You might have heard about Stihl chainsaws, Husqvarna chainsaws, echo chainsaws, home depot chainsaws as well as electric chainsaws available at our market and the online store. Do you know what exactly the uses are and why the chainsaw was created? Pressks team here to share some idea about what is a chainsaw used for and the history behind it.
Chainsaws are one of the most common tools used for cutting down trees, bucking, wildfire suppression, pruning, and it is the signature weapon of Leatherface, the antagonist of the texas chainsaw massacre film series. That’s all we know, right? But what if we tell you that chainsaws were originally invented for dealing with childbirth, Wait, what?. If you want to know more about it, then read this article till the end.
Brief on Chainsaw
Childbirth was not as developed as today in the 18th century. There was no anaesthesia and modern surgical tools to assist the doctor & patient, therefore, the women had to endure unimaginable pain. Worse case, during labour, if the baby’s body was trapped or if they came out feet first, the pelvic area had to be widened. To do that, the doctors had to cut into the bone and cartilage around the area using knives. This process was called symphysiotomy. It is in the 1780s, two Scottish surgeons named James Jeffray and John Aitken invented the first chainsaw. The device was designed to help those women having trouble delivering their babies. You might feel horrified reading this but this was the standard procedure back then.
The original chainsaw was not like the modern ones. The first version was a kind of flexible saw that had a fine serrated link chain & was held between two wooden handles. Over time, several different chainsaw versions such as the osteotome developed by Bernhard Heine in the 1830s were used in surgeries. Also, many mechanized versions were made in the late 19th century. The chainsaw is now no longer used and has been replaced with the Gigli twisted wire saw & other surgical tools.
In the 20th century, people realised chainsaws could be used for purposes other than surgeries. This evolved the machine into a wood cutting tool. Once people realised how easy it was to cut trees, the chainsaw was made bigger & powerful. Chainsaws powered by gasoline and electricity were also introduced around this time. As they were getting bigger, this resulted in a problem, weight. It took at least two men to handle the early chainsaw models. However, the chainsaws became lighter thanks to dramatic improvements made in the engine & switching to aluminium design.
Are chainsaws still used today?
Even though the earliest medical chainsaws are no longer used for childbirth, amputations worldwide and those devices have been replaced with the Gigli saw. However, in certain parts of the world where there is no option for a caesarean procedure, the doctors have resorted to symphysiotomy which involves using medical saws.
Now you know why chainsaws were invented in the first place. Even though it was invented to help with childbirth, it has come a long way & people have understood its true potential as a powerful wood cutting tool. So, the next time you see a chainsaw, no need to panic as they are no longer used in the medical field and have been replaced with precise surgical tools.