When Were Chainsaws Invented? [Who, Where & How]

Chainsaws are powerful and loud cutting tools that use chains or belts as their source of power. These power tools are used by tree trimmers and loggers for cutting firewood. But do you know when were chainsaws invented?

Chainsaws were invented in 1780 by doctors John Aitken and James Jeffray. They were originally designed to be used as medical tools, but they quickly found use in the lumber industry as well. 

If you are interested in chainsaws, then you’ve found the right article! I’ll share the history and development of chainsaws and explain to you how they became one of the most important tools for every household.

Also Read: Barbed Wire Invention

When Were Chainsaws Invented?

when were chainsaws invented

Invented in 1780 by doctors John Aitken and James Jeffray, chainsaws were originally used for medical purposes. 

The first chainsaws used a rotating blade of sharpened links of metal held together by rivets. In the early years, they were mostly used to cut bone.

The first chainsaw was invented because doctors wanted to amputate a patient’s leg, but they didn’t have any way to do it without hurting their patient.

So they came up with an idea: they would use a small saw on the end of a pole and attach it to a horse’s harness so that the horse could pull it back and forth across the patient’s leg until it was cut off. 

This worked very well!

They created a tool called the “curved saw” which had teeth that were curved like a sickle.

This made it easier for them to cut through bone without having to be so precise about where they cut into the bone.

1780 chainsaw

Invented in 1780 by doctors John Aitken and James Jeffray, the 1780 chainsaw is a handy tool for anyone who needs to see through things. 

It was originally developed as an alternative to amputation for treating gangrenous limbs, but it also has many other applications today.

The 1780 chainsaw used a spinning chain attached to two handles that are powered by a crank. You can use it to cut through wood, metal, or other materials—even human flesh! 

The chain can be replaced when it becomes dull or broken and sharpened back into shape again with a file.

When was the gas-powered chainsaw invented?

The gasoline-powered chainsaw was invented in 1929 by Andreas Stihl and Joseph Buford Cox

The two men developed the chainsaw in Germany, where they were working together on an alternative to the hand-cranked saws that were being used at the time.

A chainsaw is a machine used for cutting trees and other large pieces of wood. It uses a bar with teeth to cut through the wood. 

The machine has changed since its creation, but the basic principles have remained the same. 

The chainsaw is used for both commercial and residential purposes.

Modern chainsaws

Modern chainsaws come in different sizes and purposes. The most famous one is Stihl. 

It’s a German brand that was founded in 1928 by Franz Stihl, who wanted to create a better way to cut wood. 

He died in 1980 at the age of 91, still working as an engineer for the company he founded.

Stihl has always been based on innovation and quality, which makes it one of the top brands in the world today. 

Their products are known for their durability, power, and reliability.

The best thing about modern chainsaws is that they’re powerful, lightweight, and easy to use. 

You can cut down trees, trim branches, clear brush from your lawn, or even build furniture! We know how much you love using your modern chainsaw.

Electric chainsaws

Husqvarna is one of the best producers of electric chainsaws.

 The Husqvarna 440E is a great example of an electric chainsaw that produces high-quality cuts, but with less noise and vibration than gasoline-powered models.

This model is equipped with an 18-inch bar, which means it can handle most jobs around the house and yard.

It’s also easy to start, so you don’t have to worry about waiting for it to warm up before getting started.

Who Invented the Lightweight Chainsaw?

Robert McCulloch, an American entrepreneur, invented a lightweight chainsaw in 1949.

Earlier, he produced motors for the U.S. Air Force during World War II. 

He then started his own business and began selling chainsaws for farmers to use in their fields. 

The first chainsaws were loud, heavy, and very limited in their uses as they required a source of power to run them.

McCulloch’s invention of the lightweight chainsaw was revolutionary because it was small enough for a person to carry around with ease and did not require any external source of power to run it. 

It had an engine that ran on gasoline and could cut through wood more quickly than an axe or saw could do. 

The invention made it possible for farmers to clear their fields much quicker than before, which helped them save money on labor costs!

Why Were Chainsaws Invented: Fact Check

hisotry of chainsaws

It’s simple to tell why chainsaws were invented. The first chainsaw was invented in 1780 by doctors John Aitken and James Jeffray. 

It was used for medical purposes, for amputation of diseased bones.

In 1876, an American named Edwin Beard Budding invented the first portable chainsaw. 

Budding’s invention was intended for use on farms to trim branches from fruit trees and harvest firewood.

In 1905, a French inventor named Gustave Trouvé patented a gasoline-powered chainsaw that had more power than any previous model. 

This new type of chainsaw was also safer than previous models because it had a clutch that allowed the user to stop the blade while it was still spinning.

Around 1910, the first commercial bar or circular saws were developed by William S. 

McDonough in New York City and William E. Metzger in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

These early models were very inefficient and dangerous to use since they lacked power and speed control mechanisms like those found on modern machines today.

What Was the Chainsaw Originally Invented For?

The chainsaw was originally invented as a surgical device and named after the Greek god of medicine, Asclepius.

It was invented as a medical tool in 1780 by John Aitken and James Jeffray. The chainsaw was used to cut bone during amputation surgery.

It was not until 1905 that the modern-day chainsaw was invented.

The first chainsaws were powered by gasoline engines, but today’s gas-powered chainsaws are much louder and produce more pollution than electric models.

Electric chainsaws are quieter, safer, easier to maintain, and don’t require any fuel or oil changes.

History of the Chainsaws

Chainsaws are one of the most versatile tools in a woodworker’s arsenal. 

They come in all shapes and sizes, from small saws for limbing to big saws for bucking.

It’s easy to get confused about the chainsaw history, so I’ve put together this brief guide to help you understand where chainsaws came from and how they’re changing today.

  • 1780—The first saws were used to perform medical operations and amputations. Chainsaws were not very popular at this time as they were too dangerous to use.
  • 1918—Canadian millwright James Shand invented the first portable chainsaw. This was a huge breakthrough in the history of chainsaws and made them safer to use.
  • 1929—Andreas Stihl patented his gasoline-powered chainsaw. His invention was a very important milestone in the history of chainsaws because it allowed them to become more powerful and easier to use.
  • 1937—The first electric chainsaw was invented by Raymond Murray in 1937. It was much quieter than traditional gas-powered models, but it was also less powerful and more expensive.
  • 1949—Robert McCulloch invented lightweight chainsaws after World War II ended in 1949. He was tired of using heavy and bulky power tools that were hard to handle and unsafe for everyday use by the average consumer.
  • In the 1950sChainsaws were first introduced to the public worldwide as a tool for farmers and lumberjacks who needed to cut down trees for economic reasons or for firewood.
  • The 1960s—Corded chainsaws are still popular today because they offer many benefits over their cordless counterparts. For example, they don’t require batteries or charging times.

In the 2000s—Chainsaws were still popular but there were changes in how they were used and what types of materials they could cut. Some models had automatic oilers that would keep them well lubricated while others had smaller engines that required less fuel to operate them effectively.


Let’s check the list of frequently asked questions about when were chainsaws invented.

When did they start using chainsaws to cut trees?

Chainsaws were first used to cut trees in the 1920s. The first chainsaws were huge and heavy—they weighed about 40 pounds each!

When did lumberjacks start using chainsaws?

Chainsaws became more popular in the 1950s when small sawmills began using them to cut lumber for building materials.

How did people cut firewood before chainsaws?

They used axes and hand saws. Axes were used to split wood into smaller pieces. Hand saws were used for cutting the logs into smaller sections that could then be stored for later use.

Can you use a jigsaw to cut firewood?

If you have some straight planks that are too long to fit in your fireplace and they don’t have any knots in them, then you can use a jigsaw to cut them as firewood.

What is the oldest chainsaw brand?

Stihl chainsaws are the oldest chainsaw brand in the world. They have been manufacturing chainsaws since 1929.


To sum it up, since its invention in the late 1700s, the chainsaw history is filled with challenges, great times, and achievements. 

These challenges involve sawmills, logging, and many other industries. 

But one is for sure: In the future chainsaws will continue to make history.

I hope you’ve found this story interesting and amusing. 

There is a plenty of other interesting information on this topic, so if you want to find it out, feel free to leave a comment in the comments section and I’ll respond quickly.