How to Use A Chainsaw Mill? Tips N Tricks by Experts

Chainsaw mills have been used for personal milling in remote areas such as Alaskan wilderness for around 60 years. Professionals and homeowners consider it as a reliable and safe instrument for milling the timber till that time. It is getting more popular day by day as a portable and cost-effective self-operated mill. This article will provide you detailed chainsaw mill reviews and step by step guide of how to use a Chainsaw Mill?

What Is A Chainsaw Mill?

A chainsaw mill is a framework with the combination of a Chainsaw bar mounted with a steel guide bracket following a straight edge. You can fix the chainsaw bar horizontally or at any position to mill the logs into boards or lumbers. More updated versions have an engine to control sawing. You have to feed the logs through the moving saw bar in the proper way. You can easily detach the saw after completion of work.

How to Use A Chainsaw Mill?

A chainsaw mill is very easy to use, and it’s operated by only one or two operators. One more facility of this milling is that you can start cutting the tree at the place where it fell as it is portable and adjustable. Now let’s have a look at the basic steps of using it.

  • Initial Preparation Before Milling

It’s very common to have accidents in Chainsaw milling and the Chainsaw accidents can be very dangerous. So, it’s very important that you take adequate preparations and safety measures before starting the work of milling. Wear all sorts of safety gears including thick and sturdy gloves, goggles and shoes. You can also wear long pants, and sleeves. You need to have an effective plan for handling the heavy beams and slabs of wood. Although you can do the job of sawing alone with the chainsaw mill, it’s better to take help of someone to move the logs. It makes the work easier and can also be proved helpful in situations when something unexpected happens.

You may need some important things while milling such as chainsaw sharpening tool, fuel for the engine, a tape measure for measuring the log and lumber size and so on. You should collect all the necessary items before starting work.

  • How to Start Cutting

The first task you need to do for starting operation is to set up the slabbing rails on which the mill will ride on for the first cut. The chainsaw rails are typically made of two 2X4s or 2X6s steel rail brackets. Set up the rails considering the features of your log.

Now, take the exact measurement of the logs with a tape measure and mark the lines where to cut. As most of the logs have a rounded or uneven top size, it’s very important that you place the log on to the slabbing rail to the exact height to have an efficient result of a smooth and flat cut. You have to feed the log into the rail in an efficient way so that the rails cut out properly past the ends of your log.

It’s the most important part of the whole milling task is that you set up the first cut effectively. You need to care about the features that you want to preserve in the lumber. After finishing the job of the first cut, you can detach the slabbing rails.

  • The Second Cut

After you complete the first cut successfully, it will guide you have proper future cuts. In case of making lumbers like a beam, the second cut will be at the two ends of the log. These two cuts will give you partially finished lumber and even it may be proved sufficient for you. This type of partial finishing is usually seen in some woods of high-end types. If you want lumbers with a perfect finish, then you have to make some future cuts.

  • The Third Cut

Forgetting well-finished lumbers, you have to turn the partially finished lumber to 90 degrees and make the next cut. This time you have to use the slabbing rail again to guide the saw bar.  For having the exact 90-degree angle, you can use a carpenter’s square. This third cut will guide you if you want to transform the long into the plain board.

  • Important Tips for Using the Chainsaw Mill

It may take some time and some unsuccessful attempts at the initial stage! You have to gradually learn the ins and outs of the chainsaw mill and its use. It’s quite common that something goes wrong in the beginning! So, have patience and try again and again. We can give you some important tips of using the chainsaw mill that can make your learning easy.

  • Start and finish cutting with slow speed to have cleaner and better-quality cutting of the lumber.
  • While using the chainsaw mill, place it on a flat and leveled surface like a workbench for aligned sharpening and cutting.
  • It’s better to cool down the saw especially after a long cut. Leave the engine idle while keeping it on and spend a few minutes without cutting.
  • It’s very helpful to use slabbing rails to get straight cuts.
  • It’s irritating that the fuel ends in the middle of cutting. So, you should check the fuel level in the gap between cuts and refuel if needed.
  • Cutting logs with chainsaw mill produces a lot of dust. So, you should use a dust mask or vapor mask while working. You should also cover all things around the area to protect them from dust. Before refueling the chainsaw, must clean the dust around the cap.
  • Make a pre-plan for arranging the slabs and boards after finishing cutting.
  • The maximum part of the chain is exposed, and it is dangerous for any passers-by, pets or curious children. So, make sure that nobody enters the working place by using signs or in any other way.


Here we discussed the basic steps of how to use a Chainsaw Millin the simplest way, which are common for most brands available in the market. You can apply these tricks and start woodworking with your chainsaw mill. If you maintain this tool properly it will surely give good feedback to you.

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