9 Best Chainsaw For Milling Lumber, Alaskan Mill, Ripping Logs

Preparing boards and planks out of trees takes a lot of effort. First, you need to cut down the tree, then process it, and jump through a whole bunch of hoops before it’s ready for use. And milling the freshly-cut lumber is an essential part of the process.

Best Chainsaw for Milling

Of course, milling chainsaws are different, and needless to say, buying one means parting with a big chunk of your money.

That’s why many loggers these days opt to use their regular chainsaws instead of going with a new milling chainsaw. With the right attachments, milling with a regular chainsaw isn’t that different from using a milling saw.

But then again, you can’t just go with any old chainsaw off the shelf. You need to go with one that can support the right attachments and has enough juice under the hood for this sort of workload. And that’s where your options start to become less clear.

Well, that’s not a problem when you have me to help you out. In this article, I will showcase some of the best chainsaws for milling that you can also use for all your other cutting needs. So, let’s get started.

learn about best chainsaw for milling lumber

A Quick Comparison of Best Chainsaw For Milling – 2023

Image Product Details   Price
backpac Husqvarna 460 Rancher Gas Chainsaw
[Best for Milling Lumber]
Weight: 13.2 pounds
Displacement: 60.3 cc
Engine Power: 3.62 HP
Fuel Capacity: 14.87 oz.
Bar Length: 13 – 24 inches
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backpac Echo CS-590 Timber Wolf Weight: 13.2 pounds
Displacement: 59.8 cc
Engine Power: 3.9 HP
Fuel Capacity: 21.8 oz.
Bar Length: 18 – 24 inches
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backpac Poulan Pro PR5020 Gas Chainsaw
[Best for Money]
Weight: 15.4 pounds
Displacement: 50 cc
Engine Power: 3.3 HP
Fuel Capacity: 15oz.
Bar Length: 20 inches
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cordlessblower COOCHEER Gas Powered Chainsaw
[Best for Milling Slabs]
Weight: 15.4 pounds
Displacement: 62 cc
Engine Power: 3.5 HP
Fuel Capacity: 18.6 oz.
Bar Length: 20 inches
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cordlessblower Greenworks 40V Cordless Chainsaw
[Battery Powered]
Weight: 10.3 pounds
Motor Power: 40V
Battery Capacity: 4.0 Ah
Charging Time: 2 hours
Bar Length: 16 inches
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cordlessblower XtremepowerUS ‎82100-XP Chainsaw
[Best for Ripping Logs]
Weight: 19 pounds
Displacement: 45 cc
Engine Power: 2.5 HP
Fuel Capacity: 18.6 oz.
Bar Length: 22 inches
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cordlessblower SKILSAW SPT55-11 SAWSQUATCH Carpentry Chainsaw
[Best for Alaskan Mill]
Weight: 18 pounds
Design: Corded electric, vertical
Cutting Angles: 90, 60, 45 degrees
Cutting Depth: 14¼ inches at 90 degrees
Bar Length: 16 inches
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cordlessblower Husqvarna 455 Rancher Gas Chainsaw Weight: ‎13 pounds
Displacement: 55.5 cc
Engine Power: 3.5 HP
Fuel Capacity: 14.9 oz.
Bar Length: 15 – 24 inches
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cordlessblower SALEM MASTER Gas Chainsaw Weight: ‎19.4 pounds
Displacement: 54.6 cc
Engine Power: 3.5 HP
Fuel Capacity: 18.4 oz.
Bar Length: 20 inches
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Top 9 Best Chainsaw for Milling Reviews [2023]

Here are my top picks for some of the best chainsaws for milling that are available today –

    1. Husqvarna 460 Rancher Gas Chainsaw

    [Best for Milling Lumber]

    • Powerhead Weight: 13.2 pounds
    • Displacement: 60.3 cc
    • Engine Power: 3.62 HP
    • Fuel Capacity: 14.87 oz.
    • Bar Length: 13 – 24 inches

    I have been a longtime fan of the brand Husqvarna, not because of their quality, but rather the wide variety of chainsaws that they offer in their catalog. Don’t get me wrong – the product quality is insane. But the number of options that you have when browsing for a new chainsaw makes it a lot more exciting.

    But you’re not here to browse, are you? Well, in that case, let me give you the option that you’ll probably settle with right out the gate, and that is the Husqvarna 460 Rancher. It’s part of the rancher line by the brand, and if you’ve tried one before, you already know how great it is.

    The Husqvarna 460 Rancher gives you complete freedom allowing you to go with up to a 24-inch long guide bar for effortless cutting. And at its lowest point, you’ll be able to fit a 13-inch bar without a hitch. The range offers excellent flexibility for all sorts of use, not only milling.

    Husqvarna 460 Rancher Gas Chainsaw – Best for Milling Lumber

    And to complement its versatility, the chainsaw is equipped with a powerful X-Torq engine with a displacement capacity of 60.3 inches. Its overall power output is at around 3.62 hp, which is plenty for cutting through large timber with little to no hassle.

    Another benefit of the engine technology that Husqvarna uses is that it’s extremely fuel efficient. The chainsaw has a decent fuel capacity of around 14.87 ounces offering a decent uptime. And the emission level of the engine is also pretty minimal, which means you will be doing your part in keeping the environment clean.

    In addition to pure engine power and cutting performance, the chainsaw comes with a few quality-of-life additions in its design. My personal favorite is the inertia-activated chainsaw mechanism that reduces the chances of accidents due to kickbacks.

    Other features include an easily removable air filter for hassle-free maintenance, a quick start with air purge system for fast and effortless startup, and air injection technology that prevents dust particles from messing up the system. And as a cherry on top, the chainsaw features the Husqvarna LowVib technology to keep vibrations at a minimal level.

    Of course, since you’ll be mostly using the chainsaw for milling, it would have been better if it had the option to fit a longer bar. Most users would rather go with a 26-inch bar for milling applications. This means the chainsaw lacks slightly in the power department.

    The chainsaw weighs around 13.2 pounds which is pretty good for daily chores around the house. But when you look at the power output and compare it to the weight, the power-to-weight ratio does seem a bit off. It’s one of the only real gripes that I have with this particular model.

    With a price tag of around 600 dollars, though, the Husqvarna 460 rancher seems like the perfect chainsaw for just about anyone. It ticks all the right boxes for most types of applications you would put it through, and while the power-to-weight ratio is not ideal, it’s definitely something that you can overlook at this price range.


    • Excellent build quality
    • It comes at a great value
    • Fuel capacity and efficiency are amazing
    • Suitable for a wide variety of cutting applications.


    • The maximum bar length is a bit limiting
    • Power to weight ratio is not amazing.

    2. Echo CS-590 Timber Wolf

    • Powerhead Weight: 13.2 pounds
    • Displacement: 59.8 cc
    • Engine Power: 3.9 HP
    • Fuel Capacity: 21.8 oz.
    • Bar Length: 18 – 24 inches

    Another brand that can often go toe-to-toe with Husqvarna is none other than Echo. While their catalog is not as huge, they still have plenty of chainsaws that are worth picking up regardless of how you want to use them. For milling works, though, I would recommend going with the Echo CS-590.

    If I had to use one word to describe the chainsaw, I would go with simplicity. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that come with high-performance chainsaws, but it does have plenty of power in the tank to handle all sorts of cutting applications.

    This chainsaw is available for purchase with two bar lengths – 18 and 20 inches. You can also fit it with a 22- or 22-inch long guide bar, but you will have to buy them separately. And since it’s capable of fitting longer bars, you will be able to rip through thick logs and timber effortlessly.

    The Echo CS-590 is equipped with a 59.8 cc gasoline engine, and while it seems weaker than the Husqvarna 460 Rancher on paper, it can churn out around 3.9 hp, which is slightly higher than the Rancher. So you wouldn’t have to worry about it getting overshadowed by its peers.

    Echo CS-590 Timber Wolf

    Another thing that I love about the chainsaw is how long it can run on a full tank. Its long uptime is partly thanks to the fuel efficiency of the engine, but the main credit goes to its massive 21.8 oz. fuel tank. When the tank is filled, you can expect it to run for a long time without any issues.

    This chainsaw also features a chain brake mechanism to address the safety risks often associated with these powerful machines. While it’s not as great as the one that’s in Husqvarna chainsaws, it’s still good to have some preliminary safety features to make sure you are safe as you use it.

    It also comes with some nice features, such as a decompression valve that ensures quick and easy startup and dampeners to reduce vibration during operation. These are small additions to the chainsaw, but they improve the user experience by quite a large margin.

    The chainsaw also has an auto oiler mechanism to keep the chain lubricated during operation. And the bumper spikes installed in the chainsaw also lend a hand in making the grueling task of cutting through logs a lot easier. So whether you use the chainsaw to chop firewood or take on massive milling projects, you should find it pretty manageable.

    Now the chainsaw is on the heavier side with a dry weight of around 13.2 pounds. But that’s not the worst part. To keep the cost low, the manufacturers went with some plastic components here and there. The quality of the plastic is decent, but whether it will survive the test of time depends on how well you maintain it.

    What I love about the chainsaw, though, is its price. Despite its amazing cutting power and performance, it’s priced well under 500 bucks which is great news for those on a tight budget. Yes, the weight is certainly an issue, but it’s still a fantastic chainsaw nonetheless.


    • The perfect pick for budget buyers
    • Massive fuel capacity offers higher uptime
    • Excellent engine power and cutting performance
    • Decent guide bar compatibility


    • It comes with some plastic components
    • A bit on the heavier side

    3. Poulan Pro PR5020 Gas Chainsaw

    [Best for Money]

    • Powerhead Weight: 15.4 pounds
    • Displacement: 50 cc
    • Engine Power: 3.3 HP
    • Fuel Capacity: 15oz.
    • Bar Length: 20 inches

    Chainsaws can be pretty expensive, which means if you’re picking one up for milling projects, you need to be willing to part with a large chunk of your savings. Well, what if I said there was a chainsaw out there that’s every bit as efficient and reliable as all the high-end models that cost only about a third of the price?

    Intrigued? Well, the Poulan Pro PR5020 is the perfect chainsaw for you if you are trying to save some money on your next purchase. It’s part of the Pro chainsaw line of products by Poulan, and because of that, you’ll also be getting plenty of modern features in it. For you, It’s a win-win!

    The only catch here is that you won’t have the option to replace the guide bar in this chainsaw with a longer one. I know, to some people, this might be an instant dealbreaker, but if you are happy with the 20-inch bar that it comes with, you will be pretty satisfied with its performance.

    This chainsaw comes with a powerful 50 cc gasoline engine which is capable of handling all your milling duties. On paper, the engine might seem a bit underpowered, but when I tried it out, I didn’t have any issues cutting through thick logs regularly.

    Poulan Pro PR5020 Gas Chainsaw - Best for Money

    The engine is also equipped with OxyPower Engine Technology. For those that don’t know, this design makes the engine extremely fuel efficient. This system reduces fuel emissions by around 70 percent while improving the fuel efficiency of the chainsaw by around 20 percent.

    That, combined with the respectable 15 oz. fuel capacity, means you won’t have to worry about having to stop in the middle of your work to refuel. Now I don’t know about you, but I find it extremely annoying if my chainsaw needs refueling before I am done with my work. With this chainsaw, this was never a problem.

    The chainsaw also has plenty of nifty additions, though they are not on the same level as the more expensive options that I talked about in this list. But they are still there, and for a chainsaw at this price point, that’s a lot to ask. I really love the vibration-resistant handle that ensures a pleasant experience whenever I am using it.

    But the chainsaw doesn’t have a tool-less chain tensioner system, which in my opinion, is pretty common in today’s chainsaw. So if you need to retighten the chain, you need to stop your work and bring out your toolbox. This is just something that you need to remember before you decide to buy it.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that this chainsaw is bulky. It weighs around 15.4 pounds which means if you plan on using it daily, you are in for a bad time. But as a chainsaw that you’ll use only occasionally, this extra weight shouldn’t be much of a problem.

    For a budget-friendly chainsaw that costs a bit over 200 bucks, this chainsaw is not a bad deal at all. It will help you tackle most of the cutting applications as it comes up without a single sign of complaint. If this is your first chainsaw, you just can’t beat this price tag.


    • Comes at a super affordable price tag
    • Capable of cutting large logs
    • OxyPower engine technology offers improved efficiency
    • Anti-vibration handle


    • A bit bulky
    • Lacks modern features

    4. COOCHEER Gas-Powered Chainsaw

    [Best for Milling Slabs]

    • Powerhead Weight: 15.4 pounds
    • Displacement: 62 cc
    • Engine Power: 3.5 HP
    • Fuel Capacity: 18.6 oz.
    • Bar Length: 20 inches

    If you liked the Poulan Pro PR5020 that I talked about just now, but want a bit more oomph for your money, then the COOCHEER 6200 chainsaw might be right up your alley. Now, if you’ve never heard of this brand before, I don’t blame you. It’s a Chinese brand that you don’t really see a lot in the US.

    But before you jump to a quick decision, I would urge you to give it a fair shot. It’s an extremely affordable chainsaw (even cheaper than the PR5020), but it shows a lot of promise. I was skeptical about it myself until I tried it, and now I’m a huge fan of this model.

    It comes with a 20-inch bar, and that’s about the maximum length that this chainsaw is capable of, similar to the Poulan Pro PR5020. That’s about the only real drawback to this chainsaw, but in my experience, the length didn’t impact the cutting performance too much.

    COOCHEER Gas Powered Chainsaw – Best for Milling Slabs

    And that’s because of the powerful 62 cc gasoline engine that’s powering the chainsaw. The engine offers around 3.5 hp power output and churns out plenty of power for you to cut through thick logs and lumber with little to no hassle. Its high-performance two-stroke engine can deliver around 8500 RPM reliably.

    The fuel capacity in the chainsaw is nothing to overlook either, with its large tank of around 18.6 oz. And while it lacks some of the modern fuel efficiency features that are available in high-end chainsaws, the uptime it offers is pretty reliable. I never had to pause my project because the chainsaw needed refueling.

    When I received this chainsaw, it came disassembled. But setting it up didn’t take more than a few minutes. It came with a handy instruction manual, and I could quickly assemble the pieces following the instruction. And after the initial setup, it only took 5 to 6 pulls on the starter rope to fire it up.

    Despite being an affordable option, the quick and easy startup of the chainsaw is pretty impressive. The chainsaw also comes with some other nice additions, such as a quick-release air filter system, an automatic chain lubricating mechanism, and a three-layer gasoline filter.

    The chainsaw is a bit on the heavier side, weighing in at around 15.4 pounds. So carrying it around for daily chores can be a bit hectic. However, if you only bring it out for your milling projects every now and then, the weight should be manageable. In any case, this chainsaw is not designed to be your daily driver.

    While I was pretty happy with this chainsaw, the anti-vibration system wasn’t all that impressive. Yes, it comes with a couple of shock absorbers. But compared to the other chainsaws on this list, the vibration in this model is quite noticeable. But apart from that, I found nothing worth complaining about.

    This is one of those chainsaws under 200 dollars that will leave a good impression in your mind. I have tried one, and if I ever need an affordable chainsaw for a specific workload, I won’t hesitate to pick another one up. This should tell you all you need to know about the quality of this chainsaw.


    • Dirt-cheap price tag
    • Powerful, high-performance engine
    • Impressive fuel capacity
    • Quick and easy startup


    • A bit on the heavier side
    • Anti-vibration system is not that great

    5. Greenworks 40V Cordless Chainsaw

    [Battery Powered]

    • Powerhead Weight: 10.3 pounds
    • Motor Power: 40V
    • Battery Capacity: 4.0 Ah
    • Charging Time: 2 hours
    • Bar Length: 16 inches

    I know what you’re thinking – what’s a cordless chainsaw doing here? Yes, cordless chainsaws have their place in lightweight or moderate workloads, but when it comes to milling projects, you don’t really hear about too many cordless models. Well, Greenworks says otherwise.

    The 40V Greenworks Cordless Chainsaw comes with a plethora of amazing features and a brushless motor that makes even the pros question what they know about cordless chainsaws. And it also includes the battery and charger combo when you buy it.

    Now this chainsaw comes with a 16-inch bar, which is, frankly, its only true limitation. And it’s not surprising since it’s really designed to chop firewood or do property maintenance. But when it used it for cutting thicker logs, it didn’t back down from the challenge.

    Greenworks 40V Cordless Chainsaw – Battery Powered

    The reason that it can deliver power beyond what it shows is its powerful brushless motor technology. This motor is capable of delivering twice the torque, giving you more power when needed. That’s why it’s such a great option for taxing activities that often come in milling projects.

    And since it’s battery-powered, you don’t need to worry about fuel costs. The chainsaw comes with a 4.0 Ah battery that, on a full charge, gives it a pretty decent uptime. In my testing, I could make 15 different cuts, and the chainsaw still had plenty of juice to keep running.

    Of course, your mileage may vary depending on how much you push the chainsaw. That’s one of the caveats of going with a cordless battery-powered chainsaw; your runtime depends on how much power you put out. But thankfully, the charger works fast, taking the battery to full charge within two hours.

    In addition to offering amazing cutting performance, you also get all the nifty benefits of going with a cordless chainsaw, such as a push button start, less kickback and vibration, and a hassle-free operation. You also don’t have to worry about emissions, and an automatic chain oiler takes care of the lubrication for you.

    The chainsaw is also pretty lightweight, weighing in at a measly 10.3 pounds. That’s also another advantage of going with a cordless chainsaw over a petrol-driven model. So if you want a chainsaw that can help you do daily chores around the house and also deliver some extra power when needed, it’s a great bet.

    Of course, the real drawback here is that while the uptime is decent, it’s not on the same level as a gasoline chainsaw. And if the chainsaw runs out of juice in the middle of your work, you are looking at a two-hour break for the battery to charge up to full.

    For what it’s worth, though, it’s a pretty affordable cordless chainsaw that gives you the benefit of a brushless motor. It’s built well, and as long as you take care of it, it should give you peak performance for a long time. There are some slight drawbacks, but as long as you’re fine with them, it’s a fantastic chainsaw.


    • True Cordless Freedom
    • Decent battery uptime
    • It comes at a good price
    • Brushless motor offers excellent performance


    • The uptime is not as good as petrol chainsaws
    • The cutting capacity is decent but not on par with gasoline chainsaws.

    6. XtremepowerUS ‎82100-XP Chainsaw

    [Best for Ripping Logs]

    • Powerhead Weight: 19 pounds
    • Displacement: 45 cc
    • Engine Power: 2.5 HP
    • Fuel Capacity: 18.6 oz.
    • Bar Length: 22 inches

    XtremepowerUS isn’t a brand that often pops up. So naturally, when a friend suggested this model, I was extremely skeptical about it. But then again, I love trying out off-brand chainsaws, and I felt like this is a nice excuse to pick up a new model for myself.

    And frankly, I was pleasantly surprised. Despite such little acknowledgment, this chainsaw manages to give you an excellent cutting performance. And as it turns out, those who have given this chainsaw a chance share my sentiment. It’s a fantastic chainsaw hiding in plain sight.

    One of the first things you’ll notice about the chainsaw is its above-average guide bar length. I mean, it’s not exceptional or anything, but the fact that it comes with a 22-inch guide bar means you will be able to cut through thicker logs and take on heavier projects with little issues.

    The 45 CC gasoline engine in the chainsaw might seem a bit underwhelming, though. Don’t get me wrong – it’s decent for daily chores and can also tackle some heavy-duty workload thanks to its 2.5 hp power output, but for massive milling projects, I feel that the chainsaw falls a bit short.

    XtremepowerUS Chainsaw – Best for Ripping Logs

    Then why would you include it in this list – you may ask. Well, the answer is simple – it’s still a perfectly capable chainsaw for beginners who haven’t done much milling before. And the fact that it’s inexpensive means you will not have to burn a large chunk of your savings to pick it up.

    The chainsaw can hold up to 18.6 oz. of fuel, which is another nice thing that it has going for itself. And the Eco Boost engine technology in the chainsaw improves its fuel efficiency, which means you will be able to keep using the chainsaw without worrying about a refuel.

    Similar to most chainsaws, it comes disassembled and requires you to set it up. Now the issue here was that the instructions for the assembly were all over the place. At one point, I simply gave up following the instruction and used my best judgment. Still, once I was done with the setup, it ran like a charm.

    The chainsaw comes with some clever additions to its design. It has an assisted startup system that allows you to fire up the engine quickly. In addition, the chainsaw has very minimal vibration and a nice air filtration system to prevent malfunction due to dust.

    But it’s a heavy chainsaw; make no mistake about it. It weighs around 19 pounds, which for a chainsaw with only 2.5 hp power out makes little sense. So if you plan on using it on a daily basis, your back will hate you for it. But as a dedicated chainsaw for milling, it’s not a bad choice.

    And honestly, for a price tag of around 170 dollars, you really can’t complain here. Its longer guide bar compatibility alone makes picking it up entirely worth it. Overall, for a beginner, or even a professional logger, this chainsaw is an amazing choice.


    • A larger guide bar allows for more powerful cuts
    • Efficient eco-boost engine technology
    • It comes at an excellent price point
    • Assisted startup system


    • The power output is a bit low
    • Difficult to carry it daily

    7. SKILSAW SPT55-11 Chainsaw

    [Best for Alaskan Mill]

    • Powerhead Weight: 18 pounds
    • Design: Corded electric, vertical
    • Cutting Angles: 90, 60, 45 degrees
    • Cutting Depth: 14¼ inches at 90 degrees
    • Bar length: 16 inches

    The next chainsaw that I want to talk about is a bit of an oddball compared to the rest of the options on this list. Instead of being the traditional, one-handed chainsaws that I have talked about here, this one is a vertical model. What that means is this chainsaw cuts downward.

    The SPT55-11 by Skilsaw is a fantastic machine for anyone who enjoys carpentry work. And the vertical design of the chainsaw actually makes it a pretty amazing option for milling purposes. You can use it for Alaskan milling too, which with the other chainsaws that I talked about here, might prove a bit awkward.

    This chainsaw is equipped with a 16-inch cutting bar that can rip through logs with little to no hassle. The chainsaw is not really designed to fell large trees, though. But when ripping or cutting a tree on a workbench, you won’t find any better options out there than this one.

    SKILSAW SPT55-11 Chainsaw – Best for Alaskan Mill

    Yes, this is an electrical chainsaw, but don’t let that fool you. It’s capable of making short work of logs of any size thanks to its powerful Worm Drive motor technology. The total power output of the unit is 15 amps, which is more than enough for any sort of cutting needs.

    Besides, since it’s a high-end electric chainsaw, you don’t need to worry about it running out of juice in the middle of your work. Of course, the caveat here is that you need to make sure the workplace has a nearby wall socket or power strip where you can connect the power cord.

    The power cord is pretty long, though, so I can’t imagine a situation where that would drastically impact your experience. There’s also a dust collection mechanism and a safety guard built into the chainsaw, which is a welcome addition to its design.

    Now, just because it’s mounted vertically, don’t think that it’s only capable of cutting at 90 degrees; the chainsaw can be rotated on its base, giving you up to 45 degrees of cutting angle with some slight adjustments. So, you’ll be able to make any type of cuts you would want with it.

    The cutting depth in the chainsaw is also pretty deep, allowing you to cut through logs up to 14¼ inches at a 90-degree angle. If you adjust the angle, the cutting depth does come down a bit, so keep that in mind when planning your projects. The automatic oiler system in the chainsaw also keeps the chain well-lubricated at all times.

    Of course, if you want to use this chainsaw as you would a regular chainsaw, you are in for a hard time. The purpose of this chainsaw is one-directional, and it’s only viable if you are using it for carpentry or milling. Some might see this as a dealbreaker for this chainsaw.

    And you also need to pay a pretty penny to bring this chainsaw home. It costs around 700 dollars which might be a bit out of the price range for some people. But as long as you know what you are getting into, this chainsaw can make a fantastic addition to your arsenal.


    • Excellent for carpentry and milling jobs
    • Multiple cutting angles
    • No need to worry about refueling
    • Worm Drive motor delivers optimal power


    • Not as versatile as a regular chainsaw
    • A bit on the pricy side

    8. Husqvarna 455 Rancher Gas Chainsaw

    • Powerhead weight: ‎13 pounds
    • Displacement: 55.5 cc
    • Engine Power: 3.5 HP
    • Fuel Capacity: 14.9 oz.
    • Bar Length: 15 – 24 inches

    Some might say that I’m taking the easy way out by picking another Husqvarna chainsaw over other brands, but trust me – this one is worth a mention. There’s a reason why so many people go with this brand without a second thought; the quality is that good.

    Now the 455 Rancher is the immediate predecessor to the 460 Rancher that I discussed previously. And while it’s slightly less powerful than the 460 Rancher, the difference in pricing makes up for it. But just because it’s a bit cut down doesn’t mean it’s not capable of delivering precise cuts.

    Similar to the 460 Rancher, this chainsaw comes with a 20-inch guide bar. But with the 455 Rancher, you have the option to switch from a 15-inch bar all the way up to 24 inches. So you should be able to swap out the guide bar depending on the sort of application you want to take on.

    Of course, the guide bar length doesn’t really matter much if the engine is not powerful enough to drive it properly. Well, that’s not an issue with the chainsaw, thanks to its 55.5 cc gasoline engine that delivers 3.5 HP output without a hitch. While it’s slightly lower than the 460 Rancher’s engine, in practice, the difference is only minimal.

    Husqvarna 455 Rancher Gas Chainsaw

    Besides, both chainsaws come with the same X-Torq engine ensuring utmost fuel efficiency and emission control. The chainsaw can hold up to 14.9 oz. of fuel, which, combined with the efficient engine design, lets you run the chainsaw as long as you need to get through any workload.

    You will also get the benefit of having all the other quality-of-life features since you are going with a chainsaw from Husqvarna’s Rancher line. That includes a low-kickback chain system, an inertia-activated chain brake, and all the other safety features that you would need for a risk-free experience.

    In addition, the air filter in the chainsaw is easy to access, which means you’ll have to spend less time with maintenance. And thanks to the air injection technology, you wouldn’t need to replace the air filter anytime soon either. It’s a win-win, no matter how you look at it.

    The chainsaw weighs around 13 pounds which is pretty much the same as its successor. Lugging it around for different cutting projects shouldn’t be too difficult, even if you use it as a daily driver. And for taxing activities such as milling, the lighter weight makes the chainsaw a lot more manageable.

    Now while it’s a less powerful chainsaw compared to the Husqvarna 460 Rancher, the price difference between the two chainsaws really isn’t too much. It’s only around 50 bucks cheaper than the more powerful option, which means for a better value, I would still recommend going with the 460 Rancher model.

    Of course, it’s entirely up to you how much you are willing to spend on your chainsaw. If the money is tight, and you want a chainsaw right this moment, then the 455 Rancher isn’t a bad choice at all. Now if you were choosing between the 450 and the 455 Rancher, things would be different.


    • It comes with many quality-of-life features
    • Lightweight and easy to use
    • Requires minimal maintenance
    • Efficient fuel usage


    • The price-to-performance ratio isn’t that great
    • Could benefit from a longer bar size

    9. SALEM MASTER 5518S Gas Chainsaw

    • Powerhead Weight: ‎19.4 pounds
    • Displacement: 54.6 cc
    • Engine Power: 3.5 HP
    • Fuel Capacity: 18.4 oz.
    • Bar Length: 20 inches

    For the last option on this list, I wanted to go with my personal favorite, the 20-inch Salem Master Gas chainsaw. Now, I might be a bit biased because I have a thing for affordable chainsaws that looks good. But in my defense, the performance of this chainsaw isn’t that far off from perfect.

    Salem Master is a pretty reliable brand when it comes to power tools, in general. They pride themselves in providing chainsaws, weed whackers, and other tools at a fraction of the price of those available from bigger brands like Stihl or Husqvarna. And I have been a fan of their work for a long time.

    The Salem Master 5518S chainsaw comes with a 20-inch guide bar that is equipped with a low kickback chain. With the maximum 9000 RPM that the engine produces, the chain is capable of cutting through thick logs with little to no hassle.

    The true highlight of the chainsaw, though, is its 54.6 cc gasoline engine. I know it’s not the most powerful engine on this list, but it only costs a fraction of the price. Its total power output is 3.5 HP which is enough to tackle any sort of project you throw at it.

    SALEM MASTER Gas Chainsaw 20-Inch

    Another good thing about the engine is that it’s extremely fuel efficient. It can hold up to 18.4 oz. of fuel, and if you start on a full tank, you don’t have to worry about running out of fuel in the middle of your work, regardless of how long you use it. And the emission level is also quite minimal.

    Of course, there’s a downside to this chainsaw. It’s pretty loud. The sound level of this chainsaw is around 100 dB which might not seem much on paper, but when I fired it up, I had to wear noise-cancellation headphones. Otherwise, using it can be quite unpleasant.

    But that’s something that I am willing to live with especially considering all the other nifty features that comes with it. It has a tool-free chain tensioner mechanism and an adjustable auto oiler. Both of these features help boost productivity by minimizing distractions as you work.

    The chainsaw also has a high-quality air-filtration system that helps keep dirt and dust particles away from the system. Its safety features include a front hand guard and a chain brake system to reduce any risks of accidents. And the overall ergonomics of the chainsaw are also pretty decent.

    However, if you are not physically fit, you might have a hard time carrying it around with you. The chainsaw weighs around 19 pounds, which can make it a bit difficult if you are using a chainsaw for the first time. For beginners, I usually recommend sticking with a lighter chainsaw.

    But then again, the 170-dollar price tag of this chainsaw is an absolute bargain regardless of your skill level. So, if you are looking for a budget-friendly chainsaw that offers you a decent performance and looks cool, there are very few options out there that are better than this one.


    • Powerful 54.6 cc gas engine
    • Excellent safety features
    • High-quality air filtration system
    • It comes at an affordable price


    • A bit on the heavy side
    • The chainsaw can get pretty loud

    Best Chainsaw for Milling – Buying Guide

    Best Chainsaw for Milling – Buying Guide

    Now that you’ve gone through my suggested list of chainsaws, I’m sure you are sensing a pattern. That’s not a coincidence. 

    You see, chainsaws are available in all sorts of sizes and designs these days. But not all of them are suitable for a taxing project such as milling. If you want a chainsaw that allows you to tackle milling projects, there are a certain set of features that you should look for.

    Of course, there are some things that you can prioritize over others, but that depends on your personal preference and requirements. Once you understand what to look for, you can fine-tune your needs to find the perfect chainsaw on the right budget.

    With that said, here are some of the features that I like to focus on when I am going for a milling chainsaw.

    • Engine Power Matters Most

    Engine Power

    The total engine power output of the chainsaw is arguably its most important part. This is what decides the cutting power of the chainsaw, after all. And for a demanding job like milling lumber, you want to make sure your chainsaw comes with a high-performance engine.

    As long as you go with a chainsaw that offers 50cc displacement or above, you should be fine. More powerful engines can offer a better cutting performance, but that usually also means the chainsaw will be heavier.

    • Guide Bar Length Needs to be High

    Guide Bar Length

    Not all chainsaws allow you to switch the guide bar attachment. And in that case, you would need a chainsaw that has a long enough bar to support milling activities.

    Make sure your chainsaw comes with a 20-inch guide bar, at the very least. Smaller bars are easier to manage, but they often lack the power to cut through thicker logs.

    • Weight Consideration is Key


    Nobody likes lugging around a heavy chainsaw from point A to point B. But for milling projects, since you are likely working out of a workshop, this is not as important.

    Still, I would recommend spending some time thinking about the weight of the chainsaw. A lightweight chainsaw is easier to manage for a beginner. On the other hand, a heavier chainsaw usually means a bigger engine and better cutting power.

    • Price Always Matters


    Chainsaws can be quite expensive, but that doesn’t mean you need to break the bank to pick one up. These days, you can find many options out there that offer a good value at a reasonable price.

    I’m sure you’ve noticed how most of the chainsaws in this list are under 500 dollars. There are cheaper options too, Like- 200 dollars, or 300 dollars if your budget is tight. So don’t feel pressured into spending any more than you want to.

    As long as you have a realistic budget, you should be able to find a chainsaw that ticks all the right boxes in your price range.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Even after reading through my list of products and going through the exhaustive buying guide – I’m sure you still have some questions. So let me answer some of the common questions that I’ve been asked about using chainsaws for milling. I hope they will address whatever queries you might have about the subject.

    What is the ideal power-to-weight ratio for a chainsaw used in milling?

    In my experience, milling is done better with a lightweight chainsaw that delivers decent cutting power. So, I would usually suggest going with a lighter chainsaw. Then again, it’s not written in stone or anything. I’ve seen some people prioritize power over weight. It depends entirely on your preference.

    Can I use any chainsaw for Alaskan Milling?

    By Alaskan mill, what most people mean is actually a sawmill that’s operated by two users. It makes the entire process of milling logs much easier with the chainsaw. Now while there are some chainsaws available today that can use this type of attachment, not every chainsaw is capable of using a two-person sawmill.

    How long does it take to mill a log with an Alaskan Mill?

    It depends on a number of factors. The weight and power of the chainsaw, the thickness of the lumber, and the RPM of the chainsaw all of these play a role in determining how long it takes to mill a log with an Alaskan mill attachment.

    What safety equipment do I need for milling lumber?

    The most important safety gear you should wear when using a chainsaw mill is your safety goggles. This will protect you from flying debris getting into your eyes. You also want to wear some noise-cancellation headphones, safety gloves, steel toe boots, protective trousers, and a long-sleeve jacket.

    How often should I sharpen the chainsaw chain?

    This depends entirely on how often you use your chainsaw. With regular use, chainsaw chains can become dull. And when that happens, its cutting efficiency takes a drastic hit. A simple rule of thumb is to sharpen the chainsaw chain every 20-30 hours of use.

    The Bottom Line

    Milling lumber can be a challenging task if you are not equipped with the right tool. Of course, a milling chainsaw would be the best choice for this sort of project. But if you have a regular chainsaw that has the right specs, you can get away without having to buy a milling saw.

    The biggest advantage to using a chainsaw for milling is versatility. While you can use them to mill thick logs when needed, they can also serve you well as a daily driver. And you also won’t have to spend thousands on a high-quality sawmill.

    So as a refresher – my seal of approval goes out to the Husqvarna 460 Rancher for being a reliable powerhouse that can take on all sorts of milling projects. But for those on a budget, the COOCHEER 62cc Chainsaw is also a great deal.

    I hope my in-depth review of the best chainsaw for milling could help you figure out the perfect investment for your specific needs. Cheers!