In the not-too-distant past, felling a large tree was the work of two men using a 6- to 8-foot buck or crosscut saw. The work was tedious and labor intensive. With the advent of the chain-driven power saw, the muscle power required was reduced and logging productivity increased. One man who was instrumental in chain saw development was Robert McCulloch of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The McCulloch Corporation
The McCulloch Corporation was founded in 1943 under its original name, McCulloch Motors Corporation. Robert McCulloch's Milwaukee company specialized in the production of small two-cycle engines. In 1946, Bob McCulloch moved his company to Los Angeles, California. Two years later, the first McCulloch chain saw was produced. The 5-49 was a two-man chain saw with a lighter weight and greater horsepower than any other saw of the era.
Two Man to One Man
The 5-49 was soon followed by the first one-man saw—model 3-25. Suddenly, a professionals' only product was something the individual private consumer could affordably use. A whole new market was made available to McCulloch. In 1958, the company name was changed to the McCulloch Corporation. The company continued to grow and thrive.
In 1964, Bob McCulloch opened a chain saw manufacturing plant in a 26-square-mile parcel of desert land in what would be named Lake Havusa City, Arizona. Within two years, there were three McCulloch plants in operation there. In 1968, McCulloch introduced the power Mac 6. This saw was the world's lightest, weighing only 6.5 pounds fully fueled. The Mini Mac 1 was introduced in 1972, providing an affordable saw for occasional use by homeowners or small landscaping companies.
In 1968, Bob McCulloch gave Lake Havusa City international exposure when he purchased England's old London Bridge, dismantled it, had it rebuilt, and re-opened it in Lake Havusa City in 1971. McCulloch introduced electric chain saws in 1972 and began making gas powered hedge trimmers, string trimmers and blowers in the 1980s. In 1988, the McCulloch corporate headquarters and a distribution plant were moved to Tucson, Arizona.
McCulloch Chain SawsToday
In October 1999, McCulloch's North American operation was sold to Jeng Feng Industrial Co. Ltd. of Taiwan. McCulloch chain saws continued to be made by Jeng Feng until the spring of 2008 when Jeng Feng was acquired by Husqvarna. Husqvarna no longer distributes McCulloch products. Some chain saw parts made by Jeng Feng under the McCulloch name are still available new from a few dealers with old stock but many parts are already obsolete.