How much attention do you give your personal protective equipment? Do you just throw it in the back of the wagon once you've finished the job? How do you dry out your gear once it's been soaked in the latest summer downpour? In this post, I'll take a look at chainsaw gloves - and hopefully they don't look like the pair in the photo. Find out more after the jump...
As you can guess from the picture at the top, these chainsaw gloves were not in a condition to provide any protection - if you're gloves look like that, do yourself a favour and replace them. New chainsaw gloves are not really that cheap - not like a pair of work gloves at £1.99, and so you should look after them. But how?
Ever read those little paper booklets that come with new gloves / jackets / helmets / boots / etc.? Stihl recently sent us a new pair of gloves and I thought I'd take a moment to browse through the leaflet and report my findings.
During the course of normal tree work, chainsaw gloves live a hard life, dragging brash, using a chainsaw, winching and so on. They get pretty grubby, pretty quickly and if they then get wet as well they'll set rock hard - making them difficult to put on and uncomfortable to wear. Improper care will also accelerate the demise of the stitching caused by fuel, oil and maybe stump protection fluids - all things that are not recommended to come in to contact with the gloves.
I've never read the leaflet that comes with gloves and I'm as guilty as the next person of just abusing them until they fall apart and then getting another pair - but what I found was interesting. For instance, were you aware that you can wash those gloves? I wasn't, but it turns out that these Stihl gloves can be washed gently in warm, soapy water when they get dirty. Or contaminated with petrol. Or oil. Or indeed, anything else. Of course, they need to be dried, in just the same way they should be if they get thoroughly soaked during inclement weather.
Drying gloves should be done without unnatural sources of heat, i.e. don't go putting them directly on a radiator, or use a hairdryer to drive off the moisture. Put them somewhere where they can dry out slowly over time and once dry, they should be treated with a leather feed - I'm thinking something like NikWax should do.
So, it seems that looking after your gloves might just save you some money - but there's obviously a 'fiddle-factor' involved in maintaining them. Having said that, I've got an oldish pair of Husqvarna gloves that could do with a good clean, I might just try it and see what happens...