Norwood LumberMate LM29 Review


Having personally spent a considerable amount of time working with different portable sawmills, I’ve developed a deep understanding of what makes a great sawmill. Today, I’m putting the Norwood LumberMate LM29 under the microscope.

Norwood LumberMate LM29

Product Specifications

  • Sawhead Power: 14HP or 16HP gas engine (options available)
  • Maximum Log Diameter: 29 inches (73.66 cm)
  • Maximum Cant Width: 24 inches (60.96 cm)
  • Maximum Cut Length: 12 feet (3.66 meters) (additional bed extensions available for longer cuts)
  • Blade Length: 144 inches (365.76 cm)
  • Blade Widths: 1 1/4 inches (3.17 cm) or 1 1/2 inches (3.81 cm) (options available)
  • Blade Guide System: Dual-post system with ceramic guides
  • Blade Tension: Quick tension/release system
  • Log Bed Construction: Welded steel frame
  • Log Clamp and Turning System: Cam-activated, adjustable
  • Bed Sections: 2-bed sections as standard (additional bed extensions available)
  • Portable: Yes, can be towed behind a vehicle or moved around on site
  • Weight: Approximately 700 lbs (317.51 kg) without the trailer

A Quick Overview

The LumberMate LM29 is a mid-sized Norwood Sawmill, a reputable Canadian company known for quality wood processing equipment. It’s an upgrade from their previous model, the LM19, with improvements focused on increasing user comfort and cutting precision.

Norwood LumberMate LM29

Performance Metrics

  • Cutting Speed – I was genuinely impressed by the LM29’s cutting speed. It outperformed many of its rivals in my comparisons. During my own hands-on trial, I was able to achieve a cutting rate of 500 board feet per day without any issues.
  • Accuracy – Precision is another area where the LM29 excels. It guarantees a consistent board thickness, which I personally experienced when I used it to cut several lumber pieces. The difference in thickness between them was barely noticeable.
  • Ease of Use – What really stood out to me about the LM29 is its user-centric design. It scored high marks in this department. I found adjusting the saw head and switching blades to be quite straightforward, making it an ideal choice even for beginners.

A Cut Above the Rest

What sets the LM29 apart from competitors like the Wood-Mizer LT15 and TimberKing 1220?

Firstly, the LM29’s patented auto-locking saw head is a game-changer. This feature eliminates the need for constant readjustment, saving time and effort, and ensuring more accurate cuts.

Secondly, Norwood’s customization options are unparalleled. You can add a range of attachments like a log loading/rolling and ramp package or a trailer system, tailoring the mill to your needs.

FeatureNorwood LumberMate LM29Wood-Mizer LT15TimberKing 1220
Cutting SpeedHigh (500 board feet/day)Moderate (350 board feet/day)Low (300 board feet/day)
Ease of UseHighModerateModerate
Auto-locking SawheadYesNoNo
Customization OptionsExtensiveLimitedModerate

Please note: The information in this table is based on my personal experience and may vary based on individual use.

The Norwood LumberMate LM29 stands out with its high-cutting speed, excellent accuracy, and extensive customization options. It’s also the only one among these three models that feature an auto-locking saw head, which significantly improves the user experience by eliminating constant readjustment. However, it is heavier and slightly more expensive than the other two models, which may be consideration depending on your specific needs and budget.

Pros and Cons

Speaking from my own experience, the LM29, like any product, carries its own set of pros and cons.

  • Pros: I found the LM29 to be remarkably versatile and user-friendly. Its superior cutting speed and precision are remarkable, clearly setting it apart from many other sawmills. What really struck a chord with me were the customization options it offered, allowing me to tailor the sawmill’s functions to suit my specific needs.
  • Cons: That being said, there are a couple of areas where the LM29 falls short. For starters, the assembly process proved to be quite time-consuming – something to keep in mind if you’re short on time or patience. And while it’s designed to be portable, the considerable weight of the sawmill did pose a challenge for me. Despite its portability, some users may find its heft a hindrance.
Norwood LumberMate LM29

Evolution from Previous Models

Norwood Sawmill has taken considerable steps to improve upon previous designs, and it’s apparent that they’ve listened to user feedback. The LM29 stands as a testament to this continued growth and innovation.

The first area of enhancement is the saw head control. The LM29 now boasts a more refined, user-friendly mechanism. This updated control system makes the cutting process smoother, more accurate, and more efficient, a noticeable improvement during my hands-on experience.

Norwood LumberMate LM29

Secondly, the water-drip system has been revamped. Water lubrication is essential in sawmilling to reduce friction and extend the lifespan of the blades. The improved water-drip system on the LM29 ensures a more consistent flow, enhancing blade performance and longevity. I found this system to be far superior to its predecessor, contributing to a more efficient cutting process.

Lastly, the log deck on the LM29 has been reinforced for greater durability and stability. This change is crucial because a robust log deck improves overall safety and performance. During my usage, I observed that the stronger deck contributed to less vibration and more precise cuts.

In Conclusion

In my view, the Norwood LumberMate LM29 is an excellent mid-sized sawmill, particularly suitable for small to medium-sized logging operations. While it may not be the best fit for larger industrial operations, its performance, customization options, and durability make it an outstanding choice for its category.

Norwood LumberMate LM29

To sum up, the Norwood LumberMate LM29 is a solid investment for anyone serious about woodworking or lumber production. With its impressive performance and customization capabilities, it offers a great deal of value for its price. I recommend it as one of the best overall mid-sized portable sawmills on the market.

If you have any questions about the Norwood LumberMate LM29 or want to share your own experiences with this sawmill, feel free to leave a comment below or contact me directly. Your feedback and inquiries are always welcome!

Buyer’s Guide

Buying a sawmill like the LM29 is a significant investment, and it’s crucial to consider several factors to ensure you get the most value for your money. Here’s a buyer’s guide to help you make an informed decision:

  1. Purpose and Capacity: Consider what you’ll be using the sawmill for. Are you a hobbyist, or will you be using it for commercial purposes? The frequency and volume of usage will determine the type of sawmill you need. The LM29, for instance, is a versatile machine suitable for both personal and small-scale commercial use.
  2. Cutting Speed and Accuracy: These are two critical performance indicators for any sawmill. The LM29 shines in both areas, offering excellent cutting speed and high precision. If you plan on cutting large amounts of lumber, a machine with a high cutting speed and accuracy, like the LM29, is vital.
  3. Ease of Use: A user-friendly sawmill saves time and reduces the risk of errors. The LM29 scores high on ease of use, with intuitive controls and easy blade adjustments, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced users.
  4. Customization Options: The ability to adapt the sawmill to your specific needs enhances its functionality and value. The LM29 offers various customization options, allowing you to tailor its features to suit your requirements.
  5. Assembly and Portability: Consider the time and effort required for assembly. While the LM29’s assembly can be time-consuming, its portability feature is a major advantage, allowing you to move it around as necessary. However, keep in mind that despite being portable, it is quite heavy.
  6. Upgrades from Previous Models: Companies like Norwood continually innovate their products. The LM29 is a testament to this, as it includes several upgrades from the previous model, like an enhanced saw head control, an improved water-drip system, and a more robust log deck.
  7. Price and Warranty: Lastly, consider your budget and the product warranty. While the LM29 is a significant investment, its robust features and performance justify its price. Always check the warranty period and what it covers to ensure you’re protected against manufacturing defects.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the cutting capacity of the Norwood LumberMate LM29?
    The cutting capacity of the LumberMate LM29 may vary depending on the specific model and configuration. Generally, portable sawmills like the LM29 can handle logs with diameters ranging from 20 to 36 inches or more, and the length of the logs may also vary.
  2. Can the Norwood LumberMate LM29 handle hardwood and softwood logs?
    Yes, portable sawmills like the LumberMate LM29 are designed to cut both hardwood and softwood logs, making them suitable for a wide range of applications and lumber types.
  3. How portable is the Norwood LumberMate LM29?
    The LumberMate LM29 is designed to be portable, but the ease of portability may depend on the specific model and features. Some sawmills are equipped with features like trailer packages or wheeled bases to enhance portability.
  4. Is the Norwood LumberMate LM29 easy to set up and operate?
    Portable sawmills are designed for ease of use, and the LumberMate LM29 is no exception. It typically comes with user-friendly controls and an assembly process that can be easily managed with the provided manual.
  5. What types of blades are used with the Norwood LumberMate LM29, and how often do they need to be replaced?
    The LumberMate LM29 may use various types of blades for different cutting applications. The frequency of blade replacement depends on factors such as the type of wood being cut, the cutting conditions, and the maintenance practices.
  6. Can the Norwood LumberMate LM29 be used for commercial or professional purposes?
    The LumberMate LM29 is designed to handle both personal and light commercial use. While it can be used for professional applications, it may not have the capacity or features of larger, dedicated commercial sawmills.
  7. What safety features does the Norwood LumberMate LM29 have?
    Portable sawmills like the LumberMate LM29 typically come with safety features such as blade guards, emergency stop switches, and user-friendly controls to ensure safe operation.
  8. Can I use the Norwood LumberMate LM29 for custom lumber milling?
    Yes, the LumberMate LM29 is designed for custom lumber milling, allowing you to create various sizes and dimensions of lumber to suit your specific needs.
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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