A chainsaw mill is an essential item for any serious chainsaw owner, and they are an expensive item to buy. With the price of these things going through the roof, are they really worth it?

If you’re wondering whether you should buy a chainsaw mill, the answer is: it depends. Some are better at producing boards than others – and, more importantly, some are cheaper to buy.  

But, if you plan to use the mill to produce boards, it may be well worth spending the extra cash.

After all, the cutting head is designed to maximise the amount of wood that can be extracted from a log, compared to the rest of the mill.

Why a chainsaw mill might be worth it?

The first thing we should note here is that a chainsaw mill isn’t always better than using a band sawmill. There are some situations where they may both be viable options.

For example, if you plan on making smaller pieces like 2x6s, then a chainsaw mill might actually be faster because you wouldn’t have to worry about having enough space between cuts.

Chainsaw milling can help you make longer pieces too. For instance, if your goal was to cut down a tree into logs, but not necessarily turn them into lumber.

Then a chainsaw would probably work best. It’s also possible to get away with just one pass when milling trees this way.

However, there are other reasons why buying a chainsaw mill could be worthwhile. The most obvious reason is that it will save time in the long run.

What to consider when using chainsaw milling gear?

Chainsaw milling can help you save time by allowing you to do multiple passes over a single piece of timber without needing to stop and reset the machine each time. This means less downtime overall.

It’s important to remember, though, that even if you don’t need to spend as much money on a chainsaw mill, you still want something that works properly.

So how does a good chainsaw mill compare to cheap ones? Let’s take a look!

  • Quality vs price

When looking at quality versus price, it’s easy to see which option has the edge. A high-quality chainsaw mill will usually cost around 1000 UK pounds or so.

But, while those prices aren’t bad, they’re certainly higher than what you’d pay for a low-end model.

  • Cutting head size

Another factor to keep in mind is the size of the cutting heads available. If you only need to cut small items like 2x4s, then a lower-end model might suffice.

However, if you plan on doing larger jobs, such as turning large diameter logs into lumber, then you’ll likely need a bigger unit.

  • Power source

Another consideration is power source. Most people prefer electric motors to gas engines, simply due to their reliability and ease of maintenance.

Electric models tend to come with variable speed controls, whereas gas units often require constant adjustment.

What is the best type of chainsaw mill out there?

Chopping wood with a chainsaw is one of the most physically demanding activities available, especially if you happen to be doing it with a homemade machine or one that needs to be chopped up for parts.

Many people opt to use a chainsaw mill, which typically consists of a chainsaw attached to a metal frame that spins around a central axis.

Chainsaw mills are a lot more than just a classic and beloved wood cutting tool. They can be used in a variety of settings, from the smallest garden shed to the largest lumber yard.

For those looking for an affordable and reliable chainsaw mill, the following are a few of the best.

  • Grizzly GSM100 chainsaw mill – Best value for money

The Grizzly GSM100 is a great choice for anyone who wants a simple yet effective solution for chopping wood.

This particular model comes equipped with a 1hp motor and features a 3″ x 4″ cutting capacity. That makes it perfect for smaller projects, including making firewood blocks.

  • Husqvarna HSS500 chainsaw milling machine – High performance

If you have some experience working with sawmills but would rather not invest too much cash up front, this may be your next step.

Husqvarna offers a wide range of products, all designed to make life easier.

Their HSS500 is no exception. It includes everything needed to get started right away, including a 5 hp engine and a 6″ x 8″ cutting capacity.

  • DeWalt DCS600M sawmill – Powerful and versatile

DeWalt is another name synonymous with quality tools. The company also produces other useful devices, such as drills and circular saws.

Their DCS600M is a powerful and versatile piece of equipment. This model boasts a 7.5 horsepower engine and a 10″ x 12″ cutting capacity.

It’s ideal for medium-sized tasks, such as building decks or even creating furniture.

  • Panther chainsaw mill

Panther is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality power tools and accessories. They are committed to providing you with only the best products at affordable prices. 

Features:

  • Professional grade saw chain cutter used by professional milling
  • Height adjustable stand
  • Adjustable depth stop
  • Easy one step installation
  • First cut system allows you to make your first cut without any adjustments

Anyone ever chainsaw mill for profit?

The only way you can make money is if you have lots of time available to spend doing nothing but cutting wood.

If that’s what you want to do, then go ahead – there will always be someone willing to pay more than 20 pounds/hr for this kind of work.

Commercial milling yards in the UK can earn as much as £10 per hour!

However, if you’re interested in using a chainsaw mill on a regular basis, here are a couple of things to consider before buying.

One thing to consider is that the location of your commercial milling yard and the pieces of lumber you can produce each day.

The competition from lumber yards may vary depending on where you live. If you don’t mind spending hours driving around town every week, you could probably find enough customers to keep you busy.

The amounts of lumber you can produce will also affect the profit of your business. 

How big is my project going to be?

You’ll need enough space to store the logs once they’ve been processed into boards. If you plan on storing them outside, you should factor in how long it takes to dry out after processing.

Do you need experiences with milling?

Some people find it difficult to use a chainsaw mill because they don’t know where to start. You might benefit from taking classes so you learn proper techniques.

What type of woods am i planning to process?

There are different types of woods that require specific techniques when being milled.

For example, softwoods like pine tend to splinter easily, while hardwoods like oak won’t break apart unless you hit them really hard.

  • Fresh cut wood

You can use fresh-cut woods for milling projects. However, keep in mind that these materials aren’t suitable for outdoor storage due to their tendency to rot quickly.

  • Milled wood

Milled wood is already split and ready to be stored outdoors. These pieces usually come straight off the tree and are perfect for making benches, tables, etc.

  • Wood chips

These are small chunks of wood that were removed during lumber production. Wood chips are great for mulching around plants and trees.

  • Logs

A log is simply an entire tree trunk. Logs are often sold by volume instead of weight. A typical 1 cubic foot log weighs about 50 lbs.

  • Lumber

This term refers to thin strips of wood that are typically 2-4 inches thick. Lumber comes in many shapes and sizes depending on its intended purpose.

  • Board

A board is made up of multiple layers of lumbers glued together. Boards are commonly found in construction sites and home improvement stores.

  • Ply wood

Plywood can also be used for milling purposes. It consists of several layers of veneer or other material laminated together. Plywood is very durable and easy to handle.

  • Sawn timber

Timber has been sawn down to create thinner sections called timbers. Saws are used to remove the outer layer of wood, leaving behind smaller pieces known as timbers.

  • Stump

A stump is just another name for a piece of deadwood left over after logging. Stumps are generally too large to sell individually.

  • Living tree

A living tree can be used for milling purposes but requires special care. Living trees have sap running through them, which makes them susceptible to rotting.

  • Tree trunks

The trunk is the main body of a tree. Trunks vary greatly in size and shape depending on species. Some trunks may weigh hundreds of pounds.

  • Pine tree

Pine trees are one of the most common sources of raw wood. Pine trees grow fast and produce lots of branches.

They’re ideal for milling since they’re relatively light and easy to move.

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Scott Buckley

I'm Scott, a Woodworker by day and book geek by night. I love making things out of wood. While I have and still, on occassion do, work with metal and plastics, I find them to be cold and somewhat boring. Wood is warm and I feel close to nature with it. I started TeachMeDIY.co.uk as a means to help like minded creative folk to answer burning questions. I hope you enjoy reading and learning, and always feel free to reach out to me should you have any questions!

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