Why Were Chainsaws Invented? (A Descriptive Guide)

Are you also hereafter hellomynamesjon shared a video on chainsaws claiming that they were first invented to help in childbirth? 

Were you clenching your knees at the time of watching that video? Clench them even harder as we also approve that he was right;

they were initially used in the operation theatre during the baby’s delivery. It sounds terrifying. Right? 

Chainsaws were first used in obstetrics. Chainsaws were originally the go-to equipment for killing in Hollywood.

The original reason for which the item was designed and utilised is likely to be even more terrifying.

Chainsaws were designed and used to assist pregnant women during childbirth. The chainsaws were not required if a woman gave delivery properly.

However, in some circumstances, this utility was essential.

For example, if a woman had difficulty giving birth to a tailbone, she would require a chainsaw.

In another case, the baby was so large that the mother was unable to push it out. Doctors would have to use a hand-cranked chainsaw with small teeth on a chain to cut the mother’s cartilage and ligaments,

making it easier to remove the baby. Childbirth can be a painful procedure, but it is significantly safer today than it was previously. 

Why Were Chainsaws Invented

However, caesarean sections were not commonly utilized many years ago because they were exceedingly dangerous, especially since anaesthetics had not yet been produced and

it is a large procedure. As a result, when babies become stuck or excessively tall because of a sitting position, surgeons have had to devise a new method of providing additional headroom.

In the meantime, the first published report on a caesarean section in the United States is even more alarming.

Dr John L. Richmond wrote about a difficult birth during a storm in the Western Journal of Medical and Physical Sciences in 1830.

After many hours of contractions that did not advance, the doctor concluded that the woman’s life was in grave danger, and I had “a deep and

solemn insight into my obligations, with only one case of ordinary pocket instruments, the caesarean section began around one o’clock that night.”

He cut into the mother with the blade of an oblique pair of scissors and attempted to extract the fetus.

“Because it was abnormally huge, and the mother was very overweight and alone,” he wrote, “I believed this aspect of my surgery would be more difficult than I expected.”

Because the mother was in too much suffering, he concluded that “a childless mother is preferable to a motherless kid” and began to save the mother while removing the fetus.

All of this is to emphasize that before using antiseptics and anaesthetics in medicine, caesarean sections were exceedingly hazardous and thus uncommon.

In the late 1700s, two Scottish doctors – John Aitken and James Jeffrey, developed the prototype for symphysiotomy.

Do you know what a symphysiotomy is and why was this procedure used? Most of the time, when babies are breech or larger, they become obstructed inside, which requires parts of bone to be removed.

The removal of cartilage or bone helps make space for the baby inside; this action was originally named symphysiotomy. 

Instead of a caesarean section for pregnant women, a symphysiotomy was done before, during or after birth.

The treatment involves cutting cartilage and ligaments in a pelvic joint to enlarge it and give birth to an unimpeded kid (or, in extremes, a pubiotomy, which implies cutting the bones in the pelvis itself).

The operation is susceptible to injury to the urethral and bladder, infection, pain and longer travel. 

Symphysiotomy became a standard operation for women who in 1597 had a congenital abnormality.

These conditions became less common in the late 1900s, after improved technology, hygiene, and professional practice reduced the danger of caesarean delivery.

In Ireland, some 1,500 women went through symphysiotomy inadvertently and without consent between 1944 and 1987, unintentionally and without consent.

In 2002, Matilda Behan, survivor, created an organization called Symphysiotomy Survivors with her dangling Bernadette.

Before the launch of chainsaws, the procedure was done by a knife, which was too time consuming and seemed much painful for the mother.

Do you know what’s even worse? All that was done without giving anaesthesia to the woman.

The question that arises is then ‘why were chainsaws invented?’. To reduce time and pain, chainsaws came into action as they were operated manually by just turning off the handle.

This handle turning moves the links of the chains attached around the guiding blade. Due to this mechanism, the procedure becomes way easier and faster.

Now, modern surgeries are a bit different, safer, and equipped with advanced technologies.

How Were Chainsaws Evolved?

Another version of the chainsaw was invented by a German orthopedist named Bernhard Heine in 1830, also for surgery.

He referred to it as the osteotome, literally the bone cutter from the Greek osteon (Bone) and Tomi.

At the beginning of the 1900s, people began to regard chainsaws outside medicine as useful.

In 1905 a guy named Samuel J. Bens of San Francisco granted the first patent for the electric chainsaw, the so-called “endless chainsaw.” His objective was to reduce enormous sequoias.

In 1926, Andreas Stihl patented the first electric chainsaw that was actually manufactured and sold.

Many of the early models required to be powered by two men. The aluminium and engine design upgrades made the latter considerably enhanced after World War II.

Modern chainsaws come in different sizes, from little electric saws to big “logger” saws for home and garden.

It was also employed during surgery for various crash and amputation operations till medical advancement had been abolished. 

It eventually became a wood carving tool when people knew how quickly and easily it was everywhere.

It became wider and stronger and became the brutal device that we now know. Symphysiotomies have been stopped but are still occurring in the “Third World” nations where a caesarean section has no operating room.

Who Invented Chainsaws

Whenever we are introduced to a new term, we are always concerned about its origin. So, this section of our article will let you know about the two-brother involved in the most asked question, ‘why were chainsaws invented?’.

Doctors John Aitken and James Jeffrey devised the horrific birth instrument in Scotland.

In the 1780s, two Scottish physicians were credited with inventing the chainsaw.

John Aitken worked as a surgeon at Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary and delivered medical lectures and demonstrations to university students. 

He is most recognized for inventing the chainsaw and other practical advances in surgery.

Dr Aitken’s co-inventor was Dr Jeffray, who studied at both Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities and dissected the bodies of prisoners condemned for murder.

Jeffrey held the chairs of anatomy and botany at Glasgow University beginning in 1790 and rose to become vice-rector in 1800. He was laid to rest on the north slope of Glasgow Necropolis.

Construction of Chainsaws

After reading the title, the first thing that came to mind would be a design of modern industry saw.

Right? The birth control devices, however, are not the same as the modern versions. It does not appear to be as large, deadly, or frightening as a 90cc saw.

The developers built the medical chainsaw as a tiny model with a blade with a chain on it.

The chainsaw’s design was based on a watch chain with teeth that moved with a hand crank.

This statement meant that, rather than seeing her doctor wielding a chainsaw against her vulva, the mother saw her doctor twisting a chainsaw against her vulva.

When the chainsaw was invented, obstetricians and gynaecologists in the field were astounded at how much better chainsaws could be utilized to execute symphysiotomies than the previous methods they relied on.

With this success in mind, the chainsaw was mechanized in the late 1800s to make it more practical for obstetricians and gynaecologists to use on expectant mothers.

However, the chainsaw was soon supplanted by the Gigli twist saw, mostly used to chop bones.

As a result, the timber industry adopted the motorized chainsaw in 1905 so that you could use the equipment on trees rather than women.

As you are now well-aware of ‘why chainsaws were invented’, let’s discuss the construction of chainsaws.

There are several parts of this brutal looking device. These are discussed below:

Engine of Chainsaws

Chainsaws are typically a two-way petroleum engine, usually 30 to 120 cm3 displacement, with an internal combustion engineer or a battery or cableless electric engine.

Fuel is normally fed to the engine via a carburettor at the inlet on a gasoline chainsaw. Modern gas chain saws employ a diaphragm carburettor

to suck gasoline out of the tank by changing the pressure difference in the crankcase to enable use in all directions.

Early engines featured carburettors that would stop a motor if it were overturned, with floating chambers. 

Appropriate idle velocity and air to fuel ratios, for instance, if the air filter is blocked or when the air filter is moved up / down.

The operator or, for certain saws, an electronic control automatically sets the carburettor.

Sage usually contains an anti-vibration system to separate the handles from the motor and the blade to avoid vibration damage and reduce operator fatigue. 

This is accomplished through the saw’s two-part structure linked with springs or rubber, like how a car suspension insulates the chassis from the wheels and the road.

Because icing in the carburettor can occur in cold weather, many saws have holes between the cylinders and the carburettor that you can not open to expel hot air. 

Cold temperatures can also contribute to vibration-related damage, which is why some saws incorporate a tiny generator connected to resistive heating elements in the handles and the carburettor.

Gauge and Oil Holes

The lowest half of the chain is connected to the meter. The chain draws the lubricating oil to the nose here.

This design refers to the thickness of the drive links. Let’s discuss the oil holes of the chainsaws. The saw head’s end has two oil holes, one on each side. 

These holes should be aligned with the exit of the oil pump. The oil is sent through the hole in the lower half of the pressure gauge by the pump.

Saw blade manufacturers offer a wide range of saw blades to accommodate various saws.

Moreover, grease is pumped out through grease holes located at the bar nose, filling each tank to lubricate the nose sprocket. 

Types of Bars

Following are some different kinds of bars of chainsaws defined

  • Laminated posts are made up of numerous layers that help to minimize the weight of the post.
  • Solid rods are made of solid steel and are designed for professional use. They usually have a changeable nose since the gear on the saw blade’s nose wears out faster than the saw blade itself.
  • Safety stirrups are made of laminated wood and have a small gear on the nose. The tiny nose lessens the effect of recoil. These rods are found in household saws.

Cutting Chain

Each section of a chain (which comprises riveted metal parts like a bicycle chain but without rollers) typically features small, sharp cutting teeth.

Each tooth is fashioned like a folded lip of chromed steel with a sharp-angled or curved corner and two bevelled inserts, one on top and one on the side plate. The chain’s left- and right-hand teeth shift. 

Chains come in various pitches and sizes; the pitch of the chain is defined as half of its length that spans over three consecutive rivets, while the dimension is the thickness of the drive link where it fits into the rail. 1.5 mm.

Every other drive link in a traditional “completely complementary” chain has a tooth. One tooth per three driving links is used in the “Full Skip” chain. 

Each sprocket has a depth gauge or “rake” that moves in front of the sprocket and restricts the depth of cut to around 0.5 mm.

Depth gauges are required for a safe chain drive. If the chain is laid too deep, it is more prone to the backing, and low depth stops generate excessive saw vibrations. Vibrations are both uncomfortable for the operator and destructive to the saw.

Safety Features of Today’s Chainsaws

Chainsaws are suffering as modern technology and inventions continue to grow. Chainsaws today contain several safety measures to keep the operator safe.

  • A kickback occurrence activates the chain brake actuator, which is placed in front of the top handle. When engaged, it wraps a belt around the clutch drum and temporarily halts the chain.
  • Between the saw body and the coupling guard, a chain catcher is installed. Typically, it appears to be an aluminium hook. It is utilized to prevent the chain from derailing as well as to shorten the chain’s length. When the chain under the saw becomes entangled, it turns toward the operator. This alignment avoids the chain from striking the rider instead of striking the rear handle.
  • If the chain becomes entangled, a rear handle guard shields the driver’s hand.
  • Some chains have safety measures, such as safety links used on microchip saws. These links keep the saw close to the gap between two cutting links and raise the chain when the space on the safety link becomes clogged with sawdust, allowing for slower cutting. Because their depth gauges are shallower, non-professional chains feature less aggressive teeth.
  • By weaving unique synthetic fibres into the garment, protective clothing is designed to protect the operator if a moving chain contacts their clothing by causing the chain and sprocket to grumble.

About Modern Chainsaws

Saws were already in use in the first quarter of the nineteenth century. Enormous circular and band saws were used in England to finish large pieces of wood and cut them to the correct thickness and length.

Because saws couldn’t cut through big logs, axes were still used. The origins of the contemporary chainsaw are debatable.

Bernhard Heine, a German orthopaedic surgeon, invented the first chainsaw in 1830. He dubbed it the osteotome, a combination of the Greek words osteon (bone) and tome or Tomi (incision); literally, the bone cutter.

This chainsaw, like many others, was employed in the medical field. They were similar in design to current chainsaws but smaller and required manual movement of the blade with the cutting teeth through a lever.

Many researchers were seeking for techniques to run more powerful and efficient chainsaws in the early 1900s. Samuel J. Bens received the first patent for an electric chainsaw, the so-called “endless chainsaw.”

Andreas Stihl patented the first electric chainsaw that came off the assembly line in 1926. It was a large and bulky machine weighing 116 kg. In 1941, troops transported the model to Europe.

Before WWII, all chainsaws were on wheels and required two persons to carry and drive them.

Chainsaws grew lighter and lighter when aluminium alloys and other forged steel parts were developed.

What will be the future of Chainsaws?

We’re not near hefty axes or medical osteotomes. Every year, chainsaws get more powerful.

You contribute to the continuous development of the chainsaw business by using the greatest chainsaws the market has to offer.

Husqvarna continues to lead the industry by pushing the modern chainsaw to new heights. 

Husqvarna introduced the X-Cut saw chain in 2016 to provide a new cutting experience that resulted in increased efficiency.

When shopping for a new chainsaw, you want a machine that will get the job done fast and efficiently. You’re also seeking a relaxing cutting experience that’s beneficial for both you and the environment.

Husqvarna chainsaws have the X-TorqHisto feature, which provides fuel-efficient chainsaws with lower exhaust emissions while giving more power.

The chainsaw industry’s future is in the hands of people who understand what their clients require, those who know how to deliver while continually seeking new methods to innovate and promote the business.

Husqvarna tries to provide chainsaws that cut more, for a longer period, and with greater precision. Success does not stifle invention.

Disadvantages of Using Chainsaws During Childbirth

A symphysiotomy is an operation for utilizing chainsaws during childbirth. By removing the cartilage symphysis, the operation widens the mother’s pelvis.

This procedure allows doctors to access the infant easily. Unfortunately, the operation causes a few issues for women.

Many people describe symphysiotomy as an outmoded surgical procedure. As people in Ireland continued to employ this approach, many pregnant women in Ireland had health difficulties. 

The ladies were unable to stand after giving birth with a chainsaw. Furthermore, a chainsaw birth had various long-term implications.

Women may experience issues with their vagina and the little bones within their bodies.

Doctors have investigated and developed alternative strategies to avoid the repercussions for pregnant women.

The caesarean section (C-section) is now the greatest alternative to chainsaw surgery.

When was the use of chainsaws denied during childbirth?

When doctors discover safer procedures, the use of medical chainsaws during childbirth becomes obsolete.

People in the West agreed to stop using chainsaws between the end of the 18th century and the 19th century.

Of course, the use of chainsaws does not stop completely at birth. In many underdeveloped countries, people can still use the chainsaw for medical purposes if the caesarean section cannot be processed. 


Why were chainsaws invented? The summary says and approves that the rumours about the invention or the purpose of the invention of this tool were concerned with childbirth.

These tools are originally made with a simpler design that is easy to handle. It has got essence for everyone relating to a wide range of fields.

This great invention by two Scottish doctors has changed the history of complications during childbirth. 

But now, after the 18th century, people stopped using this device when their harmfulness was exposed as it affects the health of a mother.

But they were too known for their benefits in the early 17s and 18s, and people find it helpful in cesarean section. 

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