Husqvarna's History: More Than 325 Years of Innovation
Since starting out in 1689, Husqvarna, now part of Husqvarna Group, has manufactured a wide range of quality products. Excellent engineering skills, a strong a strong entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for quality products have led to innovative solutions, successfully taking the company from weapons, via sewing machines, stoves and motorcycles, to today’s cutting edge outdoor power products.
In the late 1600’s, the wars that raged across Europe resulted in an increase in Sweden’s weapons production. Hydropower was required in the manufacturing process, so in 1689, a drilling works was established beside the water falls in Huskvarna, southern Sweden (at that time spelled Husqvarna), where many products are still produced today.
As the need for weapons declined, the company saw an opportunity to branch out by applying the precision engineering skills achieved from producing weapons, to a whole new set of other products ranging from sewing machines, hunting weapons, wood stoves, mincing machines, bicycles, motorcycles, gas stoves, microwave ovens and much more.
Environmental and Ergonomic Concerns
The know-how gained from developing and manufacturing so many different products became an asset for Husqvarna when designing new products and challenging existing solutions. This was an early way of “thinking outside the box”, well exemplified by the development of Husqvarna’s first chainsaw. Existing chainsaws on the market at the time caused problems with noise pollution. By using motorcycle muffler technology, which was developed in-house, the noise level of the Husqvarna 90 was cut down to half that of the contemporary competition. Soon afterwards, this solution was followed by, amongst others, new inventions like anti-vibration that prevented vibration white fingers disease and the first automated chain brake.
Throughout the years, Husqvarna has proved its technological leadership by introducing groundbreaking and award winning solutions and products with a strong user focus:
- X-Torq®, predominantly used in handheld products, that delivers higher fuel efficiency and reduced exhaust emission levels, in accordance with the world´s most stringent environmental regulations.
- AutoTune™,a technological and environmental breakthrough in professional chainsaws, which minimizes exhaust emissions and optimizes engine, performance, omitting the need to spend time on carburetor adjustments.
- Battery Powered mowers and chainsaws with petrol performance; lightweight, quiet and free from direct emissions.
- Robotic Mowers quiet self-operating mowers that frees up time for homeowners and facility managers produces no direct emissions during use and consumes very little energy.
- Demolition Robots for the construction industry delivers high power despite of low weight, equipped with remote control it enables demolition tasks in areas where it is too dangerous for workers to enter. Today Husqvarna products are hard at work in home gardens, parks, forests and construction sites around the world, giving craftsmen the confidence to perform well.
1689: Setting Sail
The first Husqvarna factory is established by the waterfalls in the town of Huskvarna in southern Sweden (previously spelled Husqvarna) to manufacture weapons for the army. The production of guns lasted until 1989.
1872: Breaking New Ground
Husqvarna’s rifle contract with the Crown comes to an end and the company decides to branch out. This becomes the start of a very innovative and ambitious period, resulting in a broad array of new products including sewing machines (1872), hunting weapons (1877), wood stoves (1877), meat mincing machines (1892), the first Swedish typewriter (1895), and bicycles (1896). Household equipment is still sold in the Nordics by Electrolux and the sewing machines are now part of SVP Worldwide.
1903: The Motorcycle Era Begins
In 1903, Husqvarna introduces motorcycles. Years later, in 1982, a Husqvarna motorbike, MC 258, wins the 250cc class of the legendary Paris-Dakar rally. The motorcycle division was sold off in 1986, and is now part of Pierer AG in Austria.
1918: Lawn mowers
Husqvarna acquires “Norrahammars Bruk”, which adds two new products to the portfolio: boilers and manual lawn mowers.
1947: First Motorized Mowers
The first motorized Husqvarna lawn mower for commercial use is launched in 1947, and in 1959 the first homeowner model reaches the market.
1959: The First Chainsaw
Husqvarna introduces its first chainsaw, Husqvarna 90. The chainsaw was shaped by iconic Swedish designer Sixten Sason and used motorcycle muffler technology to achieve lower noise levels than its competitors. The chainsaw is later further developed into power cutting tools for the construction industry.
1969: Anti-Vibration, Setting New Standards for Ergonomics
When the Husqvarna 180 chainsaw is released it features a ground-breaking anti-vibration function that prevents ‘white fingers disease’, a common problem for forestry workers around the world.
1973: Automatic Chain-Brake, Improving Safety
Husqvarna introduces the world’s first chainsaw with an automatic chain-brake. In 1999, the feature TrioBrake™ is introduced enabling users to activate the chain break with the right hand – further reducing the risk of injury for forestry workers.
1985: The Year of the Rider
The first prototype of what is to become the Husqvarna Rider is developed. With its front-mounted cutting deck, the Rider offers superior maneuverability. Production starts the year after.
1995: The Birth of the Robotic Mower
Husqvarna launches the Solar Mower, the world’s first commercialized fully robotic lawn mower, running on nothing but solar power; a predecessor to today’s Husqvarna Automower®. In 2013, a third generation model with built-in GPS is introduced.
2009: AutoTune™ - Environmental Breakthrough
Husqvarna introduces AutoTune™, a technological and environmental breakthrough in professional chainsaws. The new innovation regulates fuel flow automatically to optimize performance and minimize exhaust emissions.
2012: Battery Products with Petrol Performance
Husqvarna introduces an entire range of battery products with petrol performance – yet with no direct emission and with a lot less noise, vibration and maintenance - chainsaws, trimmers, hedge trimmers and an all-new Rider.
2016: X-Cut Saw Chain
Husqvarna is starting to manufacture chainsaw chains to take the Husqvarna chainsaws to a new level of cutting experience, resulting in higher efficiency. The X-Cut chains are produced in a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Huskvarna that can manage the highly complex production of chains, from raw material to complete product.