How does the chainsaw material work?

You might work with a chainsaw on a daily basis, but still accidents can happen. Just a short moment of distraction might hurt you very badly. Luckily, you are wearing chainsaw protective garments. They provide good protection, are comfortable and breathable, but don’t you wonder how the material works?

Let’s start with the key principles.

What are the functional principles in chainsaw protection?

According to the European standard EN 11393 (supersedes EN 381), different functional principles can be applied in order to provide you the protection needed to work safely.

  1. Chain slipping
    When you touch the protective material with a chainsaw, the chain doesn’t cut the material, but it slips off the material.

  2. Clogging
    The fibres of your chainsaw protective garments’ material are drawn into the drive sprocket by the chain, blocking chain movement and keeping you unharmed.

  3. Chain braking
    Your chainsaw garment’s fibres have a high resistance to cutting and absorb rotational energy, which is how they reduce the chainsaw speed.

Those functional principles can be combined in your chainsaw protective materials.

Clogging in your chainsaw protective trousers

While operating a chainsaw, leg injuries occur the most. Chainsaw protective trousers or chaps will protect you. For chainsaw trousers, clogging is the principle that is used the most to protect you from getting injured by a chainsaw.

The material used is especially designed to clog the sprocket when you touch your trousers with your chainsaw. By clogging the sprocket, the chain is stopped. Wearing this type of material, reduces the chances of getting injured and reduces the severity of possible injuries should the chainsaw blade breach the trousers’ outer layer.

You would like to see this with your own eyes before believing it? Have a look at the video below. The slow motion video shows you how clogging works.

Please keep in mind that your wash and care routine is of major importance to your own safety. When the material of your chainsaw protective garments is too dirty, the fibres stick together, meaning that they can’t be pulled out and the clogging principle no longer is applicable.

In addition, the DWR finish or durable water repellent finish, is also very important when it comes to your protection while operating a chainsaw. The impact of oil and fuel on the fibres could on the long term affect the resistance of the fibres. This can be prevented by a good DWR finish, slowing down the contact of oil and fuel with the fibres.

Chainsaw slipping upon contact with safety boots

The principle of chain slipping can be found on safety boots with steel toe caps. The saw chain will cut through a composite toe cap, but not through a steel toe cap. When touching the steel toe cap, the saw chain will slip off the material.

All of our SIP Protection chainsaw protective boots have steel toe caps that provide optimal protection.

Chain braking in rubber boots

In some rubber boots, the principle of chain braking is applied. The used fibres reduce the chain speed. Then there is no more energy to make the saw chain turn, eventually slowing down and stopping it when there is enough rubber. This is the case when there are no clogging fibres behind the rubber.

However, in reality, the chainsaw speed is not always slowed down. That is why leather boots with a steel toe cap and clogging fibres should be preferred to rubber boots.