Was the Chainsaw Used in Texas Chainsaw Massacre Real?

Scary Movies and Series

About The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Chainsaw

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies are some of the scariest slasher movies to grace the horror genre.  Leatherface is a scary killer by himself, but with the chainsaw, he is truly terrifying.  The chainsaw is shiny, it is sharp and it is loud! It creates a natural inspiration to run unlike any other horror movie killer weapon.  Texas Chainsaw and Leatherface fans want to know…is the horror slasher weapon from the movies actually real or just a fake prop?

Leatherface Chainsaw Facts

Horror Enthusiast has scoured interviews, director’s cuts, trivia and behind the scenes archives to discover the truth behind the chainsaw.

Authentic From The Start

The original movie, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) featured a very real chainsaw.  They selected a Poulan 306a.  Although Gunnar Hansen (Leatherface) makes it look like it weighs nothing, the Poulan 306a actually weighed almost 13 pounds (at the end of it’s production in 1980, it may have weighed even more when yielded by Leatherface)! It was very common in the 70s and is now considered an official collector’s item…and that’s mostly just because it was an awesome chainsaw!

American Built

Ditching the Poulan 306a, the first sequel in the franchise chose to employ the Craftsman 4300. Ironically, this model was still manufactured by Poulan FOR Craftsman.

Lefty’s shiny silver chainsaw was an unknown model made by Dolmar (German chainsaw company).

Additionally, Grandma’s Saw was a Poulan 361.

Going Custom

Leatherface III (1991) used an awesome, custom-built Stihl 066 Magnum.  The chainsaw was also chromed out (custom job in done in California) and even had a custom 36” bar. These were made in the late eighties and early nineties.

Back to the Basics

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1997) chose to return to the basics and outfitted Leatherface Robert Jacks with a simpler chainsaw.  The McCulloch 700 was a super average chainsaw and is very commonly mistook for being the same model as used in the original (1974) Texas Chainsaw movie.

Versatile and Reliable

Marketed as one of the more versatile chainsaws, the Husqvarna 359 is carried by Andrew Bryniarski as Leatherface in the 2003 Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake and the 2006 prequel. This chainsaw featured a custom bar, just like the chainsaw used by an earlier, 1991 Leatherface.


Final Notes About Leatherface’s Chainsaw

In conclusion, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre appears to create authentic fear in the on-screen victims…and it most certainly creates fear in the audience. A lot of that fear is broken down into the good mechanics of a loud, working chainsaw…and many times, the chainsaw was indeed real! As many of the actors and actresses who have actually participated in a Texas Chainsaw film: it feels really dangerous and is truly terrifying to experience, even when it is all fake and for a movie!


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