How to cut your own lumber with a portable chainsaw mill

portable chainsaw mill

The very first time I ever countered a portable saw mill was when I took my dad to cut wooden blocks for a wood house that we were building. More often than not, I didn’t quite like the noise that the saw gave and I almost gave it all up in the very beginning. One thing that I loved though was cutting my own lumber.

It quite occurred to me that the best equipment that anyone can use to cut lumber is a portable chainsaw mill. That’s why I have chosen to share these personal tips cutting lumber so it can help many people out there.

Step I: Choose the Right Chainsaw for the Job

If you were wondering the very first step on how to cut lumber, choosing the right saw is what you needed to have focused on. In order to choose the right chain saw, you must first understand the purpose of the saw.

Today, unlike the conventional times, chainsaws are designed to be portable, easy to carry around, and super ideal for cutting lumber in the tightest areas around the field.

Step II: Decide the Size of the Lumber Cuts

In case you fell trees and is looking at cutting them into neat sizes that you can easily transport by truck, a portable saw mill will allows you to cut them into the most ideal sizes.

Typically, a portable chainsaw consists of a framework that’s designed to hold the saw and the chain together for an optimized ripping through the length of the log. When I tested this saw, making 8-foot-long widest cuts took only took me about five minutes or even less.

Step III: Switch On the Saw and Lumber

With an out-filed chainsaw, you don’t have to mark the wood. Usually, this chain is designed to cut sizeable blocks of wood in the easiest way. All you need to do is switch on the saw and as the chain powers on make ideal grooves that you will follow through as you chop off your tree trunks into the ideal sizes that you chose.

Step IV: Pack Up Your Wooden Blocks

Once you have your wooden blocks, you can always arrange them in the truck or trailer and transport them to your desired destination.

NOTE: The portable chainsaw mill shouldn’t in any way be mistaken for the portable bandsaw mill. The former is often small enough to carry in your hand. The latter on the other hand are faster and will also waste less wood than the chainsaw mils.

What Do the Chainsaws Do?

As you fell the tree, you were cutting against the grains. However, with a saw mill, you are always cutting along the grain in order to create lumber.

Nonetheless, the quality of the cut that you get will typically depend on how sharp your chain saw blade is.

This is an important consideration on how to cut lumber. Even better, you should focus more on getting quality cuts.

A superior way of doing that is with the ripping chain. Ripping chains might take slightly long but they have a less aggressive angle and pitch on their teeth.

Why Use Portable Chainsaw Mill?

Unlike the large, stationary mills, portable mills won’t need you to transport an entire tree to the factory.

The truth is, transporting the full trees is quite difficult and costly. Using a portable chainsaw mill to lumber on-site is therefore easy, time saving, less costly, and more importantly mess-free too.

You will leave the sawdust outside and the resulting planks are often lighter and much easier to transport.

NOTE: Chainsaws can easily give you a ready milling platform in case you have a home project or regular need for wooden blocks in your home. They are affordable and are also easy to service and maintain.


Smaller portable saw mills come in two basic designs. The simplest design is the chainsaw mill. It is a tool that’s designed with a steel frame that holds the chainsaw in place at a steady and straight cutting design.

Chainsaw mills were originally developed in New Zealand but have spilled over the globe due to their efficiency. Today, they are used world over and work well for 24” diameter trees or even larger.