4 Simple Tips on How to Get Started with Chainsaw Milling

Most beginner chainsaw millers start with a small homeowner saw, and that’s fine if you’re not sure how to approach this business or new hobby (or both). This blog will guide you on the basics of chainsaw milling and help you get started.

Chainsaw milling is a woodworking technique that allows productions of boards and slabs from fallen trees on site. You can use a chainsaw to create boards far cheaper than with a regular bandsaw mill.

Suppose you are interested in chainsaw milling but don’t know where to start. In that case, this blog post will break down essential information for chainsaw milling for beginners and the tools and equipment you need.

Tip 1: Ensure that you have the right Granberg Mill for your bar and power head.

The Granberg Mill is an excellent tool for any lumber project. It helps make lumber from logs, producing boards of any desired dimension. You cut a rectangular frame and attach a few pieces with a chainsaw mill to go along with it.

But the problem is that most people end up buying a mill that is intended for longer bars, when their power head will not support a cut of that size. If you fail to properly plan ahead, you run the risk of damaging your saw. However, You can always get a small mill, and if you want to upgrade, there are available handle rails sets.

Bonus: Message us for a copy of the power chart that helps you understand and choose the right size bar and mill.

Tip 2: Get some Granberg ripping chains.

The Granberg ripping chain will help you save time, money, and effort. One of the most important aspects of getting good lumber is having a sharp chain on your chainsaw mill. A good ripping chain is necessary if you want top-quality results. The Granberg ripping chain is designed to cut along the wood grain, providing a smooth finish in less time than any other option. 

So, what makes the Granberg Ripping chain different?

Our manufacturing process leaves off approximately half of the tooth’s width on each four-link group’s first and second cutter links. Each tooth takes only ¼ of the kerf, takes less feeding pressure than a conventional ripping chain, takes less power than a traditional full comp tooth cross-cut chain, and cuts faster a than traditional ripping chains. No other company in the world has chainsaw chains modified like this.

Tip 3: Ensure that your rail system is level and secured before making your first cut.

When you are trying to make your first cut on a new log, the last thing you want to do is to damage your mill, bar or chain. So before starting any cutting action, you’ll need to mount the saw onto first cut guide rail, ensuring that the guide rail is level and secure. You can use the Granberg EZ-Rail System and our Granberg Slabbing Brackets as your First Cut System, or if you are feeling adventurous, you can fabricate something yourself, as long as it will hold steady and enable you to level the top of the log.

This seems like an obvious step. Still, some people have been known to try and rush through this step and end up unhappy with the results.

Here are the top reasons it is necessary to ensure that your rail system is level and secured before making your first cut.

Stop the machine immediately if you notice your rail system moving while cutting. This could signify that your rail system is not level or not secured. If you were to continue cutting, the movement of the rails could cause your stock material to move, which will result in a poor quality cut, or injury to the user.

Tip 4: Be sure you sharpen the chain teeth to the same length and sharpening angle.

The sharpening of the cutters is one of the essential factors in milling with a chainsaw. The smoother, more even cut will make your life easier when you are milling because there will be less drag on your saw. If your blade has an uneven edge, it will get pulled off course. This can make it harder for them to do the job because they may feel like their saw isn’t working as well as it should be, or worse, you could end up with a ‘dive cut’, where your saw gets stuck in the log

When you are sharpening your cutters, make sure to sharpen evenly. It is vital to get an even and consistent sharpening when chainsaw milling so that each cut is uniform and consistent.


Learning how to use a chain mill is not a simple task. You’ll need to consider your equipment and go through some trial and error learning before producing anything with an acceptable level of quality. But, once you’ve figured it all out, chainsaw milling can be a fun and relaxing hobby that you can enjoy for the rest of your life.

Are you still confused as a beginner? Contact us for more information about chainsaw milling!