If you’ve ever wanted to turn the wood or fallen trees in your yard into usable lumber, then go for a chainsaw mill. A chainsaw mill otherwise known as the Alaskan sawmill is an easy and inexpensive tool used for cutting huge wooden pieces into usable lumber. Using a chainsaw mill saves you the stress of moving a huge, clunky log from your yard.
Also, it helps you save some money. Hiring a professional to help you deal with any quantity of fallen trees in your yard will be quite expensive. Why not get yourself a simple tool that delivers effortless cuts and saves you money.
However, getting the best chainsaw mill that suits perfectly for your requirement and needs is quite a task. You need to consider a lot of things when shopping for a chainsaw mill. But don’t worry! I’ve got you covered! In this guide, you’ll get to know all the information required to get the best chainsaw mill for your cutting task.
Table of Contents
- How Does A Chainsaw Mill Work?
- Who, Why & When Need A Chainsaw Mill?
- Advantages of Using a Chainsaw Mill
- Drawbacks of Using a Chainsaw Mill
- Best Chainsaw Mill Buying Guide
- Who Makes The Best Chainsaw Mill?
- Best Chainsaw Mill – Reviews
- 1. ALASKAN Granberg Chainsaw Mill G777
- 2. GRANBERG Alaskan Mark-IV Chainsaw Mill G778-36
- 3. Granberg MK-IV Alaskan Chainsaw Mill G778-30
- 4. Carmyra Portable Chainsaw Mill
- 5. Zchoutrade YJBJ01-36 Portable Chainsaw Mill
- 6. HiHydro Portable Chainsaw Mill
- 7. JMTAAT Portable Chainsaw Mill
- 8. Haddon Lumbermaker CECOMINOD088770
- 9. Timber Tuff TMW-56 Lumber Cutting Guide
- 10. SHZOND Chainsaw Mill
- Final Verdict
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Is a chainsaw mill worth it?
- What’s the best size chainsaw to use with a chainsaw mill?
- How big of a chainsaw do I need for an Alaskan mill?
- Which mill is better – the ones with die-cast metal or made with stainless steel?
- How long does it take to mill wood with a chainsaw mill?
- How long will my chainsaw mill last?
- How to store a chainsaw mill?
- How do I care for and maintain my chainsaw mill?
- When is a ripping chain recommended to use?
- Do I have to wear any protective gear while working with the chainsaw mill?
How Does A Chainsaw Mill Work?
Once you secure the slabbing rail to the top of the log with screws, you’ll then need to get the chainsaw bar attached to the chainsaw mill. After that, gradually and carefully cuts down the length of the log. Make sure you’re using the slabbing rails as a guide to ensure you get straight cuts. Once the outer, rounder layer of the wood is removed, then you can set the slabbing rails aside, using the log’s upper parts as a guide for the following cuts.
Who, Why & When Need A Chainsaw Mill?
If you don’t want to hire a professional for your wood cutting task to save some money, then a chainsaw mill is for you. The major reason why people like to mill their own lumber without hiring a professional is cost. Once you have a chainsaw mill, you don’t have to pay or hire any pro or even bring in multiple saws, all your cost on oil, tools, and had only. You probably need a chainsaw mill when you have fallen trees in your yard and you’re not financially buoyant enough to hire professionals.
Advantages of Using a Chainsaw Mill
Using a chainsaw mill to cut fallen trees into usable lumber has a lot of benefits. I’ll mention a few.
- It’s ideal for DIYers
- Using a chainsaw mill helps save a smart amount of money
- Less stress and hassle
- Offers better portability
- Easy to transport to the worksite
- Delivers better and straighter cuts
- User-friendly and easy to use
- Easy to maintain
- Useful for remote locations
- Good size for non-professional millers
- Relatively easy to setup
- Handles fairly large trees
Drawbacks of Using a Chainsaw Mill
I’ve listed some of the disadvantages of using a chainsaw mill.
- Some chainsaw mills cone with horrible AV and ignition problems
- Chainsaw mill tends to run hot
- Might not be able to effectively cut wide slab of lumber
- Some might take time for setup
- Bolts quality are always a problem
Best Chainsaw Mill Buying Guide
The chainsaw mill is a mimic of a miniature sawmill. One or two persons can operate it. It comes with a guide track to ensure accuracy at work. However, some simple models will lack a guide bar, and you can customize one for the chainsaw mill.
The bar’s length will determine the width of the lumber that your chainsaw can operate to cut. You need to determine how wide or fatty the wood or lumber you will be mostly working on with the chainsaw.
The bar capacity must support your wood width correctly for a proper cut without much hassle.
Also, remember that the bar capacity of the chainsaw mill is fixed. It means the bars of the saw aren’t expandable. So, if you want to increase the bar capacity, you will need to buy a chainsaw mill newly.
As the title suggests, the chainsaw mill’s cutting depth will actually determine how deep you can cut on the lumber or logs. The majority of the chainsaw mills will provide you with a cutting depth of about 1/2″ to 12″.
However, some high-end chainsaw claims to have a 13″ cutting depth as a roundup, but that’s not practical. Also, note that the cutting depth is adjustable to determine how thick or thin you want to cut the board. The adjustability should be made comfortable, though.
When you purchase a chainsaw mill, the chances are high that you will adjust it with your existing chainsaw. It means the mill is going to work with a current chainsaw. And that’s where the compatibility of the chainsaw mill comes to the forefront.
Ensure that the mill you are buying will work with the saw you already have in your workshop or home. It will save money from purchasing a secondary chainsaw. There is a variety of chainsaws compatibility.
Some works without the wrapped handle, while some mills will ask for a drilling hole in the chainsaw.
Construction Quality and Durability
A chainsaw mill is primarily designed to cut large lumbers and for heavy-duty milling chores. Hence, it often goes extreme work pressure that the chainsaw mill must stand out. So, the construction quality and durability of a chainsaw mill are of prime importance.
Most chainsaw mills are made with either aluminum or steel. Some high-end machines are a combination of both. Look for the users’ reviews to find the right durability of the chainsaw for your milling jobs.
Steel is undoubtedly more durable than aluminum. But aluminum has its advantages too. First off, it is lighter than steel. Secondly, in case of any jams in the mill, aluminum provides flexibility for easy fixing. So, if you plan for an aluminum-built chainsaw mill, ensure that you get one labeled aircraft-grade aluminum or of similar quality.
Chainsaw Power Rating
The power rating of the chainsaw will figure out the power output provided by the motor. There are two types of consideration, depending on the chainsaw mill’s fuel or power source. Ideally, your chainsaw should have at least 50cc of engine combustion or 1.5HP power output to accomplish the lumber cutting jobs.
Anything beyond this mentioned limit will lack the power to perform regular milling jobs on large wood boards or lumbers.
Weight and Portability
When you have options to choose from a range of similar chainsaw mills, the weight becomes an important consideration. The chainsaw mill weight has a direct impact on the overall portability and performance of the machine.
A heavier chainsaw mill with increased inertia offers maximum steadiness when you cut large lumbers and logs. The stability helps you perform massive cuts with easiness and ensures accuracy. But heavier chainsaws are challenging to transport.
So, decide what is crucial for you. If you work from one place to another frequently, the weight will be essential, and you would want a lighter chainsaw. Nonetheless, if you have an off-road vehicle, the weight won’t limit the chainsaw mobility.
Since a chainsaw mill is built for tackling large lumbers and logs, there’re chances that it will go through extreme cutting and milling sessions. If it is not durable, your investment might not be worthy. The durability is assessable from the warranty manufacturer provides.
Ideally, you must look for at least 1-year warranty of the chainsaw against any manufacturing defect. Also, some producers may provide up to 3-years of servicing warranty.
Price and Budget
A chainsaw mill, literally speaking, is available from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars. It depends on the overall build quality, bar size, cutting depth capacity, etc. So, determine your work necessity and finalize your budget before the chainsaw purchasing.
When you have a fixed budget, the buying time will lessen, and you will end up getting a chainsaw with the best features in your expectations.
Who Makes The Best Chainsaw Mill?
Carmyra, Granberg, and Zchoutrade all make the best chainsaw mills available on the market. They are the biggest manufacturers of premium quality chainsaw mills in the market.
Carmyra is a big manufacturing brand that produces home & kitchen, beauty & personal care, industrial & scientific, tool & home improvement, lawn & garden products. Their product has received a lot of positive feedbacks from customers, meaning that these customers are satisfied with their products and services.
This is another top brand in the industry of lawn & garden tools. For over a decade, Granberg has been delivering high-quality power tools that are durable, cost-effective, and offer great performance. If you’re looking for a reliable brand to buy a chainsaw mill from, Granberg remains a top pick.
Lastly, the Zchoutrade is a lawn & garden tools manufacturing brand. They are dedicated to delivering the best hand tools at affordable prices. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, the Zchoutrade brand should be your first choice.
Best Chainsaw Mill – Reviews
1. ALASKAN Granberg Chainsaw Mill G777
Want to have your sawmill at your home?
You may wonder why I am blabbering.
But it is not, let me clarify. I am talking about the Alaskan Greenberg G777 sawmill.
With the G777, you can turn your chainsaw into your sawmill machine. So, if you ever need to turn your logs into useable lumber, you can place your trust in it.
Let’s see what types of chainsaw this G777 will fit in?
The G777 sawmill will fit a chainsaw that features 20″ inch bars or smaller. But, beware of smaller bars also must at least 2.8″ in width. Because some small bars are too narrow to mount. So, be careful while buying.
You must make sure you have a sharp chain to get the most out of the G777. This will ensure maximum efficiency and safety.
The G777 is to use with powerful gas chainsaws. I suggest a minimum of 60 CC. But, the more power the more productivity with the power increases. But it is not to use with an electric chainsaw -neither corded nor battery powered.
This G777 sawmill is lightweight and compact. So, you can easily move it here and there. You can make all kinds of cuts and nearly to any length. Its attachment is easy: No bar drilling is needed.
With increased accuracy and easy adjustment, this G777 also ensures less vibration.
Have it and enjoy the benefits of a sawmill at your home.
- Maximum efficiency and safety
- Easy adjustment
- Less vibration
2. GRANBERG Alaskan Mark-IV Chainsaw Mill G778-36
Milling lumber with chainsaws is now easy and simple. If you have a pile of logs and want to turn these rough logs into beautiful slabs or perfectly dimensioned lumber, GRANBERG MK-iv chainsaw mill G778-38 should be your ultimate solution.
The G778-36 chainsaw mill allows you to cut planks and beams up to 72 inches huge and 13 inches deep.
The G778 sawmill is lightweight and portable. You can move it where trees were felled. So turning oversized logs into usable sizes is now easy and simple.
What is worth mentioning is that even if you are new to this business, you can easily handle it; you don’t need to have previous experience. This is easy to adjust. No bar drilling is required; it clams on the chainsaw bar.
The G778 also comes with new end brackets to help you have more accurate cuts, and ensure less vibration. These end- brackets are unbreakable too.
Provided that, you will get optimal results if you use it in conjunction with Granberg ripping chain.
I also suggest you use their ones.
Get hold of this and mill lumber with your chainsaw.
- Beginners friendly
- Accurate cuts
- Less vibration
3. Granberg MK-IV Alaskan Chainsaw Mill G778-30
The Alaskan MK-iv 30″ chainsaw mill is what you need if you have a chainsaw with bars of 30″ or less and 60cc or more displacement. It is one of Granberg’s popular packages. It offers you everything you need to get milling right away.
Being coupled with your chainsaw, it can cut planks and beams up to 26″ wide and 1/2″ to 13″ deep. It allows timbers to be milled from where trees are felled. It turns cedar, wallet, and oak into high-quality lumber.
It is easy to adjust. Just with a few turns of a wrench, you can mount it to the chain bar; no drilling is required.
It also comes with a rail system, which makes its setting pretty easy. Thanks to its steel and aluminum. Constructions. It is durable.
All Granberg chainsaw mils come with a lifetime parts warranty against defect or wear and tear damage, so does G778-30.
At first, I used it on a test run project. But now it has become one of my constant companions.
You should buy it. I believe you will get what you pay for.
- Easy adjustment
- Rail system
- Steel and aluminum construction
- Lifetime parts warranty
- Not note worthy
4. Carmyra Portable Chainsaw Mill
Milling lumber on your own must save a lot of hassles. Even then due to being costly, some can not afford a chainsaw mill. But now they can get hold of a chainsaw mill to turn logs into unable lumber at home.
Here, I am going to introduce you to a very cost-effective chainsaw mill that may fit your budget.
Yes, it is a Carmyra portable chainsaw mill. It is very much affordable. Though it is ideal for homeowners, whoever has small projects to do also can have it.
This camera sawmill will fit almost any regular chainsaw-whether it is corded, battery-powered, or gas-driven, it doesn’t matter. Its attachment to your chainsaw won’t give you any difficulty. Because you don’t need any drilling bar to attach.
This sawmill can make lumber up to 13 inches wide. It weighs only 16.30 Lbs. It is durable. Thanks to its steel and aluminum construction. It is also easy to assemble. Even a beginner can do it with the help of the manual.
Lastly, I can only say that you cannot get better than this at this price range.
Buy and enjoy your milling.
- Perfect for small projects
- Fits all types of chainsaws
- No difficulty in attachment
- Easy assemble
- Not note worthy
5. Zchoutrade YJBJ01-36 Portable Chainsaw Mill
If you have fallen trees in your yard, you shouldn’t leave them to go to waste. Right? I believe you also want to turn them into useable lumber. But you may retreat thinking of the hassle of going to a sawmill or the cost of a portable sawmill.
Don’t worry. Now you can mill lumber right away with your chainsaw even if you are on a tight budget with zchoutrade.
Yes, this Zchoutrade sawmill comes at a very low cost. The design is rigid; stay tight with your chainsaw. So tightening the mill won’t be a hassle every time.
This sawmill suits chainsaws with bars of 14 inches to 36 inches. It needs no drilling bar to attach. The ruler on the sides is accurate. It is made up of high-quality steel and aluminum.
I found the instructions clear enough while some didn’t. But I think if you have mechanical knowledge, you can find it very easy to install. This sawmill also comes with a 30-day money-back warranty.
But you may find a couple of the bolts stripped early in use. If so, you just upgrade the nuts to long-rod nuts. It won’t happen again. It also comes with a chainsaw wrench to work on the nuts used for assembly and adjustment.
Overall, it is a great product. Buy and attach to your chainsaw and get ready to mill your own timber slabs.
- Very affordable
- Rigid design
- Accurate side ruler
- No drilling bar
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Bolts stripped early
- Not clear enough instructions
6. HiHydro Portable Chainsaw Mill
Milling professionally may cost you a large fortune while doing it yourself can save you money and also help you make some cash by selling. So, it will be a wise decision for you if you decide to mill lumber on your own.
So, if what you want are affordability and versatility at the same time, you can place your trust in HiHydro portable chainsaw mill.
This lumber mill is well-built and suits a chainsaw with an 18 to 36-inch bar length. It is made of aircraft-grade aluminum and stainless steel, which makes it lightweight and tough at the same time. That’s why you can take it to where you need to work. You can deal with any quantity of felled or fallen trees.
It makes straight cuts. At 32″ on above you need someone to assist to push through. It is inexpensive. It is easy to assemble; no drilling is required; most people only require a short time to set it up.
So, redefine your timber business with HiHydro.
- Straight cuts
- Need little time to set
- Not worth mentioning
7. JMTAAT Portable Chainsaw Mill
There is always a pile of logs in my yard throughout the year. So I had been searching for a cheaper chainsaw mill to turn these logs into useable lumbers at home. Then one of my friends recommended JMTAAt portable chainsaw mill (14″-36″).
It is affordable yet met my expectations and so will yours, I believe. I am satisfied so far.
This mill suits bar ranging from 14 to 36 inches in length, up to 12″ thick, and 36″ wide. Being made out of steel and aluminum, you find it a lightweight and durable one. It weighs only 13.5 Ibs. It is easy to use.
But some may find its assembly instructions are not enough. But if have basic knowledge, it is easy to assemble; once assembled it works great.
- Easy assembly
- Little ambiguous instructions
8. Haddon Lumbermaker CECOMINOD088770
With the Haddon Lumber maker chainsaw mill, you can make your valuable lumber for a fraction of the regular cost. Yes, it is such inexpensive that those who are on a low budget can also afford it.
One of its most worth-mentioning features is that it is lightweight, probably it is the lightest chainsaw mill available on the market. It weighs only 4 pounds. So, you can easily maneuver it to anywhere the tree falls.
This sawmill is versatile. What I mean is that it can easily fit in many regular chainsaws. It also attaches to the bar in seconds. It can easily make square cuts and work with both 2*4 and 2*6 inches guide boards. It fits with the regular chain and also swivels for plunge cuts.
The sawmill is rust-proof. Thanks to its all-steel construction which increases its lifetime. It also offers a lifetime warranty- the cherry on the cake. Isn’t it?
Moreover, it also comes with an instruction manual. It will be to a new user’s benefit.
- Lifetime warranty
- Easy maneuver
- Little ambiguous instruction
- A little bit dangerous for beginners
9. Timber Tuff TMW-56 Lumber Cutting Guide
If you want to have an affordable alternative to a regular chainsaw mill, Timber Tuff should be a constant companion then. It lets you cut lumber by saving your money at the same time. But it doesn’t compromise its quality. You will get your money’s worth.
You can adjust this tool up to 2″ * 6″ boards, which help you have clean lumber that you can use on a wide variety of different projects.
The Timber Tuff sawmill is compact. So, it is easy to transport wherever you need it.
Plus, being constructed with heavy-duty steel, it can withstand heavy use and wear. Also, the powder-coat finish is to resist corrosion.
I must tell you you can count on its long lifetime.
This tool is easy to assemble and small enough to easily maneuver and stable to use.
I believe this is what you need to make lumber on your own-inexpensive yet effective.
Buy it and cut lumbers from logs and save both your time and money.
- Corrosion- resistance
- Easy maneuver
- Limited 1-year manufacturing parts warranty
10. SHZOND Chainsaw Mill
SHZOND chainsaw mill is a perfect fit for homeowners, woodworkers, and carpenters. This lumber mill can turn rough logs into beautiful slabs in thickness from 1/2 into 12 in.
I loved this small chainsaw mill for its being easy to put together. It can be attached directly to your chainsaw; you don’t need to have a drilling bar; it clamps into the chain bar.
The SHZOND sawmill is made from durable aircraft aluminum and stainless steel.
So, even upon heavy usage, and wear it can withstand. It is also portable. You can easily transport it to remote areas.
It is a quality product. You can give it a try.
- No drilling bar needed
- Made from durable aluminum and steel
- Not worth mentioning
Now, you don’t need to go outside to mill your lumber -you can do it at your home. There are many portable chainsaw mills available on the market. I hope you have already gone through the review and learned about in and out of the above ones.
I count on GRANANBERG Alaskan Mark-IV Chainsaw Mill G778-36. It is the best fit for both professionals and beginners. But for beginners, it is like the cherry on the cake. So, if you are a beginner, you can depend on it. You don’t need to have previous experience. It is lightweight and portable. It is easy to use; it produces less vibration and ensures accuracy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
I’ve listed some questions and answers for you to know more about chainsaw mills. Check them out!
Is a chainsaw mill worth it?
Chainsaw mill might not worth the time and physic needs required to mill heavy-duty logs. Besides, it cost a little penny and still produces a lot of sawdust in form of waste. However, if you’re looking for something to cut small woods into usable lumber, a chainsaw mill could be worth the effort and time.
What’s the best size chainsaw to use with a chainsaw mill?
Cutting woods into lumber is a slow and tedious task that requires a powerful chainsaw for effective performance. Preferably, a gas chainsaw is a better option than an electric-powered one. Your chainsaw should have at least a 50cc engine or more for robust performance. Also, the absolute minimum length of your chainsaw should be not less than 20 inches. You’ll certainly get enough flexibility when you’re working with a chainsaw with a 24 inches bar.
How big of a chainsaw do I need for an Alaskan mill?
Normally, you’ll need at least 3 inches extra at the end of the bar for the attachment of an Alaskan mill. For softer woods and smaller logs, a chainsaw with an engine size of at least 60cc is recommended, while a minimum of 90cc is great for tougher woods and bigger logs. So, consider all of these factors before going for your preferred choice.
Which mill is better – the ones with die-cast metal or made with stainless steel?
Non-ferrous metals like Magnesium, Zinc, and Aluminum are used for making most Die-cast metal of chainsaw mill. However, going for an investment casting helps cast those metals with ferrous metals including Stainless Steel.
However, a chainsaw mill made with Stainless Steel has a bigger advantage because it’s more resistant and stronger to impact than Die-cast metal.
How long does it take to mill wood with a chainsaw mill?
Generally, the more powerful the saw is, the better and faster it’ll cut. That’s how it is in the world of chainsaw milling. Smaller chainsaw mills to some level but it’s going to be slower. It might take about 10-15 minutes when using a more powerful chainsaw mill. But except more time when you’re cutting with a smaller chainsaw mill, especially if you’re cutting a bigger and thicker log of wood.
How long will my chainsaw mill last?
Normally, a well-designed and built chainsaw mill should last you at least 8 years or more depending on how often you use and maintain it. If you don’t use the saw more frequently and you maintain and store it very well, it may last you more than 10 years. The most important thing here is that you have to maintain and take proper care of your chainsaw mill if you want to enjoy cutting with it for a long time.
How to store a chainsaw mill?
Proper storage of your chainsaw mill will help maintain its work efficiency and performance. Also, proper storage improves the lifespan of your chainsaw mill. If you want your chainsaw mill to last long, ensure it is always stored properly. Follow the following tips to store a chainsaw mill.
- Make sure you empty the tank fuel of your chainsaw before storing it
- Ensure that you dismantle the chainsaw and clean every part and spray with protective oil
- Then store in a dry, cool place away from the sun and dust-free.
How do I care for and maintain my chainsaw mill?
Proper maintenance is the key to the long lifespan of your chainsaw mill. Follow the following tips to maintain your chainsaw mill.
- Make sure you don’t overwork the motor
- Always check the chain and bar oil levels regularly.
- Ensure the blades of the saw are sharp. Cutting with dull blades leads to dangerous kickback.
- Clean regularly
- Lubricate some metal parts
- Replace worn parts
- Ensure a proper storage system
When is a ripping chain recommended to use?
A ripping chain is recommended when you intend to cut parallel to the wood grain. For better results when cutting parallel with the grain, you need to replace your normal chainsaw chain with a ripping chain. A ripping chain has a differently angled tooth for a smoother and better cut. Another thing that makes ripping chain better is that it retains its sharpness longer than normally chains. That’s not all! It is more resistant to damage.
Do I have to wear any protective gear while working with the chainsaw mill?
To ensure maximum safety when working with a chainsaw mill, you need to wear some protective gear. These include;
- Thick trousers
- Hearing protection
- Chainsaw safety mitt
- Goggles or visor: it helps to protect your eyes from sawdust or chips
- Helmet: Chainsaw helmet helps to protect your head against impact