Best Portable Sawmills for Every Skill Level: Review for Buyers


Hello to all the woodcraft enthusiasts and lumber mill aficionados out there! It’s time for another exciting journey into the heart of woodworking tools, focusing especially on portable saw mills. Whether you’re just starting out in your own lumber mill or you’ve been turning logs into masterpieces for years, we’ve got something for everyone. From compact, easy-to-use models perfect for beginners in the lumber milling world, to powerhouse machines for the seasoned lumberjacks among us, we’re going to cover it all. Buckle up and let’s explore the best portable sawmills that will help you slice through your lumber mill projects with ease and precision. Get ready to transform those woody wonders from your lumber mill into something extraordinary!

Best Portable Sawmills for Beginners

1. Wood-Mizer LT15

Wood-Mizer LT15


  • Maximum Log Diameter: 28 inches
  • Maximum Log Length: 17 feet 8 inches
  • Power Unit: Available options include 19HP or 25HP gas, 10HP or 17HP diesel, and 10HP electric engines.

First on our list, the LT15 Portable Sawmill by Wood-Mizer is an outstanding choice for beginners, primarily due to its user-friendly design and straightforward operation. It offers a range of power options, including gas, diesel, and electric, allowing beginners to select what best suits their comfort level and working environment. This flexibility makes the learning process more adaptable and less intimidating. The sawmill’s capacity to handle logs up to 28 inches in diameter and 26 inches in width strikes a perfect balance, providing sufficient capability for a variety of projects while remaining manageable for those new to sawmilling.

Safety and ease of use are enhanced by its solid construction, quick-set log clamps, and adjustable side supports, which provide much-needed stability and safety for beginners. Additionally, the easy assembly and setup process of the LT15 is a significant benefit, as it reduces the complexity often associated with starting such equipment for the first time. The inclusion of reliable Kohler Command Pro engines ensures an efficient and smooth sawing experience, crucial for beginners who are still getting accustomed to sawmill operations. With these features, the LT15 presents itself as an ideal learning tool for newcomers to the world of sawmilling, offering a gentle learning curve while still being robust and versatile enough for various woodworking projects.


  • Handles logs up to 28” in diameter and 17’ 8″ in length.
  • Options include 19HP/25HP gas, 10HP/17HP diesel, or 10HP electric engines.
  • Provides support for the blade during various cutting tasks.
  • Enables easy and precise adjustments of blade depth.
  • Secure logs efficiently for sawing.
  • Assist in stabilizing logs during loading, sawing, and turning.
  • Ensure the sawmill bed remains level, enhancing cutting accuracy.
  • Manufactured by Wood-Mizer, a brand known for high-quality sawmilling equipment.
  • Adds portability, allowing for easy relocation and sawing in different locations.
  • Designed for straightforward operation, making it accessible for beginners.

2. Norwood PortaMill PM14

Norwood PortaMill PM14


  • Maximum Log Diameter: 14 inches (36 cm)
  • Maximum Log Length: Dependent on the length of the ladder used
  • Power Unit: Operated using a chainsaw (specific power depends on the chainsaw model used)

The Norwood PortaMill PM14 stands out as an excellent choice for beginners in sawmilling due to its user-friendly and approachable design. Its ease of use is a significant advantage for those new to the craft; the PortaMill PM14 simplifies the sawmilling process by utilizing a standard chainsaw and ladder, avoiding the need for specialized skills or knowledge. This simplicity is particularly beneficial for beginners who are still learning the ropes. The portability of the PortaMill is another key feature that makes it ideal for novices. Beginners often don’t have a dedicated space for large equipment, so the ability to easily transport and set up the sawmill in various locations is invaluable. Safety is also a major consideration for new users, and the PortaMill addresses this with its patented throttle actuator, allowing safe and comfortable operation.

Moreover, the adjustable sawhead provides beginners with the flexibility to experiment with different types of cuts, which is essential for learning and exploring various milling techniques. The hands-on experience gained by manually guiding the carriage and sawhead through cuts is instrumental in building foundational sawmilling skills. For beginners concerned about investment costs, the PortaMill PM14 is an affordable option compared to full-sized sawmills, making it an accessible choice for those starting out. Additionally, using the PortaMill with a standard chainsaw offers an excellent learning opportunity, allowing beginners to grasp the basics of sawmilling in a more manageable and less overwhelming way.


  • Designed to work with a standard chainsaw and extension ladder, facilitating easy setup.Highly transportable for use in various locations and easy storage.
  • Enhances safety and comfort during operation.
  • Allows depth-of-cut adjustments for various project requirements.Offers a hands-on milling experience, ideal for learning.
  • Suitable for a range of projects, from small to medium.A cost-effective solution for beginners not ready to invest in larger equipment.
  • Provides a great introduction to the basics of sawmilling.

3. Norwood LumberMan MN27

Norwood LumberMan MN27


  • Maximum Log Diameter: 69 cm (27 inches)
  • Maximum Log Length: 3.8 m (12 feet 9 inches) with the option to extend using 1.2 m (4 feet) log deck extensions
  • Power Unit: 13.5hp (420cc) Briggs & Stratton recoil-start gas engine

The LumberMan MN27 is an excellent choice for beginners in the world of sawmilling for several key reasons. Firstly, it’s a dependable and accurate machine, embodying industry-leading Sawyer-Assist technology that simplifies the milling process. This technology makes it easy for beginners to achieve precise cuts, which is often a challenging aspect for those new to sawmilling.

Its user-friendly interface is another significant advantage. The intuitive controls and simple operation remove much of the complexity typically associated with sawmilling. This simplicity is particularly beneficial for beginners who may not yet be familiar with the intricacies of such equipment. The MN27’s ability to be easily adjusted for different types of wood and cutting requirements adds to its appeal for beginners, offering flexibility and a wide range of applications without overwhelming the user.

The sawmill’s robust construction, featuring a heavy-duty steel frame, ensures durability and stability. This stability is crucial for beginners, as it provides a safe and secure environment to learn and practice sawmilling skills. Moreover, the inclusion of ten micro-adjust leveling feet enhances this stability, particularly for ground-level stationary sawing, ensuring safe and accurate cuts.

Despite being an entry-level portable bandsaw mill, the MN27 doesn’t compromise on precision. The dual fixed 1¼” blade guides are precision-machined and include sealed double ball bearings, which support the blade without imposing deflection. This design feature ensures that even beginners can achieve very precise cuts.

Lastly, the MN27’s design, which incorporates elements from Norwood’s collection of patented Sawyer-Assist® technologies, packs a powerful and reliable sawmilling experience into an approachable and easy-to-use package. This blend of simplicity, reliability, and precision makes the LumberMan MN27 an ideal sawmill for beginners looking to embark on sawmilling with confidence and ease.


  • The MN27 is a manually operated portable bandsaw mill, offering precision and control in the cutting process.
  • Can handle logs with a diameter of up to 69 cm (27 inches), accommodating a wide range of log sizes.Offers a width of cut of 59 cm (23 inches), allowing for the production of substantial board widths.
  • Features a bed length of 4.8 m (16 feet), providing ample space for handling standard log sizes.
  • Initially supports logs up to 3.8 m (12 feet 9 inches) in length, with the ability to extend the bed using 1.2 m (4 feet) log deck extensions for longer logs.
  • Designed with a heavy-duty steel frame, ensuring durability and stability for reliable cutting.
  • Equipped with ten micro-adjust leveling feet for precise ground-level stationary sawing.
  • Features dual fixed 1¼” blade guides that are precision-machined and include sealed double ball bearings for accurate and steady cuts.
  • Incorporates patented technologies from Norwood, enhancing the sawmill’s ease of use and efficiency, making it beginner-friendly.
  • Designed with intuitive controls and a user-friendly interface, simplifying the sawmilling process for operators of all skill levels.

4. Woodland Mills HM122 Portable Sawmill

Woodland Mills HM122 Portable Sawmill


  • Engine Options: 7.0 HP or 9.5 HP Manual Start Kohler Engine
  • Maximum Log Diameter: 22 inches (55 cm)
  • Maximum Log Length: 10 feet 4 inches (3.1 m)
  • Power Unit: Centrifugal Clutch (Gas & Go)

The Woodland Mills HM122 portable sawmill is an ideal choice for beginners, primarily due to its combination of user-friendly features and economical pricing. It’s designed for hobby sawyers who require a reliable sawmill without a steep learning curve or a significant financial investment. Features like the RapidChange™ blade system and auto lube make operation simple and maintenance easy, which is particularly beneficial for those new to sawmilling.

The HM122’s operation hour meter and wider cut capability are excellent for keeping track of usage and handling a variety of log sizes, respectively. These features, along with precision cutting ability, efficient power, and a rigid track system, ensure a smooth and straightforward sawing experience. The “Gas & Go” operation simplifies the process, reducing the steps and effort required by the operator, which is a great advantage for beginners.

Furthermore, the sawmill’s design prioritizes safety and ease of use, with an adjustable throttle handle and a system that engages the engine RPM, saw blade, and auto lube simultaneously. This comprehensive approach to design makes the HM122 not only a practical choice for entry-level users but also a sawmill that beginners can grow with as they gain more experience.


  • Can cut 22″ diameter logs, mill live edge boards up to 20″ wide, and handle logs up to 10′ 4″ long.
  • Powered by a 7.0HP or 9.5HP 4-cycle Kohler gas/petrol engine.
  • Ensures stability and smooth operation with a durable track design.
  • Simplifies the sawing process with a combined throttle and auto lube system.
  • Allows for quick, tool-less blade changes.
  • Minimizes material waste and maximizes lumber output.
  • Include an automatic lubrication system, hour meter, and a 2-year sawmill and 3-year engine warranty.

5. Hud-Son HFE-30 Homesteader Portable Sawmill

Hud-Son HFE-30 Homesteader Portable Sawmill


  • Maximum Log Diameter: 30 inches
  • Maximum Log Length: 10 feet (with standard track)
  • Power Unit: 14hp Gas – Manual Start

The HFE-30 Homesteader Portable Sawmill is an excellent tool for beginners for several reasons. Firstly, its portability and ease of storage make it a practical choice for those with limited space or who need to move the sawmill to various locations. This feature is particularly beneficial for home users or small-scale woodworkers. The sawmill’s capacity to handle log diameters up to 30 inches means it can tackle a wide range of projects, from small to fairly large, without being overly complex or intimidating for beginners.

Another aspect that makes the HFE-30 ideal for beginners is its manual height adjustment, which allows for quick and accurate changes to the thickness of cuts. This simplicity in operation is key for those new to sawmilling, as it reduces the learning curve associated with more complex systems. Additionally, the adjustable Hud-Son dual guide system and built-in blade lubrication help maintain blade accuracy and coolness, enhancing both the quality of the cut and the lifespan of the blade.

For beginners interested in a variety of projects, from creating fencing and flooring to furniture and more, the HFE-30 offers the flexibility to produce a wide range of lumber types. Its affordability also makes it an attractive option for beginners who are wary of making a large initial investment.


  • Can handle logs up to 30 inches in diameter.
  • Allows for cuts up to 11 inches thick.
  • Comes with a 14-foot track, divided into two 7-foot sections.Equipped with 2 cam-style dogs and square posts for secure log handling.
  • Uses a 167 x 1.25 x .042-inch blade with a 5-gallon lubrication system.
  • Powered by a 14hp gas engine with manual start and centrifugal clutch engagement.
  • Features a modified 4-post frame with 19-inch bandwheels.
  • Includes dual shoe guides, one of which is adjustable.
  • Manual cable lift system for height adjustment.
  • Comes with a dual scale for 1-inch and quarter scale measurements.
  • Offers a 3-year limited warranty for residential use and a 6-year warranty on main shafts and bearings.

Best Portable Sawmills for Intermediate Level

1. Wood-Mizer LT35 Hydraulic

Wood-Mizer LT35 Hydraulic


  • Maximum Log Diameter: 32 inches
  • Maximum Log Length: 21 feet (extendable up to 45 feet with bed extensions)
  • Power Unit Options: Available with a 25HP Gas engine or a 24HP Diesel engine

The LT35 Hydraulic Portable Sawmill is a top-tier choice for intermediate-level sawyers, designed to effectively bridge the gap between basic sawmilling and more advanced techniques. Its hydraulic log handling system is a key feature for those looking to enhance their sawmilling capabilities, significantly easing the process of managing larger and heavier logs. This is especially beneficial for intermediate sawyers who are expanding their range of projects to include more diverse and ambitious tasks. The SimpleSet electronic head controls further augment this experience, providing precise and consistent cuts essential for higher-level woodworking. With the ability to accommodate various log shapes and sizes, thanks to its versatile design including a cantilever open side and a trapezoid-shaped bed, the LT35 is particularly well-suited for intermediate users tackling complex projects that require handling non-standard logs.

Moreover, the LT35’s suite of automated features, such as powered head controls and hydraulic log turner and toeboards, not only streamline the sawmilling process but also significantly boost productivity — a crucial factor for intermediate sawyers aiming to increase output. The portability of the LT35, enhanced by its standard trailer and adjustable outriggers, offers the added flexibility to relocate the sawmill as projects demand, an invaluable asset for intermediate-level users who may be exploring different project sites or expanding their operations. In essence, the LT35 Hydraulic Portable Sawmill is not just a piece of equipment; it’s a comprehensive solution for intermediate sawyers seeking to elevate their sawmilling skills and output, providing a perfect blend of advanced capabilities and user-friendly operation. Its robust construction and strategic design ensure long-term reliability and effectiveness, making it a wise investment for those committed to advancing in the sawmilling craft.


  • Includes complete hydraulic log handling with loading arms, toeboards, claw log turner, log clamp, and two side supports for ease of operation.
  • Powered saw head controls for both up/down and forward/reverse movements, simplifying the sawing process.
  • SimpleSet Setworks allows for quick and accurate blade height adjustments with two preset board thicknesses.
  • Comes with a standard single axle trailer equipped with electric brakes, enhancing portability and ease of transportation.
  • The sawmill head features a patented cantilever design for minimal leveling during set-up and efficient handling of odd-shaped logs.
  • An adjustable blade guide arm ensures stable and accurate cutting.
  • Six adjustable outriggers are included for quick and easy leveling of the bed before sawing.
  • A 5-gallon water tank for blade lubrication improves cutting performance and prolongs blade life.
  • Available with a choice of a 25HP gas engine or a 24HP diesel engine.
  • The saw head is advanced through the log with a 12V power feed, and the height is controlled electrically with SimpleSet Setworks for smooth operation.
  • Constructed with a robust frame, 19-inch diameter belted wheels, and a powder coat paint finish for durability.
  • Equipped with a dual scale for precise cutting measurements.
  • Backed by a comprehensive warranty package, including a 30-day money-back guarantee, a 2-year sawmill warranty, and a 5-year chassis warranty.

2. TimberKing 1620

TimberKing 1620


  • Maximum Log Diameter: 36 inches (91.4 cm)
  • Maximum Log Length: 20 feet (6.1 m)
  • Power Unit:
    • Standard: 29 HP Kohler Command Pro EFI Gas Engine
    • Optional: 37 HP Kohler Command Pro EFI Gas Engine, 37 HP Kubota Diesel Engine

The TimberKing 1620 is an exceptional sawmill for intermediate-level sawyers, offering a robust blend of features that cater to more demanding milling tasks while maintaining ease of use. Its solid-welded Big 3 Super-Structure ensures durability and strength, a crucial aspect for handling more significant and challenging projects typical at the intermediate level. The mill is equipped with Direct Action Hydraulics, providing straightforward, reliable hydraulic controls for various milling operations, a feature that enhances efficiency and reduces the physical effort required in milling.

What sets the TimberKing 1620 apart for intermediate users is its comprehensive hydraulic system. This includes hydraulic blade feed, blade up/down, log loaders, a bi-directional chain log turner, and a log clamp, all of which significantly streamline the milling process. These hydraulic features allow for easier handling and processing of logs, enabling intermediate sawyers to tackle larger and more complex milling tasks with greater precision and less effort. The Operator-Height Hydraulic Command Post is particularly beneficial, placing the mill’s controls at a convenient height for comfortable operation over extended periods.


  • Solid-welded features are used in TimberKing’s larger, industrial-duty mills, ensuring durability and strength.
  • Solid-welded steel cutting deck with 8 2×6 box beam welded cross members for maximum strength.
  • 29HP V-Twin Electric-Start Engine, offering powerful and reliable performance, with a diesel option available.
  • Fabricated parts are Made in the USA, ensuring high-quality construction and reliability.
  • Simple, trouble-free engine-driven hydraulic controls, provide a straightforward and dependable mechanical solution.
  • Hydraulic controls are placed at elbow height for comfortable and efficient operation.
  • Full-time hydraulic control for log-handling tools like turners and clamps, enhancing operational efficiency.
  • Hydraulic Blade Feed & Blade Up/Down, eliminating the extra work of hand-crank systems and offering more dependability than electric systems.
  • Hydraulic Log Loader with twin 5000-pound rams, capable of lifting logs up to 4000 pounds.
  • Hydraulic Bi-Directional Chain Log Turner with robust chain and turner blocks for easy log positioning.
  • High-Speed Hydraulic Clamp System for quick and efficient log securing.
  • Remote Electric Clutch and Greaseable Guide Rollers for extended blade life.
  • Standard transport package including a 6,000 lb capacity axle, 15″ highway tires, electric brakes, and safety features.
  • 5,000 lb. Fine Adjust Outriggers are included in the transport package, providing stability.
  • SetworksPlus computer-controlled cutting for precise board thickness.
  • Hinged Blade Covers for easy and fast blade changes.
  • Industrial Duty Energy Chain connecting cutting head hydraulics with log loaders.
  • Mechanical Log Stops are adjustable from the Command Post.
  • Hair-Line Depth Gauge Scale for precision cutting to the 32nd of an inch.

3. Norwood LumberMax HD38

Norwood LumberMax HD38


  • Maximum Log Diameter: 38 inches
  • Maximum Width of Cut: 32 inches
  • Power Unit: 23HP standard, optional 27HP

The LumberMax HD38 is an ideal sawmill for intermediate-level sawyers, particularly those ready to tackle larger, more challenging projects. Its capability to handle massive logs up to 38 inches wide and 13 feet long with precision and efficiency makes it perfect for sawyers who have moved beyond basic milling tasks and are looking to expand their capabilities. The heavy-duty construction of the HD38, built from high-quality steel, ensures durability and stability, essential for handling large logs and producing quality cuts.

The sawmill’s power options, including a standard 23HP engine and an optional more powerful 27HP engine, provide the necessary muscle to cut through hard, dense woods smoothly. The availability of 26 customizable attachment upgrades, including advanced hydraulics, power feed, and computer networks (IntelliSet®), allows intermediate sawyers to tailor the sawmill to their specific needs and projects. This high level of customizability is particularly beneficial for those looking to optimize their milling process and increase efficiency.


  • Engineered to handle large logs up to 38 inches in diameter and 13 feet in length.
  • Comes with powerful engine options: 23HP standard, with an optional upgrade to 27HP.
  • High customizability with 26 attachment upgrades, catering to a variety of milling needs.
  • Wide-slab capacity allows for milling slabs up to 35 inches wide and offers a 14-inch clearance over the blade for deep cuts and oversized beams.
  • The Duradeck® Log Deck, designed for heavy-duty tasks, features twin-laminated roll-formed high-strength galvanized steel rails with solid steel plate cross members.
  • Advanced cutting technology with 4-axis micro-adjust guides for precise blade alignment.
  • Power Sawhead with standard up-down functionality and a control panel for vertical speed adjustment.
  • Optional wireless remote-control power-feed and IntelliSet® computer setworks for enhanced operation.
  • Ready for easy installation of hydraulic attachments like log loader, chain drive log turner, log clamping, and roller toe boards.
  • Designed to handle deep cuts and mill ultra-wide slabs, making it versatile for a wide range of projects.

3. Hud-Son H360 Hydraulic Portable Sawmill

Hud-Son H360 Hydraulic Portable Sawmill


  • Maximum Log Diameter:
    • Standard: 36 inches (91.4 cm)
    • Optional: Up to 48 inches (121.9 cm) with additional components
  • Maximum Log Length:
    • Standard: 24 feet (7.32 m)
    • Optional: Up to 32 feet (9.75 m) with additional components
  • Power Unit:
    • Standard: 23 HP Briggs & Stratton Intek Pro Engine
    • Optional: 35 HP Briggs & Stratton Vanguard Engine, 40 HP Subaru Diesel Engine

The Hud-Son H360 Hydraulic Portable Sawmill is an excellent choice for intermediate-level sawyers due to its combination of functionality, ease of use, and affordability. This sawmill comes equipped with numerous amenities that simplify the milling process, allowing for more efficient and less labor-intensive operation. The standard hydraulic features, including a log loader and log turner, significantly reduce the physical effort required in handling large logs, a key advantage for intermediate sawyers looking to increase productivity. The adjustable power feed and power throttle further enhance operational efficiency, making the milling process smoother and more controlled.

An important aspect of the H360 is its ability to handle large logs up to 36 inches in diameter and 18 feet in length, offering substantial capacity for a range of projects. This capability is crucial for intermediate-level sawyers who are likely to be working with a variety of log sizes. The sawmill’s design, which includes a stationary operator position with clear visibility of the mill’s functions, provides an optimal balance of safety and control. Additionally, the option to add hydraulic power dogs and backstops allows sawyers to customize the mill to their specific milling needs, offering a level of versatility that is beneficial as their skills and projects grow in complexity.


  • Includes a log loader, log turner, adjustable power feed, and power height adjustment for comprehensive control and ease of use.
  • Comes with a 23hp gas engine, offering an option to upgrade to 35hp or 37hp for increased power.
  • Capable of handling logs up to 36 inches in diameter and 18 feet in length, suitable for a wide range of projects.
  • Offers additional options like hydraulic log dog and cant roller, and hydraulic backstops to enhance milling functionality.
  • Constructed with a 4-post frame with lift tubes and 19-inch bandwheels for durability and stability.
  • Features dual shoe guides, with one being adjustable, ensuring precise and accurate cuts.
  • Equipped with a power lift system for easy adjustment of the cutting head.
  • Utilizes a 167 x 1.25 x .042-inch blade, supported by a 5-gallon lubrication system for efficient cutting.
  • Includes a dual scale for accurate and consistent measuring of cuts.
  • Comes with a standard 24-foot trailer, providing stability and ease of transport for mobile sawmilling.
  • Backed by a 1-year commercial use warranty and a 2-year warranty on main shafts and bearings, offering peace of mind and reliability.

Best Portable Sawmills for Advanced Level

1. Wood-Mizer LT70 Super Hydraulic

Wood-Mizer LT70 Super Hydraulic


  • Maximum Log Diameter: 36 inches
  • Maximum Log Length: 20 feet 2 inches
  • Power Unit: Options include a standard 23hp gas engine with an electric start, with optional upgrades to 35hp or 37hp engines.

The LT70 Super Hydraulic Portable Sawmill is exceptionally well-suited for advanced-level sawyers, primarily due to its comprehensive set of high-production features and advanced hydraulic capabilities. Designed for demanding sawing tasks, the LT70 integrates engine-powered hydraulic log handling and head controls, which significantly streamline the milling process. This sawmill can handle large logs up to 36 inches in diameter and 20’2” in length, making it ideal for advanced sawyers working on extensive and complex projects. The dual hydraulic pumps provide up to twice as fast hydraulic log handling, a crucial factor for high-production sawing.

A key aspect of the LT70 is its ease of operation and control. The pedestal control station with joystick controls allows the sawyer to conveniently operate the mill from any position around it. This flexibility is essential for advanced sawyers who require precise control over their milling process. The inclusion of a material board dragback and outfeed table, debarker, and LubeMizer blade lubrication system further enhances the sawmill’s efficiency and productivity, ensuring maximum performance and extended blade life.


  • Can handle logs up to 36 inches in diameter and 20’2” in length.
  • Advanced engine-powered hydraulic log handling, including log loading arms, toeboards, bi-directional chain log turner, log clamp, and vertical side supports.
  • Dual hydraulic pumps for faster hydraulic functions.
  • Engine-powered saw head controls for quick head positioning.
  • Pedestal control station with joystick controls for flexible operation.
  • Deluxe board return and outfeed table for efficient offbearing.
  • Debarker for enhanced blade longevity.
  • LubeMizer blade lubrication system for optimal blade performance.
  • Standard trailer with cantilever design and fine-adjust outriggers for easy transport and setup.
  • Options like a wider sawmill head, laser sight, and bed extension for increased cutting capacity and precision.
  • Enhanced HMI intuitive operator interface centralized in a single remote station.
  • Hydraulic up/down and forward/reverse functions for efficient operation.
  • Tandem hydraulic pumps optimize flow and speed up positioning.

2. TimberKing 2520

Wood-Mizer LT70 Super Hydraulic


  • Max Width of Cut: 38 inches
  • Max Log Diameter: 39 inches
  • Max Cut Length: 24 feet (extendable)

The TimberKing 2520 is exceptionally well-suited for advanced-level sawyers, thanks to its robust design and extensive hydraulic capabilities. This sawmill is engineered to handle massive trees, making it ideal for sawyers dealing with large-scale projects or those who demand only the most powerful and capable equipment. The 65HP diesel engine (with an electric option available) provides ample power for cutting through the toughest and largest logs. The mill’s full Direct-Action Hydraulic Log Handling system, including hydraulic blade feed, blade up/down, log loaders, bi-directional chain log turners, and dual-action log clamps, significantly streamlines the milling process, enhancing efficiency and productivity.

Advanced sawyers will appreciate the computerized networks for precise, consistent cuts, and the heavy-duty construction that eliminates the need for constant readjustment. This level of automation and strength is crucial for high-production sawing and for handling the rigors of demanding milling tasks. The mill’s substantial cutting capacity, combined with a wide range of hydraulic features, makes it a formidable tool for advanced sawing operations.


  • Solid-welded four-post Head, Twin Beam Log Deck, and Big-Beam Cut Core for maximum strength and durability.
  • 65HP 4-cylinder Kubota Diesel Engine for robust cutting power.
  • Full suite of Direct-Action Hydraulics for efficient log handling, including blade feed, blade up/down, log loaders, log turners, log clamps, and vertical log stops.
  • Advanced computerized networks for accurate and consistent cutting.
  • Dual Bi-Directional Chain Log Turners for precise log positioning.
  • Hydraulic Vertical Log Stops and Roller Toe Boards for enhanced control of logs.
  • Tandem-Axle Transport with Premium Tires for easy and safe transportation.
  • SuperSetworks for precise board thickness control.
  • Massive Cutting Throat to accommodate large logs up to 39 inches in diameter.
  • Electric Blade Clutch for easy blade engagement.
  • Greasable 3-inch Blade Guide Rollers to increase blade and bearing life.
  • Optional Debarker and Board Drag Back for increased efficiency.
  • Heavy Duty Industrial Energy Chain to protect hydraulic lines.

How We Choose the Best Portable Sawmills

Selecting the best portable sawmills isn’t a task we take lightly. It’s an intricate process involving extensive research, careful analysis, and a deep understanding of the needs and skill levels of sawyers. So, how exactly do we narrow down our choices from the multitude of options available? Here’s a breakdown of our methodology:

  • Our selection process begins with broad, exhaustive research. We scan countless product descriptions, customer reviews, professional assessments, and manufacturer specifications. We analyze not only the products but also the companies behind them, looking at factors such as the manufacturer’s reputation, customer service, and warranty provisions.
  • Next, we identify the core features a great portable sawmill should possess. These include power, capacity, portability, build quality, ease of use, and safety features. Additionally, we consider extra features like hydraulic systems, power feed, or adjustable width that may give a sawmill an edge over its competitors.
  • We understand that a beginner’s needs will differ greatly from those of an advanced user. Hence, we segment our selections into categories based on skill level – beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Each category has its unique set of criteria, ensuring the selected sawmills are best suited for the intended users.
  • The price is always a consideration, but it’s not just about choosing the cheapest or the most expensive. We aim to recommend products that offer the best value for money. This means they have a suitable balance of price, features, durability, and performance for their intended category.
  • One of the most valuable sources of information is the people who have used these sawmills. We delve into user reviews and feedback to understand the sawmill’s real-world performance. This allows us to identify any recurring issues or potential red flags not apparent from product descriptions alone.
  • Finally, our job doesn’t end once we’ve chosen the best portable sawmills. We continuously monitor feedback, updates, and new releases to ensure our recommendations stay current and relevant. If a better product emerges, or if feedback indicates a change is needed, we update our selections accordingly.

The result of this meticulous process is a well-curated list of the best portable sawmills for every skill level, providing you with reliable options to suit your sawmilling needs. Our goal is to make your choice easier and more informed, so you can spend less time searching and more time sawing.


The process of choosing the right portable saw mill is as intricate and valuable as the art of sawmilling itself. The distinction between an efficient, rewarding day of milling and one characterized by wasted effort and timber often lies in the quality and suitability of your sawmill. It’s a tool that transforms raw, promising logs into usable lumber, mirroring the transformation of an eager novice into a skilled artisan.

Whether you’re taking your first steps in the world of sawmilling or you’ve been seasoned by years of experience, one truth remains constant: the best sawmill is the one tailored to your unique needs and aligned with your skill level. It’s not about having the most powerful or most expensive machine; it’s about having the right machine. With the right sawmill, every log is an opportunity, every cut a step closer to your vision.

As you journey through the sawmilling landscape, keep your blades sharp – a clear reflection of your readiness to face every challenge. Never forget your safety gear, a testament to the respect you hold for the craft and its inherent risks. But above all, keep your passion for woodworking alive. Let it fuel your every stroke, feed your curiosity, and drive your quest for improvement. In the world of sawmilling, you’re not just crafting wood – you’re honing your skills, building your dreams, and yes, shaping your legacy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a portable sawmill?
    A portable sawmill is a mobile milling machine that can be easily transported and used on-site to convert logs into lumber. These machines come in different designs, including chainsaw mills, band sawmills, and swing blade mills.
  2. What are the advantages of using a portable sawmill?
    Portable sawmills provide flexibility by allowing you to process timber on-site, reducing transportation costs and increasing efficiency. They can also be used to custom cut logs to specific dimensions, enabling you to produce unique pieces of wood for custom projects.
  3. What factors should I consider when buying a portable sawmill?
    Consider factors such as power source, cutting capacity, ease of transportation and set-up, build quality and durability, and price. Also, think about what types of logs you’ll be milling most often, as different sawmills are designed to handle different sizes and species of trees.
  4. Which are some of the best brands of portable sawmills?
    Wood-Mizer, Norwood, TimberKing, and Hud-Son are some of the most renowned manufacturers of portable sawmills. They offer a range of models with different features and capacities to cater to various needs.
  5. Can I use a portable sawmill for commercial use?
    Yes, many professional lumberjacks and timber companies use portable sawmills for their operations. However, the efficiency and production capacity depend on the model and size of the sawmill. Larger, more powerful models are typically used for commercial applications.
  6. How much does a portable sawmill cost?
    The cost of a portable sawmill can range from a few thousand dollars for smaller, manual models to tens of thousands of dollars for larger, hydraulic models. The price depends on factors such as the brand, model, features, and cutting capacity.
  7. Do I need special training to operate a portable saw mill?
    While operating a portable sawmill isn’t overly complicated, proper training is important for safety and efficiency. Many manufacturers offer training courses, and there are also online resources available.
  8. What is the life expectancy of a portable sawmill?
    The life expectancy of a portable sawmill varies greatly depending on its usage, maintenance, and build quality. With regular maintenance and proper care, a portable sawmill can last for many years.
  9. Is it cheaper to cut your own lumber with a portable sawmill?
    It can be. By cutting your own lumber, you can save money compared to buying it pre-cut from a lumber yard, especially if you have access to your own timber. However, you should also factor in the upfront cost of the sawmill, its maintenance, and operation costs.
  10. What are the safety measures to keep in mind while operating a portable sawmill?
    Proper protective gear, such as safety glasses, hearing protection, and steel-toed boots, are necessary when operating a sawmill. Additionally, operators should be aware of their surroundings and keep the working area clean and free from obstacles.

Happy Sawmilling!

David Murray
David Murray
Forestry Author

I'm David Murry, a forestry equipment specialist with a focus on chainsaw operation. With over 13 years of experience, I've honed my skills in operating and maintaining a wide range of machinery, from chainsaws to log splitters. My passion for the outdoors and commitment to sustainable forestry drive my work, which emphasizes safety, efficiency, and staying updated with industry advancements. Additionally, I'm dedicated to sharing my expertise and promoting environmental awareness within the forestry community.


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