The chainsaw has become one of the most important tools to have if you are in the business of lumbering or are leaving in a wooded area. Chainsaw is a portable mechanical saw; it uses a set of teeth that is attached to a chain that rotates through a guiding bar. But the question some people may be asking is, “when was the chainsaw invented”?
The origin of the chainsaw is not very clear. But there seems to be a consensus on where it originated.
Video: Chainsaw Basics:How to safely use a chainsaw
When Was The Chainsaw Invented?
The surprising thing is that the accepted origin of the chainsaw is from a field that is totally removed from the industry it is known for now. The chainsaw or a tool that has the same resemblance as a chainsaw was first used for surgery in 1780.
Initially, before the advent of the cesarean section, when a woman is having difficulty in childbirth due to the size of the baby or the baby is breeched, a procedure called symphysiotomy is adopted.
Symphysiotomy is a process of removing some bone parts and cartridge to create more room for the easy passage of the baby through the birth canal.
At that time, this process was being done using a saw and a knife. It was a very painful and time-consuming process.
This led to the invention of the chainsaw-like tool. With this tool, the cutting of the hip bone was made faster and little less painful. It is important to note that there was nothing like administering anaesthesia at that time.
This ingenuity was pioneered by two doctors of Scottish origin named James Jeffray and John Aitken, in 1780. But the tool was not as big as the chainsaw that we know of today. Its size is that of a kitchen knife.
Other doctors quickly embraced the use of this tool for other forms of surgery that involved the cutting of bones, including the amputation of diseased bones.
Another German by the name of Bernhard Heine, who was an orthopaedist, also invented a tool that has the shape of a chainsaw in 1830. He called it osteotome. It had a link of the chain that is equipped with tiny cutting teeth that has its edges arranged at angle.
The chain rotated within the guiding blade. It was purely designed for the cutting of bone just as the name implies. Just as the Scottish Doctors had in mind, this tool was also made to make the cutting of bones much easier and faster.
What Is The Oldest Chainsaw Made?
The earliest known chainsaw that was patented was by Samuel Bens from San Francisco. He got it patented on the 17th of January 1905. His intention was to use it for the felling of giant redwoods. But the problem is that the model he made then was very heavy and quite cumbersome.
As a matter of fact, most of the chainsaws of that age were very heavy and had to be pushed on wheels to get them mobile. But in 1918, a Canadian called Millwright J. Shand developed a more portable chainsaw and had it patented.
His patent elapsed in 1930. When he did not renew the patency another company from Germany called Festo, copied his invention and developed on it in 1933. But the company is now known as Festool and is still in the production of portable power and electrical tools.
Other people that have made a notable contribution to the development of the chainsaw are Andreas Stihl and Joseph B. Cox. The former was the first person to patent a chainsaw powered by electricity. He also developed a chainsaw powered by gasoline in 1929.
But with the commencement of World War 2, the purchase of chainsaws from Germany was halted. All the above-mentioned chainsaw developers were from Germany. This led to the springing up of more chainsaw making companies in North America.
Among the oldest makers of the chainsaw in North America is Industrial Engineering Limited in 1947. They later transformed to Pioneer Saws Limited and later as part of a new power tools manufacturing company called Outboard Marine Co.
Oldest Chainsaw Manufacturers
The longest surviving manufacturer of the modern chainsaw in the world is Stihl. Their first chainsaw, an electro-chainsaw, made its first appearance in the market in 1926. The founder of the company, Andreas Stihl, is generally seen as the foremost inventor of the motorized and mobile chainsaw.
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The modern chainsaw has experienced a lot of transformation. At the earlier times, the chainsaw was very heavy, weighing as much as 116 pounds. They could not be handled by one person and had to be wheeled around.
But with the development of forged steels and aluminum, the chain saw became lighter. Also, in the cost, it was almost impossible for an individual to afford the money to buy it. It was mainly bought by lumbering firms and the military.
Furthermore, due to this development, the cost of production was drastically reduced. And as a result, the purchasing value dropped drastically.
As more manufacturers joined in the race of chain saw manufacturing, the machine witnessed rapid development. Husqvarna joined the fold and launched its 1st chainsaw in 1959. This model was equipped with a more modern feature.
One of the most notable features it came with was the noise reduction technology. They were able to achieve a 100% reduction in the reduction in noise with the use of hi-tech mufflers.
Furthermore, in 1964 Stihl manufactured the 1st ever anti-vibration hand. It made use of buffer elements which absorbed the vibration that emanated from the engine and blade.
Again, in 1980, it was the turn of Husqvarna to make another addition to the steady development of the chainsaw. Because of their concern for the safety of users of the machine, they invented the automated chain breaker.
This effectively upped the safety standard of chainsaws and led to the drastic reduction of the number of injuries linked to the breaking of the chain.
Who Makes The Best Chainsaw?
The two most popular chainsaws in the world are Stihl chainsaw and Husqvarna chainsaw. Their products are the most widely used in the world.
The choice of who makes the better chainsaw is quite a divisive issue. There is really no consensus on who makes the better chain saw. There are various criteria by which users of these machines use in judging the best amongst the two.
But it is accepted by all that both manufacturers make the best quality of chainsaws in the market. And they are the leaders when it comes to innovations and breath-taking technological breakthroughs in these machines.
When you look at the history of evolvement of chainsaws, you can’t fail to notice one thing. Most of the developments that have been witnessed over the years have been mainly from either Stihl or Husqvarna.
But we can give you the advantages that both brands have. It will help you in deciding which one is a better machine, depending on where your interest lies.
Additionally, there are other good chainsaws in the market like Echo, Craftsman, Homelite, and so on. These brands have their positives and relevance. Some are battery-powered while some others have other quality innovative additions to them that are quite interesting to the enthusiast.
But we would just look at the two most popular brands to see their qualities and attractive qualities.
The Advantages Of Husqvarna
Husqvarna is known as the oldest and largest power tools manufacturing company in the world. It started in Sweden around 1690 with the manufacturing of musket.
It took its name from the town that it was first founded in. And as we mentioned earlier, their forage into the chainsaw business started in 1959.
- The Husqvarna brand is reputed to have faster cutting ability than the Stihl brand.
- They have more presence in the online market than the Stihl brand.
- Their fuel tanks are larger and thereby make it possible for the operator to work for a longer period without interruption.
- They have been able to achieve a much higher fuel efficiency level and a lower rate of exhaust emission due to the use of X-TOROQ fuel efficiency technology.
- The Husqvarna brand is the most preferred chainsaw brand for professionals.
The Advantages Of Stihl
As we have mentioned above, Stihl is known to be a German company that is known for the manufacturing of power tools. They are the pioneer manufacturers of the chainsaw. It was founded in Stuttgart in 1926. It is a privately owned company and its headquarters is now Virginia.
In the United States alone, the company has a staff of over 2100 people. Most of these staff work in the Virginia factory. Its first-ever one-man chainsaw was manufactured in 1950.
- According to users, Stihl chainsaw’s low-end torques are better than that of Husqvarna and therefore more suitable for cutting tough trees.
- It has a lighter weight because of the smaller size of its tank. This makes it carry a smaller quantity of fuel. But the downside is that you will have a shorter time to work before going for a refill.
- Stihl chainsaws are much cheaper compared to Husqvarna.
- Stihl chainsaws are less stressful because they require less maintenance frequency than Husqvarna.
- Stihl chainsaws are the preferred saws for homeowners.
Video: When was the chainsaw invented:
If you prefer a visual explanation, watch this video for a detailed explanation.
With these qualities, it is now up to the user to decide which of the two is a better choice. These choices are based on the need and the type of job you intend to use it for.
Since the advent of the chainsaw machine, lumbering has had a lot of improvement in safety, speed, and quality of cuts.
During the pre-chainsaw era, the job of cutting down trees was a very tedious one. The major tool in use then was the axe. This is both risky and time-consuming. This was what led to the people in the business thinking of ways to overcome this obstacle.
This led to the invention of the chainsaw and brought a huge turn around in the timber industry. Looking back at its earliest known history in the medical field, up to when it was transformed to the power tool that we know it as today, the chainsaw has really come a long way. And from the look of things, it will still be with us for the foreseeable future.