When you work with lumber, you need to have a chainsaw for milling, because stationary millers are very large and could not be at hand when needed. It is necessary to know all the qualities inherent in a good chainsaw mill, this includes many criteria that are essential for best chainsaws.
Our winner is the Husqvarna 460 Rancher Chainsaw, we consider it the best chainsaw for milling lumber. But for you, some points may be the most important, so it is essential to have a list of other chainsaws from which to choose. We assembled best chainsaws in this article. Let’s have a look at these chainsaw models, what are their pros and cons.
- Husqvarna 460 Rancher Gas Chainsaw
- Husqvarna 455 Rancher Gas Powered Chainsaw
- Makita UC4041A
- Poulan Pro PR5020—Best Milling Chainsaw Price-wise
- Echo CS-590 Timber Wolf Chainsaw
- Greenworks Cordless Chainsaw—Electric Chainsaw Mill
- BLACK+DECKER (CS1518) Chainsaw For Milling Lumber
- How many cc do you need for a chainsaw mill?
- What kind of chainsaw do I need for an Alaskan mill?
- Are chainsaw sawmills any good?
- Guide For Buying Best Chainsaw For Milling
- Professional or household chainsaw?
- Fuel tank capacity and operating time
- Tool weight and ease of use
- Motor power
- Design compatibility
- Chainsaw gears
- Do milling saws produce a lot of vibrations?
- What size chainsaw do I need for milling?
- Why would I want chainsaw milling?
- Let’s sum up
- The best chainsaw for milling is Husqvarna 460 Rancher Chainsaw
- The best chainsaw for milling price-wise is Poulan Pro PR5020
- The best electric-powered chainsaw for milling lumber is Greenworks Cordless Chainsaw
The chainsaw is equipped with a modern compact engine with X-Torq technology, which reduces fuel outgo and reduces harmful emissions. The Husqvarna 460 Rancher chain saw is equipped with a Smart Start system and a fuel priming pump, thanks to which it is possible to start in all weather conditions.
Air Injection’s proprietary centrifugal air cleaning system reduces wear and increases time between air filter cleanings.
The chain saw is not equipped with a chain tensioning system. An efficient saw set ensures good performance and low fuel outgo, while an inertia activated chain brake increases safety during operation.
The crankshaft of the Husqvarna 460 chainsaw has exceptional strength. Among other things, this model is equipped with an automatic and at the same time adjustable oil pump, which makes it easy to adjust the chain lubrication according to your needs.
Featuring a 60.3cc engine and a 24-inch bar length, the Husqvarna 460 Rancher is one of the top gas chainsaws for milling thanks to its powerful engine.
An inertia-activated chain brake guarantees your safety if a mechanical failure occurs, which is highly laudable. The chain’s tension is easily modified due to a side-mounted chain tensioning device.
The adjustable oil pump on the saw enables the control of oil flow. The chainsaw is lightweight and easy to handle, making it ideal and portable for chainsaw milling tasks anywhere.
Another powerful milling tool from Husqvarna chainsaws would be a good choice for woodworking. Husqvarna 455 Rancher is equipped with gears that will help you master hard work with ease and are suitable for milling large trees.
This is a very versatile gas powered model with high engine power, efficient results and a fairly lightweight structure. The bar length of the saw is 20-inch, and chain tension adjustment is easy with a tool.
It works on an X-Torq engine, so the fuel outgo would be reduced by up to 20%. In terms of emission, this saw is just as efficient by 75%, considering it comes with a 55.5cc gas engine.
The popular electric-powered chainsaw is equipped with a 16-inch tire, which will provide high-quality cuts of large workpieces and is quite good for milling lumber. Among its advantages good balance; oil supply adjustment; high-quality build. It is easy to use and has keyless chain tensioner.
This is a beast in its category, and the price does not even exceed the average budget. It is good for milling timber. The motor is equipped with OxyPower technology, which will provide an additional charge of power, which is more than ever useful, especially if the wood is thick.
The engine is protected from leaks. It is easy to start and operate due to comfortable front and back handles.
The built-in air intake filter will provide much less harmful emissions. Fuel consumption is quite low for a chainsaw with a 20″ bar length.
Poulan Pro PR5020 is a gas chainsaw, which has a capacity of 50cc. The engine type is 2-cycle, and it’s labeled as the Oxypower engine. The chain and bar have an overall length of 20 inches, which is great for any professional.
Apart from the engine and cutting lengths, there are tons of other notable features. The chain tension adjustment is very practical, and it’s mounted right onto the side panel. So, you can access it quite easily.
The construction and design are very sturdy, and you can carry around your workshop. The overall weight is 17 pounds, with the empty fuel tank and empty oil tank. With oils filled in, the weight won’t change that much.
Another tool that deserves to be included in the list of the best gas powered chainsaws. Echo CS-590 Timber Wolf Chainsaw is certainly not the most powerful in terms of motor capacity, but it is still a very decent gas chainsaw for milling lumber.
The bar and chain length of this gas chainsaw is 27 inches long! One of the longest you can find on the market.
With this gas timber wolf chainsaw, you will have enough power to handle even the thickest pieces of lumber.
Weighing in at around 13 lbs excluding cutting gear, this Echo chainsaw may seem a bit heavy to many buyers. The fuel tank can hold up to 21.8 ounces of fuel, the container is translucent.
You will always know how much fuel you have left and whether you need to refuel. There is also a digital decompression ignition that will help you start the tool right away.
Cleaning this gas chainsaw is not difficult, but still requires some effort. It is necessary to clean the oil filter, remove dust, regularly check the condition of the chain and the chain oil areas.
Contains many safety features such as chain brake, right hand safety guard and removable safety tip from chain and blade.
A battery-powered chainsaw that comes with various pricing options. It offers much less power than the ones discussed before but it is one of the best chainsaw for milling jobs where you are dealing with mid thickness levels.
A 10 inches chain bar length and cordless operations mean that you have ultimate portability for this one. You can try out various operating angles and carry wherever you feel like. Along with the milling, you can also use this chainsaw for various cutting jobs available at your lawn and garden.
The build quality is spectacular as the original chain bar is provided which convinced us to consider this Greenworks chainsaw with cordless operation. All the necessary chain adjustments can be made as you operate along with this chainsaw so you are covering up with the power deficiency.
You have various battery options to increase the power and battery timing too to ensure the job is done out in the middle in a single go. Lightweight design and automatic oiling system add to the convincing points why one should prefer this one and also comes with a wrap-around bale handle.
This model is equipped with an engine with increased power up to 2 kW. The saw is equipped with an automatic bar and chain lubrication system.
Tensioning, mounting and dismantling of the chain is done manually, without the use of additional tools. For safe operation, the saw is equipped with a chain brake and a fuse against accidental activation. For comfortable and convenient work with this power saw, the handle is specially rubberized, and on the body there is an eye for mounting on the wall.
Our next pick for the list is BLACK+DECKER CS1518 Chainsaw. Let’s have a look at its features-
First thing first, it’s the design and construction. The body of this saw is made of metal and hard plastic, and the overall weight had been kept light. It’s may not be the most robust saw you can see, but for professional woodworking, it would be a good one to go.
Let’s shift our radar to the powerhead now. Over there, you can see an oil cap, an oil primer on easily accessible positions. On the oil reservoir, there is also a translucent window which helps you to stay informed about the chain oil level. It’s super important actually, right?
On the left side of the model, you’ll find the power unit. As the motor is completely on Electric power, there is no hassle of battery charging. It’s quite a hassle-free, minimalistic design that any woodworker would fall in love with.
The next question, what about the power source? Well, the CS1518 runs on a 15 Amp motor. It has some more advantages over another typical electric chainsaw.
The ampere rating of the battery is 2 amp/hour. That means, it can keep delivering a current of 2 amp for one hour at a stretch. If you take down the current level to 1 amp, then the delivery time would come into about 2 hours. Based on what purpose you’re using the chainsaw with, you should choose between these two options.
The oiling system of this chainsaw is another selling point of the product. However, there is no automatic oil system. So, you have to remember whenever your machine needs to be oiled.
The total length of the bar and chain is 18 inches in total. That means you can deal with wood cutting jobs with wooden limbs of up to 16 inches. But this chainsaw is particularly made for lightweight woodworking. So we would suggest you stick to wood limbs of smaller thickness.
There are a number of safety measures taken into action in this model. Have a look-
To prevent any accidental starting, there is a safety lockdown button. In the rear handle, there is another guard, which serves the same purpose. The guard mainly prevents any flying debris to hit the hand of the user.
The best chainsaw mill for milling lumber needs to have sufficient power. This cordless chainsaw might not be the most powerful chainsaw, but it gets the work done. It is capable of slicing through limbs.
So we looked at the best chainsaws for milling lumber. But there are criteria that you should rely on when choosing the best chainsaw for milling, keep reading to know what kinds of details are essential to know before buying a chainsaw for milling.
How many cc do you need for a chainsaw mill?
For milling lumber, a chainsaw with a large engine is needed because a lot of energy will be consumed, and the working time will be correspondingly long. So the bigger size chainsaw you can afford, the better.
If money is not a problem for you, a high-powered chainsaw for milling in the range of 90-120 cc will be the best chainsaw. These saws are designed for tough milling job and will provide a professional milling experience. But the price in this range will fluctuate between 1000 and 2000 dollars.
The next good option for professional use are milling chainsaws with a 70-80cc motor. These saws can cut logs about 25 inches in diameter and are much cheaper, somewhere around $1,000 for a brand-new 70+ cc powerful chainsaw.
The 60cc models are the smallest version we can recommend. They are designed for small logs up to 20 inches in diameter and don’t have much power for this kind of work. But with a bit of dexterity, you can handle this saw just as well as the big ones, it’s a lot safer on the wallet, around $600, and it’s also much lighter and more portable.
What kind of chainsaw do I need for an Alaskan mill?
Husqvarna 460 Rancher is the ultimate Alaskan mills saw. Gas powered chainsaw, 60.3 cc engine size, 24” chainsaw bar and chain length. Also, this tool is equipped with a self-lubricating oil system, so you do not have to spend a lot of time maintaining it in working condition. It will handle fairly thick wood and has enough power for Alaskan wood.
Are chainsaw sawmills any good?
There are several types of chainsaw sawmills. More advanced models consist of a frame and track system to which the saw is mounted.
The productivity of such a sawmill is very limited, it is not a tool with which you can close up stacks of lumber. On the other hand, if you want few boards and have no other options, a chainsaw sawmill can make the difference between logs that can be thrown away and lumber that is usable.
The cutting potential is only limited by the length of the cutting chain and bar length. If it is long enough to cut across the log, you can cut through the lumber. This is a good tool for harvesting wide swabs from large trees. If, for example, you want to build a table from a single piece of wood, such a sawmill will be just right for you.
Among other things, such sawmills are very portable, you can take it with you even on foot, if for example you want to build a cabin in the forest. Milling attachment can be purchased separately.
Guide For Buying Best Chainsaw For Milling
Professional or household chainsaw?
A household chainsaw is designed for occasional use. Devices of this class are quite suitable for harvesting firewood in a private house. You can also try using a household chainsaw to build a couple of wooden outbuildings.
The professional chainsaw is designed for felling forests, production of building materials, timber harvesting in industrial volumes. Such a tool can be intensively used every day.
Fuel tank capacity and operating time
The next most important characteristic is the capacity of the fuel tank. Of course, the design and features of use determine fuel consumption. But still, the larger the volume of the tank, the longer you can work without interruption.
For work in the garden or in the country there is no need for huge containers of fuel. It is enough to have a tool with a tank up to 0.5 liters. This does not apply to production, where large tanks reduce downtime, and therefore increase work efficiency.
Tool weight and ease of use
Need to cut branches? No need for a massive tool. A chainsaw up to 7.7 lbs is a good choice. Its power is more than enough to get the job done.
For more serious tasks, chainsaws weighing 11-13 lbs are suitable. They put a load on the operator, but you can’t do without it, because high-quality components cannot be classified as light. And if a powerful tool is still too light, then it will either be too expensive due to advanced components, or unreliable due to economy.
Weight more than 13 lbs is inherent in powerful models. You have to put up with it, as in other cases, saving will not bring anything good.
The power of the chainsaw directly affects its performance. The higher the power, the more and faster you can cut.
2 kW is enough to carry out, for example, cosmetic care of a garden or a small park, that is, periodically sawing out cultivated trees or trimming tops, thick branches, etc.
3 kW—power for more serious work: prepare firewood, fell a large tree, etc.
More than 3 kW have professional chainsaws designed for intensive work, such as milling fallen trees.
Before deciding on any model, the first thing you need to do is ensure your mill attachment will be compatible with the chainsaw. While there are various options at varying prices, getting a low-priced model isn’t so bad, as long as you don’t have to purchase more than one.
When buying a saw, you should definitely pay attention to the cutting gears—these are the working elements that, in fact, are sawing. This includes the bar and chain.
The chain is the cutting element itself, which can be high or low profile. The first option is available for professional saws, the second for household saws. An important indicator that affects performance is the step.
The minimum step for low-power single-handed saws is 1/4″. Universal saws for a wide range of applications have a pitch of 0.325″ and 3/8″. The most powerful models are equipped with chains with large links – 0.404″ and 3/4″.
The tire is what the chain is put on. Its main parameter is the length, which is also measured in inches. The length of the tire is directly related to the power of the chainsaw. If you put a tire on a chainsaw that does not match the power, then both the saw engine and the tire will wear out very quickly. Tires are available in lengths: from 10” to 18”.
Correctly sharpened ripping chain would work okay as well.
Do milling saws produce a lot of vibrations?
All chainsaw will vibrate to some extent. However, vibration-free technologies in many models of chainsaws will keep the vibration at low points.
What size chainsaw do I need for milling?
The bigger the better, especially if you are dealing with large trees. However, the size of the chainsaw entirely depends on the requirements of your job.
For heavy-duty jobs, you should get a chainsaw with a bar length between 22” to 36”. Whatever your job requirement is, the bar length should be 2-longer than the dimension of the job.
Why would I want chainsaw milling?
The chainsaw is a highly durable, heavy-duty, and handy tool that is excellent for milling. If you need to do milling lumber more often, you need a chainsaw.
It is extremely wasteful to purchase ready-made lumber all the time.
When you calculate the cost at the end of your project, you’ll realize how much money you could have saved. Also, you may not get the desired size for your projects.
You should invest in a chainsaw if you have access to lumbers or logs from your property. It will save you a lot.
Let’s sum up
The best chainsaw for milling is Husqvarna 460 Rancher Chainsaw
The Husqvarna 460 Rancher Universal Chain Saw is a semi-professional gas powered tool and is ideal for long-term heavy work with lumber.
Practice has shown, and life has proved – a productive and reliable semi-professional chain saw from Husqvarna will serve you for many years.
The best chainsaw for milling price-wise is Poulan Pro PR5020
This is the best saw for milling lumber for the money. You can use it very effectively, although in some respects it is inferior to its opponents.
The best electric-powered chainsaw for milling lumber is Greenworks Cordless Chainsaw
Unlike gas powered analogues, this milling chainsaw has a relatively small weight – 11 lbs, there is no vibration, and the noise is lower on the magnitude. In addition, electrical equipment is much easier to maintain, there is no need to change candles and oil, prepare explosive gasoline mixtures, etc. It is enough to monitor the oil level and chain tension.
This technique does not harm the environment and your health with CO2 emissions. Perhaps for you these will be significant advantages for choosing electric or battery technology.
Not every chainsaw out there is built for milling lumber. The latter is a task that requires power and a large enough chain and bar. The seven chainsaws on our list offer powerful engines and considerably large chain and bar lengths.
Not every chainsaw out there is built for milling lumber. The latter is a task that requires power and a large enough chain and bar. The chainsaws on our list offer powerful engines and considerably large chain and bar lengths.
Check also which is the Best 18 inch chainsaw.