Using a chainsaw and cutting down trees are some of the manliest things a guy can do. Chainsaws have come a long way over the years from their ancestors, the humble axe.
Unfortunately, when talking about manly things, health and safety rank very low on the list. But with great power comes great responsibility. Modern-day chainsaws are becoming more dangerous and more powerful than ever before, meaning the way we protect ourselves is becoming crucially important.
This means that wearing the best chainsaw helmet is crucial. And if you are ever feeling like less of a man because you are wearing your protective equipment, just look at the Vikings!
They wore their helmets when they swung their axes around, and they didn’t run at 14,000 RPM.
#1 Husqvarna Pro-Forest Chain Saw Helmet System
Husqvarna are an industry powerhouse when it comes to professional outdoor tools and safety wear, a company that have been around for a staggering 325 years since it was founded in 1689 they really know their stuff.
And it shows in their equipment and innovation.
The Husqvarna ProForest Chain Saw Helmet System excels in almost every factor that we rate the best chainsaw helmets on.
The visor uses Husqvarnas special ‘Free View System’ to enable fully free vision when the visor is up.
Even when the mesh is down, visibility is still extremely good whilst providing excellent protection from dirt and water. It locks both ways and allows much better airflow than a plexiglass visor, allowing the user to keep cooler.
The etched visor also means less weight and low light reduction.
The Ear Defenders offer a 26(a) decibel rating, which is excellent for over-ear muffs and brings the average decibels produced by a professional chainsaw which is 106, down to 80, this is within the safe working limits.
The only reason it did not score a 5 is that 80 is at the very top end of the safe working limits for the recommended safe decibel limit.
The build quality of the Husqvarna ProForest Chain Saw Helmet is exceptional, this is a helmet built for professionals and DIY users alike if you want a helmet that will last a long time this is the choice for you.
One unique selling point to the Husqvarna ProForest Chain Saw Helmet is its UV expiration indicator.
Working in direct sunlight all day will damage any helmet, no matter how good the materials used are, but the Husqvarna ProForest Chain Saw Helmet comes with a UV expire indicator.
This will show you the current condition of the helmet and will let you know the right time to replace it.
The helmet is also professionally approved for both low temperature and high-temperature work meaning you can work in temperatures ranging from -40 to +50 degrees Celsius.
When it comes to comfort, this helmet is king, boasting a 6-point harness for less pressure and added comfort.
The ear defenders adjust both sideways and vertically allowing the user to adjust their defenders, this is useful in cases such as needing to have a brief conversation with someone without removing the helmet.
The helmet lining is also replaceable, this is a much cheaper alternative to a full helmet replacement when the lining becomes old and uncomfortable. The entire helmet weighs just 0.69kg which is impressive considering all the features that it boasts.
Husqvarna obviously has the user’s comfort in mind, the sweatband is made of a special Egyptian cotton which allows it to absorb and wick moisture very effectively.
This type of cotton also dries extremely quickly and is bacteria resistant meaning even afters 100’s of hours of work it will not deteriorate or smell.
Ease Of Assembly
When it comes to assembling the helmet, everything is straight forward when following Huqvarnas easy to follow user guide.
One small gripe which users seem to have is that the visor is difficult to attach, but for such an amazing helmet we think this is a small price to pay.
All in all, this is simply the best helmet on the market. It is marketed at professionals and has a decent price tag.
If you are a DIY user and want an excellent helmet and don’t mind the cost, we would still highly recommend this helmet.
If it is a bit too expensive for your needs don’t fret, keep reading, our next helmet is much more budget-friendly, but still boasts excellent features.
#2 Husqvarna 577764601 Pro Forest Helmet
As a mid-range offering from the same brand as our number one choice, straight away you can tell this is a Husqvarna product. Built from the ground up with the same attention to detail as the ProForest Chain Saw Helmet System.
However, the cut in the price means there are certain aspects of this helmet that are slightly less cutting edge than their top range model.
This helmet comes with an extremely tough and resistant mesh visor, it offers industry-leading protection, the only drawback on this model is the weight.
It is heavier than the ProForest Chain Saw Helmet System’s faceguard. However, don’t let this put you off, the weight difference isn’t massively noticeable, and you still get the world-class protection Husqvarna are known for.
The ear defenders on this model are ridiculously impressive for the price. With a 25a DB rating, these will protect you from any hearing damage inflicted by using loud machinery.
The muffs can be adjusted vertically and horizontally, allowing the user a good level of control. These earmuffs are built to last and Husqvarna has managed to provide all this protection whilst maintaining low pressure on the ears.
This means they are comfortable to wear all day.
As with all of Husqvarnas products, this helmet is built to last. Even under the highest workloads, this helmet will keep you protected.
Unlike some lower-cost helmets, this is a helmet that won’t need replacing every couple of months.
With a helmet with this price tag, you don’t expect it to be the most comfortable helmet on the market.
However, Husqvarna has really exceeded our expectations here, with a 6-point textile suspender system and Egyptian cotton sweat-wicking headband you can expect comfort unrivaled by any in its price range.
And, if you happen the be using a Husqvarna chainsaw, you’re going to very color co-ordinated!
Ease of Assembly
In our experience, Husqvarna has always produced easy to assemble products with good user guides and this helmet is no exception.
This helmet is outstanding for the price tag, if you want the very best in protection comfort and longevity then this is the helmet I would suggest.
It misses out on some of the top-end features of its much more expensive brother. But for anything other than the most strenuous use, this is the best value for money helmet on the market.
#3 The TR Industrial Forestry Safety Helmet and Hearing Protection System
A much more budget-friendly option, the TR Industrial Forestry Safety Helmet, and Hearing Protection System is impressive for its price tag. Impressive enough that it holds the spot as Amazon’s Choice under the chainsaw helmet category, which shows that to the average DIY chainsaw user who doesn’t need a top-end professional helmet this might be the best all-around choice.
This helmet comes with two visors: mesh and plastic, the mesh visor is effective although slightly on the heavy side. Whereas the plastic visor, whilst effective, is not as impact resistant as some of the more expensive models.
The ear defenders on this model offer a modest 22 dBa reduction rating, which doesn’t quite make the professional-grade, only reducing the dB level to 84 which is 4db over the industry recommendation for workers working 8 hours a day.
Also, the ear defenders are not made of the same quality materials as the higher-end models and this may lead to deterioration. Consequently, this could lower the effectiveness of ear protection as the product ages which is something to think about.
With a lower price tag, unfortunately, comes a lower durability score. That being said, this helmet will last a long time for the average user.
Put under a professional workload its lifespan will be considerably less then Husqvarnas high-end helmets. But if you are looking for a helmet for low-occasional use it will hold up fine.
If you are reading these reviews from a management point of view, we would not suggest this helmet for your everyday workers.
It would, however, make an excellent backup helmet in case one of your workers forgets or breaks his main helmet.
The plexiglass visor on this model will offer good protection but scratches fairly easy, meaning visibility may start to become a problem, and replacement visors are not available to purchase.
Obviously with a helmet at this price you can’t expect comfort to match a helmet with a price tag 5x more. That being said, this helmet is still comfortable.
Breathability is good, the headband is comfortable and the air vents on top of the helmet are well designed. The dial knob provides easy adjustment and fits a good range of 20-24.5 inches.
Ease Of Assembly
This helmet has received some negative comments based on it being hard to assemble. Having assembled this helmet myself, I would say that these reviews are aimed in the wrong direction.
The problem with the assembly is poor instruction from the manufacturer. When I tried to assemble it following the included material, I found it extremely difficult.
Then I went on Youtube and looked for a “how do I do this” video. After watching that, I found it very easy to do. If you read this review and go on to buy this helmet, I would advise you to do the same.
Although this helmet has its faults, for the money, it is an outstanding piece of kit. It probably isn’t the right choice for you if you are a professional.
This isn’t because it isn’t up to the job safety-wise, it is because this helmet just isn’t quite durable or comfortable enough for top-end workers. Also, the fact you cannot buy replacement parts is disappointing.
#4 Oregon 563474 Chainsaw Safety Protective Helmet With Visor Combo Set
A strong contender in the budget-mid range category, Oregon has created a helmet that prides itself on excelling in simplicity.
Sturdy and comfortable, it has less of the fancy options of its competitors, but it doesn’t try to be anything it’s not. Aimed at people doing DIY and workers who may not be operating a chainsaw all day.
Simply put, it’s perfectly practical.
6 Point adjustable harness for comfort
Stainless mesh visor
Cap mounted ear protection
This helmet comes with a visor wider than a lot of its competitors and is made of stainless steel. It has great visibility, is adjustable and is very effective in protecting the user from foreign objects.
The visor mechanism is sturdy and easy to use.
For such a budget helmet the ear defenders are surprisingly well made, the material will take a lot of wear and tear and keep their integrity.
With a 24 dBa rating, they will protect you from most loud noises although I would not advise using this for over 6 hours a day. If you need to wear your helmet for this long, I’d advise a model with a 26 dBa rating or above.
Even though this helmet doesn’t have a huge host of features, its durability is impressive. Having fewer mechanisms and fiddly adjusters means that whilst this helmet lacks features, it will last a long time without any parts breaking.
We have to give it to Oregon; most other manufacturers are trying to produce fancier and more complicated helmets. Oregon has decided not to go that route, instead, they have created a product that is extremely durable.
If you look after this helmet it will last you just as long as the top-level contenders.
One thing that does let Oregon down is the fact you cannot order replacement parts for this helmet, but at its price tag, we really don’t think this is an issue.
At this price range, you don’t expect much when it comes to comfort, but we can honestly say this helmet will surprise you as much as us.
With 6 well-placed ventilation holes, comfortable earmuffs and a 6-way adjustment system, this helmet is actually one of the most comfortable helmets we have reviewed.
Ease of Assembly
In every other category, this helmet has scored high considering its price, but it has one huge negative drawback.
We had heard from several people who have bought and assembled this helmet that is an absolute nightmare.
Often when I hear this, we think people exaggerate a little bit. But we have personally bought every helmet on this list in order to review them fairly. And we can honestly say, the instructions to assembling this helmet are perhaps the worst assembly instructions in history!
It took us nearly 45 minutes and several Youtube videos to do it right. It is a shame that a helmet that scores so well in every category is let down so much here.
If you can deal with the horrible assembly, then there isn’t much you can fault with this helmet.
A helmet that excels at everything a helmet should do on a basic level. This is a real workhorse of a helmet.
If you are a DIY user or low-middle use professional and don’t want to splash the cash out on the likes of the Husqvarnas then this is where we would spend our money.
6 Point adjustable harness for comfort
Stainless mesh visor
Cap mounted ear protection
#5 NoCry 6-in-1 Industrial Forestry Safety Helmet
A budget helmet aimed at people who don’t need a helmet for everyday use. Cheap and affordable, whilst still being comfortable and offering protection that will be enough for occasional use and DIY users. Don’t let the price tag put you off however, this helmet has some impressive safety specs for a low budget model.
Polycarbonate visor for eye protection
Mesh visor for debris protection
Fully adjustable one size fits all
This helmet comes with a polycarbonate visor and steel mesh, which makes it extremely lightweight whilst still providing complete face protection. It is also interchangeable which makes it great for people who are multi-skilled and need different levels of protection for different tasks.
Surprisingly, for such a budget helmet, the ear defenders have a decibel protection rating as high as our no.1 choice, the Husqvarna full system. At 26 dB protection you can work all day knowing your ears are protected. The only difference is the quality of the material used in these earmuffs, for occasional use and home users they will last for a long lifespan. Unfortunately, if you are wearing this helmet for 6+ hours a day the materials will degrade at a faster rate, meaning replacements will have to be made often.
As long as you are not using this helmet for commercial use, we can see this helmet lasting you for years to come with no bother. Its extremely well made, but it just doesn’t have the component quality to hold up to extended periods of commercial use.
This helmet is a mixed bag when it comes to comfort. If your head is a close fit to the size of one of its adjustments, then you will have no problem. However, if you fall in-between, it will be an uncomfortable fit. Apart from this, the earmuffs are comfortable, the helmet sits nicely on the head and the airflow is decent.
Ease of Assembly Unfortunately, this is another helmet in the budget range that has some hard to interpret instructions. Although nowhere near as terrible as Oregon’s assembly guide, it is still reasonably difficult. It took us 10 minutes using the manual, not a deal-breaker we know, but it is still frustrating that companies don’t take their time in creating good user manuals.
The perfect helmet for the DIY enthusiast, it has a great interchangeable visor with lots of options for different tasks. It has over the top ear protection that will protect any home user from any damaging noises. If any of our friends or relatives, not in the commercial industry, asked for a good helmet to use at home whilst strimming or removing small trees this would be our suggestion.
Polycarbonate visor for eye protection
Mesh visor for debris protection
Fully adjustable one size fits all
Why Do You Need a Chainsaw Helmet?
Helmets are one of, if not the most, important pieces of equipment for anyone considering work involving a chainsaw. A lot of chainsaw users especially the older generation don’t use helmets, often down to cost, poor education, and training or just simple stubbornness.
This becomes clear in a study National Electronic Injury Surveillance System for the years 2009–2013. During this period 115,896 injuries were reported due to chainsaw use; 95% of these were males, the majority in the age bracket of 30-59.
These findings suggest that there may be a correlation to the age of workers and willingness to adapt to wearing up to date safety equipment.
With the most common chainsaw related injuries coming from laceration and foreign objects damaging the face and eyes when operating a chainsaw, helmets are a sure-fire way to protect the user’s eyes and face from high-speed objects created during cutting.
They even offer some protection when kickback occurs, which is that heart-stopping moment when unexpectedly the chainsaw jumps out of the cut, usually towards the users’ face.
If correct procedures and machine maintenance have been followed and the chain brake works successfully, then a good helmet will offer good protection when the cutter bar hits the helmet.
The health and safety equipment industry has taken off massively in recent years. With health and safety being the “in” thing it can be a minefield deciding what equipment to choose to keep you safe.
With such a dangerous machine comes companies willing to monopolize on users who want to be able to work safely. These companies produce expensive helmets with features that are sometimes overkill, and with a high price tag that doesn’t match the product.
So, stick with us and we will help you chose the helmet that is the right fit for you.
If you guys are like us, we are just as tired as you of the technical jargon and overpriced products on the market. With so many helmets being created and flaunted as “the best chainsaw helmet”, in most cases you don’t need the most expensive helmet on the market.
There are usually much better options, not just for your safety but also for the cost. In this article we cover a range of helmets, ranging from the hardcore professional to DIY worker, we have you covered.
We have done some rigorous research and rounded up our top 5 picks for you and have included a buying guide including how we decided on these 5, so if you want more information on why we have chosen these specific helmets you will find that in the guide.
If you don’t want to read all the technical jargon and just want to know what helmet to buy to suit your needs, this is the quick guide to the 5 helmets we suggest you buy.
If you scroll down past that you can see our in-depth review of each helmet and an explanation of our review process. So, if you are looking for good honest advice on what to wear to keep those brains intact, trust me, you’re in the right place.
Buying Guide / Our Process When Reviewing the Best Chainsaw Helmets
Unlike a lot of people reviewing safety equipment we have interviewed real-life workers, we’ve done our research.
In the old days, health and safety rules in regards to safety equipment were very relaxed. As a result of this many gruesome injuries have happened over the years due to the lack of a helmet.
We have spent many hours and read hundreds of reviews. We have studied statistics on commercial health and safety. The problem with health and safety equipment is that it is designed by people who have never actually had to wear it day in day out.
We have even gone so far as to get in touch with the boss of a large-scale tree removal company. He is a great boss, who really cares about his workers. He provides new safety equipment regularly free of charge.
Because of this he has been through most helmets available on the market so rest assured the reviews you will find here are well researched, and from people who have actually worn these helmets, as opposed to some sites that are just trying to sell them to you.
Now our review process comes from two perspectives, safety and comfort. After finding hundreds of apparently “amazing helmets” we have whittled down our choices to these 5.
We have researched the safety specs and got physical reviews from real-life workers who have worn them.
When we asked him what his workers thought was the most important factor in regards to purchasing the best chainsaw helmet, much as I expected, their answer was comfort.
However, we realize that comfort isn’t the only important factor. So, we used different criteria. We came up with a list of important factors to consider when choosing the best chainsaw helmet.
Using these criteria, we really do think our criteria have allowed us to find the best helmets on the market.
Here is a list of the criteria we used when grading the helmets.
Injuries to the eyes are one of the most common injuries to chainsaw users. Although most of these injuries are minor, larger chips penetrating the eyes can lead to some very serious long-term damage, with the worst case being loss of the particular eye affected.
Although that is the worst case, other serious forms of damage can occur from foreign objects entering or penetrating the eye. Retinal laceration (scratching of the eyeball) and gangrene can occur from even the smallest wood chip.
Tiny particles from sawdust, which may not even be noticeable, can cause serious problems over a long period of time. A user exposed to these particles daily may not even begin to see noticeable effects until later on in life, at which point it is too late.
It is crucial that the visor quality on the helmet is of a high standard, keeping the dangerous particles out of your eyes, throat, and nose.
Just as important, is that the visor provides the best possible visibility. A visor that is good at keeping particles out but gives poor visibility can lead to injury, as the user may not be able to see properly whilst operating the machinery.
Ear Defenders – Hearing Protection
As the world as health and safety grows into the behemoth it is becoming, more and more long-term studies are being published. After reading these studies the findings are clear, ear protection in the workplace is of godly importance.
One such study found that between 1996 and 2010 a staggering 58% of workers exposed to average construction levels of noise have suffered significant hearing loss.
That’s over half of all workers.
This is because receptors to the brain are permanently damaged. Now we won’t go too much into the stats and the science here, but the internet is full of first-hand stories of individuals who have witnessed first-hand on a personal level what this can do to workers and their families.
So, when reviewing these helmets thoroughly in order to help you pick the best chainsaw helmet for you. The quality of the ear defenders is of the utmost importance.
Durability can be split into two sections. Firstly, how durable is your helmet under dangerous situations.
If your helmet cannot withstand a considerable impact from above, and you work in a workplace where there is a likelihood of falling objects then the strength and durability of your helmet could mean the difference between life and death.
The second aspect of durability is how long your helmet is going to last you. Often individuals and companies opt for cheaper options when it comes to safety equipment, but if that helmet needs replacing more often than a better but more expensive model it is not cost-effective in the long run.
Important aspects when it comes to durability are the strength of the components, such as having a strong mesh faceguard. Another thing to consider is UV resistance, this is because over its lifetime your helmet is sure to be in direct sunlight for long periods of time.
Most people don’t consider this but it’s an important factor to think about when choosing your helmet.
In our eyes, the best chainsaw helmet is one that balances cost with longevity.
Helmet comfort is extremely important, if you are reading these reviews as the boss of a company, health and safety is probably the most important factor you will look at.
Comfort, however, is usually lower down in the list of factors you look when choosing the best helmet for your workers.
However, if you ask your individual workers, the ones who actually wear the equipment day in day out, they usually rank comfort as the most important thing to look for in their safety workwear.
So if you’re in charge of a workforce and you are supplying helmets, it’s really important that you do not overlook comfort in the equipment you are buying.
Reading studies and articles written by those in health and safety, we have gained some valuable real-world insights.
And one of those is this: It does not matter how much protection your helmet provides, if your workforce dislikes the fit and comfort of the helmet, they won’t wear them religiously.
When it comes to comfort, the different features you need to consider are things like: quality of the padding, having multi-point adjustability and the airflow and breathability of the helmet.
A combination of all these things will keep the user more comfortable when wearing, making it less likely that they will take the helmet off.
Ease of Assembly.
A less important factor, but a factor all the less, is the ease of assembly of the helmet from brand new.
If parts are hard to attach or have tricky mechanisms it can lead to the jeopardization of the helmet’s safety.
This isn’t such a crucial factor when it comes to reviewing the helmets, but we will still grade the manufacturer here on two points. The ease of assembly, and the quality of the assembly instructions.
Nowadays, workers are becoming much more educated in the field of health and safety. New workers are educated from the beginning, and the older generation are slowly coming around to the idea that working safely is crucial to their own wellbeing and even to efficiency.
In an industry that is growing as fast as health and safety, it can be hard to keep up. Our industry has always been dangerous, serious injuries happen every day. It is something we all accept and try to avoid. On top of avoiding the immediate dangers that working with dangerous machinery such as a chainsaw entails, we now have to look at the long-term side effects.
Every day new studies are published documenting the effects of working with the tools of our trade. Choosing protective gear that is going to protect you from the long-term side effects, such as hearing loss, can be challenging.
Everyday health and safety companies are coming up with newer and better equipment to keep you safer at work. Deciding which companies to go for however, can be a chore.
It has taken a lot of effort to provide you with these reviews. This is mainly due to the fact we have taken the time to thoroughly examine each product we talk about in person and have interviewed real workers like yourselves in order to provide unbiased and useful information.
Hopefully you have found these reviews helpful and we hope that we have made the hassle of choosing such important equipment a little bit easier for you.
Health and safety may not be exciting, but no one deserves to endanger their quality of life for the sake of work.
We hope these reviews have helped you, and we all hope you all stay safe!
Last update on 2021-06-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API