We get maybe three or four chainsaw injuries a year at my small-town urgent care clinic. The sort of mayhem a chainsaw will wreak upon unprotected human flesh is the stuff of nightmares. While I have seen one wound to the face, more commonly it is a chainsaw versus a thigh or foot that ruins some neophyte logger’s day. A little basic protective gear, however, can leave you functionally immune to injuries such as this.

Chainsaws are noisy and my dad will attest that if you use one for any period of time without hearing protection you will spend your later years answering the phone repeatedly when it is not ringing. Northern Tool offers a reasonably priced Husqvarna Forestry Helmet, with face screen and hearing protection, that is lightweight, convenient and comfortable.

WATCH YOUR HEAD: The helmet’s adjustable, integral hearing protectors are easy to use and effective. The helmet is adequate to protect your head from modest debris while remaining lightweight and cool. The suspension system keeps the unit high enough for air circulation when things get hot. The face screen is a metal mesh that will not fog or retain sweat. The entire rig is blaze orange for easy identification at a crowded worksite. I have driven myself to distraction trying to manage safety goggles while running a chainsaw on a hot August afternoon in Mississippi. This Forestry Helmet rig with a face shield is a legitimate advantage, and I cannot believe it took me so long to get one.

GEARING UP: Husqvarna Apron Wrap Chainsaw Chaps look like something out of a science fiction movie but are surprisingly comfortable. Made from rugged 1000-denier polyester with a PVC coating and TekWrap chainsaw protective cloth, these chaps secure via a series of Acetyl Delrin fasteners and have plenty of pockets. This unique material is designed to pull apart and clog the sprocket system of a chainsaw to protect its operator before the bar can dig deep enough to catch flesh. These chaps are fairly warm in the summer but add no restriction to movement and are actually surprisingly comfortable. Rocky makes superb steel-toed work boots adequate for military service. Finally, a robust pair of leather gloves protects your fingers from flying junk and hot chainsaw components.

When properly geared up for an afternoon in the woods with your chainsaw you do admittedly look like some sort of astronaut. However, it took no more than a single severed toe or shredded thigh at my day job to convince me that a modest investment in protective gear could pay huge dividends down the road. This modern gear from Northern Tool is comfortable, effective and reasonably priced.

EASY READING: When I was a child, it was the J.C. Penney Christmas catalog that captured my attention in the months leading up to the holidays. Now, as an adult, it is the Northern Tool and Equipment tome that occupies this same hallowed space in my life. Simply chock full of everything from tape measures to tractors and everything in between, the Northern Tool catalog is one-stop shopping to fill a tool drawer, outfit a workshop or equip a fully functioning farm. They even sell bulldozers. If it’s not in their inventory, you likely don’t need it. You can receive Northern Tool’s Master Catalog in a week’s time by filling out a simple form online or by calling 800-221-0516.

For more information visit northerntool.com.

This article was originally published in The NEW PIONEER™ Winter 2016 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.

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