Logging

Best Chainsaw Mills

The portable chainsaw mill, also known as an Alaskan sawmill, is essential for anyone looking to make their own lumber without paying exorbitant prices at the lumber mill. It is important to do your research before purchasing an Alaskan mill.

Alaskan sawmills are basically a metal apparatus that turns your regular chainsaw into a functioning, portable lumber mill. They are even portable enough to allow for the milling of lumber right in the same spot you just felled the tree.

The first step is to place the log into a steady position. On top of two stumps or smaller logs is usually the best option when doing this in the woods.

If you have a guide board, placing this on top of the log allows you to maintain a cut parallel with the grain of the wood as you move your chainsaw. The metal frame of the Alaskan sawmill holds your chainsaw in place while you move it across the top of the log.

Once you do this across opposite ends of the log, you end up with a nice, fresh piece of lumber that can be easily sawed into smaller segments if necessary.

This design of the chainsaw mill allows you to make perfectly straight cuts of lumber by hand, without having to go to a sawmill and pay for the work. It can be tiring working the heavy logs, but it is a very cost-effective way to turn your lumber into high-quality planks.

We put together this article to help you answer the following question:

Question: What is the best chainsaw mill?

Answer: The Granberg MK-IV Chainsaw Mill

Chainsaw Mill Comparison Chart

We go over each model in our review in detail below, but for those in a hurry here is a quick comparison of the mills in our roundup:

Top Choice
Hihone Chainsaw Mill, Portable 14Inch to 36Inch Guide Bar Chainsaw Milling Planking Milling Wood Lumber Cutting Sawmill, with 9Ft Rail Mill Guide System
Budget Option
Haddon Lumbermaker
ALASKAN Granberg Chain Saw Mill, Model# G777, Orange, Silver
Carmyra Portable Chainsaw Mill 36 Inches Planking Milling Bar Size 14 Inches to 36 Inches
HiHydro Portable Chainsaw Mill Planking Milling from 14" to 36" Guide Bar Wood Lumber Cutting Sawmill Aluminum Steel Chainsaw Mills for Builders and Woodworkers (14''-36'')
Weight
38.6 lbs
3.6 lbs
12.25 lbs
16.5 lbs
17.86 lbs
Reviews
Price
$209.99
$119.95
$168.42
$115.98
$99.98
Top Choice
Hihone Chainsaw Mill, Portable 14Inch to 36Inch Guide Bar Chainsaw Milling Planking Milling Wood Lumber Cutting Sawmill, with 9Ft Rail Mill Guide System
Model
Weight
38.6 lbs
Reviews
Price
$209.99
Budget Option
Haddon Lumbermaker
Weight
3.6 lbs
Reviews
Price
$119.95
ALASKAN Granberg Chain Saw Mill, Model# G777, Orange, Silver
Weight
12.25 lbs
Reviews
Price
$168.42
Carmyra Portable Chainsaw Mill 36 Inches Planking Milling Bar Size 14 Inches to 36 Inches
Weight
16.5 lbs
Reviews
Price
$115.98
HiHydro Portable Chainsaw Mill Planking Milling from 14" to 36" Guide Bar Wood Lumber Cutting Sawmill Aluminum Steel Chainsaw Mills for Builders and Woodworkers (14''-36'')
Model
Weight
17.86 lbs
Reviews
Price
$99.98

There are many different sawmills available, and they all have varying dimensions and features. Some are better than others for certain kinds of wood, some are lighter and more portable, and others are able to handle larger loads.

Here is a look at five of the top chainsaw mills on the market and their varying specifications.

1. Hihone Portable Chainsaw Mill

Hihone Portable Chainsaw Mill offers good value for money and fast delivery. It’s particularly recommended for hobbyists.

Features

  • Attaches directly to your chainsaw bar
  • A portable system that can be easily transported to remote logs
  • Easy and fast assembly, including all accessories
  • A sturdy piece of equipment, that provides a flat surface for the mill
  • It will turn your chainsaw mill into a portable milling machine

Pros

  • Fast delivery
  • Easy assembly
  • No drilling required
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • The system came short on the number of nuts and way too many flat washers
  • The placement of the nuts to set the depth makes it difficult to set the depth and 
  • retighten
  • Heavier than other models on the market

Breakdown

Hihone Portable Chainsaw Mill is constructed from durable aircraft aluminum and stainless steel, for a tough and sturdy body. With it you can mill lumber from 0.5″ to 14″ thick and 36″ wide, to meet your different construction demands.

It’s perfect for homeowners, woodworkers, carpenters, to mill your own lumber at home or in the woods. All necessary assembly and installation hardware are including for easy installation.

Hihone Chainsaw Mill, Portable 14Inch to 36Inch Guide Bar Chainsaw Milling Planking Milling Wood Lumber Cutting Sawmill, with 9Ft Rail Mill Guide System
214 Reviews
Hihone Chainsaw Mill, Portable 14Inch to 36Inch Guide Bar Chainsaw Milling Planking Milling Wood Lumber Cutting Sawmill, with 9Ft Rail Mill Guide System
  • Package Size: 98*28*7CM, Package Weight: 13.5KG
  • Constructed from durable aircraft aluminum and stainless steel, lightweight but tough, sturdy.
  • Mill slabs from 0.5" to 14" thick and 36" wide, meet your different demands for constructions.
  • Perfect for homeowners, woodworkers, carpenters, you can mill your own lumber at home or in the woods.
  • All necessary assembly and installation hardware are including for easy installation.

2. Haddon Lumbermaker

Haddon Lumbermaker review
The Haddon Lumbermaker Chainsaw Mill

The Haddon Lumbermaker has made it easier and more intuitive than ever to turn your chainsaw into a fully functioning Alaskan sawmill.

Haddon is also a trusted name in the industry, and the Lumbermaker is a practical and portable tool that makes any logger’s life easier.

Features

  • Weighs less than four pounds
  • Made in America
  • Can create beams, planks, and boards on the spot
  • Includes 30-page owner’s manual
  • Lifetime guarantee

Pros

  • One of the lightest on the market
  • Fits all chainsaws
  • Instruction manual is helpful for newcomers
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Not many extra features for ease of use
  • Works better in conjunction with other sawmills

Breakdown

The Lumbermaker is definitely one of the lightest Alaskan sawmills available. This makes it perfect for a logger that is making deep treks into the forest for their lumber, or anyone who already has a lot to carry on the job. Weighing only four pounds, this handy sawmill is only a quarter of the weight of most other models. The weight is mostly attributed to a simpler design with fewer bells and whistles. It lacks the anti-vibration features of the Granberg, and it requires a little more finesse on the part of the user to get the same reliable cut.

It actually cuts differently than other sawmills as well. Rather than going across the top of the log and making a horizontal cut with the chainsaw, the Haddon Lumbermaker instead positions your chainsaw into a vertical cut as you go across the side of the log. Because it has a slightly different functionality than other models, some users have recommended using it in tandem with a ripping chain for your chainsaw. The Haddon is a useful piece of machinery on its own but can also increase the capabilities and effectiveness of other tools in your arsenal.

The instruction manual included with the Haddon Lumbermaker is an extremely helpful guide. If you’re new to the process of sawing your own lumber, their thirty-page booklet included with the sawmill will break down the whole process from start to finish.

Haddon Lumbermaker
239 Reviews
Haddon Lumbermaker
  • Cut any size lumber you need right where the tree falls, use for a cut off saw,
  • Make boards, beams, planks, and more with your chain saw and this inexpensive tool!
  • The HADDON LUMBERMAKER fits all chain saws, & attaches to the bar in seconds.
  • MADE IN THE USA, includes 30 page "how to" owners manual, fits 2x4 or 2x6 guide board
  • Works with regular chain, saw swivels for PLUNG cuts, has a LIFETIME GUARANTEE!!!

3. Granberg Chain Saw Mill, Model# G777

Granberg G777 review
The Granberg G777 Chain Saw Mill

This is another chain saw mill designed by Granberg, and it is Granberg’s answer to the vertical cutting offered by the Haddon Lumbermaker.

It is compact and lightweight, although still slightly heavier than the Lumbermaker. This chain saw mill is another option when looking for something very portable and simple to use.

Features

  • No drilling required to attach to chainsaw
  • Designed for chainsaws up to 20”
  • Pressure bolts tighten to chain bar
  • Allows cuts up to 18” wide and 13” deep
  • Made in America

Pros

  • Simple to use and set up
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Not as effective for larger projects

Breakdown

Part of what makes the Model G777 so appealing is how easily it attaches to your chainsaw. Small enough to fit in your toolbox, the Model G77 simply uses pressure bolts to hold the chainsaw in place as you move along the wood.

This model is one of the simplest to use and put together, and it comes with the trusted Granberg name, so you know you are getting a quality product made to last for years.

The downside to this one is that you are limited to the size of both the wood and the chainsaw you can use. It is meant for smaller saws, with a maximum blade length of 20 inches. You can still make cuts of up to 17 inches wide and 13 inches deep.

Overall, this model and the Lumbermaker are both perfect for small jobs or onsite milling in hard-to-reach places. If you are looking at a job with a lot of logs to cut, however, it is recommended that you look for a horizontal mill that can hold a larger chainsaw.

ALASKAN Granberg Chain Saw Mill, Model# G777, Orange, Silver
704 Reviews
ALASKAN Granberg Chain Saw Mill, Model# G777, Orange, Silver
  • Lightweight mill can access nearly all timber
  • High-quality mill cuts beams or lumber from 1/2in. To 13in. Thick and 17in. Wide
  • Attaches to saw without drilling bar
  • Designed to fit chain saws with 20in or less bars
  • material type: Steal

4. Carmyra Portable Chainsaw Mill 36 Inch Planking Milling Bar Size 14in to 36in

Carmyra Portable Chainsaw Mill review
The Carmyra Portable Chainsaw Mill

The Carmyra brand of portable chainsaw sawmills allows for cutting large pieces of lumber with ease.

While they are still referred to as Alaskan sawmills, the design has gone worldwide, and there are several overseas companies that have started manufacturing portable sawmills.

Features

  • No drilling required
  • Allows cuts up to 36” wide and 13” thick
  • Constructed from high quality aluminum and steel
  • 17 pounds

Pros

  • Can handle the largest logs
  • Usable with any size chainsaw

Cons

  • One of the heaviest on the market
  • Newer company without the trusted reputation of its older competitors

Breakdown

This sawmill is capable of dealing with larger logs than the Granberg MK-IV and is significantly cheaper as well. It is on the heavier side, but that is definitely excusable considering its price and its capabilities. If you want a machine that can handle big pieces of wood at a low price, this is a great option.

Made from premium-quality aluminum and steel, the frame is highly durable and strong. The manufacturer says that it works best with oak, walnut and cedar; though we’re sure other types of wood could also be cut with the Carmyra Portable Chainsaw Mill. However, a guide bar is not included in the price on Amazon, so a separate will need to be purchased.

Carmyra Portable Chainsaw Mill 36 Inches Planking Milling Bar Size 14 Inches to 36 Inches
1,756 Reviews
Carmyra Portable Chainsaw Mill 36 Inches Planking Milling Bar Size 14 Inches to 36 Inches
  • High Quality Steel and Aluminum Construction
  • Cut Cedar, Walnut and Oak into High Quality Lumber
  • High-Quality Mill Cuts Beams or Lumber from 0.5“ ”To 13“ Thick and 36” Wide
  • Attaches to saw without drilling bar
  • Lower price

5. HiHydro Portable Chainsaw Mill

HiHydro is another trusted manufacturer of chainsaw mills, with this model one of the finest and most reliable on the market.

Features

  • Can be assembled in less than an hour, with simple instructions that consist only of a drawing and parts identification. It can be equally easily disassembled for portability
  • A high-quality mill that cuts beams and lumbers up to 13” thick and 36” wide
  • Steel parts and aircraft aluminum tubular extrusion 
  • Works with chainsaws up to 30” bars and at least 60cc of displacement
  • Mounts easily to chain bars
  • Lightweight at 17lbs

Pros

  • Fast delivery
  • Easy assembly
  • No drilling required
  • Great value

Cons

  • Height adjustment nuts face into saw, making it very tight and difficult to adjust thickness without removing chain saw from bar bracket
  • Was missing the 8 lock nuts but that was easily remedied.

Breakdown

With delivery in 1-6 working days, the HiHydro Portable Chainsaw Mill is made of durable aircraft aluminum and stainless steel, which gives you a lightweight and tough tool, turning your chainsaw mill into a portable milling machine. The aluminum rails are very well finished and the steel parts chromed. It’s sturdy and well-built for a high-quality mill that cuts beams and lumbers up to 13” thick and 36” wide. It provides a very good and inexpensive way for the hobbyist to mill lumber.

Easily assembled in a short time, with instructions consist only of a drawing and parts identification. This portable chainsaw mill lets you mill lumber at home or in the woods, and perfect for homeowners, DIYers, woodworkers, and carpenters.

HiHydro Portable Chainsaw Mill Planking Milling from 14' to 36' Guide Bar Wood Lumber Cutting Sawmill Aluminum Steel Chainsaw Mills for Builders and Woodworkers (14''-36'')
336 Reviews
HiHydro Portable Chainsaw Mill Planking Milling from 14" to 36" Guide Bar Wood Lumber Cutting Sawmill Aluminum Steel Chainsaw Mills for Builders and Woodworkers (14''-36'')
  • 👨‍🔧Material: High quality aluminum and galvanized steel, durable for long lasting using.
  • 👨‍🔧Adjustable: Saw mill fits 14"-36” in length & 36 inch in width Chainsaw Bars, adjustable thicknesses from 1/2" to 13".
  • 👨‍🔧lightweight and tough: Turning your chain saw mill to a portable milling machine.you can mill your own lumber at home or in the woods
  • 👨‍🔧Easy install: All necessary assembly and installation hardware are including for easy installation.
  • 👨‍🔧100% Satisfaction Guarantee: lifetime warranty

6. Zchoutrade Portable Chainsaw Mill

Next up is this portable chainsaw mill from Zchoutrade. This is much like many of its competitors, as it is designed to be strong and sturdy in use and fit a range of chainsaws. Like the HiHydro model before it, this is one of the best chainsaw mills for use with a larger chainsaw bar.

Features

  • Easy to assemble. It’s ideal for camping or harvesting small trees that need to be cut into boards at your convenience and not the trees.
  • Made of recycled aluminum and steel frame so it’s lightweight and sturdy enough to easily maneuver around fallen trees, branches, or saplings that you want to cut into lumber or boards for firewood or any other purpose as soon as possible without having to wait for loggers.
  • The mill uses a 14″ or 36″ chainsaw blade to cut the logs into lumber.
  • Has removable collector bags that capture most of the sawn material so you don’t have to stop every few minutes to clear sawdust and woodchips out of your way, allowing you to keep cutting smoothly without tripping over debris.
  • A portable sawmill that is easy to use and requires no technical knowledge or experience with using chainsaws.
  • Because of its large surface area, the portable sawmill can be more efficient than other types of manual mills or jigs that use wedges, clamps, weights, and other cumbersome devices to hold boards in place while cutting.

Breakdown

The Zchoutrade is NOT just another “chainsaw mill”. It has been engineered and built with safety, precision, and driving ease in mind. It is made of aluminum and steel alloy which is precisely pre-cut and welded by CNC machines, providing you accurate cuts.

The 14 or 36-inch wheels are made of steel which makes this chainsaw bar very sturdy while being easy to move around in order to find the right working height. This is a product you can rely on for years.

This chainsaw mill will allow you to cut lumber in a quick and easy way. This will be the most useful tool in your workshop. It has been designed from top-quality materials that ensure its long life.

You can also add new features once you get the hang of it, such as adding a winch for logs weighing up to 2 tons or changing the number of blades to meet your requirements.

Zchoutrade is a chainsaw mill that will stand out from other chainsaw mills. If you need milling lumber made of high-quality materials, capable of cutting different types of wood, look no further because this one will exceed your expectations and satisfy your needs.

Pros

  • It’s portable
  • Affordable chainsaw mill
  • Produces long pieces of lumber
  • Durable
  • Versatile chainsaw mill

Cons

  • Directions on the manual are not that great
  • Quite challenging to keep square
Zchoutrade Portable Chainsaw Mill 14-36 Inch Portable Aluminum Steel Mig Welding Saw Mill 36 Inch Planking Lumber Cutting Bar
288 Reviews
Zchoutrade Portable Chainsaw Mill 14-36 Inch Portable Aluminum Steel Mig Welding Saw Mill 36 Inch Planking Lumber Cutting Bar
  • High Quality Steel and Aluminum Construction
  • Cut Cedar, Walnut and Oak into High Quality Lumber
  • High-Quality Mill Cuts Beams or Lumber from 0.5“ ”To 13“ Thick and 36” Wide
  • Attaches to saw without drilling bar
  • This chainsaw is perfect for homeowners, woodworkers, carpenters, you can mill your own lumber at home or in the woods.

7. Popsport chainsaw mill

This is yet another budget-friendly highly professional chainsaw mill that will allow you to produce your own boards, planks, mill logs and more wherever you need to work. It is a high-quality chainsaw mill that you can simply take to where the tree falls.

We liked the fact that getting started with the Popsport chainsaw mill is easy and requires no previous knowledge or special skills. Once you’re done milling, store it away in your shed for future use (it folds flat).

Features

  • Great adjustment.
  • Has a lightweight construction
  • Versatile in that it can mill lumber in the woods or at home
  • Durable thanks to its aluminum and stainless steel materials

Breakdown

The Popsport chainsaw mill is a revolutionary new tool for DIY log processing.

This device is easily attached to the bar of your chainsaw, with no modifications needed. A system of rollers guides your logs through the blade with no log rotation or stabilizer needed, resulting in perfectly cut planks every time.

A single pass on the mill produces boards that are even and straight; the edges so smooth that you don’t need to join them. One person can easily produce planks in seconds, with no prior knowledge of woodworking or chainsaws required!

This chainsaw mill is powered by your saw’s engine, so there are no external power requirements. The design has been carefully weighed and analyzed to make sure it is safe, and you never need to worry about kickback.

You can mill wood any time of year, even when they’re wet or frozen. Just feed them into the mill as usual, and you’ll have your planks in no time. The Popsport chainsaw mill is a versatile piece of equipment that can be used for a wide range of tasks, from processing firewood to making planks for garden furniture.

Pros

  • Easy to install and use
  • Cheap chainsaw mill
  • Versatile chainsaw mill
  • No need for external power requirements

Cons

  • The diagram of how to assemble isn’t so clear and new users might find it challenging

Popsport Chainsaw Mill Planking Milling 14 to 24 Inches Guide Bar Wood Lumber Cutting Portable Sawmill Aluminum Steel Chainsaw Mill for Builders and Woodworkers
156 Reviews
Popsport Chainsaw Mill Planking Milling 14 to 24 Inches Guide Bar Wood Lumber Cutting Portable Sawmill Aluminum Steel Chainsaw Mill for Builders and Woodworkers
  • Premium Parameter: Efficient & Versatile Mill: 14'' - 24''; Material: Aluminum & Stainless Steel; Style: Horizontal; Welding: Mig welding.
  • Lightweight Construction: Planking Milling is made of commercial quality stainless steel and aluminum. Classic and sleek look, Visually appealing and fitting of any setting. Lightweight design in solid structure and tough tool; Turning your chain saw mill to a portable milling machine can mill lumber at home or in the woods.
  • Excellent Adjustment: Cuts lumber planks height and width both are adjustable. new end brackets are more accurate, easier to adjust, create less vibration for easy calibration and cleaning of surfaces. And provides a flat surface for the mill to ride on to get flat, even cuts.
  • Portable Design: Wood Lumber Cutting Portable Sawmill is made of stainless steel and aluminum, make a lightweight design. Portable system can be easily transported to remote logs. A portable milling machine can mill lumber at home or in the woods.
  • Wide Application: Aluminum Steel Chainsaw Mill has the lightweight design, can mill lumber at home or in the woods. High quality planking milling can access nearly all timber. Portable chainsaw mill is perfect for homeowners, woodworkers, carpenters.

8. Farmertec Chainsaw Mill

The Farmertec Chainsaw Mill features a fully adjustable milling height and milling width to increase the device’s compatibility with various sizes of lumber. Note that this chainsaw mill works with a variety of different saws.

With this steel and aluminium mill, It is most effective and efficient with a larger chainsaw, especially when milling larger pieces of lumber. Not all chainsaw mills can do this.

Features

  • Durable chainsaw mill thanks to the aluminium material and steel that was used to construct it
  • Easy to use and install like most chainsaw mills
  • Weighs about 7.5 kgs
  • Comes with an assembling tool and user manual

Pros

  • The chainsaw mill setup is easy
  • Versatile chainsaw mill that can be used by homeowners
  • Compatible with most chainsaw bars length

Cons

  • Quite heavy compared to other chainsaw mills

Breakdown

The Farmertec sawmill is a small renewable energy powered chainsaw mill. It uses old chainsaws and other machines to cut trees into lumber by milling them with circular power saws instead of cutting them up with axes or other more primitive methods.

The machine was designed to be fairly small so that it could be taken apart easily and transported on a hand cart. This sawmill consists of two rotating circular saw blades which cut wood logs into boards and beams.

The Farmertec sawmill has a blade that rotates in one direction and another rotating in the opposite direction to mill both faces of the board simultaneously.

The design of this sawmill allows for it to be taken apart, transported on a hand cart and set up again with ease.

Farmertec Portable Chainsaw Mill 36 Inch Holzfforma Planking Milling Saw Log Equipment Bar Size from 14'' to 36''
56 Reviews
Farmertec Portable Chainsaw Mill 36 Inch Holzfforma Planking Milling Saw Log Equipment Bar Size from 14'' to 36''
  • Chainsaw mill material: Aluminum & Steel &Acrylic. Tags: Mills , Portable , Chainsaw Mills, 36 Inch
  • Planking Milling Height & Width Adjustable,hardware included for fast and easy installation.
  • Package includes 1PC Chainsaw Mill 1SET assembling Tool 1PC USER MANUAL
  • The weight of this item is around 7.5KGS, we ship it by the faster courier, you can get it within 10 days.
  • This chainsaw is ideal for homeowners, woodworkers, & carpenters, you can mill your own lumber at home or in the woods.

9. Timber Tuff TMW-56 Lumber

The Timber Tuff TMW-56 Lumber is a machine that can cut wood beams and boards to specific lengths for your construction projects. It is a high-precision machine that can cut any type of lumber, whether it’s treated or not.

The Timber Tuff TMW-56 Lumber is among the best chainsaw mills used in the construction of roofs, ceilings and flooring. It’s an easy to use unit that can be self-standing or bolted down. It has a steel housing with industrial strength cutting power.

Features

  • Heavy-duty chainsaw mill thanks to the steel construction
  • Has a durable powder-coart finish which makes it resistant to corrosion
  • Comes with a warranty of one year
  • It’s highly adjustable hence you can cut up to 2 x 6 inch boards.

Pros

  • It can handle heavy-duty tasks
  • Easy to assemble and use
  • Durable
  • Versatile machine

Cons

  • It’s slightly heavy

Breakdown

The Timber Tuff TMW-56 Lumber is a heavy-duty chainsaw mill that allows you to cut lumber for building or carpentry projects of almost any size. This chainsaw mill is also versatile, allowing you to convert it to a horizontal mill if needed and to convert it back. It is easy to use, with a push-button assembly and no tools required.

This chainsaw mill has the width of a maximum cut of 56 inches, which you can reach by attaching both blades. It’s a great solution for those times when you need to make lumber quickly and efficiently, as well as needing to make it from trees that are out in the wild.

Timber Tuff TMW-56 Lumber Cutting Guide
2,616 Reviews
Timber Tuff TMW-56 Lumber Cutting Guide
  • Adjustable to cut up to 2" x 6" boards; measures 8" x 8.25" x 2.75" high overall, making it easy to transport
  • Cut your own lumber and save yourself money with this must-have tool
  • Constructed of heavy-duty steel to withstand heavy use and wear
  • Durable powder-coat finish resists corrosion for a long-lasting product you can count on
  • Quick and easy assembly; 1 year limited Manufacturer's parts warranty

Chainsaw Mill Buyer’s Guide

Wondering what to look for in a chainsaw mill? The most effective chainsaw machine has the ability to cut timbers in the absolute easiest time. The best mill for you will be the mill matching your current chainsaw and your current timber cutting needs.

With that being said, let us look at some tips on how to find the best mill and how to find what you need to get the best cutting.

Price

Chainsaw mills can range in price depending on size and features. Aspiring millers should consider what they want the mill for, how much it will be used, and if they are handy enough to fix smaller problems that may arise.

A stationary mill affords more power than a portable sawmill but is harder to transport. Stationary mills also require more manpower (more than one person) to operate them while using larger trees for cutting lumber. Shop around different manufactures before deciding on the best fit for you or your business.

Power

The most important factor in the accuracy of your milling is the quality of power that comes with it. For stationary sawmills, consider whether or not you will need to upgrade the engine for more power later on.

Stationary mills come in gas and electric models depending on your preferred fuel source. Battery-powered mills are also available but require frequent charging between cuts.

Portable sawmills provide less power than stationary sawmills because they use small engines such as those found in lawn mowers or weed trimmers.

Most portable sawmills can handle logs up to six inches in diameter while some larger mills can accommodate up to eight inch trees. Portable sawmills are easier to transport but are less powerful than stationary ones.

Blade Size

The size of the blade is relative to the diameter of the tree that you will be cutting into lumber. Make sure that your chosen mill has a blade that can accommodate the diameter of your logs before buying one.

Chain Saw Mills have blades with different cutting angles, which determine how much material is cut off each time it passes through the guide bar and chain. Straight-cut blades remove more wood per pass resulting in faster cuts but smaller finished pieces.

Skip-cut blades remove less material with each pass and yield larger finished products with each rotation of the guide bar and chain. Depending on what you plan on building with your lumber, you may want to use one type of blade over the other.

Your expectations

Before you start shopping for a chainsaw mill, it is important to consider what your expectations are. Will you be using this chainsaw mill on a daily basis? Will you be needing it to cut trees four inches in diameter or twenty-four inches in diameter?

Will you be transporting your chainsaw mill or will it be stationary? Will you need the ability to cut angles (positive and negative) up to 45 degrees?

Cutting Capacity

A chainsaw mill must be compatible with your saw. If your chain is larger than the largest bar of your chainsaw mills cylinder you will not be able to get full use out of it. Also if your saw can only rotate at 6 rotations per minute (rpm) then it won’t matter what size of mill you buy because you simply won’t be able to cut fast enough for good milling results.

The rpm limit on most small low-cost saws is around 5 to 6 rpm; while top-of-the line high cost, higher horsepower imported professional units are rated at 8 to 10 rpm. At 4 feet in diameter and more of cut length, you would need more than 8 rpm to get the most out of your machine.

Cutting Depth

A chainsaw mill must be able to work with the depth of your saw bar. Typically available widths range from 12″ up to 42″, though on occasion one might find a blade that can be extended or adjusted to add or subtract twelve inches through telescoping adjustments.

Make sure the mill is deep enough to accommodate both your saw and its bar before purchase, as some milled lumber may require a lower cutting height than what is possible at this time due to size constraints on existing mills and saw bars.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions on matters regarding chainsaw mills.

How do I maintain my chainsaw mill?
A: The maintenance of all chainsaw products and machinery are easy. Take proper care of your device to maintain working condition for decades to come. Restore damaged parts immediately to avoid additional damage.

The rollers are the most important components of your sawmill. If you have dull, out-of-round or poorly maintained rollers, they will act like sand paper on your chainsaw bar and chain.

To make sure this does not happen, you should inspect the rollers every time before it gets dark (in winter). You do not want to go home at night knowing that one roller was shot when you didn’t even notice.

Are chainsaw mills any good?
Yes. Portable chainsaw mills are worth it. They make your work easier while looking for a source of wood for your projects.

What should I look for in a chainsaw mill?
The price is important when considering a mill, but quality should come before the price. The ease of use, how you are going to use it and chainsaw power is essential when looking at a chainsaw mill. Consider how much material you will be cutting.

If you are planning to make lumber on a larger scale, it will be necessary to purchase one of the mills that is more suited for heavy duty work.

Final Thoughts

All of these sawmills are high-quality, reliable products. Their major differences are found in price and what kind of job they can handle.

When you’re looking for an Alaskan sawmill to purchase, the most important things to keep in mind are your specific needs and your budget.

The smaller, vertical cut mills will be less expensive and are perfect for single jobs, like a fallen tree in your backyard or a project that only requires a few pieces of lumber. The horizontal cutting sawmills are typically more of an investment, but they can easily handle larger logs and hold up better to sustained use and long-term projects.

If you’ve never used a portable chainsaw mill, here is a good YouTube demonstration:

Regardless of which one you end up purchasing, Alaskan sawmills are great investments that pay for themselves. Just remember to know what kind of job you’re getting into and what your budget is before making a purchase.

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Timberland Enthusiast Jan 1977 – Present Columbia, South Carolina Since graduating from law school I have worked in various capacities within the real estate, timber management, lumber production and pine straw harvesting markets in South Carolina. Newmark Grubb Wilson Kibler May 2016 – Dec 2020 Columbia, South Carolina Det Bowers joined Newmark Grubb Wilson Kibler in May of 2016. Prior to joining Wilson Kibler, Mr. Bowers served as a licensed attorney practicing in Federal, State and Municipal Courts. Other business involvements have included real estate development, retail development and operations, agribusiness, forestry products, outdoor advertising and insurance.

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