Choose the right equipment for the job as portable sawmills come in a variety of sizes and can include any number of accessories to improve how quickly you and your mill will operate.
When shopping for a portable sawmill, you will find bandsaws lead the way, though chainsaw mills are also popular for those who are only doing occasional or low volume milling. Whether you are someone looking to clear a wooded area on your property, an individual who wants to earn some extra money on the side or an industrious individual who wants to start their own business portable sawmills are the machines to make it happen.
When looking at the wide assortment of models available it can be a little overwhelming. However, the final choice will depend on exactly what and how much you intend to do with the mill and, of course, your budget.
Bandsaw mills, by design, are relatively similar to one another regardless the size. The only real differences come in the add-on features and the quality of the manufacturing. They all use the same premise for how they work, but when going up to a larger scale of production certain advanced components are necessary for the machine to pay off. With prices varying anywhere from $4,000 to over $100,000, it’s wise to do your research and get exactly the model you need.
The most basic and least expensive models are manual sawmills. They do not have hydraulics or any extras. They require the operator to perform all of the extra tasks, including turning the logs, on his own. Although they could be used for production on a regular scale, if necessary, manual mills are generally designed for smaller projects or occasional use.
The next step up in design is the power-feed model. With power-feed units, the logs still have to be handled and turned, but newer versions provide a blade that is mechanically powered through the cut. These bandsaw mills typically run about double the cost of the manual models.
Finally, there are hydraulic portable sawmills. Hydraulics are necessary if you intend to produce larger quantities of lumber or will be milling larger logs on a regular basis. By adding hydraulics you are capitalizing on a money-saving log handling and turning features, which will increase your productivity exponentially. Hydraulic mills start at approximately $15,000 and as you add larger power units and other accessories the price can double from there. But the initial investment will be made back in the amount of boards these mills have the ability to produce in a relatively short period of time.
Those looking to process an even larger quantity of boards will naturally want to look at higher production units. These are for the most serious of sawyers, as proof from their price. These models can range up to over $100,000 as time and cost-saving accessories are added. Some of the high-production features you will find on these models are high-powered engines and wider bands to accommodate larger or specialty logs. These are designed strictly for professionals or those with a higher level of expertise.