How to Choose a Sawmill


Choosing Which Norwood Sawmill is Right For You


A sawmill is usually a once in a lifetime purchase, especially if you choose right for your intended use. Here are the questions to ask yourself as you’re weighing your options:

1. What size of logs will you be milling?

One of the quickest ways to narrow your search is to consider the logs you are planning to cut. If your property is abundant with 30 inch diameter trees, a chainsaw millwith a smaller log capacity isn’t an investment that makes sense. Consider mills that provide the capacity that you will most frequently be working with.

Norwood offers mills that handle up to 36” in diameter.

Norwood LumberMan MN26 SAWMILL

    1. 2. How often will you be milling?

    If you’re looking to mill occasionally at your cabin to supply wood for small projects, your needs will be much different than someone who is using the mill as a business venture, or someone who is planning to build an entire home.

    How often you will use your mill should also impact the options you choose. For example, someone who will be putting a lot of hours on their mill should consider investing in options that make milling easier and more efficient.

    For example, Norwood’s patented Automatic Dogging Assist and Log Rest Actuators for the LumberPro HD36 make is extremely easy to handle and manipulate logs on your log deck, and for the LM29 and MN26, adding cam dogs and an auto-blade lube kit will let you spend less time preparing to mill and more time actually cutting.

    If your use is occasional, you can save a bit of money by doing things more manually, which ties into the next question…

    3. Manual, or hydraulic?

    Sawmills can be manually operated (you do all the work yourself) or hydraulic (the majority of the work is done for you, at your control).  If you’re not milling commercially, and a little hard work and exercise doesn’t scare you, a manual sawmill is a practical choice.

    If you have plans of growing your operation and might want hydraulics in the future, be sure to leave that option open by selecting the right sawmill to start. Norwood’s LumberPro HD36 is unique in that you can start out manually operated, and then upgrade to a hydraulic system whenever you are ready.

    4. Is the speed you mill important?

    Norwood LumberPro HD36

Portable sawmills come with different engine options. The higher the horsepower, the faster you will be able to make a pass of a log. Opt for a higher horsepower motor if productivity is important.

5. Mobile, or stationary?

Mills come standard as a stationary machine, with a trailer as an option. Take your mill where ever the logs are by opting for a trailer package, or park your mill in one place and bring the logs to it.

6. What kind of log handling assistance do you need?

Before you can start making lumber, the log has to get loaded onto the mill. Do you already have equipment, like a front loader, to load heavy logs? If not, there are both manual and hydraulic options for log loading. A manual mill log loading package works with a ramp and winch system, while a hydraulic log loader does all the work for you.

  1. 7. How long do you want to cut?

Every mill has a length it will cut standard, but you can add as many extensions as you’d like to accommodate the longest logs you’ll work with. Extensions come in increments of 4ft.

Give us a holler if you'd like help selecting the right mill & accessories for your needs!