Chainsaw Protection Worlds Strongest
Engtex, a Swedish textile company based in Mullsjö, has come a long way since its early days of making clothes. In the 1970s, they realized that the Swedish textile industry needed to adapt to changing market trends. To stay ahead, Engtex diversified into industrial textiles and developed breakthrough products like saw protection pants, which quickly gained popularity. Today, Engtex is a leading manufacturer of chain saw protection textiles, with their products experiencing strong growth in the market. In this text, we’ll explore the market and what makes Engtex’s chain saw protection products stand out.
Halved weight – increased strength
Engtex has been dedicated to improving their products over time, and they have made significant advancements. Instead of using polyester fiber, they have opted for stronger materials, making their saw protection more effective while reducing its weight and thickness by half. over, the newer, thinner protection offers better comfort, enabling improved airflow and moisture transport. The latest generation of their most expensive pants has left users impressed, particularly when compared to pants manufactured in the 80s and 90s. It is worth noting that the fiber material that offers the best saw protection is more expensive. But when it comes to safeguarding your leg or even your life, investing in quality protection is always worth considering.
Fiber is 15 times stronger than steel
Dyneema is currently the best fiber for saw protection on the market. This fiber is manufactured by a Dutch company and is known as “the world’s strongest fiber”. It’s used in products that require super-strong ropes and textile fibers, as well as military protective gear that can withstand bullets and fragments, much like Kevlar. When I asked Engtex CEO Patrik Johansson why they don’t use Kevlar, he explained that, despite being a strong material, Kevlar is only five times stronger than steel and has a similar structure to cellulose fiber, which is what the chainsaw is designed to cut. Therefore, it’s not suitable for saw protection.
The weaving method is the secret
When a chainsaw chain hits the pants, it needs to pull off many fibers that stick to the sprocket to stop the chain. Engtex CEO Patrik Johansson compares this effect to a common weaving technique used for bed sheets. The threads are interwoven to lock each other in place, making it impossible to pull out a single thread from the sheet.
The saw protection fabric is made using a unique weaving technique known as “warp knitting.” Unlike the crosswise weaving technique used for bed sheets, this fabric has a thread structure consisting of two layers of strong Dyneema threads laid perpendicular to each other, held together by a third layer that knits them together. This allows for easy removal of each thread, regardless of its orientation. When the saw chain hits the fabric, it tears apart a large number of super-strong threads, which quickly entangle with the chain and sprocket, resulting in an almost instantaneous stop.
Own brand for chain saw protecting textile
The protective pads in chainsaw pants may seem like a small component, but they play a critical role in ensuring protection. Engtex, the maker of the pads, has branded them as “AVERTIC” to differentiate and showcase the quality of their fabric. Some clothing manufacturers, such as STIHL in Germany, have also started using this brand to highlight the superior quality of their protective clothing.
Three different classes of chain saw protection
Many institutions regularly test the saw protection capacity of protective pants. One of the most well-known testing and research institutions is KwF (Kuratorium für Waldarbeit Forsttechnik) in Germany, which conducts thorough testing of various protective products. Here’s a quick example of a STIHL test from KwF’s testing facility:
#405 STIHL Chainsaw vs Work Boots. Are Work Boots good enough for your chainsaw protection? outdoors
Saw protection pants have three different classes of protection, each with specific requirements and testing protocols. All saw protection tests use the same standardized calibration pads to trim their testing facilities. These pads are created by Engtex and consist of complete saw protection with uniform characteristics.
The requirement for the saw protection in each class is that the chain when it has stopped, should not have damaged the innermost fabric layer in the pants. The different protection classes are:
Class 1, should stand a chain speed of 20 meters/second (65,6 ft/sec)
Class 2, should stand a chain speed of 24 meters/second (78,7 ft/sec)
Class 3, should stand a chain speed of 28 meters/second (91,9 ft/sec)
All tests are done in Europe at a 45-degree angle on the pants leg. In the United States, they are made at a 90-degree angle, cross over the leg.
The most effective saw protection pants on the market today use the Avertic Pro or Avertic Pro Lite fabric. The Avertic Pro Lite fabric weighs a mere 99 grams per square meter and requires six layers for protection class 1, or eight layers for protection class 2.
The growing market for chain saw protection
According to Patrik Johansson from Engtex, the future of saw chain protection looks promising. He states that there are new markets that have not previously used protective clothing, like some countries in Eastern Europe and Russia. Additionally, countries such as Germany are seeing an increase in the use of chainsaws, which creates a higher demand for protective clothing.
In the United States, there is a growing market for saw protection clothing, particularly among younger generations who are more safety conscious. Patrik also notes that protective clothing manufacturers have been successful in designing clothing that is both safe and stylish. To meet the increasing demand, Engtex plans to move to a new and larger production facility soon.
It all begins with the laying of the warp, where the fibers are positioned with the required spacing for the final product. In a massive rack, over 1000 thread spools are available. Thin fibers are directed from the spools towards the collecting reel, where they are wound up at an impressive speed of 60 km/h (37 mph). Each spool has 10 km (10,000 meters/32,800 ft) of fiber. The warp I observed had almost 1200 threads.
After the warp is set up, it’s taken to the machines where the actual weaving or knitting is done. The machines work rapidly with needles, knitting the two layers of Dyneema fibers into a consistent weave. The final product is rolled up and sent to clothing manufacturers, who cut and add the desired number of protective layers to their pants, boots or gloves. Thanks to the hard work of Engtex’s product developers in Mullsjö, the next time you use your chainsaw and avoid injury, you can be grateful for the high-quality protective materials that keep you safe.
Here is a video where you can see the manufacturing and som cutting tests:
STIHL Chainsaw Protective Pants. Function Universal Trousers
Add to Cart To calculate your delivery cost, add this item to your cart and enter your address at Checkout
Breathable material that is very comfortable to wear, available in anthracite, black and high-visibility orange. Tested cut protection in accordance with EN 381, freedom of movement in the seat and crotch, kidney protection, thorn protection both on the front and rear part of the leg area. Ventilation material on the back of the upper thighs. KWF Utility Value test currently pending. Trousers, protection class 1 (≙ 20 m/s), size XS – XXL.
Cut protection areas to EN 381 Design A. The red marked areas show where blocking material is located to protect the body parts behind.
STIHL Function Universal Pants / Trousers XXL: 00883421507 STIHL Function Universal Pants / Trousers XL: 00883421506 STIHL Function Universal Pants / Trousers L: 00883421505 STIHL Function Universal Pants / Trousers M: 00883421504 STIHL Function Universal Pants / Trousers S: 00883421503 STIHL Function Universal Pants / Trousers XS: 00883421502
|Low temperatures protection||gut|
|Elastic outer fabric||yes|
|Cut resistance/ class||1|
|Washed at||60 °C|
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Behold Chainsaw Proof Pants in Action
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Why you should consider using safety chaps when using a chainsaw
In many countries, the forestry or logging industry has an extremely high death and injury rates when compared to other workforces.
This makes sense given trees are being felled and a lot can go wrong because of accidents and user failure associated with dangerous machinery.
Now think back to the good old days when chainsaws began to gain widespread use in the logging industry.
They sure didn’t and many users were horrifically maimed or killed as a result.
If that was bad enough, think of their safety gear.
No chain safe safety chaps were issued by employers 80 years ago. Instead, hungry honed blades cut through denim work jeans into bone and arteries without a care in the world.
In the present, more safety-conscious age, the modern chainsaw user has a much safer gig when chopping down a tree however they must take precautions and using properly designed safety chaps is a great way to prevent harm to your legs.
It doesn’t matter if you are a forestry worker or an experienced weekend warrior, using safety gear should be a standard part of your chainsaw practice.
If you just want to know which is a great pair of chaps then the Husqvarna protective wrap chaps are quite suitable for most users.
- 1000 denier polyester with PVC coating with Tek warp protective layers
- Can adjust the waist up to size to 42 inches
- Felling wedge/gear and acetyl Delran buckles
- Complies with ASTM f1897, American National Standards Institute z133.1, and OSHA regulation 1910-266
- Underwriter Laboratories certified
Here’s a picture an Amazon buyer left in his review. He described the situation as that he: “Put a running saw to my left leg while limbing some cedars. Strands stopped the saw and didn’t even have a bruise.”
If that proof is enough pudding for you, check out the price on Amazon
How do safety chaps protect legs from a chainsaw blade?
Let’s be upfront and make it clear that safety chaps are not a ‘suit of armour’ that will save you from every accident.
If you want absolute protection from a chainsaw, then you may as well suit up like a Knight of the Realm.
However, that’s not too practical when chopping wood, so chaps offer the versatility of movement with the knowledge they are designed to reduce the severity of the cut should an accident occur.
What we are saying here is there is a trade-off between practicality and safety here.
If the idea is safety, then placing a user in cut-retardant chaps that are too restrictive or that become too hot in itself is unsafe so many internationals safety standards for chaps and personal protective safety wear recognize this.
When a chainsaw comes into contact with the safety trousers, the outer layer is immediately cut through by the blade but the inner layer of fibres (such as kevlar) are drawn out by the chain and into the machine. It wraps around the saw’s drive sprocket. The tough fibres lock the sprocket in place thus halting the chain and hopefully limiting damage to the chainsaw operator’s leg.
That said the stronger the chainsaw, the more chance of damage can occur to the user. It also depends on how fast the saw is going, the strength and angle of the saw.
Does it matter what kind of chaps I need if I am a casual or a professional user?
If you are simply doing a bit of yard work or lopping the occasional branch off a tree, it might not make economic sense in buying the best professional pants there are.
You may simply decide to use something that will help keep you safe but is perfectly functional for your needs. At a minimum though, the pants should still be designed to meet a suitable product safety standard.
To that end Husqvarna’s chainsaw chaps are ideal. An economical buy, they fit quite comfortably over your work jeans:
“First day of sawing, running a bigger saw than I had used in the past, tired and neglectful that it idled down slowly. saw pivoted in my L hand as I reached for a branch with my R hand, and I felt a “bang” on my left thigh and the saw was suddenly quiet. I looked down and had crossed the blade onto my leg. the blade was now stuffed with white strands from the chaps, and I was unscathed. Saved me from my very own trip to the ER and allowed me to cut another day”
If you don’t feel like getting your quads cut, then check out the price on Amazon.
Just be wary of buying pants that are designed only to protect from flying debris / keeping your work pants clean. These are not designed in any way to protect your long limbs from a chainsaw bar cutting into your leg. They are only good for keeping the grass off.
What if I really only want budget pants?
Remember, you should only wear pants that are designed specifically for use with a chainsaw and thus should have been fully tested to comply with the relevant safety standards.
For the cost-conscious, the Forester range of apron chaps might be the ideal choice. We hate to use the word ‘casual’ but for those that only use a chainsaw every so often, then these chaps could be ideal.
They provide good coverage for the front of your legs. The only drawback is they are not designed to protect against the really high powered saws and they certainly won’t halt an electric engine from rotating. They are do however meet the STM F1897, OSHA 1910.266 standards and are UL Certified. We suggest if your day job requires chaps, then you go upmarket, such as the Husqvarna 587160704 Technical Apron Wrap Chap.
Buying safety gear gives the user the confidence that it will do what is asked of it t. i.e. reduce the chance of severe leg injury. In terms of aesthetics, Forester describes them as “sleek, durable, lightweight, and comfortable chaps are chainsaw oil- and water-resistant”.
The chaps also feature a large side and a flip adjustment belt for a perfectly secure fit.
Again, we always ask. do they work?
This chap on Amazon shared his review and experience:
“I needed to drop about 8-10 small trees and just out of habit put these on. That day it was the smartest thing I did because not only did they save my legs from injury once but twice the same day. The first time I just cradled the chainsaw on my leg and had not set the brake, the chaps stopped the chain from cutting into my thigh right where I bend. I surely would have bled out before EMS got to me.”
Check out this picture of a save by this personal protective equipment:
The wearer is uninjured which is a great result because that cutting area is pretty damn close to the femoral artery.
Which, you may know is a pretty major one and a severe cut can result in a bleed out.
If you think protecting your femoral artery might be a good idea, then check out the price on Amazon.
Is it true electric chainsaws will cut through even the best chaps?
Yes, this is true as they are not configured the same as gas powered saws. As they have higher torque than gas engines, electric saws will continue to cut the chap fabric and chaps are generally not designed to withstand contact with an electric saw.
Sure, you should still wear chaps when using an electric saw but do not rely on them to reduce the chance of personal injury.
What length should chainsaw PPE chaps be?
Chaps (which go over trousers and legs) should be long enough to meet the tops of your boots.
To figure out how long your chaps need to be, measure from your waist (just below your belt where the chaps will sit) to the beginning of your foot. This length will provide suitable coverage and protection.
It’s important you order and use the right size. a shorter than necessary chap will probably result in a piece of your leg exposed which if Murphy’s law kicks into force, your chainsaw will find it. If your chaps are too long, they could be too loose, which may be annoying at best and at worst, could cause you to trip or stumble.
When ordering chaps it’s important to understand that the advertised length is the overall length and not the length of a traditional measurement of the inseam.
When you’re thinking about buying safety gear, whether it be chaps, gloves or protective eyewear, it’s always really good to remember that no one ever died just because they bought quality gear. Actually, we think the adage is no one ever regretted buying quality but you get the point.
I know we keep talking about it, whatever buying decision you make, you really should consider if your safety gear has met the requirements of the most relevant safety standard.
Your femoral artery might just thank you for it.
Did you know you can wear chaps when lawnmowing? Particularly handy if stones and any wood chips are likely to flick up at your legs. The same goes for an activity like hedge trimming. For both work environs, consider using a helmet with ear muffs and face visor.
If you’ve got this far, well done. Now, head to Amazon and have a look at the best safety chaps they have.