Why Are Chainsaws Invented? How Did They Use The First Chainsaw?

Chainsaws are special machines that help cut things like trees and wood. They have a sharp, spinning chain with teeth and a long bar to help with cutting. Let’s explore why chainsaws were invented and how the first chainsaw was used.

People use chainsaws for lots of different jobs, like working in the forest, building things, and making gardens look nice. Chainsaws can be big or small, and they work with the help of a spinning chain with sharp teeth that cut through stuff like trees and wood. A long time ago, when chainsaws were invented, they made these jobs much easier and faster than doing them by hand.

A long time ago, in the late 1700s, people had an idea for a tool, like a chainsaw, but they used it for helping with medical stuff like childbirth. But the chainsaw we know today, the one for cutting wood and trees, was invented in the early 1900s. A man named Samuel J. Bens in California made the first one with a spinning chain and a bar to cut trees, and he got a patent for it in 1905. At first, they used it for cutting big redwood trees.

Before we learn how the first chainsaw was used and how it has been revolutionized since then, let’s first answer the primary question, “Why are chainsaws invented?

Why are chainsaws invented? 

People invented chainsaws because they needed a tool to help with different jobs. As time went on, chainsaws became really useful in many different industries. Here are some of the reasons why chainsaws were invented: 

  • Timber harvesting efficiency 
  • Forestry industry advancements 
  • Military and medical origins 
  • Rapid tree clearing 
  • Precision logging 
  • Urban development and construction 
  • Wildfire management 
  • Versatile cutting abilities 
  • Emergency response 
  • Home and garden use 

Timber harvesting efficiency: 

Chainsaws were made to make cutting down trees and getting wood easier. Before chainsaws, people had to use regular saws, which took a long time and a lot of hard work. Chainsaws made it much faster and easier to get wood from trees.

Forestry industry advancements: 

Back in the early 1900s, many trees were being cut down for wood, and they needed faster ways to do it. So, they invented chainsaws to help cut trees quickly. These chainsaws helped the forestry industry grow because they could cut trees faster and easier.

Military and medical origins: 

Long ago, chainsaws were made for medical and military stuff, not for cutting trees. But then, people thought they could use them for things like cutting trees and big logs. So, they changed how the chainsaw worked, and it became a useful tool for lots of different jobs.

Rapid tree clearing: 

During wars, like a long time ago, people used chainsaws to help them clear away things like fallen trees and broken stuff. Chainsaws were super helpful because they could cut through wood really fast, so they used them to make paths and get rid of things blocking their way.

Precision logging: 

Loggers, the people who cut down trees for wood, used chainsaws because they could make very exact cuts. This was super important because it helped them get the best quality wood and didn’t waste any of it. So, chainsaws made the job easier and better!

Urban development and construction: 

As cities grew and people built more things, chainsaws became important. People used them to clear land, cut down trees, and even help build houses and other structures. Chainsaws made these jobs much easier and faster.

Wildfire management: 

Firefighters use chainsaws to cut down trees and bushes in a safe way. They do this to create areas without plants, called firebreaks, so wildfires don’t spread too quickly. It’s like making a barrier to stop the fire from getting bigger. Chainsaws help firefighters do this job quickly and effectively.


Versatile cutting abilities: 

Chainsaws are like super-strong scissors for grown-ups. They can cut wood and other tough things like plastic, metal, and even concrete. Because they can cut many different things, people use them in many jobs, not just for cutting trees. They’re like handy tools that can do lots of different cutting tasks.

Emergency response: 

Chainsaws are like superhero tools in times of big problems, like when there are hurricanes or earthquakes. They help the heroes, like firefighters and rescue teams, to quickly cut and remove fallen trees and things blocking the way. This way, they can help people faster during disasters.

Home and garden use: 

Nowadays, chainsaws are not just for experts. Regular people like homeowners and gardeners also use them. They’re handy for cutting tree branches, shaping hedges, and doing home projects. So, more people can use chainsaws for their tasks.

How did they use the first chainsaw? 

Long ago, chainsaws were made for doctors to help with surgeries. Then, they were used by the military and gardeners. As years passed, they changed and became super important tools for many different jobs. Here are some of the ways people used the first chainsaw.

  • Medical procedures 
  • Childbirth assistance 
  • Pruning and trimming 
  • Military engineering 
  • Limited portability 
  • Gasoline-powered chainsaws 
  • Industrial timber harvesting 
  • Modern versatility 
  • Safety improvements 
  • Environmental considerations 

Medical procedures: 

A very long time ago, in the 1700s, people made chainsaws to help doctors with surgeries. These early chainsaws were like special knives that could cut bones during surgeries more quickly and accurately than regular tools.

Childbirth assistance: 

Long ago, doctors used chainsaws to help with a special kind of surgery called a cesarean section. This surgery helps when a baby has trouble coming out during birth. The chainsaw could make the surgery quicker and save lives in tricky situations.

Pruning and trimming: 

People later used chainsaw designs for cutting trees and plants in gardens and orchards. These chainsaws were smaller and easier to use for trimming and cutting trees carefully. They made gardening and farming tasks quicker and more manageable.

Military engineering: 

During World War II, chainsaws were used by the military for special tasks. Engineers in the military used them to clear things like fallen trees and debris from roads and battle areas. This helped the soldiers move more easily during the war.

Limited portability: 

The first chainsaws were big and not easy to move around. They were so big that it took more than one person to use them, and sometimes, they had to stay in one place instead of being carried around like today’s chainsaws.

Gasoline-powered chainsaws:

In the middle of the 20th century, chainsaws started using gasoline as fuel instead of being big and stationary. This change made them easier to carry around and use in forests far away from cities. So, loggers and other workers could use them to cut down trees and work with logs more easily.

Industrial timber harvesting: 

Chainsaws became super important for people who cut down trees and work with wood, like loggers. They made it much faster and easier to chop down trees and turn them into wood that we use for many things. So, chainsaws became a big help in the timber industry.

Modern versatility: 

Today’s chainsaws are like superheroes of tools! They’re not just for cutting trees anymore. People use them in construction to build things, in gardens to make them look nice, and even by firefighters to stop fires. Chainsaws help in emergencies, too, like cleaning up after big storms. So, they’re not just for professionals; regular folks use them too!

Safety improvements: 

Chainsaws have gotten safer over time. They have new features that make accidents and injuries less likely when people use them. This is important to keep everyone safe when using these powerful tools.

Environmental considerations: 

Lately, people have been working to make chainsaws better for the environment. They want chainsaws to create less pollution and not harm nature as much. This is because many people care about taking care of our planet and its forests.

What are the dangers of using a chainsaw? 

Using a chainsaw can be very risky and dangerous. Here are the possible threats of using a chainsaw: 

  • Kickback 
  • Contact injuries 
  • Vibration and hand-arm syndrome 
  • Noise exposure 
  • Exhaust fumes 
  • Eye injuries 
  • Lack of training 
  • Fatigue and overexertion 
  • Environmental hazards 
  • Maintenance neglect 
  • Working at heights 
  • Weather conditions 


Kickback is when the front part of the chainsaw suddenly jumps up or backward when it hits something while you’re using it. This can be really dangerous and cause you to lose control of the chainsaw, which might lead to serious injuries.

Contact injuries: 

Chainsaws can be very dangerous because they have a fast-spinning chain that can hurt you badly if you touch it. You could get cuts, big scratches, or even lose a part of your body like a finger or hand if you accidentally touch the moving chain or the sharp metal part it goes around. So, it’s super important to be careful when using a chainsaw.

Vibration and hand-arm syndrome: 

If someone uses a chainsaw for a very long time, its strong vibrations can make their hands and arms feel funny. They might feel numb, like when your foot falls asleep, or like they can’t move their fingers very well. It’s like when you play video games for too long, and your hands feel weird afterwards. So, taking breaks when using a chainsaw is important to avoid this.

Noise exposure: 

Chainsaws make much commotion, similar to a noisy bike or a live performance. If individuals don’t wear unique ear assurance, similar to ear covers or earplugs, the boisterous commotion can hurt their ears and make it difficult for them to hear appropriately. It resembles when you turn the music up too noisy in your earphones, yet for quite a while, and it can cause your ears to feel terrible. In this way, wearing ear protection means quite a bit to guard your ears.

Exhaust fumes: 

Gasoline-powered chainsaws are like vehicles since they use gas to run, and they make an unsafe gas called carbon monoxide when they run. If somebody utilizes these trimming tools inside a little space, similar to a room without any windows, carbon monoxide gas can develop and wipe them out. It resembles when you leave a vehicle running in a shut carport, and the terrible gas from the vehicle can cause you to feel really unwell. So, using these chainsaws in places with good airflow, like outside, is important to stay safe from this gas.

Eye injuries: 

When you use a chainsaw to cut wood, little pieces of wood, dust, and things can fly around and might get into your eyes. That can really hurt your eyes or even make them damaged. So, wearing special glasses to keep your eyes safe when you use a chainsaw is important. These glasses are like shields that protect your eyes from all the tiny things that can fly around.

Lack of training: 

Imagine you have a special tool like a chainsaw but don’t know how to use it safely. You might accidentally hurt yourself or do things the wrong way. That’s why learning how to use a chainsaw properly is important. It’s like learning to ride a bike or drive a car safely. It would be best to get training to know what to do and how to stay safe when using a chainsaw.

Fatigue and overexertion: 

Think about playing your favorite game or doing homework for a long time without a break. You might start feeling tired, and concentrating or making good decisions could be harder. The same thing can happen when using a chainsaw. Taking breaks and not using them for too long without resting is important. That way, you can stay alert and make sure you’re using the chainsaw safely.

Environmental hazards: 

Imagine if you were playing with your toys outside and accidentally spilled some paint or made a mess. That mess could harm the plants and animals in your yard. The same thing can happen when people use chainsaws. If they aren’t careful, they might cut down too many trees, spill oil and fuel, or damage plants and trees that they didn’t mean to. This can be bad for the environment, just like spilling paint in your yard can be bad for your outdoor space. It’s important to use chainsaws carefully and think about how they might affect nature.

Maintenance neglect: 

Think of a chainsaw like a bicycle. If you don’t take care of your bicycle, like putting air in the tires or oil on the chain, it might not work well or could even break. The same goes for chainsaws. If people don’t take good care of them by checking the parts and adding oil, the chainsaw might not work right, which could be dangerous. So, just like you need to take care of your bicycle to ride it safely, chainsaws need regular care to work safely, too.

Working at heights: 

When people use a chainsaw while high up in a tree or on something like a ladder, there’s a higher chance they might fall and get hurt. It’s like climbing a tree and trying to use a chainsaw while you’re up there. Falling from a tree or a high place can lead to serious injuries, so it’s important to be very careful and use safety equipment when working up high with a chainsaw.

Weather conditions: 

Using a chainsaw in bad weather, like when it’s raining or snowing, can make it harder to see, making the ground slippery. It’s like trying to walk on ice – you might slip and fall. When you can’t see well, and the ground is slippery, using a chainsaw can be more dangerous because you might not be able to control it as easily. So, waiting for better weather before using a chainsaw is usually a good idea.

What is the correct way of using a chainsaw? 

Using a chainsaw safely means getting ready and following safety rules. It’s like getting ready to play a game – you must wear the right gear, ensure the chainsaw is working well, and be careful while using it. Following are some tips for using a chainsaw safely:

  • Read the manual 
  • Safety gear 
  • Inspect the chainsaw 
  • Fuel and lubrication 
  • Secure work area 
  • Correct grip 
  • Keep a safe distance 
  • Shut down properly 
  • Training and certification 

Read the manual: 

Just like how you read the instructions for a new toy or game, grown-ups need to read the manual that comes with the chainsaw. It tells them how to use it safely and the important rules they should follow.

Safety gear: 

Grown-ups with chainsaws must wear special clothes and gear to keep them safe. They wear a helmet with a face shield or safety glasses to protect their face, something for their ears to block out loud noise, gloves, special pants, and strong boots. All of this stuff helps keep them safe while using the chainsaw.

Inspect the chainsaw: 

Before they even turn on the chainsaw, they need to make sure it’s all okay. They check if anything is broken or not working right, like the chain, sharp part, or gas leak. They also check if the safety things, like the brakes, work like they should. This helps make sure the chainsaw is safe to use.


Fuel and lubrication: 

They also look at how much fuel and oil it has. It’s important to use the right kind of fuel and oil that the manual says to use, not just any kind. This makes sure the chainsaw runs properly.

Secure the work area: 

Before they start using the chainsaw, they have to ensure the place where they’re going to work is tidy. They need to move things out of the way and check if there are any people around. They also need to make sure they can stand safely and pay attention to what’s happening around them.

Correct grip: 

When using the chainsaw, they should hold it tight with both hands. Imagine holding onto it like you’re holding onto a bike handle with two hands. This helps them control it better and stay steady while they work.

Keep a safe distance: 

When they’re using the chainsaw, it’s important to stay far away from other people. Think about it like when you’re playing a game with a ball and don’t want to accidentally hit someone. You should also tell anyone who’s watching to stand back and be careful because the chainsaw can be dangerous.

Shut down properly: 

When you’re done using the chainsaw, please turn it off as the instruction book tells you. It’s like turning off a video game or a toy when you’re finished playing. You must wait until the spinning part stops completely before you put it down, just to be safe.

Training and certification: 

Think of formal chainsaw training, like taking lessons to become better at a game or a sport. These courses teach you all the right moves and rules to play safely and do well. It’s especially important if you’re starting to use a chainsaw. It’s like learning the best way to play your favorite video game so you can avoid mistakes and have more fun.


Chainsaws are like superhero tools that can do really big jobs, like cutting down trees and helping in emergencies. But just like superheroes need to be careful with their powers, people who use chainsaws need to be super careful, too. Chainsaws can be dangerous, so learning how to use them safely is important. It’s like knowing the rules to stay safe while playing with your superhero toys.

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