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7 Best Chainsaw For Milling Ranked in 2024

Are you a woodworker or someone who loves to turn logs into lumber? Then you should know by now that using the right tool is the key to success. Chainsaws have become a popular tool for milling in recent years because they are reliable, efficient, and easy to use. But not all chainsaws are created equal. If you’re in the market for the best chainsaw for milling, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll review the top chainsaws for milling, break down their features, and help you find the perfect one for your needs.
Are you struggling to find the perfect chainsaw for your milling needs? Finding the best chainsaw for milling can be a challenging task. With so many options available in the market, it can be overwhelming and confusing to choose the right one that can cater to your needs.

The wrong chainsaw can lead to a lot of problems in the milling process. It can cause the chainsaw to become dull and can damage the wood. Moreover, it can add unnecessary strain on the operator which can result in fatigue and long-term injuries. It’s crucial to choose the right chainsaw that is specifically designed to handle the milling process to ensure optimal performance and safe operation.

A high-quality chainsaw designed for milling is crafted to handle the toughest of jobs with ease. With features such as a longer guide bar, higher engine power, and improved torque, it can easily power through logs and hardwoods. The best chainsaw for milling will also feature safety features designed to minimize accidents, offering operators peace of mind on the job. Don’t hesitate to invest in the best chainsaw for milling as it will pay off in the long run with increased productivity and safety.

The Best Chainsaw For Milling on the Market Right Now

Looking for the best chainsaw for milling? Read our comprehensive article to find the top picks and most important features to consider for efficient and error-free milling.

1. Husqvarna 460 Rancher

Husqvarna 460 Rancher

If you’re planning to mill lumber from trees, you’ll need a powerful chainsaw that can handle heavy-duty work. The Husqvarna 460 Rancher is one of the most popular chainsaws for milling, and for good reasons.

With a 60cc engine, the Husqvarna 460 Rancher has enough power to cut through hardwood with ease. Its 20-inch bar is ideal for milling logs up to 18 inches in diameter. Plus, its ergonomic design reduces fatigue and allows for precise cuts.

One of the standout features of the Husqvarna 460 Rancher is its X-Torq engine technology, which reduces fuel consumption and emissions without sacrificing power. This not only makes the saw more environmentally friendly but also saves you money on fuel costs.

In addition, the Husqvarna 460 Rancher is built to last. Its robust construction and anti-vibration system increase durability and minimize operator fatigue. This saw also has an adjustable oil pump, which ensures optimal lubrication for the chain and bar.

Unique Features

– X-Torq engine technology
– Adjustable oil pump
– Low vibrations and ergonomic design
– Tough construction and durability

Pros

– Powerful 60cc engine
– Ideal for milling logs up to 18 inches in diameter
– X-Torq engine technology reduces fuel consumption and emissions
– Ergonomic design reduces fatigue and allows for precise cuts
– Robust construction and anti-vibration system increase durability and minimize operator fatigue

Cons

– Heavier than some other chainsaws on the market
– Relatively loud
– May be too powerful for some users who only need a chainsaw for light-duty work

Overall, the Husqvarna 460 Rancher is an excellent choice for milling lumber. Its powerful engine, ergonomic design, and durability make it a top pick for professionals and homeowners alike.

2. Stihl Ms 661 C-M

Stihl MS 661 C-M

The Stihl MS 661 C-M is a powerful chainsaw that is designed to tackle heavy-duty commercial and industrial applications. With a displacement of 91.1 cc and a power output of 7.4 kW, this chainsaw is capable of cutting through a wide variety of materials with ease.

The chainsaw is equipped with a number of advanced features that make it easy to use and extremely reliable. The M-Tronic electronic engine management system automatically adjusts the engine to the prevailing conditions, ensuring optimal performance at all times. The Ematic chain lubrication system reduces oil consumption by up to 50 percent, while the pre-separation air filtration system ensures that the engine remains clean and extends its service life.

Unique Features

  • M-Tronic electronic engine management system
  • Ematic chain lubrication system
  • Pre-separation air filtration system
  • Captive nuts on sprocket cover
  • Toolless fuel and oil caps with retainers
  • Decompression valve for easy starting

Pros

  • Very powerful and capable of handling heavy-duty applications
  • Easy to use, thanks to advanced features such as M-Tronic and Ematic
  • Durable and reliable, with a pre-separation air filtration system that extends the engine’s service life
  • The captive nuts on the sprocket cover help to prevent loss of hardware
  • Toolless fuel and oil caps with retainers make it easy to refuel the chainsaw
  • The decompression valve ensures easy starting

Cons

  • Expensive, particularly when compared to less robust chainsaws
  • Heavy and may be difficult to use for extended periods of time
  • May be overkill for smaller jobs or residential applications

3. Echo Cs-590-20 Timber Wolf

Echo CS-590-20 Timber Wolf

The Echo CS-590-20 Timber Wolf is a professional-grade chainsaw designed to take care of all your cutting needs. With its powerful engine and durable construction, it can handle the toughest jobs with ease. Whether you’re clearing forests, cutting firewood or pruning trees, this saw delivers exceptional performance every time.

Unique Features

  • 59.8 cc professional-grade, 2-stroke engine for powerful cutting performance.
  • G-Force Engine Air Pre-Cleaner for improved air filtration and reduced maintenance.
  • 20-inch long bar and chain for cutting thick logs and branches with ease.
  • Easy-start technology for quick and effortless start-ups every time.
  • Digital ignition system for precise and reliable performance.
  • Adjustable automatic oiler for consistent lubrication of the bar and chain.

Pros

  • Powerful and efficient engine for fast, precise and efficient cutting.
  • Durable construction and high-quality components for long-lasting performance.
  • Easy to start and operate, even for beginners.
  • Ergonomic design with anti-vibration system for comfortable and safe use.
  • Reasonably priced compared to other professional-grade saws on the market.

Cons

  • Heavy and bulky design, which may be uncomfortable for some users to handle.
  • May be too powerful for some tasks, making it difficult to control.
  • Noisy operation, which can be annoying for some users and disruptive to others.

Overall, the Echo CS-590-20 Timber Wolf is an excellent chainsaw for professionals and homeowners who demand high quality and performance in their cutting tools. With its powerful engine, durable construction and unique features, this saw is sure to exceed your expectations and deliver exceptional results every time.

4. Husqvarna 572Xp

Husqvarna 572XP

The Husqvarna 572XP is a high-performance chainsaw designed for professional use. It is equipped with the latest features to deliver exceptional performance and efficiency while ensuring safety and comfort for the user.

Unique Features

  1. X-Torq® engine technology: This feature ensures high performance and fuel efficiency, reducing emissions and providing more power when needed.
  2. AutoTune™: The chainsaw automatically adjusts the carburetor to optimize engine performance, making it easier to use in any conditions.
  3. LowVib®: Husqvarna’s LowVib system helps reduce vibrations, allowing users to work for longer hours without discomfort or fatigue.
  4. RevBoost™: RevBoost is a feature unique to Husqvarna chainsaws, which provides an instant high chain speed for faster cuts when needed.

Pros

  1. Powerful engine with excellent fuel efficiency
  2. Durable construction with high-quality components
  3. AutoTune feature for improved engine performance in any conditions
  4. LowVib system for smoother operation and reduced fatigue
  5. Easy maintenance and repair

Cons

  1. Expensive compared to other chainsaws in the market
  2. May be heavy for some users, despite the LowVib system
  3. Requires proper maintenance to ensure optimal performance

Overall, the Husqvarna 572XP is an excellent chainsaw for professionals who need a powerful and reliable tool. Its unique features make it stand out from other chainsaws, and it is highly recommended for those in the tree care industry or forestry business. However, it may not be suitable for casual users who may find it too expensive or heavy for their needs.

5. Makita Ea7900Prz1

Makita EA7900PRZ1

The Makita EA7900PRZ1 is a powerful chainsaw built for heavy-duty usage in the toughest of environments. Its engine packs a punch with a displacement of 78.5 cc, making it one of the most capable chainsaws in the market. The saw runs on a 2-stroke engine that utilizes Japanese technology to provide high power, fuel economy, and low emissions. When it comes to cutting trees or logs, the Makita EA7900PRZ1 provides the ultimate cutting experience.

Unique Features

Durability: The Makita EA7900PRZ1 is engineered for durability with a heavy-duty crankshaft, bearings, and rings that allow the chainsaw to withstand heavy usage without breaking down.
High-Quality Air Filtration: The chainsaw has an advanced air filtration system that keeps out dust and debris from entering the engine. The system is designed to ensure the longevity of the engine while improving its performance.
Easy Maintenance: The Makita EA7900PRZ1 is designed for ease of maintenance, with an easily accessible air filter and fuel tank that make it effortless to refill or replace parts. The chainsaw also comes with a tool-less air filter cover that makes cleaning or replacing the filter simple and fast.

Pros

– Heavy-duty design for the toughest environments
– High-power engine, making cutting easy
– Advanced air filtration system
– Easy maintenance

Cons

– May not be suitable for novices who are unaccustomed to handling chainsaws of this size
– Some customers have complained that the chainsaw is noisy, although this is common in most high-powered chainsaws.

In conclusion, the Makita EA7900PRZ1 is built for professionals who need a reliable chainsaw that can withstand heavy usage. The chainsaw’s high power, durability, and ease of maintenance make it an excellent investment for professionals who use chainsaws regularly. Although it may not be suitable for beginners, its advanced air filtration system and heavy-duty design make it ideal for people who need a top-of-the-line chainsaw.

6. Stihl Ms 461

Stihl MS 461

The Stihl MS 461 is a professional-grade chainsaw designed to handle demanding jobs. With its high-performance engine and advanced features, this tool is perfect for professionals in the forestry, agriculture, and construction industries.

Unique Features

  • Anti-vibration system: Reduces operator fatigue for longer working hours.
  • Pre-separation air filtration system: Removes dirt and debris from the air before it reaches the engine, prolonging its lifespan.
  • Adjustable oiler: Allows users to control the amount of oil used to lubricate the chain, reducing waste and increasing efficiency.
  • ElastoStart handle: Reduces the shock of starting the engine, making it easier and more comfortable to use.

Pros

  • Powerful engine: The MS 461 boasts an engine displacement of 76.5 cc, providing an impressive cutting speed for efficient work.
  • Durable design: Stihl is known for producing high-quality, long-lasting tools, and the MS 461 is no exception.
  • Easy to use: Despite its advanced features, the MS 461 is straightforward to use and suitable for operators of all skill levels.

Cons

  • Price: As a professional-grade chainsaw, the MS 461 comes with a high price tag, making it less accessible for consumers on a budget.
  • Heavy: Weighing in at 14.8 lbs, the MS 461 may be too heavy for some users to operate for extended periods without fatigue.

Overall, the Stihl MS 461 is an excellent investment for professionals in need of a high-performance, reliable chainsaw. With its advanced features and durable design, it can handle even the toughest jobs with ease. However, it may not be the best choice for consumers on a budget or those who prefer lighter tools.

7. Jonsered Cs 2252

Jonsered CS 2252

The Jonsered CS 2252 is a powerful gasoline chainsaw designed for professional use, featuring a 50.2 cc engine that delivers 3.5 horsepower and a maximum speed of 9,600 RPM. With a bar length of 18 inches and a weight of 10.8 pounds, this chainsaw is suitable for heavy-duty tasks such as felling trees, cutting firewood, and landscaping.

Unique Features

  • The Clean Power engine technology reduces harmful emissions and increases fuel efficiency, making this chainsaw eco-friendly and cost-effective to use.
  • The Air Injection system removes larger dust and debris particles, ensuring smooth operation and reducing maintenance requirements.
  • The Quick-release air filter allows for easy cleaning and replacement, improving the lifespan of the engine and reducing downtime.
  • The X-Torq engine design maximizes power and torque while minimizing fuel consumption and noise levels, resulting in a more efficient and comfortable operation.

Pros

  • The powerful engine and long bar length make it easy to tackle large and dense trees, even with a single cut.
  • The ergonomic and anti-vibration handles reduce operator fatigue and provide a comfortable grip during prolonged use.
  • The chainsaw comes with a two-year warranty, ensuring peace of mind and customer support in case of defects or issues.

Cons

  • The price point of this chainsaw is higher compared to other models in the same category, making it less accessible for budget-conscious consumers.
  • The weight of the chainsaw can be challenging for some operators, especially for vertical cuts or overhead work.
  • The chainsaw requires regular maintenance, including sharpening the chain, cleaning the air filter, and checking the spark plug, to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

Buying Guide for Best Chainsaw For Milling

Looking to buy a chainsaw for milling? Our buying guide provides expert tips and advice to help you choose the best chainsaw for the job. With our in-depth reviews and comparisons, you’ll be able to find the perfect chainsaw to tackle any milling project with ease. Invest in the right chainsaw and get the job done right the first time!

Engine Power

When purchasing a chainsaw for milling, it is crucial to consider the engine power. The power of the engine determines the effectiveness of the chainsaw in cutting through hardwoods and larger logs. A higher engine power implies that the chainsaw will have greater torque and run at higher RPMs, making it easier to cut through dense wood. Additionally, a chainsaw with high engine power will generally have bigger and sturdier cutting bars and chains, which are essential in milling. Ultimately, the engine power will play a crucial role in the performance and effectiveness of the chainsaw, thus making it important to keep in mind when purchasing a chainsaw for milling.

Another reason to look for engine power when purchasing a chainsaw for milling is that it determines the amount of vibration and kickback. Chainsaws with low engine power are known to produce higher levels of vibration, which can cause discomfort, fatigue, and even nerve damage in the long run. In contrast, chainsaws with higher engine power tend to generate less vibration, making them easier and safer to operate. Similarly, a chainsaw with low engine power is more likely to experience kickback, which is the sudden recoil of the chainsaw when it hits a hard substance like a knot or nail. High engine power chainsaws usually have better anti-kickback systems that lessen the chances of injury. All things considered, engine power is an important consideration when purchasing a chainsaw for milling due to its effect on vibration and kickback.

Bar Length

When purchasing a chainsaw for milling, it is essential to consider the bar length. The bar length of a chainsaw refers to the length of the part of the saw that extends from the body and supports the chain. A longer bar length allows for larger cuts and greater productivity. Therefore, if you plan on milling larger logs, a chainsaw with a longer bar length is the most suitable option. A shorter bar length may be more manageable for smaller logs, but it can lead to tedious work and could even damage the chainsaw if pushed beyond its limits.

Moreover, the bar length is also essential when it comes to safety. When working with a chainsaw for milling, longer bar lengths require more experience and training to use safely. Using a chainsaw with a longer bar length can be more dangerous, especially when cutting hardwoods, as it can cause kickback, resulting in serious injuries or even death. Therefore, it is essential to choose the appropriate bar length based on the type of wood you’ll be cutting, your skill level, and experience to minimize the risks and ensure your overall safety.

Chain Type

When purchasing a chainsaw for milling, it is essential to consider the type of chain. Chainsaw chains come in different types, including standard, semi-chisel, chisel, and skip-tooth chains. Among these, the chisel chain is the best for milling as it has larger and more squared-off teeth that cut through hardwoods like butter. Moreover, it has a lower chance of getting dull compared to other types of chains. Therefore, if you are planning to buy a chainsaw for milling, choose one with a chisel chain, and you won’t regret it.

In conclusion, choosing the right chain type is critical when buying a chainsaw for milling. The chisel chain is ideal for such operations because of its sharp and sturdy teeth that help cut through dense hardwoods with ease. It is also efficient and has a low probability of getting dull, making it cost-effective. For milling operations, the chisel chain is preferred over other types, and it is a worthwhile investment in the long run.

Durability

When purchasing a chainsaw for milling, durability is one of the most important things to look for. A durable chainsaw is built to withstand the heavy usage and the harsh conditions that come with milling activities. The milling process requires a lot of pressure and vibration, which can cause damage to a chainsaw that is not strong enough. A durable chainsaw, on the other hand, is designed to handle such conditions without breaking down or losing its efficiency. By choosing a chainsaw that is built to last, you are ensuring that you get the most value for your money and can rely on it to perform well for a long time.

Another reason why durability is important when purchasing a chainsaw for milling is safety. A chainsaw that is not durable can pose a significant risk to the user as it is prone to malfunction, breakage, or sudden stops, which can cause kickback, injury or even death. A durable chainsaw, however, is less likely to suffer from such issues, meaning that it is safer for the user. By investing in a chainsaw that is designed to handle the rough conditions of milling operations, you are protecting yourself and those around you by reducing the risk of accidents and injuries.

Safety Features

When buying a chainsaw for milling, safety features should be on the top of your list. A chainsaw is a powerful cutting tool that can be dangerous if not handled properly. Safety features like anti-vibration systems, chain brakes, and a safety throttle help to reduce the risk of injury to the user. Anti-vibration systems reduce fatigue, allowing for more control while cutting, while a chain brake stops the chain in case of kickback. A safety throttle ensures that the chainsaw will not start accidentally, preventing potential injuries. Investing in a chainsaw with these safety features will provide you with peace of mind and a safer milling experience.

Additionally, safety features are often a legal requirement in many areas. OSHA requires that chainsaws used in industrial settings have certain safety features to protect workers. By purchasing a chainsaw with these features, you ensure compliance with safety regulations and avoid potential fines or penalties. While safety features may be an added cost, it is a small price to pay for the increased safety and peace of mind they provide.

Ease Of Maintenance

When purchasing a chainsaw for milling, it is essential to look for ease of maintenance. This is because regular maintenance ensures that the chainsaw operates optimally and prolongs its lifespan. If a chainsaw is challenging to maintain or requires specific tools to service, then it will add unnecessary expenses and difficulty in maintaining the chainsaw. Additionally, a well-maintained chainsaw ensures that it is safe to use and minimizes the risk of accidents, making ease of maintenance a crucial factor to consider before purchasing a chainsaw for milling.

Moreover, ease of maintenance saves time and money. A chainsaw that is easy to maintain means that one can quickly conduct maintenance, such as cleaning or chain tensioning, without seeking professional help. This significantly reduces the cost of maintenance and prolongs the life of the chainsaw. By purchasing a chainsaw that is easy to maintain, one can avoid costly downtime, which can impact productivity or limit the output of one’s milling operations. Ultimately, looking for ease of maintenance is a cost-effective strategy that ensures that the chainsaw is reliable and always ready for use.

FAQ

What is the best chainsaw for milling?

The best chainsaw for milling is a larger and more powerful model, such as a professional-grade Stihl or Husqvarna chainsaw with a longer bar length (at least 20 inches) and a high-performance engine. These saws are designed to handle the heavier workload of milling and are equipped with features such as anti-vibration technology and a more aggressive chain.

What size chainsaw do you need for milling?

Typically, a chainsaw with a bar length of at least 20 inches or more is suitable for milling. However, the size of the chainsaw required for milling depends on the size of the logs you plan to mill. It is recommended to use a large chainsaw to make the milling process smoother and more efficient.

How many cc’s do you need for a chainsaw mill?

It depends on the size of the chainsaw mill you plan to use. Generally, you will need at least a 50cc chainsaw, but larger mills may require a 70cc or even 90cc chainsaw. It’s best to check the specifications of your specific chainsaw and mill to determine the recommended engine size.

Last Words

In conclusion, the best chainsaw for milling is ultimately the one that works best for you and your specific needs. However, after careful research and analysis, it is clear that the Husqvarna 460 Rancher and the Stihl MS 661 C-M are the two top products available on the market. Both chainsaws offer impressive power and durability, making them ideal for tackling tough milling projects. Additionally, our buying guide provides helpful tips and advice that can assist you in making the right choice when it comes to purchasing a chainsaw for milling.

Overall, if you are in the market for a reliable and efficient chainsaw for milling, you can’t go wrong with either the Husqvarna 460 Rancher or the Stihl MS 661 C-M. With their exceptional performances and impressive features, these chainsaws are sure to deliver the results you desire. By following our buying guide and carefully considering your needs and preferences, you will be able to find the best chainsaw for milling that will help you efficiently and effectively tackle any project.
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