The Ultimate Chainsaw Mill Guide

Date Posted: 12 August 2022 

The value of harvested wood in Australia is worth $2216 million per annum. Yet away from the big logging companies, even the average homeowner may want to clear wood from their land safely. But do you know how to do it accurately and efficiently?

Your only option is to use quality equipment, including a chainsaw mill. Read on as we discuss everything you need to know about chainsaw milling

What Is Chainsaw Milling?

A chainsaw mill is a type of sawmill that incorporates a chainsaw. It is made from several parts that provide efficiency and safety for one or two workers who will use it to cut large logs. By adjusting the bar that attaches to the log and mill, timber can be cut to different desired thicknesses.

Chainsaw milling has many names, including an Alaska Mill Chainsaw and a Portamill, a type of portable chainsaw mill. However, they all have the same basic principle and parts.

Chainsaw Milling Equipment

When shopping for the best milling attachment for chainsaw, several parts make up the whole. The most important and their purpose is listed below.


This is the most vital tool of all. Without it, the chainsaw milling kit is useless as you don't have anything to cut through the timber. In this instance, bigger is always better.

You can attempt to use a chainsaw mill kit with a smaller saw. However, it will take much longer, so if you want it for commercial use, invest in a bigger item.

Bar & Chain

The chain is the part that will cut into the wood, and the bar will stick out and hold it. When you buy a saw, it will come with a recommended bar length. While this is not a given, it should be stuck to for safety reasons and to avoid overheating.

This length correlates to the amount of bar oil the saw can hold. The saw will add lubrication to the chainsaw bar and chain to avoid overheating. When your bar is longer, it has more to lubricate, and your saw needs to be able to provide this.

When it comes to using a chainsaw sawmill, a ripping chain is recommended. This gives quicker horizontal cuts for a faster job.

Saw Mill

If you mill logs without a sawmill, they will have varied thicknesses. For precision, you need the sawmill to hold everything in place. This will provide perfectly measured slabs.

When buying a mill, ensure the whole thing is compatible with your chainsaw bar and its adjustability. There is a wide range of manufacturers to choose from, such as the Stihl chainsaw mill brand to Granberg.

Guide Rails

Guide rails will hold and support the mill during the cutting process. This will need to be adjusted as you cut the log itself.

Protective Clothing and Gear

You should never attempt to use a chainsaw sawmill without the proper protective gear. It costs very little and won't take much time to put on and take off.

A dust mask should protect you from particles that will come off the wood. Likewise, get protective goggles to shield the eyes from the same thing. Kneepads and gloves will help protect you as you move, and earmuffs will protect your hearing over prolonged periods.

Miscellaneous Extras

There are a few other items you may want to keep to hand to help in the process. Wedges can help protect your machine by creating a barrier between the chainsaw and wood. You should also keep chainsaw wrenches on hand as you will need to tighten the chain at some point, along with a log peavey and cant hook.

Chainsaw Milling Steps

Once you have all the necessary equipment, you can begin your work. The most important parts of the process are listed below.

Getting Your First Cut

Before getting the first cut, make sure you cut off any branches and twigs. You should then place the log over a flat, smooth surface. Next, take out a levelling machine to place the guide rails, secure any milling attachments for the chainsaw, and get ready to begin.

You may also want to inspect the log to see where you can get the best grain, mainly if it is for personal use. The flatter you get the first cut, the better your subsequent cuts will be.

Begin by positioning the sawmill under the guide rails. Make sure the saw will move under your bolts. If you hit them when cutting, it will ruin the cut.

Getting Subsequent Cuts

Once the first cut is done, remove the guide rails and the top slab. From here, set the mill to the thickness you desire. Keep in mind that the thicker they get, the heavier they will be, which means you may need assistance to remove them.

You won't need the rails for the rest of the cutting, as the mill will simply use the surface of the log. Most people choose to do the subsequent cuts around two to two and a half inches thick. However, this is down to personal preference and depends on what they will be used for.

Are Chainsaw Mills Worth It?

If you are cutting large logs and timber, you really can't do without a chainsaw mill. Only highly skilled individuals would be able to do a decent job, and even then, they would suffer from human error. Therefore, you must invest in the best equipment to properly get a job done.

For the best portable chainsaw mill and equipment, Jono and Johno has everything you could need at Chainsaw Spares. From kits to chainsaw mill attachments, visit the store and let us prepare you for your next job.