a sawmill cutting up a large beam of wood with stacks of wood in the background.


Originally contributed by • last updated 3/15/2021


Historically, sawmills, which are also known as lumber mills, have played many important roles in society. As facilities that process wood, they have employed workers, provided construction materials, and have even been a source for free firewood. But, technology has dramatically impacted the industry in recent decades, with smaller and more powerful machines that are for both personal and portable use. As a result, traditional lumber mills are less common today and no longer have the same social impact as they once did.


Nowadays, the term sawmill often refers to a consumer-friendly portable wood processing machine. These machines are available in a variety of sizes and prices. They are typically used by individuals or private businesses to process raw timbers into lumber products. In a more traditional sense, the term typically refers to a facility or place where unprocessed logs were cut into usable pieces. However, these facilities are less common than they used to be. There are also some DIY versions of sawmills out there for those who want to try building their own. These machines typically consist of only a chainsaw, a specially fitted jig, and a horizontal surface.

What Is The Best Portable Sawmill?

Portable sawmills are not a new invention but with advancements in technology, they have become safer, easier to use, and more affordable. As a result, many opportunity-minded people are using them to make a few bucks here and there. Here’s what you should know if you’re thinking about buying one:

  • Portable sawmills come in a wide range of sizes with a variety of functions. And they are designed for everything from personal to professional use. Prices can vary widely so make sure you plan your budget to match your needs.
  • It’s generally accepted that, with portable sawmills, you get what you pay for. However, it’s also worth considering the amount of output and options you’ll need. Smaller, less expensive models are sometimes all that’s required.
  • There are several free designs and plans available online to build a portable sawmill. But, be careful! DIY versions have the potential to be dangerous if not designed and built properly.