Wood mills are not cheap pieces of equipment to have. However, if you have the best chainsaw for milling, you won’t need to have your own large wood mill. With a chainsaw and a milling attachment, you can turn your chainsaw into a handy lumber mill relatively easily.
This is very useful especially if you need to build a structure far away from a stationary lumber mill. Chainsaw also cost considerably less than a usual sawmill, so they can offer savings as well as convenience in one blow.
So, if you are in the hunt for a multipurpose chainsaw that will cut as well as mill wood, keep reading. We also included a buyer’s guide to help you understand the things you need to consider to find the best chainsaw for milling lumber.
A Quick Comparison of Best Chainsaw For Milling 2020
Top 4 Best Chainsaws for Milling Reviews 2020:
1. Husqvarna 460 Rancher Chainsaw
The Husqvarna 460 Rancher is our top pick for the best chainsaw for milling lumber. This chainsaw features 60.3cc of engine displacement and a 20-inch bar. It can be equipped with 18 inch bar minimum and 24 inch maximum.
It comes with a 2-cycle gas engine and to keep you safe when you are operating this powerful saw, it has inertia activated chain brake. Although this model is not as large as a professional chainsaw from Husqvarna, it packs enough power to handle your milling jobs. However, non-professional users will also find Husqvarna 460 Rancher accessible and useful.
This chainsaw comes with a quick-release air filter that allows easy replacement of the air filter, making it a breeze to clean. It also includes an automatic chain oiler, which means the saw delivers a constant oil supply to the chain and bar for effective performance and safety while you are working. You also get a simple chain tensioning system mounted on its side, which will allow you to make super-fast chain adjustments as you work.
Starting the 460 Rancher takes minimal effort due to its SmartStart technology. Operating the saw is also comfortable thanks to its low-vibration design. And with Husqvarna’s X-Torq technology, the saw consumes very less fuel and the emission level is also significantly low. So this chainsaw would comply with the environmental law as well.
- Highly powerful X- Torq engine
- Powerful motor
- Quick-release air filter
- Automatic chain oiler
- Inertia activated chain brake
- On the pricey side
- Air filter isn’t reusable
2. Husqvarna 20 Inch 455 Rancher Gas Chainsaw
Number second chainsaw on our list is another Husqvarna. It comes with many robust gears to ensure you can handle tougher jobs with ease. Husqvarna 455 Rancher packs an ample of features to help you do your lumber-related work.
This model is an all-round chainsaw featuring high power, efficient output, and lightweight structure. It runs on an X-Torq engine, meaning it minimizes the consumption of fuel by up to 20%. In terms of emission, this saw is just as efficient by 75%, considering it comes with a 55.5cc gas engine.
The 55.5cc gas-powered engine brings a maximum power of 3.49HP, which is good at handling serious workloads. This saw comes with a 2-stroke engine and offers an admirable power to weight ratio. The bar length of the saw is 20-inch and chain tension adjustment is easy with a tool.
When it comes to safety measures, the Husqvarna 455 Rancher gas-powered chainsaw doesn’t disappoint. It has an inertia chain brake and a front hand guard, two of the main safety features. Combined effort of this duo delivers less kickback. Besides these major safety features, it has the throttle trigger, the right-hand safety guard and the chain catcher. All of these are there to provide you with maximum safety.
However, a tiny negative aspect of this saw is its small size fuel tank. It can contain only 15fl oz of oil. So you will require to do frequent refilling while you are working for long hours.
- 5cc X-Torq motor produces a remarkable driving force
- Low fuel consumption as well as less emission
- 20 inches long bar
- Combined start-stop switch
- Low vibration and noise
- Small fuel tank
3. Echo CS-590 Timber Wolf Chainsaw
The third tool of the list of best chainsaws for milling lumber is the Echo CS-590 Timber Wolf Chainsaw. Although it is not the most powerful in terms of motor capacity, the 59.8cc motor is still pretty good. From such power delivery, the saw can provide an output of 13,000RPM.
The length of the bar and chain is insane 27 inches, which is one of the biggest selling points of this saw. The gauge length is 0.050 inches and the pitch is ⅜”. That said, you can deal with heavy cutting works even on the thickest of limbs.
The product weighs around 13.2 lbs excluding the cutting gear, which is a bit heavier than one would like. There is a translucent container and the fuel tank can hold up to 21.8oz of fuel. So, you can be aware of the fuel level inside, and make needed refills when necessary.
There is a digital ignition that does decompression as well. And that is enough for an instant start. Cleaning the Echo CS-590 doesn’t require much extra effort but you still need to do some work including, cleaning the oil filter, cleaning off the sawdust, cleaning the chain oil areas and check up the condition of the chain regularly. That said, compared to many other 60cc chainsaws for milling, it still requires low maintenance.
And for the safety of the user, this model encompasses many safety features such as chain brake, handle guard, and a removable safety tip of the chain and blade.
- 8cc 2 stroke professional engine
- Quick start digital ignition system
- Translucent fuel container
- Adjustable oiler design
- 8oz fuel tank capacity
- Requires manual pulling to start
4. Poulan Pro 20 in. 50cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw
The last best chainsaw for milling on this list is the Poulan Pro PR5020. It is an ideal combination of usability and power. It is a gas-powered chainsaw with a capacity of 50cc. It comes with a 2-cycle engine and it’s leveled as the Oxypower engine. This powerful engine can reduce the emission as well as fuel consumption by a significant amount.
The rotating power this engine can produce is around 9000RPM, so you will have enough power to deal with any kind of wood. The bar and chain have an overall length of 20 inches, which is excellent for any professional. There are tons of other notable features besides the engine and cutting lengths. It has a very practical chain tension adjustment mounted right into the side panel. So, you can quite easily access it.
The design and built are very sturdy. The overall weight is 17 pounds, with the empty oil tank and empty fuel tank. The cleaning system of the air intake filter allows you to go super easy on the air filter. It prevents any buildup of debris inside the mechanical part of the model thanks to its effective air filter.
Another noteworthy feature of the Poulan Pro PR5020 is the quick starting system. It ensures a hassle-free starting process by reducing pull force by 30% and it reduces wear on the starter mechanism as well. And its combined choke/stop control is also user-friendly and allows faster starting and greater reliability by reducing the risk of engine flooding.
- 20 inches bar and chain
- Less emissions and lower fuel consumption
- User-friendly combined choke/stop
- Anti-vibration design produces less noise
- Portable as it weighs only 17 pounds
- Particularly for heavy works, not the best choice for occasional light-weight works
Buyer’s Guide for The Best Chainsaw for Milling:
When you are looking for a chainsaw for milling lumber, one of the crucial components that determine your success is a good chainsaw. Purchasing the right saw doesn’t mean you need to buy the most powerful option available, but pinning down the best fit for the job.
Of course, we are talking about milling with a chainsaw, so there is no way a mid-level chainsaw can do the job. You will require some actual-gas driven power to deal with those hardwood limbs.
Usually, chainsaws with over 50cc of power and 2 HP of motor power are good enough to deal with milling. As you can see, we have chainsaws with even higher power than that on our list.
Before deciding on any model, the first thing you need to do is ensure your mill attachment will be compatible with the chainsaw. While there are various options at varying prices, getting a low-priced model isn’t so bad, as long as you don’t have to purchase more than one.
The Bar and Chain Length
This is more of a general feature which is very important for milling. There are models which come with 20 inches chain and bar length while there are models that have even higher blade length. You should make your choice based on the workpieces you are dealing with.
Gas-powered chainsaws have, somewhat, a bad reputation to be ultra-troublesome. So you will have to put some real maintenance effort after the one you are about to purchase.
But don’t worry much, some of the models come with an automated process that takes care of it. For example, there are centrifugal air cleaning system, air filters, etc. which will reduce your maintenance effort.
Well, chainsaws are very powerful tools. If they have the ability to cut through heavy hardwoods, you can imagine how much damage they can cause to humans. So it’s obvious that you have to be as safe as possible from these deadly machines. Fortunately, many manufacturers built chainsaws with safety in mind. Chainsaws come with various safety features including, low kickback, inertia activated chain brake, guards, chain catcher, etc.
You wouldn’t want to carry around and cut with a 30lbs chainsaw, would you? So you should choose a saw with a good balance between size and capacity. And don’t end up with an ultra-lightweight saw either. Because they tend to produce very-irritating vibration which will harm the accuracy of the work you are doing.
- Do milling saws produce a lot of vibrations?
A: Every chainsaw vibrates, more or less. However, there are vibration-less technologies in many models that keep the vibration to a minimum.
- What size chainsaw do I need for milling?
When you are looking to buy a chainsaw for milling, you should look for something big. However, the size of the chainsaw entirely depends on the requirements of your job.
For heavy-duty jobs, you should get a chainsaw with bar length between 22” to 36”. Whatever your job requirement is, the bar length should be 2-longer than the dimension of the job.
- Why would I want a chainsaw for milling?
The chainsaw is a durable, heavy-duty and handy tool which is excellent for milling. If you need to do milling lumber more often, you simply need a chainsaw.
Why? Because it is not possible to afford readymade lumber all the time, you need.
When you calculate the cost at the end of your project, you’ll realize how costly they are! Also, you may not get the desired size for your projects.
If you have access to lumbers or logs from your property, you should invest in a chainsaw. It will save you a lot of money.
If you want to process lumber on your own, you need one of the best chainsaws for milling. Milling with a chainsaw is more convenient and affordable than purchasing your own portable sawmill or using a professional service.
You just have to get the right chainsaw for the job. To help you with the process, I’ve given you all of the information you need to find the best chainsaw for milling lumber for yourself.