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Author Topic: Helmet / face shield / muffs ?'s  (Read 2381 times)

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Offline realzed

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Helmet / face shield / muffs ?'s
« on: February 05, 2018, 07:04:02 PM »
I've sort of been looking around some for a cutting helmet/system. I have plenty of regular construction hard hats that I could use to adapt a face shield and ear muffs on to - but it all seems to sit up so high and tippy when all said and done, considering how much bending a rolling around one does when cutting and bucking up logs.. with the straps and suspension arrangements they have inside these helmet types.
Anyone care to share on any gems of wisdom of what they find or found was the best type of combination of shield, helmet and muffs.  I'm mostly deaf now from years of working in and around old radial aircraft engines and planes - but I may as well try and salvage what I have left when sawing - and a little plastic 'on the roof' and in front might not hurt either - as always 'With Age Comes Wisdom' - I just don't want to come by it too late anymore.
Cost as always is a serious factor obviously, as is fit and comfort and coolness (as in ventilation).
I have access to Stihl and Husky dealers and I assume their lines of stuff - the rest not so much!
Thanks - Randy

Offline John Mc

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Re: Helmet / face shield / muffs ?'s
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2018, 07:42:34 PM »
Stihl and Husky both make decent helmets in the $50 range. (Husky also makes a more expensive one: the Technical Forest Helmet is a little lighter with some other features, but costs over $100. I have one and like it, but I'm not sure it's worth double what the regular ones cost.)

I like the ratchet adjustment models (turn a crank and it tightens on your head), because I sometimes wear a lightweight balaclava under the helmet when cutting in the winter. (I refer to it as long underwear for my head). If you don't need to adjust frequently, the kind that has a plastic snap (similar concept to some baseball caps, but heavier duty) works fine.

I prefer the 6-point suspension models (three straps running over the crown of your head) to the 4 point (two straps). I've heard they are supposed to be safer, but I suppose if you are hit hard enough that you can break an OSHA-approved 4 point suspension, you're already in a mess of trouble.

Good that you are getting one. My wife has had some patients (and one uncle) with serious head injuries. You don't want to go there.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline Gearbox

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Re: Helmet / face shield / muffs ?'s
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2018, 08:15:22 PM »
I have found that the ones that the muffs push and lock into a slot break in the slot . I had 2 and they both broke . I think I have a Stihl now .
A bunch of chainsaws a BT6870 processer , TC 5 International track skidder and not near enough time

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Re: Helmet / face shield / muffs ?'s
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2018, 08:43:14 PM »
I have found that the ones that the muffs push and lock into a slot break in the slot . I had 2 and they both broke . I think I have a Stihl now .
Mine is that type.  Hasnít broke yet but the muffs pop out of the slot.  I wouldnít buy that style again

Offline realzed

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Re: Helmet / face shield / muffs ?'s
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2018, 11:25:26 PM »
I had seen a YouTube video of the Husky Technical Helmet deal and it looked to fit the wearer pretty well and they showed it to be very adjustable inside with the straps moveable to tilt the support lower front and/or back and the whole setup appeared to be very well thought out - but Ouch.. I think they are like $160 on Amazon.. before taxes and shipping.
I'll have to see how much a dealer around here sells them for - but I'm betting more even than that - then 13% on top for our immigrants!
As I mentioned, on all of the construction hard hats I have, muffs and some sort of a visor just seem to get even more unwieldy and prone to not staying in place very well depending of course how one moves until it needs to get screwed so tightly that you cut off your circulation and pass out..  ;D
I am trying to find one that parks well without all that resulting in roaring headaches after a couple of hours of use and ultimately end up as a barrier to wearing it!  :)
John - does it appear to be quite durable from your experiences and do you know if replacement parts can be purchased for it separately?
Thanks

 

Offline Skeans1

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Re: Helmet / face shield / muffs ?'s
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2018, 11:41:03 PM »
Myself I can't stand a plastic hard hat especially ones with the muffs and screens on them, I prefer a skull bucket or an old full brim tin lid I know they can take a hit we added a screen to one for an employee I prefer safety glasses well falling with ear plugs.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Helmet / face shield / muffs ?'s
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2018, 09:16:46 AM »
I use a Petzl climbers helmet.  Suspension, face screen and muffs all in one.
Revelation 3:20

Offline John Mc

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Re: Helmet / face shield / muffs ?'s
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2018, 10:18:17 AM »
John - does it appear to be quite durable from your experiences and do you know if replacement parts can be purchased for it separately?

I started out with a cheap old off-brand helmet with 4-point suspension. I could not stand the fit. If I got it tight enough to not fall off when I moved or tilted my head, it gave me headaches and the head band was very uncomfortable on my skull. I wore it for a few months, then never used again. I replaced it with the first Husqvarna model listed below.

BTW, OSHA requires a helmet to be replaced every 5 years (or once it's taken a serious hit) when in commercial use. The time limit is because age can cause plastic to become brittle, and UV exposure can accelerate that deterioration. OSHA regs don't apply to non-commercial use, and a helmet used by a hobbiest/landowner is not likey to see anywhere near the UV exposure that a full-time logger sees. Still, it's worth keeping in mind the the useful life has a limit.

There are several types of Husqvarna helmets out there (prices in US$):

Husqvarna Forest Pro: $50 - $65 The more expensive versions have the wheel style adjustment, rather than the snap style adjustment. (though a lot of vendors sell the snap style for the more expensive wheel style price). Personally, I like the wheel style adjustment better (small wheel on back of helmet), but I owned the snap style. Even the snap style was MUCH more comfortable than the old cheapy I had. I have had one of these for about 10 years. It's never taken a heavy, life-saving hit, but it's been smacked by branches plenty of times as I drive my tractor through the woods. It's got dings and scratches, but the only part I've had to replace is the face screen for $15 (and that was more due to abuse - being crammed in a box with a bunch of tools which eventually beat it up to the point the screen just had too many holes in it. Once I replaced it, it doesn't ride in the tool box any more.) This was a solid helmet, available almost anywhere, good availabilty of replacement parts. I replaced it because it was getting old, and after a while the plastic can get brittle. I had not seen any issues with the plastic, but 10 years is enough when my brain is at stake. (I flexed the helmet to look for cracking in the plastic and saw none, so it's now my backup or loaner.)

Husqvarna Functional Forest Helmet: $50-$65. The cheaper price is for a ratchet adjustment, higher is for wheel style. I've not seen the ratchet style up close yet, but should be easier to adjust than the old snap style. I believe this replaces the Forest Pro Helmet, since it's the same price, and Husky does not show the Pro on their web site now. If cost is an issue, this is a solid helmet at a decent price. I'd recommend trying one on and playing with the various adjustments to see how you like the fit. (NOTE: online vendors are playing the same games: selling the ratchet style for the more expensive wheel-style price. There is even one vendor selling the Functional Forest Helmet for the MUCH more expensive technical Forest Helmet price. Make sure you know what you are getting.)

Husqvarna Technical Forest Helmet: $130. A lot more expensive, but a nice helmet. I bought one of these a little over a year ago and really like it. It feels lighter and more comfortable than my old helmet (I haven't weighed it - it could be that it's just better balanced). The visor flips up completely out of your field of vision, which is nice when assessing the tree for lean or hazards. There were a couple of years where it was not available in the US, so I ordered mine on eBay from a UK supplier, for $93 including shipping. Not sure why the US price is so much higher. I probably wouldn't have sprung for the $130 price, but I have an old neck injury (wrestling in college) which gets aggravated when I wear a helmet for extended periods - I figured the balance and lighter weight might make a difference, so when I saw the $93 price, I jumped on it.

Husqvarna also makes a couple of types of arborist/tree climber helmets. I have no experience with these. Others on here use them. For my own use, I stick with the regular forestry helmets.

All of the above is not a knock against Stihl's helmets. They make good ones as well, I just don't know as much about them. There are several other good brands out there as well.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

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Re: Helmet / face shield / muffs ?'s
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2018, 08:13:25 PM »
After seeing what was available on-line and reading some of your interesting comments John, I stopped by one my local Stihl/Husky outlets this afternoon to better check out and get a hands-on view of a technical model and liked it so much that common sense and fit overruled my frugality and I am now a proud owner of one of those models.
It did fit right and everything seemed to be constructed to mesh together into a good fitting and balanced, and workable package that appears very durable and comfortable.
I like the very good field of vision with the shield down and the effectiveness of the muffs and how well they actually make the fit even better when down and in place (I consider if I was capable  ::) of - I could do cartwheels and not feel it move around, and of course the way the muffs cut out almost all sound!)..
The dealer rep. showed me on his computer when I asked, how easily they can get all kinds of replacement parts within a day or two for reasonable prices as well - which was great and addressed a concern I held.
As I now sit here - with mixed looks of amusement and bewilderment from my wife and sons who traipse through the room occasionally while I am typing this while wearing it and getting familiar with the feel of it.. I almost have to remind myself occasionally (although the looks I'm getting certainly help) that it's up there - which to me says a lot..  :D ;D
It was a lot of $$'s - but I figure I'm worth it (I hope and think.. my wife concurs  ::) )and I know that I probably should have done this, along with the new pants, full well a long time ago and that I'm probably very fortunate in that over all the years I've managed to avoid many of the perils often involved when sawing..
Thanks for your and everyone else's input - it all most certainly assisted me with a decision I'm now quite happy with!
Randy   

Offline John Mc

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Re: Helmet / face shield / muffs ?'s
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2018, 08:16:45 PM »
If it's comfortable enough that you will actually use it, then you made a good choice.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline pwrwagontom

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Re: Helmet / face shield / muffs ?'s
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2018, 03:16:15 PM »
I like the $50 +/- Husky one...seems to sit lower on my head.

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Re: Helmet / face shield / muffs ?'s
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2018, 07:48:23 PM »
What John said.
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Offline thedoublejranch

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Re: Helmet / face shield / muffs ?'s
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2018, 11:11:38 PM »
I have a couple of the TR Industrial ones, sold by Home Depot, Amazon also.

TR Industrial Forestry Safety Helmet and Hearing Protection System-TR88011 - The Home Depot

Best price around too, good solid units. Face shield comes with the lenses or the wire mesh. I like the mesh, no fogging.
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Re: Helmet / face shield / muffs ?'s
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2019, 09:01:21 AM »
I'm resurrecting this thread as I was searching for this info. I had a near miss or a non-fatal hit however you look at it. Luckily I was actually wearing an old PASGT helmet I had laying around. A limb fell and knocked me in the head and left shoulder. Shoulder is bruised a little and my neck hurts some, my chiropractor and wife are *pithed at me but thankful I'm walking around. I downplayed what actually happened to her so not to freak her out.

That Stihl setup or something else is used by most folks around here? I imagine equipment is like taste and everybody has their own flavor as I preferred my certain TA-50 over other items. I'm just looking for something that will not fail me.

Thanks everybody.

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Re: Helmet / face shield / muffs ?'s
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2019, 09:18:11 AM »
I like the cheap Husqvarna system. When it dies, I'll likely get the same thing. My face shield is rusting away. I ordered a new one, and they sent the nylon by mistake. I kept it, but haven't used it yet, so I don't know which is better.

Online Old Greenhorn

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Re: Helmet / face shield / muffs ?'s
« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2019, 10:23:59 AM »
Well, it seems to me that most folks buy the standard forestry models from whatever mfg they prefer. For me, I don't like have the weight and bulk of the muffs on top all the time catching things. I also prefer a full brim for the protection it provides from sun, rain, branches, and other stuff. I always liked the long tailboard on the back of my fire helmet for that reason, it saved me from some dropping beams and wires and sheetrock over the years in tight quarters. The full brim is also good for wildland firefighting for the same reason, a little extra over your neck. I also do not care for all the plastic they make these new helmet connecting parts out of, I have seen so many break in the woods, or the muffs don't seal out the noise well enough. Some of them will break if they fall off your head onto a rock or out of the skidder. I also hate the plastic forehead bands. I bought a husky for my nephew because that's what he wanted, but when I saw it, I was glad I had not gotten one for myself. I might get one to have as a spare or a loaner, but that's about it.
 So I wear a full brim Bullard 6 point. I added a terry forehead band, cuts down on heat rash. I put an add-on face shield (aluminum) and can buy replacement screens easy. it is sturdy. I use separate ear muffs and in hot weather, just use ear plugs because they aren't as hot. I could also take the face shield off easily and just wear safety glasses if I wanted. In the end, it may have cost me a little more, but this holds up very well, is comfortable, and easy to repair if needed, and stays on my head when I take a tumble. It has also held up to the banging around in the back of the mule although the face screen has been crushed a few times. I really should make a hanger for it.
 YMMV, to each his own. The important thing is to protect what you got. Every time I get whacked it is from something I never saw coming. Find something comfortable that you will keep on.
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Offline JJinAK

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Re: Helmet / face shield / muffs ?'s
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2019, 10:47:20 AM »
For many years I did the hard hat/safety glasses/ear plugs route, and I hated it every time.  I finally bought the Stihl Pro Helmet.  As a whole, I like it.  I don't find the muffs to be too "clunky" or obtrusive, and they work really well.  The helmet is comfortable and I really like the mesh shield.

What I don't like is that it gets hot.  Really hot. Overall I rate it high.  I think I paid around $70 for it.

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Re: Helmet / face shield / muffs ?'s
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2019, 11:29:31 AM »
I have the Husqvarna functional helmet. Never had issues with the muffs but i hate the tensioning system.
I like the look of the Husqvarna Technical helmet but it's too expensive :(

I'm sure everyone will agree that once you use the muffs, you simply can't use chainsaw without em anymore.
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Re: Helmet / face shield / muffs ?'s
« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2019, 01:51:38 PM »
I'm of the same mode as Skeans1.  Hardhat, tight fitting goggles and ear plugs.  The reasons: face shields do not protect enough from the side entrance of debris, you must wear glasses or goggles underneath to prevent that. And ear muffs have less db reduction than good ear plugs do. Unless of course you wear plugs under muffs, which some people have done.  Skeans is a production faller, I was a production thinner. Think dense thickets and brush out west.

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Re: Helmet / face shield / muffs ?'s
« Reply #19 on: June 21, 2019, 04:04:14 PM »
I've always been interested to note the regional preferences for helmets. The full brim seems to be much more prevalent out west. Here in the northeast, it's extremely rare to see a pro logger wearing one, and the only time I see a landowner with one is if he/she already owned one for some other reason (usually from work).
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow


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