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Author Topic: Safety gear recommendations  (Read 1949 times)

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Offline msal

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Safety gear recommendations
« on: March 14, 2016, 04:03:04 PM »
Hey guys, looking for some input on safety equipment. Last year was my first year with a chainsaw (18" remington RM5118R). I cut up about 2 1/2 cord of firewood of mostly fallen trees (we have 27 acres, it was logged heavily before we bought the house and there is a lot laying around). I'm hoping to start establishing a 3 year buffer of firewood this spring so I'll be doing a lot of sawing.

I have Chippewa logging boots and a Husqvarna chainsaw helmet which I used last season. I feel a little lucky/dumb for getting this far without wearing chaps, and the wife keeps telling me to go ahead and order what I need so here I am. I'm thinking I need a good pair of chaps at minimum, and maybe some gloves before I get out there again. As far as gear is concerned I'm probably going to pick up a cant, but that's not really relevant I guess.

Any recommendations? I've read good things on here about 'labonville full wrap chaps'. One of the reasons I'm posting is because I don't understand the difference between full wrap and regular chaps (or ones not labelled full-wrap), and I want to make sure I get a quality pair. I've also read here and there about matching your saw strength to the ply/thickness of the chaps, so any input there would be great. As far as gloves are concerned, I've been looking at Husqvarna gloves for $25 on amazon, but I'm open to suggestions here as well.

Lemme know what you guys think!

Offline mad murdock

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Re: Safety gear recommendations
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2016, 05:42:46 PM »
Check with sponsor Comstock and/or Left Coast supply. I think you wont go wrong supporting either of them, they have a quality product lineup and pricing is very reasonable. Beides the fact you will getresl world advice from people who know what they sell!
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Safety gear recommendations
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2016, 12:31:51 AM »
The best safety gear is is what is between your ears.  Don't saw tired, don't saw what you can't see, don't get in the way of a sprung limb, and make sure your saw idles without the saw chain ticking or it will find your leg.  Buy good safety gear, and put it on.  I personally like chaps, steel toed boots, rancher style leather gloves, hat, and wraparound Smith and Wesson safety glasses.  I don't like the screen/helmet/earmuff combo.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Safety gear recommendations
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2016, 06:11:36 AM »
Labonville web site will show the difference of regular and full wrap chaps. The regular chaps just have the straps that go around the calf of your leg. I wear that style. The full wrap has the material that wraps around the back of your calf.
Logrite,sponsor on the left,has peaveys and cant dogs. The peavey is the one with the point. Us guys that don't eat grits like the peavey better.  ;D
I just wear the leather palm gloves. But nothing a matter with a better protection glove.
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Offline msal

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Re: Safety gear recommendations
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2016, 01:09:58 PM »
The best safety gear is is what is between your ears.  Don't saw tired, don't saw what you can't see, don't get in the way of a sprung limb, and make sure your saw idles without the saw chain ticking or it will find your leg.
100% agree, I made sure to pay attention to my technique and sawing angle, etc. I figure steering clear of stupid mistakes will keep me the safest!

Cool, thanks for the input so far. I'll pay attention to the straps on the labonville site, and take a look at the other sites. I'm going to do a bit of research about peaveys vs. cants, I didn't know about peaveys actually. Thanks for that, I've been breaking my back trying to move logs here and there, and dulled my chain a few times from hitting dirt (working on avoiding this, rolling the log first, etc.). Sounds like any gloves will do. Propping the log up would definitely be a plus, not sure if either/both can do that for me.

How about ply/thickness of chaps? Any recommendations?

Offline RPF2509

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Re: Safety gear recommendations
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2016, 01:59:41 PM »
One note of caution with less than full wrap chaps is that your heel can get caught in the lower edge of the chap as you walk.  Partial chaps tend to pucker out around the knees and ankles and tend to catch on things (branches , briars).  In any case any chaps are far superior to no chaps.  With gloves leather tends to make me sweat in summer and is slippery in the rain but is nice in winter.  Hardhat, ear and eye protection a must.  Earmuffs get hot so I use earplugs exclusively.  Also a bandanna on the brow to keep sweat out of the eyes and off the eye protection.

Offline weimedog

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Re: Safety gear recommendations
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2016, 02:44:19 PM »
HolmanTree has posted on this subject. Typically he will have put a lot of thought along with real world experience into his recommendations... wish I could find the thread where this was hashed out.

To me a good pair of steel toe boots/work shoes is something folks forget. I have a "redwing" brand shoe that I live in. Irish Setters or something along those lines. I PLAN to upgrade head gear to include a higher end helmet with ear protection and a face mask. A guy I know took a saw to the face. Not pretty. I'm a believer in PPE's any way, but after that deal I want to radically up grade my head gear. The old saying in the motorcycle world is if you have a 50 dollar head, get a 50 dollar helmet!

Fact is a good set of PPE's will last MANY years. So figure the cost over years plus the potential of injury....and like good gear for dirt bike's there is no justification for cheap stuff. Buy the best you can find, its certainly going to be less than a saw! And even less than the "mods" some will so quickly spend big coin on!

I'm torn between full saw "pants" and higher end chaps. You know the biggest PITA with chaps is ...well...having to take them of to take a leak... :) So pants might find there way into the inventory. Plan to upgrade and report what and where I find stuff that seems to work well and most importantly fit well...have to figure working and moving into the equation.

Gloves, can't forget gloves. First time a branch wraps your knuckles when sawing in brush....lol YOU will also remember gloves.

Just my thoughts, hoping Willard adds a little wisdom as he did before...and if he does, please listen.
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Offline RIDE-RED 350r

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Re: Safety gear recommendations
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2016, 04:06:30 PM »
I can't really add to what the other gents here have advised...

At work I have the full wrap style chaps... They are definitely hotter in the summer months, but they do tend to be more "out of the way" than conventional chaps as far as not catching on things around you as you work. For that reason I have come to prefer the full-wrap chaps despite their being a bit more uncomfortable in warm weather. At home I have conventional chaps. My boss lets us guys use our work issued PPE at home if we need it and I have done so on occasion.

When I am felling trees, I wear my Husqvarna forestry helmet with the face screen and ear muffs built in as well as safety glasses.

When just blocking in the log pile it's safety glasses and ear plugs.

90% of the time I wear leather work gloves.

I never used to wear any PPE whatsoever when I was younger and was a (lucky) fool for it. Now, I am terrified of losing my eyesight, and don't really like the thought of going deaf either... So I don't run my saws without eye and ear protection on. Same goes for when I use things like grinders and impacts at work. We all have seen the pics of guys whose faces got in the way of an exploded grinding wheel...  :embarassed:

I suggest going to your local saw shop and seeing if they will let you try on a few different brands of chaps in both conventional and full-wrap style. See which you prefer and go with that.

Good on you AND your Missus for pursuing the proper PPE! Nobody ever plans to have an accident, all we can do is take measures to be as prepared for one as we can to minimize the chances of serious injury or worse.
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Offline dutchman

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Re: Safety gear recommendations
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2016, 06:53:04 PM »
For lifting a log for ground clearance look for a log jack.
Do a search many suppliers.
Logrite has a product  that fits most of their peavies and
can't hooks. It's called a log stand.

Offline DonT

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Re: Safety gear recommendations
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2016, 11:47:11 AM »
The best PPE is stuff that you find comfortable and will wear all the time.I am not a big fan of chaps and wear dedicated chainsaw pants. I like the stihl brand , had problems with my huskys in the dryer.  I have a pair of Pfanners as well but they are pricey and real hot in the summer. We don't eat grits up this way but we prefer cant hooks over peaveys.

Offline msal

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Re: Safety gear recommendations
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2016, 02:43:11 PM »
Looks like there is a Labonville store right near me, I had no idea! I think I would be more comfortable trying something on, from what I'm reading getting the size right can be difficult sight-unseen.

Offline John Mc

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Re: Safety gear recommendations
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2016, 12:02:19 AM »
Looks like there is a Labonville store right near me, I had no idea! I think I would be more comfortable trying something on, from what I'm reading getting the size right can be difficult sight-unseen.

Yep. about 25 miles up the road from you.

Normally, I would suggest buying from a forum sponsor, but Labonville's is a good place, and folks there know their stuff. If it's right in your back yard, it's worth swinging by to see what they have and try things on.

As far as chaps go, I prefer the full wrap style. It is a little hotter in the summer, but we're in northern New England - it's not like we're in the deep south. You are also not cutting for a living, so if it gets too hot, you can just wait a few days until it cools off.

Labonville sells a couple of styles of full wrap chaps. IMO, their "competition chaps" (10 ply kevlar) are a bit of overkill for most people - they are bulky and hot. If they are too uncomfortable, you are less likely to wear them every time you cut. Their non-competition full-wrap chaps are also very well made (5 ply kevlar)
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Offline sandsawmill14

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Re: Safety gear recommendations
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2016, 12:25:29 AM »
Labonville web site will show the difference of regular and full wrap chaps. The regular chaps just have the straps that go around the calf of your leg. I wear that style. The full wrap has the material that wraps around the back of your calf.
Logrite,sponsor on the left,has peaveys and cant dogs. The peavey is the one with the point. Us guys that don't eat grits like the peavey better.  ;D
I just wear the leather palm gloves. But nothing a matter with a better protection glove.

but you have to question laugh_at anyone who doesnt eat grits smiley_dizzy headscratch :D :D :D

alot of good advice here regardless of questionable food choices. some kind of hard hat and chaps at the very minimum we have had 2 loggers killed in the last 3 yr from falling limbs one was wearing a hard hat but the other wasnt :(
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Offline msal

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Re: Safety gear recommendations
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2016, 12:04:28 PM »
Normally, I would suggest buying from a forum sponsor, but Labonville's is a good place, and folks there know their stuff. If it's right in your back yard, it's worth swinging by to see what they have and try things on.

As far as chaps go, I prefer the full wrap style. It is a little hotter in the summer, but we're in northern New England - it's not like we're in the deep south. You are also not cutting for a living, so if it gets too hot, you can just wait a few days until it cools off.

Labonville sells a couple of styles of full wrap chaps. IMO, their "competition chaps" (10 ply kevlar) are a bit of overkill for most people - they are bulky and hot. If they are too uncomfortable, you are less likely to wear them every time you cut. Their non-competition full-wrap chaps are also very well made (5 ply kevlar)

I ended up going with Labonville full-wrap chaps. I didn't see competition style and just saw this comment now. I went with 5ply, which I think will be fine. I thought for sure a 'regular' size would fit (I'm 5' 7") but ended up needing a large. I'm with you on waiting for cool weather, there were several days last year where I planned to cut and it was too hot, and that was without chaps. While I was at Labonville I also bought some Oregon chainsaw gloves which are pretty nice. I already have logger boots and a husqvarna helmet/shield/ear-protection combo from last year, so I think I'm set now as far as safety gear is concerned!

I mentioned picking up a peavey/cant... I think I'm going with a logrite cant after doing some reading. It's not cheap but sounds like it will last. I'll probably order online via one of the sponsors. I'm going back and forth between a 36", 42" or 48". Leaning 48". Not sure on shaft type either (aluminum or fiberglass). I don't want to go any bigger since I don't think I'll need it and the extra length will just get in the way, especially if I'm out on the 4 wheeler.

Edit: fixed cant sizes

Offline John Mc

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Re: Safety gear recommendations
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2016, 01:14:07 PM »
I have a 48" Logrite Peavey, and the size is just right for me. Long enough to provide leverage for the logs I deal with, but short enough to not get in my way (I'm usually hauling it on a tractor or in the trailer behind my tractor, not on an ATV, however).

I was given a 42" Cant Hook/Timberjack from northern tool Note:Please read the Forestry Forum's postion on this company - it was a piece of junk. The welded-on tip snapped off the hook after only about a dozen logs. The handle was poorly made (and cut from rather than split from the log, so the grain does not extend the whole length of the handle). I replaced the hook with a better one from another manufacturer, but even then, the tool is not all that great. The one thing I did learn from it is that I would not buy anything shorter than 42" for working in the woods. I might get away with shorter a lot of the time if I were working with straight logs and/or on smoother ground, but the woods is where I need it, and I'm cutting junk trees for firewood, so 36" just wouldn't be enough for me. Even the 42" wash pushing it for me on some logs (though I could almost always make it work), which is why I went to 48" when I bought the Logrite peavey.

I'm normally a fan of wood handles, but I really like the Logrite Aluminum handle. I've never had to worry about whether the handle would stand up to heavy use. I'm not sure I'd like the fiberglass with the steel core. I imagine it's significantly heavier, and I'm not nuts about fiberglass handles.
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Offline msal

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Re: Safety gear recommendations
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2016, 02:01:23 PM »
I have a 48" Logrite Peavey, and the size is just right for me. Long enough to provide leverage for the logs I deal with, but short enough to not get in my way (I'm usually hauling it on a tractor or in the trailer behind my tractor, not on an ATV, however).

I was given a 42" Cant Hook/Timberjack from northern tool Note:Please read the Forestry Forum's postion on this company Note:Please read the Forestry Forum's postion on this company - it was a piece of junk. The welded-on tip snapped off the hook after only about a dozen logs. The handle was poorly made (and cut from rather than split from the log, so the grain does not extend the whole length of the handle). I replaced the hook with a better one from another manufacturer, but even then, the tool is not all that great. The one thing I did learn from it is that I would not buy anything shorter than 42" for working in the woods. I might get away with shorter a lot of the time if I were working with straight logs and/or on smoother ground, but the woods is where I need it, and I'm cutting junk trees for firewood, so 36" just wouldn't be enough for me. Even the 42" wash pushing it for me on some logs (though I could almost always make it work), which is why I went to 48" when I bought the Logrite peavey.

I'm normally a fan of wood handles, but I really like the Logrite Aluminum handle. I've never had to worry about whether the handle would stand up to heavy use. I'm not sure I'd like the fiberglass with the steel core. I imagine it's significantly heavier, and I'm not nuts about fiberglass handles.

I think you just convinced me to go 48". I've got a very messy piece of land at the moment and most of it won't be an easy roll (not straight, uneven ground, etc.). Something I hadn't considered really. Thanks for the input! A little reassuring hearing that you like the aluminum as well, as I'm not sure I want to pay the extra for fiberglass. Really leaning toward the aluminum 48" logrite cant now.


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