A band sawmill or a chainsaw
This question bothers many hobbyists from the world of wood. It is also the subject of interesting discussions in various thematic groups. What do we think about all of this? In this post, we will try to outline the situation from our perspective as briefly as possible. So let’s begin!
We can all agree that the most significant advantage of a chainsaw is its price – we will return to the mentioned price in the summary of the post. Another thing is the mobility it offers. We are able to place a chainsaw into the trunk of most cars and easily get to the place of our work with it. And here advantages over the band sawmill ends.
The process of sawing wood with a “sawmill” from a chainsaw is very tedious and ineffective work. As an example, we’ll use a video found on one of the discussion forums.
Link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCQWmh1a4js
The author of the above video uses a chainsaw to cut oak wood with a diameter of +/- 70cm. It takes him about 1.5 minutes to overcome 40cm of length. Let’s consider at this point how much time and energy it will take him to mill the entire log into x boards.
Another very important disadvantage of such a cut is the loss of valuable material. One of our clients from Ireland admitted that switching from a chainsaw to a band sawmill made him realize what it is all about in practice. He found out that the chainsaw took 0.5 inches from the cut (12.7mm), and our band sawmill only 2mm! This means that with the band sawmill, we finally produce a few extra slices (which, as we all know, can be really valuable).
The last fact we will mention is the length of the cut. The author of the video mentioned a problem with chain lubrication. To cut one board, it was necessary to take a few breaks for cleaning and lubricating the chain, which significantly extended the entire process.
If you are even slightly interested in the subject, you are probably aware that these problems do not occur in band sawmills.
We mentioned earlier about the mobility of chainsaws and their easy transportation. We wouldn’t be ourselves if we didn’t mention now that band sawmills are also available in portable versions.
Such a sawmill, with proper preparation, can be simply transported to the customer without any problem.
Sawing the log is incomparably faster and takes literally a moment. With the right program mode, it is not even required to remove individual segments of wood after the cut. We can do it right after sawing the entire log. This is a huge convenience in the long run.
The band sawmill also offers to us more possibilities, because we can mill both small and huge logs with it … and with much greater accuracy of cut.
The chainsaw probably appeals to those operating on a tighter budget. However, they should be aware that in the long term, a chainsaw used as a “sawmill” is not a saving, but a waste of time and money. If we plan to cut wood of longer lengths frequently, the choice should be obvious to everyone. Based on the stories of our clients, we can say one thing. For them, the band sawmill was not an expense, but an investment that paid off very quickly.
If you have any experience using a chainsaw as a sawmill, we’d love to hear your feedback. Can’t wait to read your discussion on this topic.