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what size chainsaw to keep near the bandsaw

Started by Gadrock, February 01, 2014, 07:38:22 PM

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I have almost completed my restoration of a newly aquired older LT40. And now as all the associated other tools are being assembled a big question emerges.

So ...what size chainsaw do most people keep near their sawmill...just to handle those everyday close at hand things?

David Gaddis

Carry on
LT40 G18,   bent Cresent wrench,   broken timing light
Prentice 280 loader, Prentice 2432 skidder, Deere 643J fellerbuncher, Deere 648H skidder, Deere 650H Dozer


Jonsered  2145  18" bar

I mill with a Lucas



If you have power a good electric chainsaw is very handy, if not any saw you have, I wouldn't buy one special. Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece


I have an old Stihl 028 upfitted with an 18" bar and 7/32 chain.

wwsjr had a Stihl 170 that we used while sawing the Goodwill project.  It did an excellent job and is less than $200.
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

It's Weird being the Same Age as Old People

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

lyle niemi

small saw cuts small wood, big saw cuts all


I use my little Stihl 192 16" bar (I suggest a 12" bar) everyday at the mill. I have my stihl 461 in the truck for the bigger stuff.
2011 Wood-Mizer LT 40 hyd w/ 12' Extension,
EG 200 Wood-Mizer
Cutting Old Growth Cedar from Queen Charlotte Islands.

Dave Shepard

Electric can be really handy, especially if you are making a lot of cuts. When I cut the 47' logs on my mill, it was so hot the gas powered saw wouldn't start the second time. Because the logs were longer than the mill, I had to cut every slab and board. It was really nice to just pull the trigger and not have to start the saw.
Wood-Mizer LT40HDD51-WR Wireless, Kubota L48, Honda Rincon 650, TJ208 G-S, and a 60"LogRite!


Anything is good as long as its small, light, cranks good, and not too expensive to replace as some of them get ran over by tractors or get logs rolled on them. Mine is an old Husky 55.


Since I mostly saw for fun, out of my disposable income, my one saw is a 20" husky.  I use every inch of it at the mill, on a regular basis. 

backwoods sawyer

I take two saw with me if I am not splitting a big log, a 034 stil with a 32" bar, but my go to saw is a little 20" easy start husky, when climbing around a big log on the mill a lighter saw helps withe the balance and usualy will do any thing you need.

In the production mill all we used were stil 24" electric chainsaws (good for cutting a stuck cant out of any of the five edgers) and a pole saw for jam ups on the decline chain(got used a lot), plenty of power and they start the first time you pull the trigger,

keep extra chains on hand as trimming a guide path on over sized logs the chain will catch some metal sooner or later.

Backwoods Custom Milling Inc.
100% portable. . Oregons largest portable sawmill service, serving all of Oregon, from our Backwoods to yours..sawing since 1991


The older I get I wish my body could Re-Gen.


Think it depends what you are going to be cutting. If it's 12-18" logs, then no need to have a big saw on hand. You might want to end trim, or lop off some stray limbs etc. Something nice and light, 40-60 cc would be fine. It it's got a sharp chain, and starts reliably, it will do the job.

Larger logs? You will want something with a big more grunt if you are going to quarter or whittle down oversize logs to fit the mill.
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)


I'm not braggin but... I like my 372xp with the 32" bar and skip chain, it can reach whatever. I have bigger and smaller saws but I just like that one.
Remember, I only know what you guys teach me. Lt40 Manual 22hp KAwaSaki, Husky3120 60", 56" Panther CSM, 372xp, 345xp, Stihl 041, 031, blue homelite, poulans, 340


I usually have 3 saws 18"20"24-32" bars ,I use the small one most of the time but the bigger ones come in handy ! I had to rip a 46" dia. cherry log once to get it on my LT40 . If you are going for 1 saw I would get one that can drive a 20" bar . It may be a bit big sometimes but IMHO will pay off big the times you need it .
I bleed orange  .


What I was seeking is your fav saw to have near the mill.

It kind of was a question on what size most other wanted close by at the mill...not bunking, limbing, felling etc

carry on
LT40 G18,   bent Cresent wrench,   broken timing light
Prentice 280 loader, Prentice 2432 skidder, Deere 643J fellerbuncher, Deere 648H skidder, Deere 650H Dozer


A Echo CS400, most important it starts great, also it's light cuts great, handles nice, just over $200 from fleebay. The only downside is they need to be tuned before running them as most are set too lean. Steve
Timberking B20  18000  hours +  Case75xt grapple + forks+8" snow bucket + dirt bucket   770 Oliver   Lots(too many) of chainsaws, Like the Echo saws and the Stihl and Husky     W5  Case loader   1  trailers  Wright sharpener     Suffolk  setter Volvo MCT125c skid loader

Peter Drouin

I think we all use what we have mine is a Dolmar 79 with a 24" bar. Sometimes you have to cut the log down and a big saw works well.
A&P saw Mill LLC.
45' of Wood Mizer, cutting since 1987.
License NH softwood grader.


The ends of many logs have imbedded dirt and grit from dragging and handling, I commonly trim the ends to eliminate same. I use an 18" bar but a 20" would be better, also handy for butt swell. Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

Chuck White

I only own one chainsaw and it does it all "for me" around the mill.

I have a Stihl 021 with a 12" bar.

It's reliable, starts easy and it's light-weight!
~Chuck~  Sawing mobile from 2005-2022.  Cooks Cat Claw sharpener and single tooth setter.  2018 Chevy Silverado and 2021 Subaru Ascent.
With basic mechanical skills and the ability to read you can maintain a Woodmizer  LT40!


Makita electric.  So nice not to have to put gas in it and so nice not to have to crank it. 
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5-111, Kubota L2501, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.


Husquvarna 4??, 18".  Cranks with 2 pulls, idles if I take my finger off the throttle, not too heavy.  I had thoughts of installing a inverter on the mill so I could power a electric chainsaw and/or a leaf blower for cleanup.  The GaMtnMan sent me plans on how to wire a second battery to a Lt40.  That may might be a good time to install the inverter. 
"Sometimes you can make more hay with less equipment if you just use your head."  Tom, Forestry Forum.  Tenth year with a LT40 Woodmizer,


Stihl 026  18" bar.
  I saw alone on my MANUAL LT15 and keep the saw on a low table at knuckle high
Very handy to cut slabs to smaller size for easier handling
Woodworker, Woodmizer LT15, Stihl 026, MS261CM and 460 chainsaws, John Deere 5410 Tractor 540 Loader,Forks & Grapple, Econoline 6 ton tilt bed trailer


Id say one of the old "farmboss" saws would be a good choice.  usually around an 029 / MS290 which is a 54CC engine


021 - 35CC
026 - 48cc (likely listed as a "pro" saw)
029 - 54CC

my 039 ins kinda an oddball at 64CC  and i run an old 010av with it at 37cc 

i run a 12" bar on my 010 and bounce between a 20 and 24" bar on my 039 unless its pulling sawmill duty.
039 Stihl 010AV  NH TC33D FEL, with toys


I use a 362 sthil, 20" bar, its not too heavy, cranks easy and has the power needed for trimming larger butt ends.  Ideally, two saws would be nice, a small nub trimmer and a bigger one for larger cuts.    david
only have a few chain saws I'm not suppose to use, but will at times, one dog Dolly, pretty good dog, just not sure what for yet,  working on getting the gardening back in order, and kinda thinking on maybe a small bbq bizz,  thinking about it,


Sixacresand, it will take quite an inverter to run an electric chainsaw, won't it? I'm trying to remember how many watts a circular saw (15 amp) takes, around 2000 I think. I would would expect an electric chainsaw to use similar amperage. To the OP, I usually have my 346 Husky around the mill.
Too many irons in the fire

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