What’s the Difference Between UL and EN Standards for Chainsaw Trouser Protection?

Arboriculture is a global business. From England to Canada to France to Australia, every country needs arborists and foresters. 

With a hazardous job like this, you have a wide range of standards and regulations that need to be followed. Trouble is, those standards can differ from place to place.

The two major standards you need to worry about are the EN standards (for Europe) and the UL standards (for the USA.) So what are the differences?

EN Standards

Chainsaw trousers sold in Europe must adhere to the EN ISO 11393. Trousers are tested extensively to ensure they meet this standard.

This standard splits chainsaw trousers into four classes (covering chainsaw speed) and two types (covering the extent of protection.)

The four classes and two types are as follows:

  • Class 0: 16 m/s
  • Class 1: 20 m/s
  • Class 2: 24 m/s
  • Class 3: 28 m/s

  • Type A: Protection to the front of the legs.
  • Type B: Chap design. Protection to the front of the legs
  • Type C: Full protection to the front and back of the legs.

For example: Class 1 Type C pairs of trousers must be able to protect against a 20 m/s chainsaw to the front and back of the legs.

UL Standards

Chainsaw trousers sold in the USA must be certified by UL to ASTM F1897-14.

UL only makes a distinction between chainsaw trousers and chainsaw chaps. Both of these garments protect the front of the legs with the trousers including a 100mm wrapping around the left of each leg.

UL certified trousers also have a large tag on the back clearly marking it as such. 

The Differences

The most obvious difference between these two standards is the extent of options customers can consider. European customers are able to choose the design that best suits them from a variety of options.

The UL standards are more straightforward, offering two similar options for chainsaw protection.

There are a few differences regarding the testing methods used in each standard. Aspects such as drive units, number of tests and the material the test is performed on varies slightly.

Because of the differences in power, fixing methods, size of chains and angle of cuts, users should not assume that a garment is fit for use just because it passed another standard. An American user should not use trousers that have passed EN standards and not UL.


Put as simply as possible; EN standard trousers can be used in Europe while UL standard trousers can be used in America. There are various differences in the testing process that can lead to one pair of trousers being held to a separate standard than another. The very best thing you can do is to secure gear that adheres to the relevant safety standards of the country you are in.