better and they are more likely to last.
Chainsaw safety classification
There are three classes-
Class 1 trousers have been tested to provide protection against chainsaws with speeds of 20 m/s.
Class 2 have been tested with a chainsaw running at 24 m/s.
Class 3 are the hardest wearing and offer protection against chainsaws with speeds up to 28m/s.
Please check your chainsaw speed and then buy the appropriate class.