12/06/2014

The Jonsered chainsaw: A sixty year-old legend

In 1954, a young truck driver stopped by a Memphis recording studio, was directed to a microphone, and proceeded to sing his own very personal rendition of “That’s All Right.” To the producer, it probably sounded a little better than just “all right.” In fact, it was the start of an American legend – a legend so strong that thousands of people today still believe “the king” to be alive.

At the same time, about 4,600 miles east of the Sun Studio, another world-renowned star was born. The first Jonsered chainsaw.

The manufacturer, Jonsereds Fabrikers AB, had come into contact with chainsaws in 1950 through the M.T. Bjerke Company, who were selling a diesel chainsaw called the Comet. Jonsereds Fabriker made many of its parts, and quickly realized the potential of the new woodworking tool. Light one-man chainsaws from companies like McCulloch had revolutionized forestry just a few years earlier.

Jonsered soon acquired the rights to the saw and started to develop its own line of chainsaws, based on the Comet technology. The first Jonsereds chainsaw was called the XA “Raket” (Rocket). It was a semi-diesel model, which had to be started upside down and use an ignition plug heated by propane. The front handlebars served as a propane container with enough gas for several weeks.

For a couple of years, diesel models were seen as serious competitors in the 1950s chainsaw boom. But despite their advantages such as low weight and water resistance, they were upstaged by the new petrol chainsaws coming from many different brands. Jonsereds Fabriker began phasing out diesel saws in 1957, when the factory started to produce its own petrol models.

The rest is history – and sixty years later, there’s no doubts concerning this particular legend: Jonsered chainsaws are – indisputably – still alive.