History of the Chainsaw and Where It Has Gone

Everything around us had to come from somewhere, whether it’s from nature or man-made, is usually not of any importance to us on a daily basis. Do you ever look around and wonder where all things different things and inventions came from? Chainsaws are one such thing.

They are a standard tool you would find in any shed, garage, work truck, or hardware store. But where did it come from? Someone had to invent the tool and master it into what it is today. Naturally, like with anything, people found a way to make sure that the chainsaw will remain in the history books for a long time.

The History of the Chainsaw

In the very beginning, the late 1800’s up through World War I, the machine that would be redeveloped to become the chainsaw was an impractical, enormous machine. It sometimes required another machine to move it and two people were required in order to operate it. This made the machine a last resort choice as a solution to a problem or a job. Now, it is a first choice for more than just work.

The chainsaw, as we know it today, can be traced back to post World War I Germany. This was a time of great advancement and discovery in the sciences and technology. This was smack dab in the middle of the Industrial Revolution. People, like Ford and Rockefeller, were exploring science, and how science and technology could enrich our everyday lives. The chainsaw was invented by Andreas Stihl, in Germany, in 1926. He was a mechanical engineer with the will and the know how to help improve tools for the hard-working people of the world. Up to this point, taking down a tree was labor intensive and exhausting. The chainsaw would revolutionize an entire industry and make it far more profitable and safer.

Initially, the tool was known as the “cut off chainsaw for electric power,” but would undergo further development, redesign, and perfecting. In 1929, Stihl patented the first gas powered, mobile, tool called the “tree felling machine.” This tool would be his bread and butter because, to this day, Stihl is still one of the top manufacturers of chainsaws and other power tools.

Now this tool is used by so many people across the world. People in Alaska use chainsaws to cut holes in the ice for ice fishing. Some people use them for their outdoor chores. Some people, eve, gather in Wisconsin every year to compete in the Chainsaw Sculpture Championships and show off their art skills. Then there are professionals like landscapers, arborist, and firefighters who use them to get a job done quickly and efficiently.

Chainsaws in the Guinness Book of World Records

Chainsaws not only have their practical use, but they also have uses that are inventive, albeit dangerous. They have been central props that defines movies and some movie characters, like “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” They also are used to produce beautiful sculptures out of wood and ice. Some of these sculptures are the most beautiful sculptures you have ever seen. Some people have decided to use chainsaws to plaster themselves into the Guinness Book of World Records. These people are doing tricks with running chainsaws that will just make you cringe to watch. Here are some Guinness World Records that are held by people using chainsaws in a plethora of scary and death defying ways.

  • The largest chainsaw was built in 1996 in Michigan, by a retired iron worker. The saw was 22’11” long and 6 feet tall and a functioning saw. They also, affectionately, named the saw “Big Gus.”
  • The most juggling catches with a chainsaw is 94 catches in 37 seconds. This record was set back in 2011 by Ian Stewart of Canada. Oh, and yes, they were on, they had to be in order for him to beat the record.
  • Thaneswar Guragai of Nepal, balanced a running chainsaw on his chin for 5 minutes and 7 seconds, in 2017. That is impressive, and scary.
  • The most under-the-leg juggling passes with a chainsaw was 40 passes in one minute. This record is held by two men who hold other dangerous world records, some involving swords. They broke this record in 2012 at a Guinness World Record special in China.

The story of the chainsaw is actually a great microcosm for the ability people have when they apply themselves to something. The young engineer realized the need for a better tool, and he made it happen. He created something that is a universal tool across the globe. People have also found unique ways to use chainsaws that will keep them in the record books for generations to come. Chain Cutting is a great website to help you decipher the top models on the market right now. Happy sawing!

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