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
Price not available
$129.95
$199.95
$119.98
$103.99
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
Price not available
Budget Option
Haddon Lumbermaker
Weight
3.6 lbs
Reviews
Price
$129.95
ALASKAN Granberg Chain Saw Mill, Model# G777, Orange, Silver
Weight
12.25 lbs
Reviews
Price
$199.95
Carmyra Portable Chainsaw Mill 36 Inches Planking Milling Bar Size 14 Inches to 36 Inches
Weight
16.5 lbs
Reviews
Price
$119.98
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
$103.99

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
57 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
210 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
574 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
1,106 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'')
256 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'')
  • We ship from US and it will de delivery about 1-6 working days. Our sawmill is made of durable aircraft aluminum and stainless steel, which gives you a lightweight and tough tool; Turning your chainsaw mill to a portable milling machine. High-Quality Mill Cuts Beams or Lumber from 0.5“ ”To 13“ Thick and 36” Wide.
  • The aluminum rails are very well finished and the steel parts appear to be chromed. This thing is sturdy, well built and looks really good.
  • This is a very good and inexpensive way for the hobbyist to mill lumber.
  • It assembled easily. Instructions consist only of a drawing and parts identification. It works very nicely. Easy assembly, looks to meet expectations.
  • This chainsaw is perfect for homeowners, woodworkers, carpenters, you can mill your own lumber at home or in the woods

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.

Related Articles

Sources:

0/5 (0 Reviews)
Author

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.

Write A Comment