Shopping for Lumber Saw Mills
This is a guide for the person interested in buying a lumber saw mill. We consider the advantages and disadvantages of the three main sawmill types.
Lumber saw mills are a purchase that only a certain type of person should consider. That's the kind who likes to do things himself, to build with his hands, and maybe make a little money in the process. There are a few different types of saw mills available. So which should you buy? Let's consider the different options open to you.
First, a bit about saw mills in general. These pieces of heavy machinery have been around for decades--actually since before the start of the 20th century. Their main function is to move logs to the operating area of the mill, where they are cut and shaped into lumber. The mill then shoots them out the other end, after they have become their intended shape and size.
Lumber saw mills can vary greatly in price. There are some that sell for as cheap as a couple hundred dollars, while the more deluxe and powerful ones sell for up to $35,000. Much of this will depend on whether you're considering a circular sawmill, a chainsaw mill, or perhaps looking at bandsaw mills. And location is also a consideration in price. One mill might cost one thing in Georgia and something else entirely in New York.
As you're trying to decide which saw mill to get, ask yourself if you want to do this for a hobby or as a commercial business. If you want to turn this into a business, you'll almost certainly want to buy the circular sawmill. That's because this is the only one that cuts fast enough to be able to turn over enough orders in one day to keep you profitable.
Also, if you do plan to turn this into a business, you should develop a business plan. Before you do this, visit some local mills (especially those using circular saws) and get to understand the business better. Watch how the equipment is used when it's actually in a production setting.
If you're not buying for business purposes, but either to create your own wood or perhaps just for a hobby, your options grow a bit. The circular mill is by far the most expensive, and since speed might not be that much of an issue if you're doing this for a hobby, you can look elsewhere. Of the two remaining ones, the bandsaw is the cheapest. It's the one that can run as little as a few hundred dollars for a portable sawmill. It is known, however, as the one that sometimes leaves more rough spots than the other choices, so the quality might not be quite as good.
Right in the middle is the chain sawmill. It's the mid-ground in both price and quality of output. This might be the best option if price is kind of a an issue and if quality is kind of an issue--but neither is the ultimate consideration.
As you're conducting your search, don't let the process wear you down. Shopping for lumber saw mills should be exciting. After all, it's either going to be the start of a great new hobby or a profitable new career for you!
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