What is the Best Chainsaw Mill? (2023) — Choose From Portable and Durable Models

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A chainsaw mill is a must-have accessory for cutting lumber, but without paying attention to the cutting depth or the bar capacity, you will be left with the wrong-sized pieces. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a professional looking for an alternative, our team has done the work for you and tested the best chainsaw mills in this review.
Best Overall
Granberg Alaskan Chain Saw Mill G777
Editor's Choice
Granberg MK-IV Alaskan Chainsaw Mill G778
Best Budget
HiHydro Portable Chainsaw Mill
Granberg Alaskan Chain Saw Mill G777 No Background
Granberg MK-IV Alaskan Chainsaw Mill G778 No Background
HiHydro Portable Chainsaw Mill No Background
The G777 Alaskan chainsaw mill is a compact tool that comes in combo packs. The lightweight mill is portable and suitable for almost all timber. The design is created to reduce hassle by attaching the saw without a drilling bar.
If you like the G777 but have a larger saw, the Granberg MK-IV chainsaw mill G778 is a better pair that can deliver larger slabs of lumber. The chainsaw mill features a steel and aluminum construction that makes it sturdy but still lightweight for the size.
As always, our experts round out the top 3 spots with a budget option. The HiHydro is affordable while providing the user with excellent quality, from the aircraft aluminum and steel construction to hassle-free installation.
Best Overall
Granberg Alaskan Chain Saw Mill G777
Granberg Alaskan Chain Saw Mill G777 No Background
The G777 Alaskan chainsaw mill is a compact tool that comes in combo packs. The lightweight mill is portable and suitable for almost all timber. The design is created to reduce hassle by attaching the saw without a drilling bar.
Editor's Choice
Granberg MK-IV Alaskan Chainsaw Mill G778
Granberg MK-IV Alaskan Chainsaw Mill G778 No Background
If you like the G777 but have a larger saw, the Granberg MK-IV chainsaw mill G778 is a better pair that can deliver larger slabs of lumber. The chainsaw mill features a steel and aluminum construction that makes it sturdy but still lightweight for the size.
Best Budget
HiHydro Portable Chainsaw Mill
HiHydro Portable Chainsaw Mill No Background
As always, our experts round out the top 3 spots with a budget option. The HiHydro is affordable while providing the user with excellent quality, from the aircraft aluminum and steel construction to hassle-free installation.

Reviews of the Top Chainsaw Mills

1. Granberg Alaskan Chain Saw Mill G777

First up is the Granberg Alaskan Chainsaw Mill G777. The steel construction of this chainsaw mill provides logger with the highest form of durability against all types of timber. The compact and portable mill can handle timber anywhere from 0.5-inches to 13 inches thick and up to 17 inches wide.

You can attach this chainsaw mill without a drilling bar, which significantly cuts down the installation time especially for a beginner. All that is required for attachment is tightening the pressure bolts. Since the mill is smaller, it is best used on chainsaws with a 20-inch bar or less.

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

2. Granberg MK-IV Alaskan Chainsaw Mill G778

The G778 Granberg Alaskan Chainsaw Mill has 30-inch rails and can cut lumber between 0.5 to 13-inches thick and all the way up to 27-inches wide. It is designed and made in the USA and features top-quality steel and aluminum construction.

The MK-IV is a great milling machine and a heavy-duty workhorse model for a woodworker who needs larger slabs. The mounting to the chain bar takes no more than tightening a few bolts without the need for drilling.

The MK-IV Alaskan chainsaw mill is a better fit for larger saws to handle the challenges of larger jobs.

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

3. HiHydro Portable Chainsaw Mill

For a user looking for affordability and versatility, our experts recommend the HiHydro Portable Chainsaw Mill. The lumber mill suits a chainsaw with an 18 to 36-inch bar length. The most outstanding feature of the HiHydro chainsaw mill isn’t the price but the aluminum and stainless steel construction.

The entire mill is well-built, which explains the added weight. However, there are various sizes to choose from to suit the cutting depth required and the measurements of your chainsaw bar.

The assembly isn’t difficult and the large chainsaw mill can create lumber at 0.5-13 inches thick and an impressive 36-inch width.

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

4. Carmyra Portable Chainsaw Mill

The Carmyra Portable Chainsaw Mill provides the user with even more options for bar length. Steel and aluminum construction is the best for chainsaws and their accessories. The Carmyra chainsaw mill can cut beams 0.5 to 13-inches thick and up to 36-inch in width. It provides as much versatility as the HiHydro, but for a slightly higher price.

The high-quality chainsaw mill bar comes with various attachments and accessories, such as the assembling tool and the instruction manual. The milling can be adjusted at different widths and heights, and the sawmill can be attached to the chainsaw bar directly.

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

5. Imony Chainsaw Mill

The Imony Home Chainsaw Mill is one that is lightweight and durable, crafted from the same aluminum and steel material as the others on this list. Pieces of wood will be no match for the Imony mill as it can turn any chainsaw with a 10 to 36-inch bar length into a milling machine.

The saw can be used for both planking and milling and is effective on logs at home or in the woods. The chainsaw tool is lightweight and tough. One thing that made this count among the best chainsaw mills in our books is the lifetime warranty and 100% satisfaction guarantee.

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

6. Haddon Lumbermaker

The name outlines the capabilities of this lumber cutting guide tool. The Haddon Lumbermaker can cut any size of timber you need from a log right where it calls. Other than creating planks, the Haddon Lumbermaker can make beams and boards.

One other major feature of the Haddon Lumbermaker is its ability to fit chainsaws of any size without a drilling bar. You can still carry out plunge cuts with this particular Haddon Lumbermaker chainsaw mill, and the product comes with a lifetime guarantee.

The lightweight and portable chainsaw are one of the most transportable options weighing only 3.59 pounds.

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

7. XRKJ Chainsaw Mill

If milling is often required for your lumber operations, our experts liked the XRKJ Chainsaw Mill for its aluminum rails and high-quality steel frame. The plank height and width can be easily adjusted with the XRKJ chainsaw mill, and it attaches directly to your bar.

The saw mill can work well with logs under 36-inches and can cut a piece of wood within the 0.5 to 12-inch range for thickness. The chain saw mill is a larger size and is better suited for chainsaws with a 12 to 36-inch bar size capacity.

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

8. Popsport Chainsaw Mill

The portability of this model offers users the flexibility of working on logs at home or in the woods. The Popsport Chainsaw Mill is made from aluminum and galvanized steel, which reduces vibration and provides more accuracy and adjustability.

The Popsport chainsaw mill is best used with chainsaws that have a 14 to a 34-inch bar. Although it comes unassembled, the chainsaw tool can be easily put together with the help of all the included parts and instructions.

It doesn’t matter if you are a professional woodworker or a homeowner; the Popsport model can help you create your lumber.

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

9. Wood-CNL Chainsaw Mill

Steel and aluminum are essential for chainsaw mill reviews as they make the saw mill lighter and less cumbersome. Our team likes the Wood-CNL Chainsaw Mill for its versatility to fit with bars 10 to 36-inches.

The portable size makes this easy to carry and for users to work on logs in the woods or homes.

Logs up to 36-inches in diameter are not a match for this chainsaw mill, and it can transform a regular chainsaw into a milling machine. The Wood CNL chainsaw mill comes with a lifetime warranty and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

10. Timber Tuff TMS-24

Our experts finish off with the Timber Tuff Chainsaw Mill to round out the top 10 list. The 24-inch saw mill has less compatibility and only fits chainsaws with a 16 to 24-inch chain. However, the Timber Tuff construction from aircraft aluminum and high-quality steel makes it one model that can go head-to-head with most logs.

The Timber Tuff chainsaw mill attaches to your chainsaw bar easily and won’t weigh you down. This measurement is ideal for both big and small jobs to create the lumber you need.

When this model is paired with a rip chain, it almost doubles the power and gets through the logs faster.

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

Chainsaw Mill Buying Guide

Do you need your own lumber? Instead of having to go to the store or saw mill near you to get the perfect measurements, grain, and texture, you can create your own! However, without knowing the details of what makes the best chainsaw mill, it may not be compatible with your saw or can’t cut through the log-in question.

Our experts have put together a buying guide to help you pick the right chainsaw mill model for your wood pieces.

Design and Compatibility

The most important ingredient to finding the right chainsaw mill is its compatibility with your saw. Labeled as the bar capacity, bar measurement, or length of the bar, chainsaw mills come in various sizes meant for different chainsaw bars.

Manufacturers will list out the kind of chainsaw and the bar length the mill is best used with. The size of the saw bar dictates the width of the log you can mill. For your convenience, our team made sure to choose options such as the Timber Tuff and Granberg models, to name a few, that can attach to your saw tool without having to drill.

Tightening the bolts is a lot easier than using a different way and customizing the entire saw. Our team also suggests looking for another ripping chain for more power with each cut.

You Might Be Interested In: Top Chainsaw Winch

Size and Weight

When choosing any type of electric tool, our team suggests refraining from choosing heavy models. Not only will a lightweight mill promise longer working times, but it also puts less strain and fatigue on your arms.

Most of the sizes chosen by our experts above fall around 10 pounds or under. The lighter the chainsaw mill the more portable it is. Some users need to mill logs in the woods, and no one wants to log a heavy piece of equipment for long distances. If you have a vehicle, then it’s easy to haul it onto the back and transport it that way.

This is not to say a heavier chainsaw mill doesn’t have its benefits. Some models our team chose are around 15 pounds and can provide stability and dampen vibrations.

To sum up, our experts advise choosing a heavier chainsaw mill if transporting it is not an issue. A lightweight option is an excellent fit for the occasional hobbyist and light work in the yard.

Cutting Capacity

The next consideration is the cutting capacity or cutting depth. These numbers determine what logs you can work on and the size of wood you can create. Luckily, the cutting depth is usually adjustable and will be clearly labeled in the product description. The thickness will usually be around 0.5 to 13 inches, like most of the chainsaw mills our team picked out and around 27 to 36 in width.

To find the right one, our team advises looking at your project and assessing the thickness of the lumber you need. From there, you can look at the specs for each product and narrow down your choices. Remember that the cutting capacity also correlates to the bar length.

Material and Durability

Most chainsaw mills are made from steel and aluminum. Since you’re going against logs that can be up to 36- inches in diameter, you want something that is sturdy and reliable. Steel is the more hardy material choice, but aluminum is what gives the chainsaw mills a lighter profile.
You can find ones constructed from either, but our team suggests looking for options with a blend of both. This way, you will have the best of both worlds and have a portable chainsaw mill that’s mobile and tough.

Assembly and Ease of Use

Since chainsaw mills are adjustable, you want to be able to do so with minimal effort. The ease of use for any tool is important, and even more so for the chainsaw mill. Most of these mills come unassembled for transportation purposes.

There is no use for a chainsaw mill, no matter how good it is if you can’t put it together. This is when the readability of the instructions comes in. Not only should there be diagrams on the manual, but the parts should be clearly labeled and the instructions are written out plainly.

Value for Money

Before taking the plunge and purchasing a new tool, you should outline your budget. You have to be ready to compromise because sometimes the cheapest model may not live up to your needs. A good way to reduce the number of potential candidates is to look for chainsaw mills that can do the job and then find ones that fall under or closest to your price range.

Make sure you assess the quality, assembly, and compatibility before making your final decision. One influencing factor that could also impact the product’s price from a long-term viewpoint is the customer satisfaction guarantees and warranties.

Imagine purchasing chainsaw mills without a warranty [1]. You would need to replace the entire model instead of just sending it in for repairs, which could cost you more money in the long run. Looking for a product that protects buyers will save you from a lot of hassle down the road. Most of the models our experts chose come with at least a 1-year warranty, with many offering lifetime options.

Advantages of Using Chainsaw Mills

Why use a chainsaw mill when you have a perfectly good bandsaw in the garage? Are there any benefits to purchasing an additional add-on? Even though they aren’t very pricey, chainsaw mills can provide an array of advantages to the user.

For one thing, you can save on the cost of purchasing pre-milled lumber and it will save you more time by not visiting Home Depot to cut your lumber. Commercial lumber available for purchase is marked up, so if you can mill lumber in your backyard or the woods, you can save a lot of money.

If you already have a chainsaw, you will only need to consider the price of the chainsaw mill. We understand the hesitancy if you don’t have a powerful chainsaw at your disposal. For those with this trusted power tool, adding a mill only increases the versatility of your saw.

If you are someone who wants to create masterpieces from the ground up, owning a chainsaw mill will allow you to start from scratch and mill lumber on your own. Not to mention, milling lumber is a hard workout for your arms, but if you have a chainsaw mill plus a ripping chain, if applicable, it can greatly minimize the work.

There are also the portability and the time-saving aspects that really make a chainsaw mill a necessary addition. Not all saws designed to cut slabs of wood are portable. However, a mill is guaranteed to be easily transported wherever you go.

Building something in the great outdoors, such as picnic tables and benches or a log cabin, requires the space the woods can offer and the materials. It’s much easier to do the planking and milling then and there than to transport the logs back home.

Moreover, compared to bandsaw mills, chainsaw mills are more affordable, have a more compact profile, and better for smaller jobs. They also have a wider kerf.

Also, a bandsaw mill is the better choice for heavy-duty jobs and large-scale productions. It has a more complex design and is more expensive than chainsaw mills. These mills also have a smaller kerf size and are more efficient.

Which one should you choose? That depends on the kind of project you have, the cut you want, and the production volume. For example, small benches can do just fine with a chainsaw mill, but larger log cabin lumber are more easily made with a band saw mills.

How Does a Chainsaw Mill Work

If you’re new to chainsaw mills, the contraption may look complicated at first. How exactly do you apply it to the wood or log to create the perfect piece of lumber? Our experts are here to help you out.

If you’re a beginner, our team suggests picking thicker logs. Your first time operating a chainsaw mill won’t be as accurate as a seasoned one, so the larger surface will be easier to work with.

Start by checking your chainsaw to make sure the bar is lubricated, the chain is in place, and the battery power is charged at full, or the fuel tank is full. Layout the log you choose and plot the cutting path with chalk for convenience. Set the depth you want for the wood, place the mill on the log, start it up, and drag it along the surface.

You would make the second cut parallel to the first one, and when you are finished, you can polish it off by removing the tear-offs if there are any with a drawknife.

Tips in Using a Chainsaw Mill

If this is your first time operating a chainsaw mill, our team has a few tips to make the experience smoother.

Remember that the chainsaw mill is just an accessory, and the chainsaw itself is the key to cutting logs and getting the pieces of wood you want. This means you have to make sure to check everything before starting the task. Start by looking at the bar, checking if the battery or fuel tank is complete, and adjusting or sharpening the chain.

Next, check the chainsaw mill for loose parts or faulty assembly. You do not want the tool to come apart halfway through a job.

During the job, you will notice a lot of dust and debris coming off of the log. Our team suggests working on the wood outdoors where the sawdust can efficiently dissipate.

Make sure that you are standing upwind so the dust doesn’t get blown back into your face.

Once you embark on the cut, try to finish it off in one swift and continuous motion without interruption. Our team has witnessed some beginners going by instinct and moving the tool in a back-and-forth motion. Doing so will create a rough texture on the surface, which is not what most woodworkers want. Always make sure you finish a cut and have run the saw across the entire wood surface.

Placing the log on a slight slant is a good trick to minimize the force you need to cut through the log. When you finish the job, our experts advise against shutting off the chainsaw immediately. Let the engine run for a good 30 seconds and let it cool.

When you’re satisfied with the log pieces, you can paint the surface with a protective coating, so it’s impervious to the elements if you need to store them for later use. Speaking of storage, make sure you place them somewhere dry. Wood is susceptible to temperature fluctuations and humidity, so try to keep the lumber covered with a tarp.


What size chainsaw is best for milling?

The best size for a chainsaw that is used for milling is around 20-inches. This is the best balance between small and large blades, but chainsaw mills can fit chainsaws with bars from 10 to 36 inches. The best size is dependent on the kind of project and the size of lumber you need.

Our Top Pick For a Chainsaw Mill: Granberg Alaskan Chain Saw Mill G777

Our team’s top pick out of the best chainsaw mills is the G777 Alaskan mill from Granberg. Not only is the G777 a lightweight and portable saw mill, but it also doesn’t require drilling to fit with your chainsaw, and it has a polycarbonate guard for safety. The model was designed to minimize vibrations during use to provide more accuracy.

Looking for a powerful and reliable tool for your mill? Well, we have a list of the top Stihl chainsaws here for you. Read next! 

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
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