The History and Future of Chainsaw mills with Granberg International’s Erik Granberg

The Sawmill Business Podcast With Special Guest: Erik Granberg

In this episode of The Sawmill Business Podcast our host, Steve introduces his guest, Erik Granberg. Erik is the president of Granberg International, the founders of the original Alaskan Sawmill.


Erik talks about the new initiatives currently happening at Granberg International including CNC technology, new packaging for sawmills up to 36 inches in length, a new design on the mill and increased productivity.

The History Of Granberg

Erik talks of his father Elof’s invention of a chainsaw sharpener in the early 50s. Erik’s father was a logger from British Columbia and one of the first to carry the portable chainsaws we see today. The sharpener would clap on to the saw bar allowing quicker and more efficient filing of chains that led to a large increase in production throughout the sawmill industry. This turned into a business beginning in 1954/55 with product sales in Canada and California which became large scale with the introduction of the original Alaskan Mill in 1962.

Erik explains how Granberg’s first customers were based up in the mountainous regions in the US where lumber cutting presented a number of obstacles from the cutting itself through to transportation issues. The business also expanded to other parts of the world where similar conditions hindered the lumber industry at the time. Next, it was the craftsmen who realized they could cut perfect slabs using the Alaskan mills to make beautiful furniture. The development of new tools such as planes, jointing devices and saws by Granberg caused a breakthrough into the billion dollar woodwork market cementing the company as a leader in the field.

How Erik Kept Up With The Competition

Erik talks about the challenges he faced when he took over the running of the business. One of those challenges being an increasingly competitive market due to replicas of the filing and sharpening objects pioneered by Elof Granberg. The company initially struggled to compete with mass producing replica businesses but the internet provided the perfect solution to these problems. Direct access to Granberg’s products via the internet combined with consistently positive reviews boosted sales once again.

Why Do Customers Love Granberg?

Erik attributes the almost cult-like status of his company sawmills to the sense of inspiration experienced by loggers as they cut eye pleasing slabs from large gnarly logs. He notes that the older generation who can now afford their own workshops enjoy the ‘back to earth’ experience of working with the tools they grew up around.

The Benefits Of Buying Granberg Products

Our host, Steve explains why Granberg International’s full range of American made Alaskan chainsaw mills are perfect for every budget and for all business sizes and requirements in the woodwork, lumber and sawmill industry.

What Customers Should Know About Granberg

Granberg values and takes care of its employees support the local economy and places importance on manufacturing a true quality product. They strive to work with their customers through improvement and technical innovation.