Safety Gear

Best Chainsaw Helmet System With Full Head Protection

The chainsaw itself might be your most expensive purchase and the one that takes the most thought. Choosing a reliable machine fit to your purpose, whether it’s yard maintenance, logging, or any other kind of timber work, will take plenty of time. But as useful as they are, chainsaws are dangerous tools and need to be treated as such. One way you can pay them the respect they demand is by choosing the right safety gear and a chainsaw helmet system is a big part of that.

We’re going to take a look at helmets with full-head protection because for those using chainsaws even on an occasional basis, any less puts you at risk. When cutting with such powerful tools, debris of any size can cause serious injury. That’s not to mention the real danger to your ears that can cause hearing damage if you’re not careful.

For that reason, we’ve taken a closer look at three of the top-selling chainsaw helmets on the market. We’re going to look at more than durability and protection. We’re going to look at what kind of work they’re suited to, what additional safety features they have, and the oft-ignored aspect of how comfortable they are to wear. All of these elements factor into choosing the best chainsaw helmet for you.

1. TR Industrial Forestry Safety Helmet and Hearing Protection System

Touted as having a versatile “5-in-1” dynamic design, the TR Industrial Forestry bears some impressive references on its resume. It’s marketed and sold primarily as an industrial-use piece of equipment, carrying approval and certification from both ANSI and CE, two trusted organizations that test the safety, quality, and health impacts of a variety of products. The helmet sports adjustable earmuffs and choices between plastic and mesh visor, the various combinations making for the five options. Priced around $30 on average, it provides an affordable option for what’s said to be industrial level protection, but does it live up to the promise?

The good

Versatility is the name of the game here. The removable and adjustable aspects of the earmuffs and visors immediately add a bit more flexibility to how you choose to wear it, making it a versatile tool for many jobs. While the mesh is better suited for heavy use, the plastic visor gives a clear advantage when it comes to visibility. Those options mean that users can switch from different kinds of work, from using chainsaws to brush cutters and trimmers without a need for additional equipment. Amongst our options, the ear muffs provide the best protection from noise, too, working up to 25.9db.

The bad

The touted versatility doesn’t mean it’s immediately accessible, however. The TR Industrial, as customizable as it is, comes with no instructions and many testers find that removing, adding, and changing parts can be trickier than it first appears. This plug-in-and-play issue is most clear in the relative lack of elasticity in the ear muffs, meaning getting it on and taking it off can be a hassle. As durable as the visors and helmet tend to be, too, the ear muffs have a common issue of losing the foam surrounding that kept them fit to your ears. Glue might be necessary for this one.

The summary

Pro’s

  • Versatile, suited to many jobs and offering multiple layers of protection, as many or as little as you need
  • Best sound protection
  • Cheapest of the lot

Cons

  • Inaccessible, harder than it looks to assemble
  • Feels cheaply made, from poor adjustability on the harness to the constant issues with the ear muffs.
  • Not as suited for long-term industrial level use unless you want to spend an inordinate amount of time fiddling with it
  • Lacks the ventilation holes the others have, meaning it can get stuffy under there

 

2. Oregon 563474 Helmet in Yellow

This is an after-market version of a generic part, taken by Oregon and fitted with attached visor, visor, and earmuffs. The immediately noticeable difference between it and the TR Industrial is the lack of removable or interchangeable gear, but it too bears an ANSI rating with the additional feature of six ventilation holes at the top of the helmet, providing better airflow beneath. Prices here tend to dip at the higher end of the $30-$40 range and beyond. Seemingly less versatile than the TR Industrial, what exactly are you paying extra for?

The good

One of the first noticeable differences between the Oregon and TR Industrial is the ventilation holes in the helmet. Those aren’t just for show, the breathability keeping things from getting too stuffy underneath. For the price, the helmet is sturdy and feels it, too, giving more confidence that you’re truly protected. While it lacks the adjustable factor of the TR, that actually ends up making it feel a good deal more solid

The bad

Out of all the choices, the decibel protection is lowest on the Oregon, effective up to 22db. The lack of a clear plastic visor can limit visibility, meaning it’s suited to fewer tasks than the TR Industrial, however. Also unlike the TR Industrial, it comes with instructions. Unfortunately, they’re near impossible to decipher, using only vague diagrams with no text, meaning that working it out yourself is often the better answer. An overly tight fit is a common complaint, too, leading to soreness with long-term use, in particular, thanks to the fact that the earmuffs aren’t adjustable.

The summary

Pro’s

  • Great quality for the price
  • Breathability due to ventilation makes it well suited to hot, humid environments.
  • Solid construction once you get it put together, suited for long-term use

Con’s

  • Putting it together can be a trial due to vague instructions
  • No options in visors limits versatility
  • Not as one-size-fits-most as it could be, non-adjustable ear muffs leading to soreness and discomfort for some
  • Lowest decibel effective range for noise protection
Oregon 563474 Helmet, Yellow
List Price: $35.31
Price: $35.31
You Save: N/A

 

3. Husqvarna ProForest Chain Saw Helmet System

The Husqvarna chainsaw helmet system has two immediate differences from its two competitors. The first is a focus on an additional rain neck protector, the second is the price, which is almost always above $50. Additional features like more ventilation holes and UV-protection on the hard hat make it a tempting buy when it comes to listed features, but again, is it worth the extra cost?

The good

The Husqvarna, like the TR Industrial, provides comprehensive ear protection, just 0.5db less effective, meaning it’s perfect for heavy-duty tools. Beyond providing additional UV protection, the particularly bright color provides great visibility, meaning it’s more suited for work out in the wild. That’s further emphasized by the additional rain neck guard and those ventilation holes, keeping you fit to work whether it’s wet, warm, or humid. Ergonomically, it’s much more accessible than the competitors too, with better adjustment on the ear muffs and a sturdy face-cover that easily opens and closes when you want it to, but won’t shift in place while working.

The bad

The instructions that come with this helmet are the best out of the three. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean much. Tiny print can make it hard to understand, but it’s still a little more accessible than the competitors. One major issue is that while it’s highly visible, the dye reflects a lot of light, causing a glare that can get in the eyes of the wearer when doing work outside.

The summary

Pro’s

  • More ergonomic, adjustable and durable
  • Comprehensive ear protection
  • Additional UV protection, rain neck guard, and ventilation holes make it great for outdoors work in most kinds of weather

Con’s

  • Brightness provides visibility, but comes with glare
  • Poor assembly instructions

 

And your winner of the best chainsaw helmet system is…

As this price range, the Husqvarna is your best bet for sustained use. It might not have the versatility of the TR Industrial, but it’s more solidly built and significantly more comfortable in many types of weather, meaning you can happily work longer at a task.

For a lower price, the TR Industrial does the job, but just not to an industrial standard despite its name. Constant usability issues and the need to provide your own fixes will make it an annoyance for anyone who really has to use it for hours every day.

Unfortunately, this leaves the Oregon in the awkward middle ground. It’s not comfortable enough, can be sore, but it doesn’t justify the price-rise over the TR Industrial when it comes to light yard maintenance.

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