Milling is quite a strenuous bit of work for your chainsaw, and so you need to ensure whatever product you choose is up to this task. We’ve gone through quite a few of these products to help find you the best chainsaw for milling, and we think you’ll love the choices we have for you. Apart from these top 5 choices of ours, we also have a comprehensive buyer’s guide to help you find out the essential information to look out for when you’re looking to purchase the best logging chainsaw.
Best Chainsaw for Milling Comparison Table
Husqvarna 24 Inch 460 Rancher Gas Chainsaw
Bar length: 24 Inches
ECHO 20 in. 59.8 cc Gas Chain Saw
Bar length: 20 Inches
Poulan Pro 20 in. 50cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw, PR5020
Bar length: 20 Inches
Husqvarna 20 Inch 455 Rancher Gas Chainsaw
Bar length: 20 Inches
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Chainsaw, 10-Inch (LCS1020)
Bar length: 10 Inches
Now that you know our top 5 picks of chainsaws for milling, let’s dive into each of these products. We’ll break down each and every one of them for their pros and cons, and give you our ultimate feedback on them!
5 Best Chainsaws for Milling Reviews
Husqvarna 460 Rancher, Best 24 Inch Gas Powered Chainsaw
Our favorite and best chainsaw for ripping logs is the Husqvarna 460 Rancher. If you’re caught up on chainsaws, you would know that Husqvarna is one of the leading brands for the chainsaw market. When you acquire one of their chainsaws, you can rest assured of the high quality product and its longevity as well.
The Husqvarna 460 Rancher also delivers in terms of performance of course. With a high powered motor, you can easily rip through the trees and logs for your milling needs. What will help you further is the X torque motor, that is also very efficient and saves fuel and money in the long run. It is also very efficient in other parts as well. You get a side mounted chain tensioning system that allows you to adjust the tightness of your chain without much effort. You also save on time by having an automated lubrication system for the 24 inch guide bar and chain. With these features, the ease of use for the Husqvarna 460 Rancher is very high. This is made even better thanks to the low vibration mechanism, allowing you to not be as fatigued.
Overall, the Husqvarna 460 Rancher is definitely the best chainsaw for milling lumber in our opinion, and we highly recommend it for you as well! The one thing off about this chainsaw is that it is a little hard to control when it starts up, but it gets much easier as the time passes.
Echo CS59020, 20 Inch Gas Powered Chainsaw
Next up we have a product from Echo and it is the Echo CS59020. When you’re taking part in milling, you’re likely to come across Alaskan mills, and the Echo CS59020 is a contender for the best chainsaw for Alaskan Mill. It is a powerful chainsaw that can be carried around for a while as it is quite lightweight.
Apart from that, the Echo CS59020 also has great perks that help it to the second of this list. It has an automatic oil lubrication system for its 20 inch bar and chain. This will allow you to work without any worries of having to lubricate your chainsaw. Milling is quite intense, and not having to worry about your chainsaw being lubricated is a big plus point. You also get a tool free access to multiple features of this chainsaw, making it quite convenient for the user. What’s great about this is that you also have a translucent oil tank, so you can always keep an eye on the fuel level, so you know when to continue and when to stop.
Overall, the Echo CS59020 is definitely a worthwhile investment, and it will provide you with the output you want. It even has a low vibration mechanism built in to help you not suffer from fatigue after a while. Unfortunately it does have a couple of issues. These problems are related to the bar of the chainsaw, because it does tend to crack easier than it should, and the replacements are quite rare.
Poulan Pro PR5020, 20 Inch Gas Powered Chainsaw
Next up we have the Poulan Pro PR5020, which is another gas powered beastly chainsaw. They are quite well renowned for making great gas powered chainsaws that easily get the job done for woodworkers, and this chainsaw is the same with your milling needs. With a powerful motor and good durability, you’ll get a great output!
As for the optimization of the chainsaw, it has an oxypower engine which makes the machine much more efficient when it comes to making cuts. It also has a good mechanism to ensure it starts up without any hassle. Gas chainsaws tend to be the hardest to power up after a while, but Poulan have taken the initiative to make that less of a hassle. It also has a combi tool mechanism installed in the back of the chainsaw, so maintenance for your tool is quite easy even in the middle of your woodworking. The Poulan Pro PR5020 also comes with great safety features, such as the low kickback bar, ensuring you won’t face kickback. This is further helped with the inclusion of the chain brake as well.
The Poulan Pro PR5020 is a great choice when it comes to finding a chainsaw for milling. However, while it does the job, it may not be the best choice due to its drawbacks. The guide bar of the chainsaw is quite flexible and that may hamper you while working. While it is easy to find another one, it seems like an unnecessary change to be forced to make.
Husqvarna 455 Rancher, 20 Inch Gas Powered Chainsaw
Yes, we have another Husqvarna in the list, and that is just a testament to how good they are in this market. This is the Husqvarna 455 Rancher, and it is another gas powered machine that will provide a means for you to easily accomplish your milling needs. The power on this chainsaw will easily cut through most trees, and is the older version of your primary choice, the 460 Rancher.
This 20 inch chainsaw also has an X torque motor which will not only optimize your chainsaw, but save you fuel and money over time. It also has an automated oiling system for the bar and chain, making your life much easier. The built in side mounted chain tensioning system makes adjustments very easy when you’re undergoing any task. With a high quality and heavy duty build, the chainsaw will easily last you for a long time, and will prove to be a great milling chainsaw. What’s ideal is the inclusion of the necessary safety features, such as the low kickback bar and the inertia activated chain brake, allowing you to avoid problems such as kickback.
The Husqvarna 455 Rancher is one to lookout for, and is definitely a candidate for the best chainsaw for milling lumber. However, there is a specific reason it’s not our primary choice. Since it comes before the 460 Rancher, it has a weaker engine, and thus, we didn’t think it could be at the top. However, on its own, it is still one of the best!
Black Decker LCS1020, 10 Inch Cordless Electric Chainsaw
The last product in our review list is the Black Decker LCS1020. This is a cordless electric chainsaw which is only 10 inches in size, but can definitely get the job done. The wireless factor allows it to be much easier to carry around and maneuver when trying to cut your wood. You have no need to carry around fuel, and you can continue cutting the wood with up to 200 cuts before you need to recharge the batteries!
The Black Decker LCS1020 allows you to make quick cuts. It comes with a tool less chain tensioning system, letting you make quick and easy adjustments on the go. What’s better is the inclusion of the automatic oil lubrication system, making your chainsaw run at an optimal rate the entire time. It also has the necessary and important safety features. The low kickback bar and chain brake will keep you safe from any kickback causing you harm. The wrap around bale handle also helps you keep safe and reduce the vibrations you feel, allowing you to work longer with less fatigue.
The Black Decker LCS1020 chainsaw uses lithium ion batteries which charge up quite fast, and last you for ages. Thus, this chainsaw is definitely one to check out if you’re interested in small and versatile chainsaws for milling. However, it does have an issue of not being as powerful as others. Thus, it isn’t the best choice for heavy duty jobs.
Buyer’s Guide for Chainsaws for Milling
When it comes to finding the best fit for your milling needs, we have a few different factors we always look into. To understand about these chainsaws as well as we do, we’re going to help you out by diving into a comprehensive buyer’s guide and explaining what factors we really based our decisions on!
Type of Chainsaw
The type of chainsaw you need is really determined by what type of work you’re going to be doing. There are three types of chainsaws out there, and we’ll take a short look at each now.
- Gas Powered Chainsaw:
Gas chainsaws are usually the most powerful type of chainsaws out there. Since we’re looking for the perfect choice for milling, we need one that is powerful. Thus, most of our choices also revolve around gas chainsaws. Gas chainsaws do require the most maintenance though. However, if you can deal with that, you’ll almost always get the best performance!
- Electric Corded Chainsaw:
These are much more modern and are easier to use when compared to gas powered chainsaws. They can be plugged into a power outlet, and you can use them non-stop until you’re done working. Electric corded chainsaws also have a lot of perks, often more than gas powered chainsaws, and they are much more feasible. However, they tend to not have as much power as gas powered chainsaws, and they are also limited to the length of their cord.
- Cordless Electric Chainsaw:
The most modern type of chainsaw on the market, and they are very versatile and portable! It is very comfortable to use cordless chainsaws, as they run on batteries which are rechargeable, and they also include multiple features on the chainsaw. Unfortunately they are mostly capable of accomplishing small tasks due to the lack of power. Some however, can take care of larger jobs.
We’ve already mentioned the power required for chainsaws to be pivotal when it comes to milling, and that is very important! When your primary task is to take down trees (large or small), you’ll want a powerful chainsaw. We have included mostly gas chainsaws because of this fact, since they can supply the most power and provide the best cuts for you!
Weight & Portability
If you’re going to be cutting trees, you can assume this work will take you a significant amount of time. Thus, you’ll need to make sure your chainsaw is lightweight and portable. You don’t need to have a lightweight chainsaw, however, if you’re going to be moving around for your work or need to constantly maneuver your chainsaw, you should definitely prioritize this area a lot. This will help you work longer and also not strain your back of course!
Bar and Chain Length
The bar and chain length is very important when it comes to milling. Are you looking for a chainsaw to cut small trees, or are you looking to cut down large ones? Well, this is where the length of your bar comes in. you will need one that is big enough to cut down the largest of trees. If you’re unsure about the size you need, there are various chainsaws on the market that allow for you to attach different sizes of bars onto your chainsaw. This will allow you a lot of versatility when it comes to milling.
When you’re buying a power tool, you’ll want to make sure that it is of the best quality. Before actually physically buying the product, your best bet of making sure that it is of the highest quality is by purchasing it from a renowned brand. Husqavarna and Echo are two great brands in the chainsaw market, and we know how organized their entire system is for the production of these chainsaws. When it comes to buying any product, make sure you know that the brand is trustworthy!
Ease of Use
When it comes to anything, you’ll want to make sure it is easy to use for you. A power tool like a chainsaw can be very daunting to old and new users alike. Thus, always make sure the one you’re looking to purchase has features that make it easy for you to use! We’ve mentioned quite a few that make your chainsaw optimal and others that cause you less fatigue over time. The automatic lubrication system and chain tensioning system (tool free or built in) are great examples of perks that optimize your work and increase the chainsaw’s lifespan overall. Low vibration mechanisms help you feel less fatigue and worn out when using your chainsaw for long periods of time. It is essential to always remember these things when looking for the perfect chainsaw!
Cutting wood with chainsaws sounds simple but can have many chances of injury. To avoid these are easy, just get a chainsaw with the right safety features! The combination of a low kickback bar and a chain brake (inertia activated or manual) is more than enough to reduce chances of any kickback harming you. It is also essential that you be wearing safety tools whenever you’re using such a heavy duty tool.
- What is a ripping chain for a chainsaw?
A ripping chain cuts along the wood grain of the wood you’re cutting. It is a semi chisel option which utilizes shallow angle cutters with approximately 10 degree angles.
- Does skip tooth chain cut faster?
A skip tooth chain has less teeth on the chain, and that means there are less teeth on the wood during each cut. However, this will allow your chainsaw to be much more efficient and will result in faster cuts.
- Do chainsaw sharpeners really work?
Chainsaw sharpeners are a great tool, and they do work! If your chainsaw has a dull chain, you’ll want to sharpen it up as soon as possible. You can acquire manual or electric sharpeners. However, it is best to know if your chain needs to be sharpened first!
If your chainsaw has sawdust debris when you’re making cuts, then you know it is time to sharpen it up. Normally, if your chain is sharpened, you will notice wood chips coming off of the chainsaw. You should definitely look up on how to sharpen your chainsaw by yourself, because it is quite an easy task to learn and do.
Throughout our entire research, we landed on the best chainsaw for milling in our opinion, and that is the Husqvarna 460 Rancher chainsaw! This chainsaw is a powerful machine that easily takes care of all of your milling needs. Not to mention, it isn’t too heavy to be carried around. As a gas chainsaw, it is quite easy to start, and the durability makes it a worthwhile investment. It also has perks that help it optimize its performance and lifespan, such as the automatic oiler and the built in chain tensioning system. The efficient X torque motor also makes it a very convenient machine. Overall, we love its performance and we definitely think it is the best one out there! We hope you’ve managed to find your top choice, and that it serves you well! Have a great day!
Hey there, my name’s Braden Smith and all my lifeI’ve been passionate about woodworking. As such, I spent more time learning about and experimenting with power tools. Over time, I learned to help spread my knowledge by articulating my words thanks to my academic knowledge in the English Language as well.