Best Chainsaw for Milling Lumber [Top Pick & Reviews 2023]

Last Updated on January 16, 2023 by Sarker C. Weber

Are you looking forward to building a stationary mill far away from your home? Face it; a portable chainsaw can turn away itself as a portable mill.

Traditional sawmills are expensive, whereas chainsaws are affordable.

It means you are saving your money as well as finding a convenient way to start a mill.

Typical chainsaws are not a good performer for firewood. Are you wrinkling your eyes and thinking why?

Because the best milling chainsaws are capable enough to turn a log into lumber, you don’t need to worry about using those lumber to make crafts and furniture for your home.

But the question is, how will you find out the best chainsaw for milling?

No worries, we took a deep dive into the ocean of chainsaw stores and wrote reviews of the few best chainsaw that are highly optimized for milling.

We came up with a buying guide to choose the right one for your need.

So, enough horn-tooting, let’s roll together.

The 4 Best Chainsaws for Milling (Reviews-2022)

1. Husqvarna 460 Rancher- Best Overall (Top picks)

Husqvarna 460 Rancher is the best chainsaw for milling because Husqvarna never compromises on the quality and safety that you required.

It will never let your trust go down in terms of optimal performance.

You will never feel uncomfortable while using this chainsaw because of its ergonomic and efficient design.

You are free from all worries too about its engine life. This chainsaw comes with a 60cc engine with a 20-inch bar.

Husqvarna 460 Rancher features an air injection centrifugal air cleaning system that will keep its air filter away from any kinds of debris or larger dust that may reduce the engine’s lifespan.

Because of its powerful performance, this chainsaw is our top pick.

Also, it has a long bar that will give you an amazing cutting experience.

It is easy to start, and you will get a continuous, stressful-cutting performance.


  • less fuel consumption
  • Inertia-activated chain brake
  • Interchangeable bar
  • Confirms comfortable chainsaw operation


  • Expensive

2. Husqvarna 455 Rancher (Best for Alaskan Mill) – Runner up

Husqvarna 455 is my second-best pick for the best chainsaw for milling lumber.

Husqvarna 455 rancher model is big and weighty enough to perform well against your milling task.

It is suitable for landowners and full-time lumberjacks who require a massive, powerful workmate that can cut off your backyard trees to tall oaks.

It offers the best features of its ancestor with advanced, smoothing tools and ergonomics.

Controlling a chainsaw is barely hard due to its heavy vibration.

Nothing welcomes fatigue faster than trying to handle a chainsaw that is vibrating badly.

Husqvarna 455 Rancher has a vibration-controlling system that will make your work safer than ever.

The 455 Rancher is available with an operation manual, a defending bar case, and a multipurpose tool to eliminate the clutch cover and tensioning of the chain.


  • Tremendous performance for the price
  • Outstanding features that will lead you to ease operation
  • Starts quickly without creating any unnecessary problem


  • The oil tank is a bit small

3. ECHO CS-590 – Best for small-time milling operation

When talking about the best chainsaw for milling, it’s unacceptable if I don’t include the ECHO Cs-590, Right? 

Well yes!

ECHO is a chainsaw manufacturer that never compromises on quality and value.

This gas chainsaw is available with a wide range of features that made him unique from all other chainsaws and includes a transparent fuel tank, reduction of air pressure feature, 2 – a piece mesh air filter making this unit stand out.

Its 2 – stroke engine runs using fuel, and you can use a mix of gas and oil.

However, you need to use a minimum of 89 octanes of unleaded gas and 2 – stroke oil, maintaining a 50:1 ratio.

The fuel tank’s capacity is 21.8 oz, and the tank is translucent, making it easy to give a look when fuel is about to finish, and without any delay, you can fill it up.

Its 20-inch bar length and 59.8cc engines make it suitable for milling work.


  • Minimizes vibration greatly
  • Better cutting speed
  • Anti Vibration Handle


  • The starting mechanism should be improved.

4. Poulan Pro PR5020 (Affordable Chainsaw for milling)

For the last 100 years and more, the name Poulan has been related to value and affordability.

The Poulan Pro 50 cc gas chainsaw is a mid to high-level performer; without any doubt, this unit provides impressive service at an affordable price.

Its engine is exceptionally powerful which makes this model the sturdiest and more dependable than comparable models.

You will barely find a chainsaw within a similar price range as powerful as this gas chainsaw.

That means, if you are looking for a chainsaw for professional use, this probably is not the model for you.

However! I include this item on the Best chainsaw for milling lumber list because of its affordable price.


  • User-friendly
  • Better grip
  • Hassle-free starting


  • Reduction of vibration system should require better performance

5. MAKITA XCU04PT LXT – Electric chainsaw for milling

Do you need a powerful chainsaw to get easy operation on your woodwork?

Shake your hands with the Makita XCU04PT chainsaw. Its powerful brushless motor offers enough power that will permit you to go about your duties comfortably.

Makita always takes care of its tools to give an exceptional cutting experience to their customer.

In XCU04PT design, they introduced an advanced variable speed trigger system to let you experience unique cutting performance.

You don’t need any tools in order to adjust the chain that permits you to utilize its full efficiency suitably.

It comes with two 18V LXT Lithium-Ion batteries to give your immense support to work for a long time if you are performing an extensive woodwork task.

Wave your hands to all your worries about its maintenance as it is free from emissions.

You don’t need to sweat your forehead thinking about changing the engine oil, replacement of the spark plug, or cleaning and clearing the air filter.

Also, it is unnecessary to drain the fuel for storage. All you need to do is, pick the chainsaw, give it power using an 18V LXT Lithium battery and start using it. Significantly simple!

If you are looking for an electric chainsaw for milling, then undoubtedly you can choose this milling chainsaw.


  • Highly efficient brushless motor
  • Ease handling with ergonomic design
  • Variable speed trigger and high chain speed
  • The compact rear handle design offers improved performance and user comfort.


  • Some Complaints The auto switched-off feature affects works consistently.

Buying Guide for the Best Chainsaw For Milling

Are you purchasing a chainsaw for the first time? Are you a little bit confused about which one to buy because many variations are available in the market?

While selecting the perfect saw for your mill, you need to take care of a few essential factors that I will share with you below.

Safety Features

A chainsaw without safety features may lead you to serious injury.

Unfortunately, many of us shut our eyes to check the safety features, whereas we need to keep an eagle eye.

Inspect your chainsaw intently and ensure all safety features like hand-guard, anti-vibration features, automatic oil lubricator, and, to name a few are available in your selected chainsaw.

Bar Length

Your chainsaw’s bar length has to possess the right length to be ideal for milling. On average, your milling chainsaw should have a 20-inch bar length. Based on the trees you intend to cut, you may need to get a much longer bar length on a milling chainsaw.


Your engine power is another very critical point to consider before purchasing the best chainsaw for milling.

In most cases, you’re between two power types for milling saw, electric or gas-powered.

If an electric-powered milling chainsaw is your choice, you’d have to select a chainsaw from 15Amps.

Lower-placed amp chainsaws won’t function optimally in milling.

Also, if you make a gas-powered chainsaw your pick, its power is measured in cc.

So for a top-performing milling chainsaw, you’d have to get a choice from 60cc to ensure significant cutting power. 

Some choices could go well over 50ccs to assure more comfortable slicing through stuff.

Since you’re not purchasing these saws for light to moderate use, getting the highest engine power should be your focus, power type regardless.

Read more about gas vs electric chainsaws.


Milling operations require saws that have to be of optimal performance at all stages.

For the perfect milling chainsaw, you’d have to consider your selected machine’s material makeup, engine performance, and more.

All major features that’ll ensure your machine keeps performing for the longer need to be present.


Where do you want to use your chainsaw? For example, if you decided to work in the woodland, it is preferable to select a gas-powered chainsaw.

A battery-powered chainsaw also will be an option, but the charge may finish before you finish your job.

Moreover, an electric chainsaw will be the right choice if you are living in a suburb.


You can spend more than a hundred dollars to purchase a chainsaw, but all dancing and singing will be useless if you don’t utilize it to its zenith efficiency.

If you are looking to use a chainsaw for your home, purchasing a less than $200 chainsaw will be an ethical decision.


Check out the warranty because you are purchasing an item using your valuable money and expect to get its service for a long time.

Take note; an expensive item will provide you with long service.

Added Features

Modern chainsaws provide more advanced technology than old chainsaws.

Advanced technologies like reducing vibration systems, adjustable side-mounted tension, heated handles, a carrying case, and no name a few.

Set a reminder in your smartphone about checking these additional features while purchasing.

I believe the above information will help you purchase the right chainsaw for milling lumber and fulfill your requirements.

Frequently Asked Question

What is Milling?

Milling is removing the rounded parts off a log and reducing the now rectangular log to smaller pieces.

Milled logs provide very useful lengths of wood for construction and other essential purposes.

Over the years, milling has been practiced with many crude methods, but technology has changed all that.

Is There Any Difference between Logs Milled in an Industrial Mill Machine and with a Milling Chainsaw?

Nowadays, some machines could actually get a lot of logs milled in a short time.

But since these industrial cutting machines are way over your budget, it’s better to get a milling chainsaw.

The small size of these saws doesn’t take anything from their performance, as it could be difficult to tell where a log was milled when you use your chainsaw right.

How Many Operators are required to Use a Milling Chainsaw?

A single-handed chainsaw usually requires only one operator to handle milling operations.

On the flip side, the much larger double-sided chainsaw is only operable with two handlers, one on each end of the machine.

What Kind of Milling Chainsaw Do I Need?

This depends on your operation. If you’re milling through logs with much smaller diameters, you could cheaply get the job done with a single-handed chainsaw.

But when you’ve got to cut through considerably larger logs, you’d have to get it done with a double-handed chainsaw.

Should I Hire a Professional for Milling my own Wood?

This totally depends on you. If you’ve got a lot of wood to mill with not enough experience to get it done, it’s better you should get a pro to handle the job for you.

But if you’re well versed in cutting through a lot of logs with no hassle, there’s no need to waste that extra cash on hiring a lumbering pro.

Final Words

Getting the best chainsaw for milling is much easier with all the info in this review. 

Since I’ve made the info as comprehensive as possible, it’ll become more than easy to get your milling operations running on all cylinders in record time as soon as possible.

So make a choice for a milling chainsaw today, check out its price, and get your milling on track right now!

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