Best Chainsaw for Milling Lumber [Top Pick & Reviews 2021]

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 in to lumber, and 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.

Preview
Top Pick
Husqvarna 20 Inch 460 Rancher Gas Chainsaw
Runner Up
Husqvarna 20 Inch 455 Rancher Gas Chainsaw
Echo CS-590-20AA 20 in. 59.8 cc Gas Chainsaw
Budget Friendly
Poulan Pro 20 in. 50cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw, PR5020
Title
Husqvarna 20 Inch 460 Rancher Gas Chainsaw
Husqvarna 20 Inch 455 Rancher Gas Chainsaw
Echo CS-590-20AA 20 in. 59.8 cc Gas Chainsaw
Poulan Pro 20 in. 50cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw, PR5020
Powered Type
Gas Powered
Gas Powered
Gas Powered
Gas Powered
Bar Size
20 Inch
20 Inch
20 Inch
20 Inch
Weight
12.79 Pounds
12.8 Pounds
20.1 Pounds
17 Pounds
Features
side-mounted chain tensioning, Quick-release air filter, Adjustable oil pump
X-torq engine, quick-release air filter, ide-mounted chain tensioning
Digital ignition, Anti-vibration system, G - force technology
Instant chain stopping feature, Oxy power engine technology, The purge bulb
Prime Eligibility
-
-
-
Top Pick
Preview
Husqvarna 20 Inch 460 Rancher Gas Chainsaw
Title
Husqvarna 20 Inch 460 Rancher Gas Chainsaw
Powered Type
Gas Powered
Bar Size
20 Inch
Weight
12.79 Pounds
Features
side-mounted chain tensioning, Quick-release air filter, Adjustable oil pump
Prime Eligibility
-
Runner Up
Preview
Husqvarna 20 Inch 455 Rancher Gas Chainsaw
Title
Husqvarna 20 Inch 455 Rancher Gas Chainsaw
Powered Type
Gas Powered
Bar Size
20 Inch
Weight
12.8 Pounds
Features
X-torq engine, quick-release air filter, ide-mounted chain tensioning
Prime Eligibility
-
Preview
Echo CS-590-20AA 20 in. 59.8 cc Gas Chainsaw
Title
Echo CS-590-20AA 20 in. 59.8 cc Gas Chainsaw
Powered Type
Gas Powered
Bar Size
20 Inch
Weight
20.1 Pounds
Features
Digital ignition, Anti-vibration system, G - force technology
Prime Eligibility
-
Budget Friendly
Preview
Poulan Pro 20 in. 50cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw, PR5020
Title
Poulan Pro 20 in. 50cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw, PR5020
Powered Type
Gas Powered
Bar Size
20 Inch
Weight
17 Pounds
Features
Instant chain stopping feature, Oxy power engine technology, The purge bulb
Prime Eligibility

The 4 Best Chainsaws for Milling (Reviews-2021)

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

best chainsaw for milling lumber

 

Husqvarna 460 Rancher is the best chainsaw for milling because Husqvarna never compromises on 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 engines 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.

Features and Benefits of 460 Rancher Chainsaw

Features

Benefit

Simple and side-mounted chain tensioning system

You can adjust the chain whenever it gets displaced, even during working.

Quick-release air filter

Air filter cleaning becomes easy and comfortable.

Safety features

To confirm safety, it features a front handguard and Inertia activated chain brake. This feature is specially designed to reduce the risk of kickback. Also, reduce the tendency of chain brake and assure safety while working.

Adjustable oil pump

It helps to adjust oil pump function depending on the weather condition. If you are working in a wet condition, improve the oil flow to support it. If the weather is dry, choose to cut the softwood.

3.62 HP engine

Makes it so much power that you will feel like you are ripping paper.

Pros

  • less fuel consumption
  • Inertia activated chain brake
  • Easy to change and use with different-sized bar
  • Confirms comfortable chainsaw operation

Cons

  • Expensive

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

Best Chainsaws for milling

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 landowner 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, a multipurpose tool to eliminate the clutch cover and tensioning the chain.

Features and Benefits of 455 Rancher Chainsaw

Features

Benefit

Front handguard

Protects your hands in case of losing balance and comes in contact with the chain.

Rear handguard

Protects the hand from all types of debris and accident.

Chain catcher

Prevent a slipped or snapped chain from injuring the user.

Throttle lockout

Its throttle lockout features control the throttle to keep you safe from any accident.

X-torq engine

A powerful engine keeps it strong and minimizes the emission of fumes to let you breathe clean air. Also, confirms air quality as per legal standards.

Maintenance kit

Kit includes air filter, fuel filter, spark plug, and 2 stroke oil so you can quickly perform essential chainsaw maintenance on your schedule.

Pros

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

Cons

  • The oil tank is a bit small

3. ECHO CS-590 Timber Wolf Chainsaw

Best chainsaw for milling

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 - piece mesh air filter make this unit stand out.

It's 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 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.

Features and Benefits of ECHO Timber wolf Milling Chainsaw

Features

Benefit

Dual post chain brake

Immediate safety against kickback. Inertia and handguard operated. Reduces the chance of injury while sudden kickback happens.

Air shutter

During winter, you will not face a carburetor not working problem. It will let you work in any weather.

Digital ignition

Makes starting of the tool easier and provides smooth acceleration.

Decompression device

Reduce cylinder compression when starting.

Anti-vibration system

Minimizes vibration at the handle and lets you work intently as you don’t worry about vibration.

G - force technology

Pre-cleans air before injecting it into the engine. Ultimately, this results in a longer-lasting engine, as it slows the rate of degradation.

Pros

  • Minimizes vibration greatly
  • Made by Japan
  • Includes Chain, Bar, Operators Manual
  • Auto/Adjustable Chain Oiler

Cons

  • Plastic is used to make the guard. It may need replacement within a short period
  • You may feel this chainsaw is bulky in weight

4. Poulan Pro PR5020 (Affordable Chainsaw for milling)

Best chainsaws for milling lumber

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 that makes this model 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.

Features and Benefits of PR5020 Chainsaw for Milling

Features

Benefit

Kickback and chain

This chainsaw is designed to reduce the kickback amount feel by a user and enables it not to transfer any vibration to its user’s hand.

Instant chain stopping feature

Confirms you will never fall in injury while using this chainsaw. In addition, while storing it, the chain guard can save anyone who accidentally gets in touch with the chainsaw blades.

Oxy power engine technology

This feature will help you extra power to accomplish any task. In addition, this technology confirms a more powerful engine and 70% less emission and 20% less fuel consumption.

Pull starting system

To give you an easy starting this, feature reduces 30% hassle to let you keep secure and finish your work appropriately.

The purge bulb

Enables the carburetor with fuel, and within fewer pulls, you will be able to start this chainsaw. Provides protection and reduces the chance of injury.

Pros

  • User-friendly
  • It's grip provides real protection and enough stability
  • Hassle-free starting and greater consistency

Cons

  • Reduction of vibration system should require better performance

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's length on a milling chainsaw.

Power

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 from15Amps.

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 chainsaw.

Durability

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 longer need to be present.

Portability

Where do you want to use your chainsaw? For example, if you decided to work in 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.

Price

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 less than $200 chainsaw will be an ethical decision.

Warranty

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 longer service.

Added Features

Modern chainsaws provide advanced technology than an old chainsaws.

Advanced technologies like reducing vibration system, adjustable side-mounted tension, heated handle, 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!