A chainsaw mill is definitely a tool of choice when you want to rip a fashionable lumber out of trees and logs. This pair of rails holds a chainsaw as a guide when sawing through a log to get a lumber, board, or plank.
Chainsaw mills are essential tools if you intend to turn your logs into usable lumber and you don’t want to spend a fortune to take your logs all the way to the sawmill. To get started, you need a powered engine chainsaw and this mill.
How do you get the right chainsaw mill is a question you’re probably trying to answer. With the many models flooded in the marketplace, getting the best chainsaw mill can be a daunting task. In this article, however, we will show you the right way out of your dilemma.
Allow us first to present some of the best chainsaw mills that could be perfect for your needs.
Table of Contents
- 5 best Chainsaw Mills
- Granberg Chain Saw Mill, Model# G777 – Best Overall Chainsaw Mill — $$
- Carmyra Portable Chainsaw Mill 36” Inch planking Milling Bar Size 14” to 36”Granberg Chain Saw Mill, Model# G777 – Best Adjustable Chainsaw Mill — $$
- Granberg MK-IV Alaskan Chainsaw Mill with 30” Rails (Model G778-30) — Best Medium Chainsaw Mill — $$$
- Zchoutrade Portable Chainsaw Mill 14-36 Inch Portable Aluminum Steel Mig Welding Saw Mill 36” Planking Lumber Cutting Bar — Best for Beginners — $$
- Alaskan Mark-IV Chainsaw Mill-(36”) — Best Runner-Up — $$$
- How to Find the Best Chainsaw Mill – Buyer’s Guide
- Tips for a Smoother Milling Experience
- Frequently Asked Questions
5 best Chainsaw Mills
Granberg Chain Saw Mill, Model# G777 – Best Overall Chainsaw Mill — $$
This mill comes with a high-quality U.S manufactured aircraft aluminum and zinc-plated steel construction that gives it lightweight properties. With it, you can attach your chainsaw without having to use a drill bar. It is specially designed to suit chainsaws with 20-inches or fewer bar lengths. Moreover, it comes with a hardware that is crucial for assembly and an accurate instruction manual that is essential for beginners.
This high-quality mill can rip beams or lumber from 1/2-Inch to 13-inches thick and up to 17-inches wide. Granberg Chainsaw mill Model#G777 is a high-quality mill that we strongly recommend as it is the number one best lightweight chainsaw mill with an overall great performance. It’s an ideal choice if you want a lightweight and portable mill to carry wherever your milling takes you.
However, this mill ought to be used with chainsaws of less than 50cc power only.
- Lightweight and portable
- Highly versatile
- Relatively affordable
- Handles chainsaws with less than 20-inch bars only
- Not used with more than 50cc power engines
- Assembly is required
- Guide rails not included
Carmyra Portable Chainsaw Mill 36” Inch planking Milling Bar Size 14” to 36”Granberg Chain Saw Mill, Model# G777 – Best Adjustable Chainsaw Mill — $$
Carmyra Portable Chainsaw mill makes a great choice for people who want to work on small milling projects like squaring and edging the slabs. Owing to its streamlined construction, however, it’s not ideal for bigger lumbers.
Carmyra Portable Chainsaw mill 36-inch is designed and constructed by Farmertec to fit chainsaw bars ranging from 14-inches to 36-inches. It is constructed from high-quality steel and aluminum materials that are lightweight, thus making it convenient to carry around. You can also attach your chainsaw easily without necessarily drilling the bar, thus making it an easy and quick installation process. You just attach your chainsaw bar directly.
This versatile and efficient 36-inch chainsaw mill comes with adjustable lumber plank width and height. If you are a woodworker or homeowner and want to carry out small milling project, this might be the right chainsaw mill for you. However, if you are a novice to milling, then you may encounter trouble operating this chainsaw mill.
- Great fit for 14” to 36” chainsaw bars
- Designed and made from aluminum and steel
- Reasonably priced even though it comes with powerful chainsaws for great performance
- No guide and chainsaw bars
- Difficult to mill with
Granberg MK-IV Alaskan Chainsaw Mill with 30” Rails (Model G778-30) — Best Medium Chainsaw Mill — $$$
The length of a chainsaw mill determines the kind of wood you can rip in a single motion. Granberg MK-IV is a medium-length mill that is great for handling small milling projects and lumber when you do not want boards and planks that are too large.
This chainsaw mill is a better choice if you want to rip large logs of between 27-inches wide and 0.5 to 13-inches thick. It features 30-inch rails that lead the saw blade attachment while enabling you to create a clean and straight cut without much effort and trouble.
Granberg MK-IV mill clamps onto your chainsaw bar without the need of drilling. It is portable, which means you can conveniently mill wherever the tree falls. Its CNC machined billet end brackets are precise and easier to adjust and produce minimum vibrations for a comfortable milling.
This mill is designed and constructed from tubular aircraft aluminum extrusion and zinc-plated steel parts for stability. It comes with an instruction manual and assembly hardware for easy assembling.
If you are a homeowner, a woodworker, or an arborist, this might be your preferred choice for accurate cuts of beams and planks.
- Great for heavy duty lumber
- Easy adjusting for all different size cuts
- Very rigid and sturdy
- Anti-vibration system with CNC machine end brackets
- Slow when ripping
- Too heavy
- Quite expensive
Zchoutrade Portable Chainsaw Mill 14-36 Inch Portable Aluminum Steel Mig Welding Saw Mill 36” Planking Lumber Cutting Bar — Best for Beginners — $$
A small chainsaw mill can be easy to set and handle since it is designed with the novice in mind. if you are a beginner, it means that you need to own a mill that is easy to attach the saw and operate compared to other options. Zchoutrade Chainsaw mill is greatly designed and constructed specially for beginners.
Zchoutrade Chainsaw Mill is ideal for ripping usable boards and planks and its capable of ripping lumbers of up to 13-inches thick and 36-inches wide. It comes with easy to use chainsaw blade attachments that won’t take you too much time to set up. You don’t have to drill the bar to attach your saw. Moreover, the lumber clamps and guide rails simplify the cutting of logs. With just a push, everything is in place and properly aligned to commence ripping.
It’s designed and constructed from high-quality steel and aluminum materials that make it lightweight and portable. Zchiutrade Chainsaw allows you to get the right setting and setup in order to have excellent cuts and boards. This makes it ideal for beginners.
- High-quality construction materials
- No drilling to attach bar
- Lightweight and portable
- Great for beginners
- Easy to setup
- Assembly instruction not so great
Alaskan Mark-IV Chainsaw Mill-(36”) — Best Runner-Up — $$$
Alaskan Mark-IV is a heavy duty and versatile mill that cuts boards and planks with precision ranging from 0.5 to 13-inches deep as well as 20-inch wide. It is easy to set up since it clamps onto the chainsaw without necessarily drilling the bar.
It is constructed with aluminum and steel materials that are lightweight, thus making it portable and easy to use. In fact, no earlier experience is required. It also features the latest CNC-Machined end brackets that are great and easy to adjust, are more accurate, and can considerably reduce vibration. This Chainsaw Mill is a great choice for woodworkers, homeowners, and sawyers who want optimum ripping results.
This Alaskan Mark-IV model is big and can be used wherever a tree is cut or falls. It can cut and trim all kinds of trees from cedar, oak, and walnut.
- Lightweight and portable
- Ideal for big lumber
- Constructed with high-quality materials
- Easy to adjust
- Versatile and cuts a variety of trees
- Quite expensive
- Assembly required
- High-powered chainsaw need to utilize this mill
How to Find the Best Chainsaw Mill – Buyer’s Guide
If you are shopping around for the best chainsaw mill that won’t compromise your budget, it won’t hurt if you took a closer look at the following factors that are essential in making a wise buying decision. This is because we understand how important it is for you to buy what will serve your milling needs. Take a look!
Bar capacity is the primary limit on the kind of width of a log you will be able to cut through. This is how important it is to consider the bar capacity. You can get the ideal chainsaw mill for your needs by measuring the diameter of the wood or trunk you intend to be cutting once you purchase your chainsaw mill.
Otherwise, you will end up buying a chainsaw mill with a small capacity for your needs. Considering that they aren’t extendable, this could mean not being able to complete your project. As such, the kind of logs or wood you intend to cut is the determinant of the bar capacity you will buy.
This is yet another crucial consideration since it determines the thickness of the boards you cut using your chainsaw mill. Luckily, this is adjustable, implying that you can cut boards to your preferred thickness but to certain limits.
Although the thickness limit is dependent on particular chainsaws mills, a majority of them features cutting depths that range from 0.5-inch to 12-inches in thickness. However, there is a few that roundups to cut 13-inches of thickness.
Of what importance is a chainsaw mill if it can’t accommodate your chainsaw? Although most chainsaw mills are designed to be compatible with most chainsaw brands, it is important to ensure that your current chainsaw will perfectly work with whatever mill you buy.
What’s more, some chainsaw mills require a chainsaw with a drilling hole for a perfect fit whereas others do not need it. A few like Logosol will fit a chainsaw without a full-wrap handle.
Construction and durability
Typically, chainsaw mills are constructed to withstand heavy-duty milling of lumber. As such, you have to consider a chainsaw mill that can help you complete bigger projects. Finding well-designed and built mills that can be long lasting is important. In fact, most customers value durability when it comes to chainsaw mill reviews.
Aluminum, steel, and a blend of the two are the commonly used material used in the building of chainsaw mills. Steel is considered more durable whereas aluminum is generally lighter, thus making the chainsaw portable and flexible whenever a jam occurs when cutting. If you intend to have a high quality and long lasting aluminum chainsaw mill, you need to choose one constructed from aircraft-grade.
The versatility of the chainsaw mill is dependent on its weight. This is a crucial consideration since it affects both the performance and portability of your chainsaw mill. A heavier chainsaw mill will deliver more inertia during cutting, which in turn increases its steadiness and makes it easier to use. However, the drawback is that it will be difficult to transport the mill to wherever you intend to log.
A lightweight chainsaw mill is extremely important when it comes to portability. However, if you don’t have to transport your chainsaw deep into the woods to log, then weight won’t be that crucial when choosing your best chainsaw mill.
Tips for a Smoother Milling Experience
Now that you know what to look out for when buying the best chainsaw mill, why not review how to kick off your milling practice. Whether you are a skilled arborist or an amateur, it is wise to talk about the better milling tips before you get on track.
Here is a list of tips that can be very helpful in having a smoother milling experience
- To begin with, ensure the ripping chain is well-sharpened and the rakers are correctly set. A blunt chain will considerably affect your milling experience and be time-consuming. As such, always sharpen your chain regularly for a better ripping experience.
- Ensure you have carried out a routine servicing to ascertain that all the elements are in proper working condition
- After completing your ripping task, don’t shut the engine yet; allow it to run idle for a minute to enable it to cool down.
- Ensure your log is positioned in a way that ensure sawdust and fumes are blown off away from you
- Never move your chainsaw back and forth while ripping or trimming the log because doing so will produce a rough board surface. Just maintain a straightforward action for a smooth surface.
- Whenever ripping your log, don’t just quit in the middle; make sure you rip through the whole slab at ago.
- Whenever milling a ground positioned log, ensure you use the gluts or sawhorses. They will give you a greater ripping position.
- Ensure the rail and chainsaw bar are always parallel to each other
- Prior to your milling process, make sure the nuts and bolts that are loose are properly tightened.
- Whenever ripping wider logs, take care of your bar and chain by using an auxiliary oiler to ensure the chain and bar are well-lubricated.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What size chainsaw mill attachment do I need?
A: How big are your logs or trees? What width of a board do you intend to cut? Once you get the answers to this questions you will easily settle on the size of chainsaw attachment you will want to buy. However, the mills are available in various sizes from 24-inches to 72-inches. All the size ranges will clamp to any chainsaw size. If you intend to cut 24-inch board, you should consider the 30-inch or even 36-inch mill so that you get some room since you will lose between 2-inch to 4-inches of width once you clamp your chainsaw. The best option, however, is to own a mill that is of the same length as your chainsaw bar.
Q: What type of chainsaw do I need for my mill?
A: It’s recommendable to have larger displacement chainsaws for efficient ripping. Nonetheless, smaller chainsaws will also work although they will be less efficient since some come with narrow bars that are difficult to mount to the mills clamp brackets without pinching its bar rails.
Q: How much power should my chainsaw deliver?
A: Typically, the more power your chainsaw delivers, the faster the ripping process. Essentially, any operating engine will definitely cut, but how much time do you want to spend on your lumber?
Q: Will I need an auxiliary oiler kit?
A: Chainsaws deliver oil to drive links through an oil opening at the top of the bar near the power head end. With this, oil travels up to the bottom of the bar where the most cutting occurs. However, this perfectly works with smaller bars and small cuts. When it comes bars 24-inches long and above, it’s recommendable to have an auxiliary oiler kit to deliver the oil right to the ripping surface of the bar. You can mount your kit by drilling two holes at the bar end so as to mount the kit on either side while you turn your bar on a scheduled basis for an even bar wear.
Q: Do I need a special chain for ripping?
A: It is preferable if you do get one. If you are going to rip occasionally, you can re-sharpen your conventional chains to rip better by filing the angle blunter. However, it is recommendable to get a special chain if you rip regularly. Oregon ripping chain in affordable and easy to sharpen thus can be great for a special ripping chain.
Q: How do I make my first rip?
A: Since logs are typically round and rough on top, you will need to create a fat and smooth surface to allow the mill to have a smooth ride on. You can either nail a 2 x 12 on the top of your log or purchase a slabbing rail kit. Attach your slabbing rails to the ends of the log and then attach two 2 x 4s to the rail brackets. See for yourself how a mill works here http://www.madsens1.com/sa_mill_works.htm.
Q: What are the advantages and drawbacks of a chainsaw mill?
A: One of the major drawbacks of a chainsaw mill is that it is restricted by the amount of lumber it is capable of producing. On the other hand, a chainsaw mill can greatly make a difference between wasted logs and usable lumber on many occasions. Moreover, owning a portable chainsaw is an added advantage since taking logs to a sawmill is quite expensive. The greatest advantage is that chainsaw mills are ideal for milling in remote interior areas.
After reviewing and considering all the features, Granberg Chain Saw Mill, Model# G777 stands out as our best choice. We all need a tool that makes life easier when working with it, and Granberg Chain Saw Mill G777 is excellent at eliminating any challenge and guesswork when ripping out a usable lumber.
Moreover, it is lightweight and versatile, implying that you can use it anywhere a tree has fallen. If you need a chainsaw mill for handling your light mill jobs, then this might be your great choice.
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