Why was the Chainsaw Invented? Chainsaw & Childbirth

What was the purpose behind chainsaw creation? The answer could be surprising and horrific as well for some of the readers, however, it is not as bad as it sounds – the reason for inventing the chainsaw was to assist in childbirth; yes, you heard it right.

Until the Caesarean Section was inline, all babies had to be passed through the birth canal before they are delivered. Some babies can stick in the birth canal if they are too large or in a breech position as they would get obstructed in the pelvis. Here it becomes necessary to remove cartridge and parts of bone to bring more space for the baby to get through easily from the birth canal. This procedure is called Symphysiotomy.

Typically, the procedure of Symphysiotomy was originally performed manually using a small-sized knife and saw to remove the bone. The more terrible thing is that the whole procedure was performed in the middle of the child’s birth even when there was no facility for anesthesia. It is surely quite painful and messy to listen to – however, thanks to modern tools and their inventors.

Who Invented the Chainsaw and Why?

When we come across any machine, a flash strikes our minds, and we start thinking about the inventor of that machine. Nothing is different with a chainsaw; however, its inventors might surprise you.

Yes, the chainsaw was invented by two Scottish doctors named James Jeffray and John Aitken in the 1780s who had to remove the pelvic bone to create enough room for easy delivery of a baby from the birth canal. At that time, it was more likely a kitchen knife we use today. Powered by a hand crank with sharp little teeth on the chain, it helped doctors to remove the cartridge and widen the pelvic bone.

If you are imagining those loud chainsaws that chap woods in seconds, you are wrong because the first chainsaw was too little and far less scary than the giant chainsaws we see today.

Soon chainsaw made its way to innumerable surgical rooms where it was used for cutting bones and other amputations. Then the idea of using chainsaw as a woodworking tool came into the spotlight, and growing gradually it has turned into the monster whom we know and use today to cut woods.

Why was the Chainsaw Invented

When Did Doctors Quit the use of Chainsaws in Childbirth? 

Till the late 1800s, the use of chainsaws continued in childbirth in the West – however, it improved gradually to keep secure the surrounding tissues of the body. Now, the latest chainsaw has taken the shape of the Gigli chainsaw which is used to open the skull while ensuring the safety of sensitive layers of tissues in the head.

By now, both the Gigli saw and Chainsaw is being used for amputating limbs, but the original purpose of the chainsaw was to create a sufficient place for the baby to be delivered easily through the birth canal.

In 1798, Elizabeth Bennet was the first woman who delivered a daughter through Cesarean Section in America, and soon after the successful delivery of the child, this procedure had become a standard procedure gradually replacing the need of using a chainsaw.

However, in third-world countries, still chainsaws have been observed in labor rooms where facilities lack, and babies are delivered using a chainsaw to move pelvic bones and create more space for delivery of the baby.

1. The First Woodcutting Chainsaw 

The first chainsaw that was streamlined to cut wood was named Stihl Chainsaw on the name of its founder Andreas Stihl who later became the founder of the famous Stihl Chainsaw Company. The first chainsaw for woods came into the market in 1926, and it was an electric chainsaw, and its weight was around 104lbs. It required men to use it.

This is how the very first chainsaw looked;

Later on, in 1929, Andreas Stihl introduced a chainsaw that worked with gas, and this machine was known as the ‘Tree-Felling Machine’. It was no more different from its predecessor because its weight was also around 100lbs, and it also required men to use it.

2. The Modern Chainsaw

I am greatly fond of machines, I find my happiness working with them, searching about their invention, their streamlining, and their emergence to their present shapes. Fortunately, it was a chainsaw this time for which I fell. Having known about the invention and causes of the invention of chainsaws, let me add a few words about modern chainsaws.

The modern chainsaw is a portable electric-gasoline or battery-supported saw that helps you cut with the set of sharp teeth associated with a rotating chain that drives along the guide bar. It is now used for bucking, limbing, tree-cutting, tree-felling, cutting firebreaks, pruning, wildland fire suspension, and harvesting of firewood.

With specially designed bar-and-chain, chainsaws have also led the way in chainsaw mills and chainsaw arts. Some specialized chainsaws are also used to cut concrete on development sites.

Meanwhile, in Finland, the recent use of chainsaws has been seen as an ice cutter to make ice sculptures and winter swimming.


The very reason behind the invention of the chainsaw might be disturbing for some of the readers – however, its emergence to its present shape and its diverse uses have been factors to appreciate all those who worked for it.

Of course, the present age marks an incredible use of chainsaws to cut mighty woods into fine trees. Meanwhile, different types of chainsaws further facilitate users to choose the best machine that suits their interest the best.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Q1. Who Invented the Chainsaw? 

Since its outset, it was nothing more than a tool used to help doctors in easy delivery of a child through the birth canal. It was the reason that the chainsaw was invented by two Scottish Doctors named John Aitken and James Jeffary in the 1780s.

Q2. When was the gas-powered chainsaw invented? 

Emil Lerp the founder of Dolmar Chainsaw is said to have streamlined the first gas-powered chainsaw in 1927. Soon Andreas Stihl also added a gas-powered chainsaw in 1929.

Q3. What is the Oldest Chainsaw Brand? 

The oldest chainsaw brand is no other than Stihl Chainsaw which was the first chainsaw introduced to cut woods in 1926 by Andreas Stihl.

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