Chaps for woodcutting ?
Chainsaw operation: if you look at the way a saw is designed, the back handle is offset, this allows you to hold the saw to the right side of your body. A lot of guy like to hold the saw between their legs in like a 3 point stance. dont do it. if it for some reason it kicks back, the tip of the blade is going to hit you in the face turning your nose into burger. Unfortunately, I've seen what a nose looks like after this has happened and it aint pretty. Hold it to the right side of your body and should it kick back it, you've got a lot better chance that it wont hit you.
Get into the habit of using the chain brake. If I take one step, the brake is applied PERIOD. think about what happens if and when you trip or stumble. your natural reaction is to tense up. with your finger on the trigger and you tense up, your saw will be running wide open. this could obviously lead to disaster.
Back to the chaps. If you are in the madison area, stop in at Englehardts and take a look at the set of chaps that I gave back to them 2 days after I bought them that one of my ex employeses ran an 066 Stihl into. Everyday I had to remind that dude to put his chaps on which is completely ridiculous. That fateful morning he made it 5 minutes with his chaps on before sinking the saw into them. can't imagine what would have happened had he not been wearing them.
Lastly, keep the saw out of the ground and sharp. Most saw injuries occur trying to force a dull saw through wood. Have a back up chain or 2 with you or learn how to put an edge on a chain.
BUY THEM!!!! I have it all from chaps, hard hat with ear muffs and face screen, safety glasses on top of that, gloves and a good pair of boots.
Never needed the chaps until last year but they were will worth the money (Stihl). Was cutting a branch (trimming up an inlaws tree....green wood) and I had a pile of limbs that I had cut off the tree, well was cutting those down so we could move them(with my new 290.....love that saw) and one of the branches had a lot of pressure on it that I could not see or tell. Well I was just about through the branch and it snapped pushed the saw into my leg from my knee to the upper part of my inner thigh. It happened so fast that there was NO way I could have hit the brake....BUT the pants stopped the chain in an instant.....instinct was hit the brake but hand was still on the throttle to hang onto the saw......with the branch still pushing against me...pushing me tight to the tree.
I have no doubt I would be a dead man right now with out my chaps. Would have bleed to death in a matter of minutes. Had a bruised knee and felt it on my thigh........ugly.
Never do a dang thing(using the saw) with out them period now.
That said,I do a number of things I don't recommend anyone else doing. Plunge cuts come immediately to mind.
Also,most of my work pants have a small hole near the front pockets. It's from saw chains "winding down" when I pick up and carry a bigger saw saw after a cut when I'm on the ground. I use the chain brake ALMOST religiously but sometimes I'm "in the zone",in a hurry,and wreck another pair of jeans.
I DO recommend chaps,especially for the continual cutting that firewood entails....If you're doing a lot of cutting,I'd guess the odds to be about 1 in 3 that you'd be using the Stihl 290,with a 20" or 24" bar. That's a decent sized saw with a fair amount of power. There's a good chance of kickback,or slipping,or something in the course of cutting multiple cords of wood,and you'd be glad for those chaps then. I know of 3 accidents where chaps would have prevented injury - 2 by landscapers who were very familiar with chainsaws but didn't use them all day,every day. The third was by a friend with a competing tree service.
Comfortable ear protection. ...I wear safety glasses because I have to be able to see someone approaching my "drop zone" from the corner of my eye,or other hazards that I'm not really look at (or for). But I visit the eye doctor several times each year to have wood chips removed,and a bothersome chip in my eye that doesn't require a doctor is an almost weekly occurrance (including today)....Safety glasses don't keep out those little bits of "dust" on windy days,either.
I recommend the mesh face shield AND safety glasses. You might as well get the hardhat with face shield. Kickback HAS occurred that parted the victim's hair. And skull....Some of those have ear protection built in.
Good leather boots. Don't ever use a chainsaw wearing tennies. Gloves are good too - at the very least they dampen the vibration of the saw. I almost always wear them when using bigger saws.
My accident happened 8 years ago. I was using a topping saw 1 handed,above my head,holding a branch with the other hand. 60 stitches to that "other" hand,and I was lucky...Don't get too comfortable with that saw. I guarantee you that a chainsaw does not cut flesh like a knife. It's more like a meat grinder.