Chainsaw sawmills and band sawmills both have their place.
It’s easy to be tempted to buy a chainsaw sawmill because they typically cost a lot less than band sawmills. But it’s important to really understand the benefits, and limitations, of chainsaw sawmills.
|Band Sawmill||Chainsaw Sawmill|
|Much smaller kerf which means more lumber and less sawdust.||Much larger kerf which means less lumber and more sawdust.|
|Can mill large logs (depending on the mill)||Limited capacity of smaller logs|
|Can be portable with wheels but not as compact as chainsaw mills||Typically very, very compact and portable|
|Faster cutting speed||Slower cutting speed|
In the end, if you plan to mill any volume of logs at all, the most efficient, easiest-to-use platform is a portable band sawmill. If you need to get a mill into a very remote place by small boat or plane, then a chainsaw sawmill may be your best solution.
Another thing to remember is that if you have a very remote milling site, but you still want to use a band sawmill, some sawmill manufacturers offer their mills in kit form. This makes it easy to move the sawmill into remote places before assembly.