Chainsaw Mill Guide – How to use a Chainsaw Mill?

It will not be wrong if I say that everyday a massive number of trees are cut down and then turned into mulch or firewood, isn’t it? Is it fair to let a huge part of the woods go wasted when we have a standard procedure to save that wasted part? Of course not, and this is the very reason that I am writing about the chainsaw mill guide.

Being a handyman, you might have considered the option of chainsaw milling, but from now and onward, I am certain that milling will be your priority. However, for this purpose, I recommend you to learn the use of chainsaw mill in the following step-by-step chainsaw mill guide.

Before I make you land to the chainsaw mill guide directly, let us look into brief details of chainsaw milling.

Chainsaw Milling

Chainsaw milling is a process in which trees are cut down into the form of boards, slabs, lumber, etc. Milling helps a handyman cut the tree into a more useful form. The process yields a greater amount of wood into a usable form while reducing the waste of the process.

The process is carried out using a chainsaw mill which is also referred to as a chainsaw guide – the chainsaw mill is connected to the chainsaw, and keeps it straight to cut the logs in streamline.

Make sure that you have given tools & equipment before you start the process.

Chainsaw Mill Guide

Tools & Equipment for Chainsaw Milling

Prior to start chainsaw milling, I would suggest you gather the following tools & equipment. Give a thorough read to the following paragraphs, and you will understand why these tools are necessary;

1. A Powerful Chainsaw

You may already have a chainsaw, but chainsaw milling goes the best with a chainsaw of greater power; more will be the power, and better will be the performance during milling. Chainsaws with smaller power are not recommended to use for milling.

2. Chainsaw Chain

This time, you are not going to use your chainsaw with a conventional chain; instead, you require a ripping chain that has specifically been designed to cut with the grain. With its sharp cutting edges, the ripping chain helps you have smooth horizontal cuts.

3. Check Your Chainsaw Bar

Checking the chainsaw bar is also important to make sure if it would be able to sustain during the milling process or not. Most probably, bars with greater length are preferred during milling.

But changing the bar isn’t only the solution to the problem, rather you need to adjust the amount of lubrication required to prevent overheating between the chainsaw chain and bar. In short, you need to set the lubrication considering the length of your chainsaw bar.

4. Screwdrivers

Every time you complete the turn of milling, you may need to tighten the chain of your chainsaw. For this purpose, move the tension pin in a clockwise direction with the help of a screwdriver.

5. Find a Suitable Sawmill

Here comes the most important part of the whole process, the sawmill. Remember that all sawmills aren’t fit to go for the job with your chainsaw; instead, there is a wide variety of chainsaw mills that must be counterchecked to meet the requirements of your chainsaw.

6. Reasonable Amount of Fuel

Fuel (oil or gas) is inevitable to maintain the temperature of the chainsaw at an optimum level. It provides enough lubrication between the bar and chain to avoid overheating. Every time you make a milling cut, make sure that you check the amount of fuel.

7. Wedges

Wedges are also important because they avoid the direct contact of the chainsaw with wood and move the wood in a similar direction to the notch cut. Wedges are inevitable to ensure the safety of the chain and bar of your chainsaw.

8. Guide Rails

The guide rail is another mandatory piece of equipment used in the process of chainsaw milling because it provides the chainsaw with support during milling. To slide the mill set the guide rails with log, and give the first cut. A ladder can also be used as a guide rail.

Protective Gears

While working with a chainsaw, you can never risk yourself working without wearing protective gear. The followings are essentials safety gears that must be put on while working with the chainsaw;

  • Chainsaw helmet
  • Protective glasses with visor (in case of no helmet)
  • Earmuffs
  • Logging or steel-toe boots, and
  • Gloves

So, having gathered all the necessary tools and protective gear, you are ready to start with chainsaw milling – follow the detailed chainsaw mill guide, and learn how to use a chainsaw mill.

Chainsaw Mill Guide

If you haven’t done the chainsaw milling before, you may find it a little overwhelming task. But there is nothing to worry about – follow the given steps and start confidently;

1. Place Log on Flat Surface

In the first step, the most important thing is to remove all branches and twigs from the log. Later on, place the log on a flat surface. An uneven surface might be problematic during cutting.

2. Place Guide Rails

To place the guide rail on the log, find the flattest face of the log. Once you have placed the guide rail, screw it tightly with the log. Starting from the flattest face can help you maintain straight cutting.

3. Placement of Saw Mill

Placement of the saw mill is a crucial part of the job; it must be right under the guide rails to avoid hitting. After placing the saw mill, start cutting smoothly, and finish the first cut.

4. Set Thickness Level and Cut

Now, you are ready to cut but do not forget to set the level of thickness. You can adjust the thickness according to your requirement.

5. Remove the Guide Rails

Before you start for the 2nd or 3rd cut, you need to remove the guide rails. Keep milling without guide rails.

6. Prop Under the Log

When you are at the end of the log during milling, it may be difficult for you to continue the cutting. To avoid this problem, you can place a prop under the log.

So, these are steps to follow for chainsaw milling. Place the cut slabs in any room to let them dry properly.


After going through this Explained step-by-step chainsaw mill guide, I am sure that you will not find any problems pertaining to chainsaw milling. It is better to ask someone to help you in making the arrangements and get the work done with greater efficiency.

I hope that you have got a clear idea about how to use a chainsaw mill, still, if you have any questions, ask me in the comment section, and I will try to clear all your doubts.

Thank You!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Is the chainsaw mill worth it?

Yes, it massively reduces waste and helps the handyman cut the wood in finer and more useful shapes.

Q2. How long does it take to chainsaw mill?

There are many factors that might change the time taken by the milling to complete. Most probably, a chainsaw with good power takes 5 to 10 minutes to cut the long of moderate size.

Q3. How big of a chainsaw do you need for mill?

Milling is among the hardest one among the tasks you expect to be done using your chainsaw. For this purpose, you need a chainsaw that offers good output in terms of power. I recommend you to use chainsaw whose engine has cylindrical displacement of at least 60CC.

Q4. How fast is a chainsaw mill?

The speed of milling process depends upon the specifications of chainsaw. Usually, for narrow and softwood, milling speed might meet 7 to 8 feet per minute. Meanwhile, if the wood is narrow and hard, the speed may reduce to 1 to 1/2 feet per minute.

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