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7 Best Portable Sawmills [2021 Reviews] | Buying Guide

While many people these days like to carry out DIY wood projects, the others are doing this work, extensively, on a commercial platform. For the latter users, the instrument should be precise enough to get the task done worthwhile. In such a case, a portable sawmill is the best of the many options. A wood mill or a sawmill is a complete setup in which the chunk of wood is sliced into pieces. The sawing factories, these days, create cross-length ripped wood of long length on the basis of customized (triangular or pentagonal, etc.) or standard dimensions. Whatever be your requirement, a portable sawmill is an imperative system for its easy-to-use feature.

Let's delve in to know more about the description, pros and cons of some featured portable sawmills. You will also find a buyer's guide further below that may help you with a purposeful product selection and purchase. In the end, you will find top three picks for a quicker overview. 

7 Best Portable Sawmills

1. VUE Portable Chainsaw Mill : Best Lightweight Sawmill

VUE Portable Chainsaw Mill

VUE Portable Chainsaw Mill is a sturdy option constructed from galvanized steel and high quality Aluminum. The upgraded new brackets of this sawmill are easy to adjust as per the requirement. The product is designed and engineered keeping the ultimate user safety into account. The presence of the glass shield stops the wood chips from flying around during its cutting. The U-shaped part of the steel gives efficient protection to the saw blade. The mill handle is designed ergonomically to give a comfortable rubber grip to the user.

The sawmill can be accordingly adjusted to be used with any chainsaw model having a bar length ranging from (14 to 24) inches. The width and height of the planking milling are also adjustable. The thickness of the mill slabs range from ½ inch to 12 inches. This high end sawmill can support nearly all types of timber to cut through. Overall, this portable sawmill is for woodcrafters, homeowners, carpenters, sawyers, arborists, etc. 

PROS

  • Portable and light in weight; allows lumber milling where the tree falls
  • Good for a beginner; does not require previous experience
  • Fit for making beams, slabs, planks
  • Can be easily clamped onto the saw bar without requiring drilling
  • The tightness of the pressure bolts of the mill can be adjusted on the chainsaw bar as required

CONS

  • Supports only limited log width

2. TTF Portable Chainsaw Mill : All-rounder Sawmill

TTF Portable Chainsaw Mill

TTF Portable Chainsaw Mill is an apt choice for the woodworkers, outdoor hobbyists, builders, etc. This mill promises high quality lumbering of trees including Walnut, Oak, and Cedar. The length of the sawmill is 36 inches length which perfectly fits a chainsaw bar sizing from 10 inches to 36 inches. The height and width of the mill is adjustable and being portable, the product can be transported to remote logging areas.

The good thing about the product is its manufacturer guarantees 100% user satisfaction and money back guarantee in case of any quality issue. 

PROS

  • Good for the price
  • Depth adjustment is easier
  • Lengthy sawmill
  • Easy to assemble
  • Moderate accuracy

CONS

  • Some users complained about the build quality of the sawmill
  • Instructions to assemble are a little difficult to understand

3. HiHydro Portable Chainsaw Mill : Fine Accuracy Based

HiHydro Portable Chainsaw Mill

HiHydro Portable Chainsaw Mill is constructed with sturdy stainless steel and aircraft aluminum, making it a lightweight cum tough tool. This high quality chainsaw mill easily cuts through lumber or long beams of thickness sizing from (0.5 to 13) inches and 36 inches width. The rails are well finished with Aluminum build and the steel portions seem as if chromed. Overall, you get a sturdy finish with a good outlook of the product.

Anybody looking for a reasonable sawmill for lumber milling should focus for the HiHydro portable sawmill. The tool is easy to assemble and can be done conveniently by following the instructions provided that include a diagram and details for identification of the parts. The mill is fit for the carpenters, homeowners, and woodworkers, etc. With this mill, you can carry out your lumbering work in the midst of the wood or at your home workshop.

PROS

  • Value for money
  • Easy to use
  • Promises acute accuracy compared to other similar mills
  • Solid finishing

CONS

  • Some users found the product not up to the mark.

4. CO-Z Portable Chainsaw Mill : Super Sturdy Construction

CO-Z Portable Chainsaw Mill

CO-Z Portable Chainsaw Mill is a versatile choice for anybody starting from a novice user, a homeowner to a pro-grade woodworking veteran. This easy to use, powerful portable sawmill, is light in weight. The side brackets of the mill can be accordingly adjusted to your chainsaw and you are all set to get started with your lumbering work, irrespective of how big or small your project is.

The mill is made of solid Aluminum alloy, ensuring longevity. The rails are made of Aluminum with a well finish. This sawmill should be the must-have tool for the outdoor woodworking enthusiasts, professionals, builders, etc. The unique engineering of the mill makes it safe to use. The glass protected shield prevents flying of the wooden splinters during cutting. The U-shaped steel portion of the mill safeguards the saw blade effectively.

The ergonomic rubber padded handle of the mill gives a good user grip and comfort. It requires minimal assembly time to set up the tool by following the instruction manual that comes within the package. This product is highly recommended by many pro-grade operators, typically for milling huge timbers. 

PROS

  • Ultra-sturdy and long lasting
  • Easily portable; can be easily moved to remote logging areas
  • Adjustable height allowing up to 14 inches to meet multiple requirements of the user
  • Value for money

CONS

  • Manufacture should focus on the quality of the instruction provided in the manual

SurmountWay Portable Chainsaw Mill

Surmount Portable Chainsaw Mill is made with high quality Aluminium and galvanized steel. The brackets are easily adjustable and long lasting. The sawmill is compatible with 36 inches width and (14 to 36) inches length chainsaw bars with a thickness that can be adjusted from (1/2 to 13) inches. The product is easy to assemble followed by its hardware installation. The chainsaw is fit for carpenters, homeowners, and woodworkers, etc. 

PROS

  • Tightens hardware pretty stiffly
  • High quality construction
  • Suitable for carpenters, woodworkers, and outdoor enthusiasts
  • Versatile choice
  • Can be directly attached to the chainsaw bar
  • Budget-friendly choice

TH Portable Chainsaw Mill

TH Portable Chainsaw Mill perfectly fits the bar of a chainsaw sizing up to 36 inches. The thickness can be adjusted according to your requirement. The package contains a pair of gloves followed by two pieces of felling wedges sizing 5.5 inches each. The mill is made of lightweight and sturdy Aluminum and steel. The compact design of the tool makes it an easy to transport milling machine.

PROS

  • Compact size and light in weight
  • Durable and robust construction
  • Comes with two additional accessories; gloves and felling wedges 

NAWODHH Portable Chainsaw Mill

NAWODHH Portable Chainsaw Mill is engineered in a way to fit chainsaws with a bar sizing 36 inches or less. The product is built with quality Aluminium and stainless steel, however, the tool does not weigh much and is tough enough to withstand rigorous use. It can support milling almost any type of log. The maximum log diameter that the sawmill can work on is about 36 inches, with an adjustable thickness ranging from ½ inches to 12 inches. The good part of the product is that it comes with a lifetime warranty period. So, you won't have to frequently check on the usage limit of the tool.

PROS

  • Of great utility in lumbering
  • Perfect mill for the price
  • Can be easily assembled

CONS

  • The manufacturer must focus on the quality of the mill parts.

Buyer's Guide : Things to consider when buying a portable sawmill

Currently, the market of portable sawmills is flourishing. In Canada and the United States, there are about 80 different brands representing and selling sawmills through about 200+ companies which also manufacture accessories and parts of the sawmill. Therefore, it becomes tough to choose and stick only one model out of the many. But no worries. We have compiled a list of certain factors that might guide you in proper product selection followed by a reasonable investment in buying the same.

Know Your Purpose

What type of sawmill you must purchase depends on certain specifications concerning the type of product and applications to be performed. The entire budget, layout and other related accessories will depend upon these specifications. The regular consumers or pro-grade users require a high-end mill compared to a DIY grade mill.

A profit producing sawmill must have a sturdy built and assured durability, if you are not looking for a sawmill for occasional use only. Sawmilling requires much manual effort and you should purchase the right mill that adds benefit to your saw and to the user’s strenuous effort and strain. Therefore, check on your priorities and requirements, and then purchase a sawmill accordingly.  

Type of Material You Will Cut

Prior to selecting a sawmill, you must always make sure about the type of job ( the size of the wooden chunk, the nature of the wood, etc.) you will deal with. Even a slight mismatch in the log size and product type can bring about loads of inconvenience during operation, which may eventually end up costing you badly. Plus, it may waste a major part of the raw material.

The size of the sawmill you are is determined by the average length of the tree and log size. Then the purchase is made. A sawmill which is designed to handle major wood projects (large wood pieces) cannot cut smaller logs as per the precise requirement. On the contrary, if a huge wooden log is attempted to cut through using a smaller mill, then it might waste much of your time along with a major portion of the wood material. 

Size of the Project

Size of manufacturing that a mill can deliver is substantially determined by the type of sawmill you are about to buy. An occasional sawyer does not require a sawmill which yields an output of about 20,000 board feet per day.

A profit generating sawmill should be both durable and able to manufacture. Band mill is more useful compared to a circular saw as the former can slice 20% more wood. A crucial fact to count on is that most band mills, if not not, lag in manufacturing. So, if you are looking for a mill for extensive manufacturing purposes, then the band and circular mills are not for you. 

Hydraulics

The fact is that hydraulics expedite sawing. However, this again adds to the cost of the sawmill, making it an expensive option to invest in. Hydraulics are specifically for those professionals who have extensive manufacturing requirements in a short time. Hydraulics visibly decreases the time for log processing which in turn improves the output. They even get it to work out that requires much manual labour. Therefore, hydraulics not only reduces the timeline of the work but also back-breaking sawing. However, it may require added materials followed by some substantial amount of cash in hand. 

Accessories

Every portable sawmill comes with certain accessories including extra bands, shanks or pieces, followed by sharpening schemes, and more. However, as mentioned again, accessories may ease your task but will also add a thick price to the product.

These accessories might be required by you sometimes, but mostly, you perhaps won't need them. The requirement for extra accessories depends on the type of operation you are to perform. An auto-sharpener scheme will also add to the cost of the overall purchase value. Some sawyers found that a self-sharpening tool is the most economical option to prefer. An alternative to this option is to send the saw blades to a reliable sharpening company, which may cost you between $6.00 and $ 8.00 approximately for each blade, inclusive of the transport expenses.

Conclusion

A portable sawmill can provide many benefits to enhance and improve your work routine, thereby hiking your seasonal income, through the innovation offered by the mill. Starting from functionality to longevity, the sawmill is an all-round. The best thing about the machine is that it is portable and therefore suitable for the professionals, who are always on the move. While some prefer band mills to get more wood cutting at a go, others prefer to go with the hydraulics to reduce the back-breaking sawing work and one's inevitable fatigue feeling.

Purchasing a top grade portable sawmill will help you through a perfect lumbering without harming the quality of the wood. We hope that now it helps you to decisively invest in a sawmill. If you are still confused or stuck between any two or more products, here are our top 3 picks to guide you with:

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