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A chainsaw mill, also known as an Alaskan mill, is the tool of choice when you want to fashion lumber out of logs. A mill is often a pair of rails that holds a chainsaw as a guide. For the times when there is no hardware store nearby, you will need a mill to guide the chainsaw as it cuts in order to keep the cut straight and true time after time.
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Best Overall: Granberg Chainsaw Mill
A good chainsaw mill can make life much easier if you need to create your own lumber quickly. Providing a guide to lead the chainsaw down, the best chainsaw mills eliminate the challenge and guesswork out of manually creating your own usable lumber. Therefore, the right mill can be a wise investment if you happen to cut a lot of lumber or live in a secluded location with the need for building supplies.
The Granberg Chainsaw Mill is a lightweight saw attachment that clamps on and cuts logs from 1/2" to 13" thick and up to17" inches wide. The mill includes an attachment assembly that connects with a wide variety of chainsaws without the need of a drill bar. As a result, you can set up the mill quickly with a standard chainsaw and start cutting down large logs into different planks and posts with ease.
02 of 08
Best Budget: Haddon Lumbermaker
Since dedicated chainsaw mills can cost several hundreds of dollars, it can be a good idea to buy a budget mill if you don’t make a living cutting wood. In fact, the right budget option can be perfect for the occasional milling when you need some extra lumber or have some wood lying around. The key to the best budget mill is finding one that will give enough guidance for the best cuts possible.
The Haddon Lumbermaker is one of the smallest options for a sawmill available. While it does not provide the same level of stability as a dedicated rail system, the portable guide will fit a number of chainsaws with ease. The Lumbermaker allows the saw to pivot, adjusting the depth on the fly. The mill works best with a guideboard, using a 2" x 4" or 2" x 6" plank, over the lumber you are cutting.
03 of 08
Best Portable: Carmyra Portable Chainsaw Mill
The great thing about most chainsaw mills designed to attach a regular chainsaw is that they tend to be portable. In other words, the lack of a dedicated cutting blade makes these mills lighter and smaller for transport. At the same time, however, not all mills are conveniently portable. Depending on the size and shape of the mill, some options are better than others for moving around.
Despite the larger size of the assembly, the Carmyra Portable Chainsaw Mill is a great portable option when you need to hook up a chainsaw to cut down logs into lumber. Made of steel and aluminum, the mill is durable enough to cut harder woods up to three feet wide 1/2" to 13" thick. It is also compatible with Carmyra’s nine-foot rail system so you can get accurate cuts regardless of the log shape
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Best Medium: Granberg MK-IV Alaskan Mill
The length of a chainsaw mill will dictate how much wood you can cut in a single motion. Medium-length chainsaw mills are perfect for smaller projects and sections of lumber when you do not need large planks and boards. The smaller length of these mills also make them perfect for storing in smaller spaces like closets or sheds when you are not using them.
The Granberg MK-IV Alaskan Mill is a good option for large logs up to 27" wide and 13" thick. The magic of the Alaskan Mill comes from the 30"rails that guide the saw blade attachment along, allowing you to create a straight and clean cut with less effort and trouble. The frame is steel and aluminum so it will stand up to major abuse without failure.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Best Long: OrangeA Chainsaw MIll
Sometimes, you will need as much length as possible to produce the best lumber you can. Longer boards, for example, are perfect for larger building projects since you will use less material and fasteners in the long run. Cutting wider pieces of lumber also means you will spend less time milling and more time building after you are done.
For the times when you need to create long planks, posts, and boards, the OrangeA Chainsaw MIll is one of the few affordable solutions that are still compatible with a large variety of chainsaws. The adjustable guide bars range in size from 18" to 48", giving the mill the ability to tackle greater board widths up to 13" thick.
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Best for Beginners: Zchoutrade Chainsaw Mill
Professional chainsaw mills can have a bit of a learning curve if you are new to milling lumber. Getting the right settings and setup is crucial for getting good cuts and boards. Smaller chainsaw mills, on the other hand, can be easier to set up if they are designed with the beginner in mind. This means having a mill that makes attaching the saw and log easier than other options.
The Zchoutrade Chainsaw Mill takes a lot of the guesswork out of cutting logs down into usable planks and boards. Capable of cutting any lumber up to 13" thick and 36" wide, the mill features an easy-to-use saw blade attachment that takes mere minutes to set up. The lumber clamps and guideposts make it easy to cut up logs with a simple push once everything is connected and aligned.
07 of 08
Best Lightweight: Timber Tuff TMS-36
It can be difficult to drag a chainsaw mill around when working away from the home or garage. Heavy duty mills tend to be heavy and awkward to carry or transport due to the extra length most have. Lightweight options, on top of being more portable, tend to make it easier to get set up more quickly with less work involved.
Coming in at just 14 pounds, the Timber Tuff TMS-36 chainsaw mill does not sacrifice capability for the greater portability and convenience you get out of this option. In fact, the mill can handle a standard 36" wide piece of lumber while remaining secure and connected to the log and chainsaw. The shape of the mill is narrower than some other options, making it convenient to store when not in use.
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Best Heavy Duty: Popsport Chainsaw Mill
If you plan on milling a lot of wood, you will need a chainsaw mill that has the build quality to stand up to repeated abuse. Heavy duty chainsaw mills are perfect for professionals or those wanting to make milling wood into a periodic hobby without having to replace or repair your mill each and every time. With a heavy duty mill, you can also expect better results thanks to thicker construction.
The Popsport Chainsaw Mill is a steel and aluminum tool with thick rails to resist twisting and buckling while in use. The guide rails come in a range of lengths, are flatter for a straighter cut, and can handle up to 48" sections of lumber without much issue. Despite the extra mass and size, however, the mill is still portable enough to use around the yard or on-site out in the woods.