Why Were Chainsaws Invented? A Shocking Fact

You might think of lumberjacks chopping wood or scary movies where villains become out of control when you hear the word “Chainsaw.” However, it has many more uses, which I believe you don’t know. Now, you might be wondering, “Why were chainsaws invented?” 

A video is shared on TikTok by a user saying the chainsaw was first invented to assist in childbirth. Yes, it’s true!

Sounds horrific? Right

However, it’s not as scary as you think.

Let me explain: How is it possible.

Usually, the baby came out through the birth canal, but if the baby was too big or stuck in the pelvic or the breech position (baby has feet first in the womb instead of head position) during delivery, how did doctors manage to deliver that baby in the past?

Think about it. 

Here, doctors use a hand-cranked chainsaw with fine teeth to cut the women’s cartilage and ligaments to bring the baby out. This procedure is called “Symphysiotomy.” Sometimes chainsaw-like devices were used during C-sections.

Not convinced?

Don’t worry; I’m here to explain the facts you need to know. 


Chainsaws were invented for childbirth? #fyp #medicalstudent #spooky

♬ The 1920s – Erick McNerney

Why Were Chainsaws Invented?

The chainsaw looked like a modern cutting knife with sharp little teeth on a chain supported by a hand crank. It first came out in the 18th century. Moreover, it was invented for medical treatments such as cutting the bone and amputations during surgery. 

Why were chainsaws invented? Here is the proper answer. A surgery named Symphysiotomy was performed with a small saw or knife before the chainsaw’s invention. It took a long time to do messy and painful surgery without an anesthetic, and the chainsaw sped up the procedure. Chainsaw was a success and continued to be used in the 19th century. 

Could you imagine your obstetrician revving a chainsaw powered by Stihl in the delivery room? Considering this, the sight and sound of the chainsaw would be enough for any woman to give birth, regardless of how much the baby was stuck.   

I know it’s funny, but it might happen in some cases. 

The chainsaw you see is not the same as when it was invented. It was small with the teeth on the chain, and the doctors used it without any chainsaw caps and other safety gear. But now, it is extensive and horrifying and only used for cutting trees or wood. 

Who Invented The Chainsaw?

Two surgeons named James Jaffray and John Aitken invented the chainsaw in 1780 to easily remove pelvic bones in less time. Moreover, Jams Jeffrey was a professor of botany and anatomy at Scotland university Glasgow for 58 years. He is known for dissecting the bodies committed for murder. In 1806, he published a research paper named “Cases of the Excision of Carious Joints,” in which he talked about the chainsaw invention. 

Dr. Jeffrey’s partner in the invention was Dr. Atkins, a surgeon in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh who gave demonstrations and medical lectures. He is famous for his improvement in surgery. 

Their chainsaw invention was used in surgery until a cheap Gigli twisted wire saw was introduced on the market. In 1830, a German orthopedic surgeon gave the identical notion, developing it into a wood slicing device. Subsequently, more chainsaws were formulated and became vast and powerful. Ultimately, it became a brutal chopping tool that we know today. 

From Swansea University, Dr. Mark Skippen said, “The chainsaw is a good example of technological inventions that end up being utilized for different purposes to their new intention.” 

Why Were Chainsaws Invented? Is It Developed For Childbirth?

People on social media ask, “Why were chainsaws invented?” 

Honestly, these horrible tools were invented for bringing newborns safely into the planet. All babies had to come out through the birth canal since C-sections are common.

But, sometimes babies are too large and stuck in the pelvic or head position is opposite (breech position), then cartilage and some parts of bones have to be removed to make space for the baby. In this situation, Symphysiotomy surgery is performed to assist in childbirth. 

What is Symphysiotomy?

Typically, Symphysiotomy was performed for pregnant women during birth instead of a C-section, which is currently a modern method. 

In this method, the cartilage and ligaments of the pelvic joint are removed and make space for baby delivery. 

Unfortunately, this method causes the risk of bladder and urethral injury, pain, infection, and walking problems for an extended period.

In 1597, this became a regular surgical method for childbirth. However, in the 20th century, the risk of death increased, this procedure became less frequent, and later on, improvements occurred in hygiene. 

In modern surgeries, the symphysiotomy method is no longer performed, and advanced and safer methods are now available. But, this method is used in some countries where operating rooms for C-sections are unavailable. 

Why Were Chainsaws Invented – First Chainsaw TikTok Video

A video on TikTok became viral which shares the original use of chainsaws. Then the major trending topic on social networks is “why were chainsaws invented?” 

I know if something is horrible, we’re more excited about it, Right? Particularly if it is in the past and not a part of the present. 

The TikTok user also mentions a German orthopedic named Bernhard Heine, who manufactured a new chainsaw version

Wrap Up

To sum up, someone shared a video on TikTok about using a chainsaw. Then people ask, Why were chainsaws invented? Honestly speaking, the chainsaw was invented to be used during delivery when the baby is stuck or in a breech position. The chainsaw is used to remove the bones in the pelvic joint of women to make space for delivery. Nowadays, the C-section is done with unique equipment and in proper hygienic conditions. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the queries regarding why were chainsaws invented.

What did the first chainsaw look like?

It looked like a hand mixer with a chain rather than a whisk. The first medical chainsaws looked nothing like the modern chainsaws used by homeowners.  

What is the oldest chainsaw brand?

The first Stihl chainsaw was made in 1926. It is the oldest chainsaw brand in the world. A fascinating aspect of Husqvarna’s history is that it started in 1689. Despite this, the first chainsaw appeared in 1926. 

Did Robert McCulloch invent the chainsaw?

Robert McCulloch did not invent the chainsaw. Andreas Stihl was only 15 when he invented the first chainsaw for cutting down trees in 1911. McCulloch’s first chainsaw was released in 1948, long after other models had been on the market. Indeed, the McCulloch chainsaw company played a crucial role in developing chainsaws, but they didn’t invent them.

When was the gas-powered chainsaw invented?

The first gas chainsaw was invented in 1927 by Emil Lerp, the founder of Dolmar chainsaws. In 1929, Andreas Stihl’s team in Germany also developed a gas chainsaw. 

Who invented the portable chainsaw?

Initially, two people were needed to operate the chainsaws: one on the powerhead and one on its other end. In 1935, Dolmar chainsaws invented the DB 35, the world’s first one-person electric chainsaw. Following this, Dolmar invented the one-person portable gas chainsaw in 1952. In 1950, Stihl claimed to have developed the first chainsaw for a single user. Since Stihl BL Chainsaws were released for sale in 1952, it is believed to have been invented before that date.