Milling your own lumber isn't just an efficient, more sustainable way to manage forested acreage—it's also a means of putting a more personal touch on every project.

But even better than taking each cut into your own hands is milling your own lumber at the source. With a portable milling setup, you can efficiently access that choice timber you've had your eye on and begin transforming it into a stunning final product.

But if you've only ever used a stationary bandsaw mill, or if you're about to start milling your own lumber for the first time, there are a few things you should consider before diving in.

Use these four steps to build your first mobile milling operation.

Identify Your Milling Needs and Goals

First things first—start by evaluating what you want to accomplish with your portable milling operation. Are you looking to build on your weekend hobby? Are you a landowner wanting to use the timber on your acreage to improve your property?

The more narrowly you can define your goal, the better you'll be able to articulate what exactly your portable milling setup needs to include in terms of equipment. This will help you avoid overspending.

Start with a Capable Sawmill at a Justifiable Price Point

Portable milling requires a sawmill you can take virtually anywhere, but not all bandsaw mills are created equal. Some don't deliver the performance you're looking for, while others aren't durable enough to give you years of service.

Then, there are other mobile mills that include all sorts of bells and whistles you'll never need. The last thing you want to do is get stuck paying for unnecessary features.

But with your milling goals in mind, you can find the perfect portable sawmill from an industry leading manufacturer known for their quality, value, and world-class customer service.

Choose the Right ATV and Sawmill Trailer

Your mill isn't truly mobile until it's on a trailer, so look for a portable bandsaw mill with a corresponding sawmill trailer. Often, you can purchase them together and save some money. Your best bet is to buy your sawmill from a manufacturer that offers both the mill and trailer as a single package.

Of course, moving that portable sawmill across your forested acreage will, in most cases, require an ATV. If you already have one, review the specs and make sure it's a good fit for the portable sawmill and trailer you're considering. If you don't own an ATV, find a model that's capable of tackling rugged terrain in inclement weather, but don't go over budget.

Consider Blade Sharpeners, Tooth Setters, and More

Have you heard the old saying, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face?” There are many versions, but the idea is that in any endeavor, it pays to plan for contingencies so you can adapt on the fly.

All equipment needs maintenance, so purchases like a bandsaw blade sharpener and tooth setter bundle are well worth the expense. Other implements like log arches and UTV dump trailers can help you take your portable milling to the next level, even when terrain or weather conditions prove challenging.

With these four items covered, you're well on your way to enjoying some successful milling and creating some outstanding final products.

About Woodland Mills

Whether you're an independent sawyer, hobbyist woodworker, or a landowner looking to make the most of your forested acreage, you can't afford to shell out for overpriced gear that doesn't deliver the performance you need. That's why Josh Malcolm and Neil Bramley founded Woodland Mills in 2009. By fusing innovative design, cost-effective manufacturing, and direct-to-customer sales, Woodland Mills has grown into a globally recognized industry leader. Woodland Mills isn't just known for its capable, durable lineup of best-valued forestry products. This trusted company also provides world-class customer service. Plus, with over 100,000 square feet of strategically located warehouse and distribution space in North America, Woodland Mills ensures fast and efficient product delivery in key regions. Whether you're looking for your next portable bandsaw mill, wood chipper PTO, or ATV log trailer, don't settle—go beyond with Woodland Mills. 

Get everything you need for portable milling from Woodland Mills at

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