There are a lot of people who are not happy with the lumber they can get in main stores or even with what is at the local sawmill. Once that was the only option they had, but now with the development of technology and the development and improvement of the portable sawmill, it is possible to fulfill your own lumber needs. There are many options out there though, with more than 200 companies offering such equipment, so you need to spend some time finding one that properly meets your needs.

Choosing a mill

Your choice depends on how much you intend to mill, and then also should consider the size of the logs. Using a portable sawmill is hard work so you also need to consider what you can manage physically. Are you able to load the logs yourself or will you require a hydraulic loader that can manage that part for you? One of the most popular portable mill today is the bandsaw mill. For a lot of people, this is mainly because compared to the circular mill you can get about 20% more lumber as less of it is turned into sawdust. You can get a variety of sizes at all different cost levels.

Things to think about;

  1. Are you a hobbyist - A hobbyist is someone who just mills occasionally, perhaps when they have a project in mind like decking, building a shed or something more creative. In this case, your best bet is likely a manual saw. They are also the most affordable saws but they are small. If you think it is not big enough still for your needs or you are going to be cutting larger logs then check out the next point for regular milling. Some manual saws do have a few extra features including some that are labour saving, but you will have to manually load the logs.
  2. If you are milling more regularly - If a manual mill is not enough then you need a portable sawmill that can produce more logs on a more regular basis. This is when a fully hydraulic mill comes to be very useful plus it takes less physical work. The cost for these mills is higher but a lot of people are quite happy to pay more for the increased production and for less demanding work
  3. High production tips - For something that can achieve high production rates you will need to look at band saws made for such numbers and that does not include mills made for hobbyists. It is the most expensive choice and they tend to need more training or time to learn how to operate them efficiently but you can use it to cut and sell lumber and turn it into a production that brings in an income.


When you look at a portable mill most fall into one of the three categories above. Just consider how physical you can be and how much lumber you want to produce, and then what budget you have to help make the best choice.

Author's Bio: 

This Article Penned by Lora Davis.