Tips For Using A Portable Sawmill

Portable sawmills brought convenience and flexibility to woodcutting operations by producing high-quality lumber.Portable sawmills make this process even simpler by bringing the cutting right to where the logs are, saving time and money

If you are a professional woodcutter or hobbyist, investing in a right sawmill would make your work a lot easier. Before investing in a sawmill, it is necessary to know the tips and techniques to use it.

The Purpose of Using Sawmill

The primary function of a sawmill is to give the best quality lumber but you can use the sawmill in different ways.

  • Log Handling: Logs arrive at the sawmill, usually by truck. They're sorted by size, type, and quality.
  • Debarking: Many sawmills remove the bark from logs. This makes them look better and protects the equipment.
  • Sawing: Logs are cut into boards using different types of saws, like circular saws or chainsaws. The choice depends on the log size and what is being made.
  • Edging and Trimming: Boards might get trimmed to straighten edges and cut to the right length. This makes them easier to work with later.
  • Drying and Treatment:After cutting, boards might be dried to remove moisture. Some types are treated with chemicals to make them last longer.

Tips For Efficient Use of Sawmill

Here are some tips you can implement to ensure your portable sawmill works effortlessly.

1. Site Preparation

Before setting up your portable sawmill, ensure the site is accessible and suitable. Trim trees or bushes if necessary for your truck or tow vehicle to reach. If the mill is on a trailer, ensure ample space for maneuvering. Choose a large, level area for cutting, approximately 30 feet square. Also, designate a nearby spot for stacking freshly milled boards.

Clear any obstacles like trees or bushes from the area to ensure smooth operation. Additionally, consider raising the mill off the ground to simplify loading logs and handling cut lumber. Prioritize site preparation to optimize efficiency and safety during the milling process.

2.Adjusting Sawmill height and leveling

Placing a sawmill's track rails directly on the ground is convenient for loading logs but can lead to bending over frequently to pick up cut pieces. Many operators choose to elevate the sawmill by 8-14 inches using rail ties or beam cutoffs. 

This elevation makes it easier to level the sawmill, which is essential for its proper operation. Securing the mill's adjustable feet with lag screws prevents the bed from shifting during use, ensuring stability. This simple adjustment enhances efficiency and reduces strain while operating the sawmill.

3.Log transportation and handling

To transport logs to the mill, consider using a wagon, trailer, or a front-end loader if available. Avoid dragging logs as they can embed dirt in the bark, damaging the saw blade. 

Dragged logs also create deep ruts in soft ground, posing hazards at the worksite. Use a long-handled grill brush to clean light dirt off logs and minimize blade damage. Prioritize safe and efficient log transportation to maintain the quality of your sawing operation.

4.Optimizing log selection and processing

When stacking your logs, start with the longest and best quality ones. Cut these first to save time. As you go down the stack, you'll reach smaller and lower-quality logs. It is not worth cutting these because you won't get much lumber from them. However, you can cut some lower-quality logs into smaller pieces called blocking and stickers. These are useful for stacking freshly cut lumber and keeping it off the ground.

If you have hired someone to cut the logs (a sawyer), it is usually not worth cutting logs shorter than 8 feet or less than about 8 inches in diameter. Some sawmills struggle to cut these smaller logs efficiently. It's better to focus on cutting the bigger, more useful logs.

5.Communication with sawyer and cut list preparation 

Before you start cutting, know what size lumber you need. If you hired someone to cut (a sawyer), tell them the dimensions you want. For example, if you ask for 2-inch thick boards, that is what you'll get. But for a tabletop, the sawyer might cut them slightly thicker so they can be planed down to exactly 2 inches later. 

A good sawyer will take care to find nice grain patterns for furniture. But if you are making flooring or siding, they might work faster. If you are mixing the milled lumber with store-bought wood, let the sawyer know so they can match the dimensions.

What Customers Like the Best?

Our Mechmaxx Portable Sawmill is famous among the woodcutters. But why do they prefer our sawmill? What makes it different? Let’s discuss its benefits.

Our sawmill effortlessly slices through large 32" logs and planks up to 7" wide in half the time of conventional chainsaws, saving you precious hours of labor.

Its high-performance engine ensures consistent power delivery over extended periods. With a belt-driven gearbox and clutch mechanism, power is seamlessly transmitted from the engine to the saw, maximizing operational efficiency.

The best part? You can tailor your lumber to perfection with our sawmill's adjustable cutting thickness feature. Easily customize each log to suit your project requirements, ensuring precise results every time.


To sum it up, portable sawmills are a handy and budget-friendly solution for lumber processing. To make the most of them, a bit of planning and preparation work is key. Set up your site, raise the mill, and move logs smartly to smooth things out. Prioritize your safety by wearing eye and ear protection and keeping the work area clear of debris.


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1 comment

Steve Beckmann

Steve Beckmann

I am interested in getting a sawmill, but not sure how long will it take to pay for itself. How marketable is wood cut on a sawmill like this?

I am interested in getting a sawmill, but not sure how long will it take to pay for itself. How marketable is wood cut on a sawmill like this?