Chainsaw Mill:  Stationary or Portable

To decide which one is the best for your operation, we will look at both so you can make a uniform decision.

Portable chainsaw mill

This type of portable sawmill became popular in the 1800s.  They were utilized to bring the mill to the harvest site and were usually powered by water or steam.  Today they run off a diesel or gas engine.  This is a chainsaw mill that sits on bricks or wood blocks or a trailer.  It can be operated by one or two people.

Today they are often used to manufacture wood products specifically by hobbyists.  They are usually band mills that have blades around two inches wide.  In order to work, you need to feed a log into the machine.  One thing to note is that cannot produce dry lumber with the maximum sizes of 18-36 inches in diameter and 16-20 feet in length.  Before using this type of chainsaw mill, the wood needs to be planed and dried before being sawed.

A person may also have a portable sawmill to manage tree growth on their property or to harvest trees from their property for profit. Some use the lumber to build furniture, cabinets, building a barn, or other projects.

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Stationary chainsaw mill

This would be the best chainsaw mill to have if you have a woodshop or barn where you are going to do a lot of projects that do not require you to move it from site to site.  This type of chainsaw mill is either a circular or large band saw.  One big advantage of owning this type of chainsaw mill is that with it being stationary, you can use it for production under almost any weather conditions. This is because it is usually found under a roof.  The downside is that you have to bring the logs to the chainsaw mill.

They are usually bigger than the portable chainsaw mill.  If the owner has bigger logs to process, this would be the one to choose.  Unless you have a feeder system, you need to load the logs yourself with both systems.

Which to choose

When trying to decide which to choose, there are some things to consider.

  • Production: You need to look at what you need to produce and whether it would be better to have a portable or stationary one.  You also need to look at whether you are going to do the work at different sites or one stationary one.
  • Cutting: You need to look at the type of logs, the size and width you want to saw and make sure that the chainsaw mill will accompany them.


The best chainsaw mill is the one that will fit your needs.  Make a list of what you are going to saw, whether you will need to go from site to site, and what you are going to produce.  Look at both of them, study them, and then make your decision.  The biggest difference between the two is that one you can move and the other you cannot.

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