Best Portable Chainsaw Mills
Whether you’re a small commercial logger who needs affordable, on-site milling or you’re a hobbyist carpenter tackling some trees on your property, a chainsaw mill – commonly referred as an Alaskan mill – provides a lightweight, compact way to manufacture your felled lumber yourself. A chainsaw mill can be operated by one or two users and will let you precisely measure and cut raw timber for use in furniture, construction and general carpentry.
Not all chainsaw mills are created equal. Some are more portable, some are more simplistic, and some provide true semi-pro milling capabilities with speed and accuracy. So, which mini chainsaw mill is the best? This review will help you decide which on-site tool is right for your wallet and lumber milling needs:
The G777 Granberg Mill is perhaps the most popular chainsaw mill in the category, featuring an extremely portable, lightweight profile and precise measuring appointments. Weighing just 11 pounds, the Granberg’s impressive length affords even novice operators the ability horizontally cut up to 18” wide and 13” thick logs right where they land – making on-site cutting of slabs, planks and beams easy and affordable. The Granberg attaches to any chainsaw with a 50cc or bigger motor and 20” or smaller bar. Unlike larger Alaskan mills, it requires no drilling bar to function.
The G777 Granberg Mill is built just as well as it performs, featuring U.S-made aircraft aluminum and zinc-plated steel to prevent rust and corrosion. CNC-machined billet end brackets provide more accurate and easier adjustments, create less vibration than die cast brackets on other models – and they’re virtually indestructible. The Granberg’s user-friendly design features an ergonomic guide handle and plexiglass saw window to prevent any eye injury or painful impacts from debris during use.
This attachment is great choice for those who a looking to make their chainsaw into mill tool also with out a lot of fuss. This model has received excellent customer feedback and has a strong user community. See Current Prices…
The Granberg Mini Mill provides even more mobile, compact and simple on-site lumber milling for around $120. Fitting chainsaws with 16” to 32” bars, the Mini Mill includes 12 feet of V rail attachments for a simple but effective cutting guide. The Mini Mill is perfect for milling dimensional lumber and squaring off logs for cabin building. The Mini Mill weighs just 7 pounds and features the same all-American aircraft aluminum construction and zinc-plated steel as the Granberg G777, providing a long, rust-free lifespan and solid performance.
Granberg’s Mini Mill Attachment also functions as the other half to the Granberg G777 by providing vertical cuts, letting any chainsaw operator turn larger, raw timber into fully milled boards, planks and beams that are ready for sanding, staining, installation or construction. See Current Prices…
For the hobbyist chainsaw miller who wants perhaps the least expensive, most portable, and simplest milling option, look to the Haddon Lumbermaker Chainsaw Mill. Coming in at just around $100, this ultra-minimalist mill weighs just 4 pounds and uses either a 2x4 or 2x6 board as a simple guide upon which your chainsaw will ride, providing vertical cuts for theoretically any size log your chainsaw can handle. For stable cutting guidance, it’s required to secure your guide board to the raw lumber you’ll be cutting. A nail or screw driven on either end of the guide plank will suffice.
Although more simplistic, the Haddon Lumbermaker also provides plenty of capability, albeit in a less precise fashion. Made in the USA, the Haddon Lumbermaker features all-steel construction and a rustproof finish, backed by a limited lifetime warranty. Because the Haddon can cut any size lumber, it’s perfect for milling anything from furniture pieces, beams, mantels, and planks to rough siding, docks, cabin logs and fences. See Current Prices…
Ditching handheld mobility, simple features and a hobbyist design, the Norwood PortaMill Sawmill provides perhaps the most robust and accurate cutting measurements and semi-pro milling capabilities for around $999. The Norwood ditches hand-guiding rough timber in a freeform fashion and instead uniquely functions like a real sawmill, letting the operator hand-push feed each log along a stable track. Although less mobile, the Norwood PortaMill features quick connect and disconnect components for a relatively fast setup and easy transportation. The Norwood PortaMill creatively attaches to any metal extension ladder, letting you decide how big or small, and thus how portable or capable, your mill can be.
Norwood recommends a saw with at least a 50cc motor for small to medium logs up to 10”, and operators should use a saw with a 65cc or larger motor and ripping chain for larger logs. The Norwood PortaMill can craft construction-ready, precisely cut lumber in sizes ranging from 2x4 to 6x6 in just seconds. The Norwood can cut logs up to 14” thick, and it’ll handle a log as long as your extension ladder permits.
To cut a finished board, one simply needs to clamp your log in place, choose your cutting depth with the crank handle, and engage the handle-mounted throttle to advance the saw along the cutting track – just like a traditional, highly accurate sawmill. To be sure, the price of the Norwood PortaMill reflects its precision and prowess. This portable sawmill provides the most stable horizontal and vertical guidance, making each cut consistent and to exact size.
The designers at Norwood kept the semi-pro wood cutter in mind, recognizing that customers who invest in the PortaMill are likely making numerous, larger cuts – and thus require more lubrication and chain protection. To satisfy this need, Norwood offers an Auxiliary Oiler Kit for the PortaMill which will deliver plenty of oil to your bar and chain during milling– more than what your saw’s built-in oiler can handle. Most chainsaw oilers were not originally designed for portable milling, so this innovative accessory is a huge value when it comes to protecting your saw. See Current Prices…