I spent a few hours with the chainsaw today. A perfect day to be in the woods. As I slowly brought order to chaos I wondered how people got along without chainsaws. And is it one of those rare tools that can’t really be improved on, like the fly swatter. I headed over to Wikipedia for some history:
“The first portable chainsaw was invented in 1925 by what became the German company Festo in 1933. The company now operates as Festool producing portable power tools. Other important contributors to the modern chainsaw are Joseph Buford Cox and Andreas Stihl; the latter patented and developed an electrical chainsaw for use on bucking sites in 1926 and a gasoline-powered chainsaw in 1929, and founded a company to mass-produce them. In 1927, Emil Lerp, the founder of Dolmar, developed the world’s first gasoline-powered chainsaw and mass-produced them.”
While they’ve made lots of improvements to the tool, the basic design seems unchanged for what, 85 years? I daydreamed (not while sawing) of ways to improve this wonderful tool. Quieter? The noise keeps me on my toes, always aware of the potential danger in my hands. Lighter? Maybe, but the weight of the saw seems to make cutting easier. I guess if someone could come up with a tiny (safe) fusion reactor to eliminate running out of gas. But I look forward to the rest breaks those provide.
If the chainsaw never gets better than it is, it will be good enough for me.