Top 4 Best Chainsaws For Milling Lumber Should Not Skip – 2020 Update

We have received many affirmations from lumbers claiming milling is a great yet struggle skill to master. You will have to work with large logs and cut them into various sizes.

That’s when you will confirm the invaluable advantage of the best chainsaw for milling.

In this post today, we would like to introduce the best milling chainsaw we came across and cherished. If you could have one of them under your belt, we’re sure life would be much easier.

Have a quick look at the items here:

  • Most powerful – Husqvarna 460 Rancher
  • Best all-around – Husqvarna 20 Inch 455 Rancher Gas Chainsaw
  • Budget-friendly option – Poulan Pro 20 in. 50cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw
  • Best for inexperienced users – Echo Gas Chain Saw

Most powerful – Husqvarna 460 Rancher

Husqvarna 460 Rancher
Husqvarna 460 Rancher (60cc) Chainsaw With 24" Bar and Chain Plus 3 WoodlandPRO Chain Loops

  • Very powerful
  • Easy to run
  • Smart Start for simple ignition
  • Compatible with bar from 14 inches


  • Heavy
  • Not oiling well

It’s hard to deny the quality from Husqvarna. And the 460 is a tough guy in the line.

The chainsaw comes with a 24-inch bar which is aggressive on the big stuff. It’s cranking out 9,000 RPMs We usually ventured with it to the wood of big trees and cut down the stump. The 3/8 wide kerf chain can cut wider groove better than the 0.325 we had before.

Coming in a 60-cc engine and 3.6 HP, you can feel confident using the unit on bigger applications. The pull Smart Start is nostalgic. It took a few strokes to initiate.

The big guy features the powerful Husqvarna X-torque engine. There are two levers in the back; the one in red is an on/off switch while the blue is your choke. What is nice is if you’re in the off position when you pull out the choke, it will automatically kick you back to the run position.

We really enjoyed the purge primer on the side that will push all the bubbles on the fuel hoses freeze starting.

Using this chainsaw, we do appreciate its LowVib feature that releases pretty much the shaking, giving more accurate cuts.

It’s got some nice tethers on the fuel cap. If you want to drain your saw or run a dry of fuel for storage, you can pop the cap out easily. The centrifugal air cleaning system with Air Injection removes debris and large dust before reaching the air filter. It pretty much improves engine life.

Engine typeGasoline and oil
EngineX-torque 60-cc
Max. length41 inches
Rear/top handlesRear and top
Fuel tank capacity0.9 US pint
Weight13.2 lbs
WarrantyUp to 4 years
Highlight featuresThe X-Torq engine of 60-cc can cut with excellent control and power. High RPM gives the most precise cuts

Technology applied in the X-torque gives this 460 Rancher the power large enough to handle big applications.

Best all-around – Husqvarna 20 Inch 455 Rancher Gas Chainsaw

Husqvarna 20 Inch 455 Rancher Gas Chainsaw
Husqvarna 20 Inch 455 Rancher Gas Chainsaw

  • Excellent balance
  • Reasonable weight
  • Easy bar adjustment
  • Suitable for big jobs


  • Short commercial warranty

Again, it seems that Husqvarna has all the best machines you need in very specific categories.

Not only the 455 has the powerful engine just behind its 460 counterpart, but it also equips the automatic chain oiler guarantees no overheating during your cut. It’s basically for your all-around work.

With the Rancher 455, you will prime the bulb six times, then pull the choke out, push in the compression switch. Then, you should be ready with such a simple cold start.

You know what. We love the fact that Husqvarna easies down the mounting bar process as we have encountered countless times the bar got loosened in the middle. The side-mounted chain tensioner lets you tighten things once and for all.

Moving to the quick-release air filter; you will thank the product for giving you another break when it comes to cleaning and replacing the air filter.

If you are heavy-duty lumber, you can rely on the three-piece crankshaft that adds maximum durability for the toughest application.

Engine typeGas
Engine55. 5cc
Max. length41 inches
Rear/top handlesRear and top
Fuel tank capacity0.93 US pint
Weight13.2 lbs
Warranty2-year consumer and 6-month commercial
Highlight featuresSimple cold start and side-mounted chain tensioner for easy usage while it renders great power from the X-torque engine that is best for forestry industry

The 455 provides the power you need to rip through log works of all kind.

Budget-friendly option – Poulan Pro 20 in. 50cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw

Poulan Pro 20 in. 50cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw
Poulan Pro 20 in. 50cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw, PR5020

  • Fuel-saving
  • Fast Start
  • Easy maintenance
  • User-friendly with combined choke/stop control


  • The chain did not hold up well

This is a 50-cc engine with a 20-inch blade. We can tell you that upon use, this thing does spray bar and chain oil all over the place. Although it doesn’t have an adjustment on it, we don’t find it’s odd.

Now, pretty much every time we use this chainsaw, we have topped it off with gas. But it does consume a lot of bar and chain oil.

When it comes to power, the OxyPower engine technology lends its hands for virtually more power. The engine saves 20% fuel consumption and emit less than 70%.

We did run a test on how this machine eats gas. The two-stroke combustion engine only takes 3.2 ounces of oil mixed with gas at the ratio 40:1. We got it to cut trees in 6 hours of medium-duty work. That’s an impressive number for such a price.

Besides, the combi tool is integrated into the rear handle to make sure the maintenance is quick. Also, it comes with a user-friendly combined choke/stop control, simplifying the way you use it.

Engine typeGas
Max. length20-inch bar
Rear/top handlesRear and top
Fuel tank capacity51 cm³
Weight17 lbs
Warranty2-year limited warranty
Highlight features2-cycle engine and the easy pull start system make this unit powerful yet easy, and quick to use, combined choke/stop control

This chainsaw has got all the power and features you need without spending an arm and a leg.

Best for inexperienced users – Echo Gas Chain Saw

Echo Gas Chain Saw
Echo CS-590 20" Timber Wolf Chainsaw

  • Straightforward usage
  • Pleasant filter maintenance
  • Quick ignition
  • Compatible with many bar sizes


  • Pricey

If you just step into milling, we think this Echo chainsaw is the best fit for you.

It features a 59.8-cc engine rigging the 20-inch long bar that is excellent for ripping through the timber.

The chainsaw takes bars and chains from a minimum of 16” up to 27” maximum for many different uses. With the digital ignition, it won’t confuse you on your first-time milling.

Many reports say that maintaining a milling chainsaw’s filter is such a pain in the butt. But Echo has made it easier with G-Force Engine Air Pre-Cleaner™.

If you are concerned about safety, this chainsaw qualifies CARB-compliant, ensuring it meets the standards to be used around.

Engine typeGas
Max. length27-inch bar length
Rear/top handlesRear and top
Fuel tank capacity21.8 oz.
Weight17 lbs.
Warranty5-year consumer
Highlight featuresEasy digital ignition and G-force air pre-cleaning system for minimum maintenance

This chainsaw wipes off a lot of confusing usage and maintenance process for beginners.

Safety tips for using milling chainsaw

Best Chainsaws For Milling Lumber Should Not Skip

Knowing how to protect yourself when milling with a chainsaw will reduce the chance of you getting hurt. Besides putting on safety gears, we’ve got some extra precautions of safe sawing rules to share here.

Well maintenance

Good chainsaw safety starts with having a well-maintained machine.

Before each time you use the saw, you should remove its battery (if it’s cordless), bar guard, and set the chain brake if it has one.

Then, inspect the saw for any damage, excessive dirt, blue screws, or any problems that might affect the operation.

After releasing the chain brake, put on a sturdy pair of work gloves. Next, rotate the chain and inspect the teeth. You may check them for damage or dullness.

You can re-sharpen the teeth or replace the chain if necessary.

Also, lift up the chain around the middle of the bar to check for proper tightness. You shouldn’t be able to lift the chain entirely out of its slot.

If it’s too loose, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to retighten the chain. You can recheck the tightness after the adjustment.

Proper lubrication

To keep the chainsaw running smoothly, it’s essential to have your saw topped up at all times with the proper bar lubricant.

Remove the cap on the oil tank and put a rag in place just to keep drips from messing up your saw.

When you’re done filling the tank, screw the oil tanks cap back on tightly. Many chainsaws will let you check the level of oil through a little plastic window.

Get in the right pose

Your stance is going to be an athletic one with your left foot a bit forward than the right one. The chainsaw is going to be on your front handle, easily accessible to activate the brake. Your right hand will be on the rear handle to control the throttle.

When you start milling, place the chainsaw lightly on the wood and have solid pressure all the way through the cut.

Once you’re done with the cut, activate the brake again and place your saw firmly on the ground.

How to choose the best chainsaw for milling (buying guide)

Best Chainsaws For Milling Lumber Should Not Skip

When buying a chainsaw, not only your preference matters. There are a few factors you need to take into account.


Milling is different from sawing solely. It requires sustained power to cut through different lengths of wood. That means you need potentially a lot of power.

We suggest picking engines with 50-cc or above. Larger number gives you more power for longer work hours.

Bar length

As most mills come with a parameter for the bar with which it reaches 20 inches in length as the least standard.

For many times, you will deal with wider cuts; you certainly need longer bars to establish the maximum width of the for the lumber. That way, you don’t have to switch to a different chainsaw that is only capable of one dimension.


Chances are you are looking to tackle with milling for long. Each time you go to the site, you don’t want to come back quickly due to the strain.

So, we recommend picking a not-too-heavy chainsaw as the fatigue it causes will burn your energy very soon. Not to mention when connecting to a milling attachment, it quickly wears you down holding everything. That’s why going light is an idea to consider.

Engine type

Some prefer gas; some go well with electric. But everything has its tradeoff. You will have a more powerful machine if it’s a fuel-powered chainsaw. It gives you a lot of cutting advantages.

Electric chainsaws are quieter and lighter. But you may not want to overtax them as the power will drain out fast.

Who makes the best chainsaw for milling?

Best Chainsaws For Milling Lumber Should Not Skip


People have been spreading the exclusive quality Husqvarna owns. The brand is said to be the best-of-best power tool supplier of which products only come in premium standard.

With a long history dated back in 1904, we believe the manufacturer has their breakthroughs to add, and more superior products are coming.

Poulan Pro

The American long-term power tool manufacturer has been producing for more than 7 decades. No doubt that their products are widely accepted across the country.

With the advantages of innovative technology, Poulan Pro delivers machines to empower your outdoor tasks with ease.


You’ve come to an end. We are sure you have got enough helpful information to be ready for shopping now.

Keep in mind that milling is only for those who are familiar with using a chainsaw. The only thing that left is knowing the specs needed to level up your skills.

After all, the chainsaw you need is right here. If not, please leave your queries in the comment box, and we will reply as soon as we can. Don’t worry! We have our expertise to cover your back.

If you want to learn more about power tools and take care of your house better, stay tuned. We promise more exciting posts are coming.

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