Historic saw range
Stories & Inspiration

Husqvarna chainsaws - powered by our users since 1959

Our desire to meet the real demands of forestry professionals has spurred us to create some of the world's best and most innovative chainsaws.

Early Beginnings

Chainsaws have had a huge impact on the timber and forestry industries. Although today we take them for granted, our ancestors collected wood using axes and other heavy objects; a strenuous and time-consuming procedure.

And that was their reality, from antiquity until the conception of the first modern chainsaw. Felling was dangerous and time-consuming, a challenge that required coordination and persistence.

Forests were the center of human civilization. Those communities that produced more wood were able to build shelters, thus surviving under harsh weather conditions and overcoming other difficulties.

Wood was used to create a multitude of simple tools and more complex structures. Those who controlled timber production were also able to master the elements. With wood came fire. Fire was then used to heat up metal, creating more advanced weapons, armour and war machines.

Needless to say, wood would rule the world.

Why Were Chainsaws Invented & The First Modern Chainsaw

Tree cutting saws were already in use during the first quarter of the 19th century. In England, large circular and band saws were used as a means to refining and cutting large pieces of wood in the desired thickness and length. Axes were still used as saws were unable to cut through thick trunks.

The original use of the modern chainsaw are debated. The first chainsaw was invented by German orthopaedist Bernhard Heine in 1830. He called it the osteotome, from the Greek osteo (bone) and tome or tomi (cut); literally, the bonecutter.

This chainsaw, as well as many that followed, were used for medical purposes. They resembled the modern chainsaw in design but were smaller and required manual turning of a handle to move the blade that carried the cutting teeth.

At the beginning of the 20th century, many researchers were looking for ways to power stronger and more efficient chainsaws. The first patent for an electric chainsaw, the “endless chain saw” as it was called, was granted to Samuel J. Bens.

In 1926, the first electric chainsaw that would move to the production line was patented by Andreas Stihl. It was a heavy and bulky model, weighing in at 116 pounds. Troops brought the model to Europe in 1941. Before the end of World War II, all chainsaws were wheeled and had to be carried and used by two people. As aluminium alloys and other forged steel parts were developed, chainsaws began to get lighter and lighter.

Rapid Evolution

Once gas-powered chainsaws were brought to Europe, everything changed. In 1959, Husqvarna launched its first chainsaw, the Husqvarna 90, and the rest is history as they say.


Husqvarna 90 – Husqvarna’s first chainsaw, launched in 1959

When this saw was being developed, one of the requirements for the product engineers was to significantly reduce its noise level. The production department thought the existing muffler ”seemed too complicated,” so the product engineers went to Husqvarna’s frame workshop, where frames for the company’s motorcycles and mopeds were made. Their skill in bending pipe made it possible to realize a new design for the mufflers. In November 1959, the Husqvarna 90 was presented, a gas chainsaw with noise levels that were half that of the competition’s.


Husqvarna 65 launched in February 1966

The first prototype of the Husqvarna 65 was too heavy. "We can’t put this saw into production," the engineers said. After further work on the saw, the center of gravity was moved closer to the handles, and the weight of the bar was reduced. The saw wasn’t only a breakthrough in terms of convenience, it was also very powerful and reliable. After testing one, a Canadian distributor exclaimed, "I’m throwing out my old saw brands – now we’re going to color the forest orange!"

Husqvarna 180 – launched at the Elmia Trade Fair outside Huskvarna in 1969

In 1969, the product engineers at Husqvarna were commissioned to develop a completely new chainsaw to be launched at the Elmia Fair, a large forestry fair outside Huskvarna. They had one year to do it. Other projects were put aside, and all available resources were focused on developing a safe and convenient chainsaw. 

Husqvarna 162 – launched in 1975 in Sweden and Finland

After successfully making chainsaws quieter, lighter and with better vibration dampening, Husqvarna engineers turned their focus to safety. Using a chainsaw could be dangerous, and loggers often suffered serious injuries. 

Husqvarna 133 – launched in 1981

From the first Husqvarna 90 to today's 572 XP®, Husqvarna has used many number combinations to name chainsaws over the last half-century. Sometimes, the numbers have taken on meanings of their own. Following its release in 1981, the Husqvarna 133 became very popular in Japan – much more so than the Husqvarna 444 or other saws with the number 4 in the name. 

Husqvarna 50 Rancher – the first all-round saw, launched in 1982

Landowners needed a simple, robust saw that was extremely reliable. Husqvarna answered the call with the 50 Rancher. The first Husqvarna saw built for all-round use, it became immensely popular with farmers and forest owners in the United States. The name ”Rancher” became so well-known that many customers walked into the store and asked to buy ”a Rancher saw,” without knowing it was a Husqvarna they were talking about. Though it's undergone numerous improvements, the saw remains in production to the present day, now called the 55 Rancher. The Husqvarna 55 Rancher, that is.

Husqvarna 154 – to the market in 1983

The 154 completed Husqvarna’s professional chainsaw lineup. Launched at the company’s global sales conference in Sweden, it was displayed as a cross-section, allowing participants to inspect its technical details and innovations. The halved chainsaw was a hit, and similar displays were used to drive sales around the world. Orders soared in countries like Canada, Russia, Czechoslovakia and the United Kingdom. That's one way to double your money.

Husqvarna 262 XP® – the first saw with Air Injection, launched in 1989

Husqvarna has a proud history when it comes to the World Logging Championships. The contest is held every two years, attracting individual and national team competitors from some 30 countries. There are five events: tree felling, fitting another chain, bucking by combined cut, precision bucking and limbing. Husqvarna has won gold medals in the individual class seven times. The saw in the above photo is a Husqvarna 262 XP®, used by Vasile Babata from Romania when he won the World Logging Championships in 1994.

Husqvarna 394 XP® – introduced in 1991

The trial series of the Husqvarna 394 XP® was scheduled for transport to simultaneous launches in the United States and New Zealand. The timetable was extremely tight, and the saws weren't ready until a Saturday morning – when the factory gates are locked and there are no outgoing transports. 

Husqvarna 335XPT – the first specialist saw for arborists, introduced in 1997

One of Husqvarna’s most esteemed professional chainsaws is also its smallest. The Husqvarna 335XPT was the first saw to be developed specifically for tree care in towns, gardens and other developed or inhabited areas. An arborist’s job is to ensure trees remain safe, beautiful and healthy. Thanks to compact engines and very low body weights, Husqvarna arborist saws are trusted by tree workers around the world.

Husqvarna 346XPG – the first chainsaw with a snap-lock cylinder cover, introduced in 1999

The Husqvarna 346 went on sale in the spring of 1999. The saws were popular due to their high efficiency and low vibrations. 2001 saw the launch of the 346XPG, a variant featuring TrioBrake™. TrioBrake™ allows the chain brake to be activated with the right hand, reducing the risk of injuries and promoting a more ergonomic working position. Just like an integrated vibration reduction system and the inertia-activated chain brake, TrioBrake™ has the potential to become a new industry standard from Husqvarna.
Chainsaw logger with 572 XP

Husqvarna 572 XP® – the world's most advanced chainsaw

Husqvarna’s first chainsaw was launched in 1959, and it was black and orange. Husqvarna products have been orange ever since. In 2009, we celebrated 50 years as a chainsaw manufacturer. As a result of the demands placed on us by professional forestry workers, we have the world's best chainsaw lineup. What can you expect from Husqvarna chainsaws over the next 50 years? Don’t ask us – ask our customers. 

We only know what the color will be.