Maggies Farm mentioned the history of the chainsaw.
“The gasoline-powered chainsaw is one of the finest inventions since the wheel and the plow. It’s really just a mechanized stone axe like my Indian [a]ncestors used, and I am eagerly awaiting the laser saw to bring wood cutting into the 21st Century.”
So beautiful! Just thinking about chainsaws brings a tear to my eye. The two tools I value the most are my chainsaw and my tractor (and my *&^%$ tractor is dead). (Honorable mention to the woodsplitter. Theoretically you can live without a woodsplitter; but is that really living?)
At any rate a saw is essential for anyone who lives in any environment that grows any tree taller than a lamppost. (Which means just about everywhere but the Sahara and Manhattan.)
If you want to homestead you need a chainsaw more than you need anything else…including your trusty dog, your beloved truck, and even your banjo. Yes…they’re that important.
Here are some freshly invented Curmudgeonly facts about a chainsaw:
- If a tree falls and you don’t have a chainsaw you’re SOL. Trust me on this…the overpriced hippie bow saw with the unobtanium Nordic metal blade you saw advertised in some organic gardening magazine won’t do shit on a real tree. Loggers are proof; they ditched their beautiful two man handsaws (the misery whip) as soon as they could.
- Not every lifestyle requires a chainsaw. For example, you might be a stockbroker or a crack dealer. If you live a lifestyle which doesn’t require a chainsaw, perhaps your life is empty and meaningless? Buy a chainsaw just in case. Maybe you’ll get lucky and a tree will fall on your car. Then you’ll be happy you’ve got your trusty saw!
- One chainsaw is all you’ll need to cut plenty of wood to keep a household warm all winter. You’ll work like a dog and the saw will look basically brand new. This is because God prefers chainsaws to humans.
- Running a chainsaw is serious exercise. In my youth I would run a chainsaw 10-12 hours a day. How the hell did I do that? Getting old pisses me off.
- No matter how smart you are…you’ve got to have muscle to operate a chainsaw.
- No matter how tough you are…you’ve got to use your head to operate a chainsaw.
- Chainsaws are powerful, obvious, adaptable, reparable, don’t have electronics, don’t need batteries, don’t require Internet connections, last a long time, and can move mountains of material. This is why society sells more iPods than chainsaws.
- Chainsaws are the ultimate mechanical Rorschach test. Is it a nimble little powerhouse that can do the work of ten men? Or is it an obnoxious polluting death machine that can kill you in gruesome ways that exceed your worst nightmare. The answer a person gives to this question is a window into their soul.
Here’s to the noble, dangerous, handy thing we call chainsaws… Huzzah!
Update: My good friend Dr. Mingo responds to #2: “I bought a chainsaw when I lived in a townhouse and didn’t need one; just because they’re so fucking cool!” He also sums up #8 perfectly “chainsaws can be both nimble powerhouse and obnoxious death machine; like a gun they’ll work no matter which way you point them”.