Frontier Sawmills – OS27 Review


Exactly one year ago, I embarked on a milling journey with the Frontier Sawmills OS27, a rugged and reliable mid-sized mill. It’s been a year of significant testing and utilization, and I’m here to share a detailed review based on real-life usage.

A Frontier Sawmill OS27 processing a large log outdoors, showcasing its sturdy frame and vibrant yellow components.

Upon receiving the Frontier OS27, its robust and clean design was immediately apparent, reflecting its quality construction. The assembly process, while taking around 6-7 hours, was a test of patience due to a manual that was not as clear as one might hope. However, the overall setup was intuitive enough, especially for those familiar with mechanical assembly. The mill is equipped with a powerful 13.5hp Briggs & Stratton engine, available in both recoil and electric start options, enhancing its reliability and efficiency. This sawmill impressively handles logs up to 27 inches in diameter and can produce boards up to 11 feet long, making it a versatile tool for a variety of milling tasks.

Specifications and Features

  • Engine: 13.5hp 420cc Briggs & Stratton
  • Log Diameter: Up to 27 inches
  • Width of Cut: Up to 22 inches
  • Mobility: Optional towing kit available for enhanced portability
  • Warranty: 1-Year Warranty and 30-Day Guarantee

The mill boasts patented innovations such as the auto-locking sawhead for precise depth control and the EZ Blade Tension system, which simplifies blade changes by maintaining critical bandwheel alignment.

Performance and Usability

Over the past year, the Frontier OS27 has demonstrated its capability to handle a variety of wood types, proving to be an invaluable tool in my milling operations. The sawmill’s rigid 4-post saw carriage design plays a crucial role in its performance, significantly reducing saw head bounce, sag, and sway during cuts. This stability is crucial for achieving smooth, straight cuts and has consistently resulted in high-quality lumber.

Close-up of the Frontier OS27 sawmill cutting through a large log, highlighting the machine's blade and protective housing.

Additionally, the adjustable blade guide is a standout feature that greatly aids in maintaining the precision of the blade’s path, especially when making narrower cuts. This adaptability ensures the blade is well-supported regardless of the material width, which not only improves the cut quality but also extends the life of the blade by reducing wear and tear.

Side view of the Frontier OS27 sawmill at a work site, showing a person operating the machine and adjusting settings.

The log dogging system further enhances the mill’s usability by securely holding the logs during the cutting process. This system prevents the logs from shifting, providing a reliable stability that is necessary for consistent, accurate milling. The combination of these features makes the OS27 not just functional but also user-friendly, even for those who may be new to sawmilling or are operating the mill as a one-person operation.

Mobility and Customization

The addition of the optional Mobility Towing Kit to the Frontier OS27 has significantly enhanced its portability, allowing me to easily transport the mill to various locations. This kit, which includes a subframe, axle, 12-inch wheels, removable drawbar, and support jacks, provides a robust solution for moving the sawmill across different terrains. The mobility kit not only simplifies the transport of the mill but also ensures it can be quickly set up and stabilized at each new location, thanks to the adjustable support jacks and the carriage lockdown system.

This feature is particularly beneficial for custom milling operations or when working in remote areas, as it allows the sawmill to be brought directly to where the logs are located, reducing the need for additional log transportation. The ease of mobility and the ability to customize the setup based on the specific requirements of each site make the OS27 a versatile and indispensable tool for both personal and professional wood milling projects.

Maintenance and Support

Maintaining the Frontier OS27 has been quite manageable, thanks to the availability of essential parts like bearings and belts at local stores, which makes regular upkeep less of a hassle. This accessibility ensures that I can keep the sawmill in top working condition without significant downtime.

Detailed view of the sawmill's wheel and blade mechanism, featuring sawdust and debris from cutting.

My experience with customer service has been overwhelmingly positive, highlighted by timely responses and helpful support. Effective communication from the customer service team has made it easier to address any issues promptly and keep the mill running efficiently. This level of support is reassuring, particularly when tackling more extensive projects or when specific problems arise that require professional guidance.

Personal Reflections

After a year of operating the Frontier OS27, I’ve gained a deep appreciation for its robust functionality and reliability, despite recognizing areas for potential improvement. The durability of the powder coating and the clarity of the manual were initially concerning; however, these issues pale in comparison to the mill’s overall performance.

Full view of the Frontier OS27 sawmill set up outdoors with logs and planks in the background, emphasizing its portability and length.

By making a few adjustments and custom modifications, I’ve tailored the OS27 to better meet my specific needs, enhancing its efficiency and effectiveness. This experience has solidified my confidence in the mill as a vital tool in my woodworking and milling endeavors, proving its worth in various challenging projects.

Comparison with Competitors

Frontier OS27Wood-Mizer LT15Norwood LM29
Engine13.5 HP Briggs & Stratton (recoil/electric)19 HP Gas or 10 HP Electric options14 HP Gas engine
Log Diameter CapacityUp to 27 inchesUp to 28 inchesUp to 29 inches
Max Width of Cut22 inches28 inches22 inches
Mobility KitOptionalOptionalOptional
Frame ConstructionRigid 4-post carriageSingle rail frame designRigid 4-post frame
Unique FeaturesEZ Blade Tension, auto-locking sawheadManual sawhead adjustment, optional power feedAuto-locking sawhead, optional manual winch
Ease of UseUser-friendly, straightforward manualRequires more initial setup, straightforward useUser-friendly, simpler manual
Price Range$3,647$10,395.00$5697.00
Warranty1-year warranty and 30-day guarantee2-year warranty on sawmill frame1-year warranty, optional extended available

When comparing the Frontier OS27 with the Wood-Mizer LT15 and the Norwood LumberMate LM29, several key aspects stand out:

  • Engine and Power: The OS27’s engine is robust for its size, matching closely with the LumberMate LM29 and slightly less powerful than the LT15, which offers up to 19 HP. The choice between recoil and electric start on the OS27 provides versatility depending on user preference.
  • Capacity and Build: All three mills handle large log diameters, but the Wood-Mizer LT15 can handle slightly wider cuts due to its larger frame. The OS27 and LM29 are more similar in capacity, both offering up to 29 inches in log diameter.
  • Ease of Use and Assembly: The OS27 is noted for its easy assembly and straightforward manual, making it a good option for less experienced users. In contrast, the LT15 might require more setup and is a bit less intuitive without prior experience.
  • Mobility and Adaptability: All models offer mobility kits, making them suitable for users who need to move their sawmill between locations. The OS27’s kit is noted for being particularly robust.
  • Price and Value: The OS27 typically comes in at a lower price point, offering significant value, especially with its patented features like the EZ Blade Tension and auto-locking sawhead. The LT15 and LM29 can become more expensive with added features and upgrades.

Overall, the Frontier OS27 offers strong competition in the mid-sized sawmill market with its combination of price, features, and ease of use, making it a suitable choice for both beginners and more experienced millers. The choice between these models will depend on specific needs such as cut size, engine power, and budget.


Would I purchase the Frontier OS27 again? Absolutely. Priced at $3,647, it’s a versatile, strong mill ideal for anyone seeking a mid-sized solution. It’s not just a tool; it’s a dependable partner in milling. Whether you’re a hobbyist or looking to tackle larger projects, the OS27 offers a great balance of functionality, ease of use, and value.

For those interested in the Frontier OS27 or milling in general, feel free to drop your questions or share your experiences in the comments below. Let’s keep the conversation going and help each other in our milling adventures!


  1. What size logs can the Frontier OS27 handle?
    The OS27 can handle logs up to 27 inches in diameter. This capacity makes it suitable for a wide range of logging tasks, from small to fairly large projects.
  2. Does the OS27 come with a warranty?
    Yes, the OS27 comes with a 1-year warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee, providing buyers with assurance and support after their purchase.
  3. Can the OS27 be easily transported?
    Yes, with the optional Mobility Towing Kit, which includes a subframe, axle, wheels, and support jacks, the OS27 can be easily moved to various milling sites. This feature is particularly useful for those who need to mill in different locations.
  4. What type of engine does the OS27 have?
    The OS27 is equipped with a 13.5hp 420cc Briggs & Stratton engine, available in both recoil and electric start models, offering reliable and powerful performance.
  5. How do I maintain the OS27?
    Regular maintenance includes checking and replacing the belts and bearings when necessary, which are readily available at local hardware or automotive stores. Regular cleaning and proper storage will also extend the life of the mill.
  6. Are there any customizations available for the OS27?
    Yes, the sawmill can be customized with various optional attachments like the Auto Blade Lube System, which automates the blade lubrication to flow in sync with the throttle, enhancing cutting efficiency and blade life.
  7. How does the auto-locking sawhead feature benefit me?
    The auto-locking sawhead allows for precise depth-of-cut control, which simplifies the cutting process and saves time, making it easier to produce consistent and accurate cuts.
  8. Is the assembly of the OS27 complex?
    The assembly process can take approximately 6-7 hours and is intuitive, though the manual may be somewhat vague. Taking your time and familiarizing yourself with all parts during assembly can ease this process.
  9. What are some common issues with the OS27, and how are they resolved?
    Common issues might include wear on the powder coating and adjustments needed for the log stops. These are typically resolved with regular maintenance and occasional touch-ups with protective coatings or adjustments to the hardware setup.
  10. How responsive is customer service if I encounter issues?
    Customer service experiences can vary, but many users, including myself, have reported positive interactions with timely support and effective solutions provided for any issues encountered.
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.


Comparing apples and oranges here. Should have compared the Frontier to the Woodland Mills HM126 instead of the HM122.

Daniel Adams
Natalia Harrington
February 10, 2024 3:22 am

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