When many people first look at a Stihl chainsaw, it is likely that they would begin to recall various movies, TV shows, or other forms of media that feature the cutting instrument. There is a small community, however, that instead think of ways in which they could use chainsaws as a medium to create their own art. While a Stihl chainsaw may primarily be used to cut down trees and bushes of all sizes, it is difficult to deny just how captivating it can be to watch, hold and use such elegantly designed tools that are still as capable of leading you towards mayhem as they are to lead you towards a professional job that is well done. By reading this article, you can become more familiar with the various depictions that Stihl chainsaws, and other brands, have had within different forms of art, as well as how you can get started with safety and affordability in mind!
The History of the Stihl Chainsaw and Its Depictions in Media
The origin of the chainsaw dates a lot further back than most people can imagine, with its intended use being entirely different from how we generally use the gardening tool today. Due to the complexity of the machine, as well as how durable it needs to be in order to fulfil its purpose without a hitch and to a high degree of quality, it comes as a shock to many when finding out that the chainsaw was first invented between 1783 and 1785. Produced as a much smaller handheld device being powered by a cranking handle and sprocket, later to be improved upon and renamed as the ‘osteome’ in 1830, this device was originally invented to be used for medical procedures.
With its smaller design, this tinier precursor to the Stihl chainsaw was used to cut through bone with much greater ease, and to reduce the risk of splintering that was often experienced through the use of other tools at the time. Aside from removing diseased, dead, and broken bones, this chainsaw was also relied upon to assist in widening the pelvis if a baby’s head got stuck during childbirth. It was only in 1927 that the first transportable, petrol-powered chainsaw would be invented, which was also when its versatility would begin to increase.
Just over 25 years later, however, the first Stihl chainsaw would be produced. Stihl’s rendition of the tool would be known for being the first modern gas-powered chainsaw that was small and light enough to be carried and used by just a single person. It is thanks to Stihl’s redesigns and improves that the chainsaw would slowly begin to find its way into different forms of art, where the larger majority of the world’s population would first become introduced and familiar with the tool.
As a result of the Hays Code censorship restrictions being relaxed somewhat during the 1960s, the first films to portray a chainsaw as a weapon would only be released towards the end of the decade, namely Dark of the Sun in 1968, the Wizard of Gore in 1970 and The Last House on the Left in 1972. It was only in 1974 that the most influential and widely recognisable depiction of the chainsaw would be released, coming in the form of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Selling itself as a horror film based on true events, the events that inspired this cult classic film had practically nothing to do with Texas, massacres, or even chainsaws, despite having cemented the tool in the public’s mind as an object of fear and mechanical terror.
Nonetheless, it was this film that sparked a flood of depictions of chainsaws to enter the world of media in a number of different ways. Another instance of the chainsaw finding its way into classic horror films would be the first two Evil Dead films, coming out in 1981 and 1987 respectively. While the first film did not feature the tool in any meaningful or violent way, the second film saw the protagonist attach a chainsaw to the stump of his severed hand, marking the point in which Ash decides to start fighting back against the demon. Many people have gone on to point out that this scene began to change the general TV and movie audience’s mind of chainsaws, changing from a method of slaughtering the innocent into a symbol of the will to fight back against the seemingly undefeatable.
This viewpoint would become most apparent in the medium of video games. Fittingly, but unsuccessfully, the first depiction of the chainsaw appeared in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre Atari game released in 1983. The tool would only be welcomed and enjoyed amongst the crowd in later appearances, such as 1988’s Splatterhouse and 1993’s Doom, where the chainsaw would turn from being used by the enemy as a means to attack the player into the other way around. This is when audiences were first able to simulate and experience the power and destruction that chainsaws are capable of, even if only through their tv and a plastic controller.
While depictions of chainsaws were seen as a controversial weapon to be used in films, due to the more grounded and realistic visuals brought upon by live-action filming and practical effects, the tool was generally favoured as a weapon to be used by the player in video games. This could primarily be the result of the mediums inherently unrealistic and more comical depictions of reality, which allowed audiences to experience and witness the chainsaw in a more light-hearted fashion without any consequences.
Video game franchises that would go on to popularize the use of chainsaws would include Dead Rising, Resident Evil, Dead Space, Silent Hill, and more. These were horror games that often revolved around the player being placed up against hordes of various forms of enemies, something that could have been dealt with swiftly with the help of the chainsaw. Controversy would spark when grounded and realistically centred video games would come on to the market, such as Grand Theft Auto and Saints Row, titles that allowed the player to roam around an open world to wreak havoc on to their respective cities, as well as the innocent civilians within.
Video games such as these, despite having been well received and praised for multiple different aspects, would go on to once again taint the perception that general audiences may have of the fictional depiction of the chainsaw, turning it from a means to fight back to a weapon that can be used on each other. This was a concept that many people were worried about, leading to protests, boycotts, and even lawsuits, many of which were led by angered parents and people of various religions. While this was of great, and sometimes comical, concern during the mid-2010s, the normalization of the internet and media that was easy to access amongst the general public in later years saw similar themes become overly saturated and even satirized across popular culture.
This saw the chainsaw being used in vastly more creative ways, and to a significantly wider audience too. This allowed enthusiasts to use chainsaws in a variety of interesting ways for the sake of either expressing themselves in a unique way or simply as a way to post something cool on the internet. In fact, it is now more popular than ever for artists to use chainsaws as a way to carve statues and sculptures. One such artist who has gained success and recognition for his pieces in recent years would be Simon O’Rourke for his Giant Hand of Vyrnwy.
After facing a large storm, the tallest tree in Wales had become damaged and was scheduled to be cut down. Simon then managed to get commissioned by the Natural Resource Department of Wales to turn it into a carving. The end product comes in the form of an incredibly detailed, giant hand stretching and reaching out of a tree stump. In a 2020 interview with My Modern Met, Simon described the process as “Six days of intense work followed using chainsaws and grinders”.
He also describes the piece as a symbol of a tree’s last attempt to reach for the sky. Simon also comments on how the size of his hand compared to that of the sculpture humbled him by reminding him of how small we are compared to other living organisms living on the planet with us. By looking at the sculpture, it can be almost impossible to comprehend how such a sight can be created with a tool that is so inherently devastating.
Turn to BS Power for Your Own Husqvarna or Stihl Chainsaw Today!
While no one should expect to be creating a work of art from the moment they pick up their own chainsaw, you can certainly turn the act of cutting down trees and shrubs of any size into an art of itself with the help we can provide you with when visiting BS Power. Here, we are able to provide you with an extensive selection of Stihl chainsaws that are both high in performance and quality while sustaining prices far lower than can be expected when shopping elsewhere.
Whether you happen to be looking for a small chainsaw just to simply cut up some firewood, or if you are a lumberjack looking to bring down otherwise indestructible trees, we can provide you with the exact chainsaw to suit the job. On a smaller scale, we have the Stihl MS170 chainsaw, an introductory rendition that is lightweight and easy to handle, providing convenient single lever master control. This chainsaw would be best suited towards cutting down branches, shrubs, and thinning out your firewood.
By far our largest option, we have the Husqvarna 310 XP Chainsaw with a 36-inch cutter bar. Widely considered to be one of the most powerful chainsaws in the world, this tool is specifically designed for professional felling that tackles the toughest dimensions. Unlike many other professional chainsaws, this option remains easy to start and use thanks to its Smart Start system being accompanied by ergonomics alongside well-developed anti-vibration features.
If you are looking to purchase your own entry-level or professional-grade chainsaw, or anything in between, you simply need to look no further than this very website. We host an online store that provides an array of chainsaws and other DIY or gardening tools to help you get started on any work or projects you may have in mind.
Combined with our competitively low prices, our well-trained and highly qualified staff are also able to help you get to the bottom of any questions or queries you may have before placing such an order. To place your order, you just need to contact us either through our business number, email address, or by visiting our store in the Brackenfell area in Cape Town. Orders can even be placed through our website directly through the fill-in form found in the “Contact Us” tab in the top right corner of our homepage.