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Before You Buy, Woodmizer Sawmills

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Woodmizer claims to be the “world leader in the portable sawmill industry”. There is no doubt that Woodmizer is one of the worlds top manufacturers of portable sawmills. Certainly in the United States they have become to go to company when a sawyer is looking for a reliable portable sawmill. The name Woodmizer is to portable band sawmills as the name Band-Aid is to simple bandages.

What Sets Woodmizer Apart?

Most Woodmizer sawmills feature what they call a “cantilever design” on a monorail system. What this means is that the sawmill head travels down a single track, and is mounted to a single post. A common thought is that this is a disadvantage because it creates in inaccurate cut. In other words, you would think that having the saw-head mounted to a single post translates into less support allowing the head to flex, resulting in a tapered cut. The fact is, that the exact opposite is true. Woodmizer has overcome any flexing with a monorail system that supports the saw-head on the top and bottom of the single rail track. This feature is truly a technologically innovative design.

Advantages of the Cantilever Design

With only one post to work around you can saw logs that are larger than you would expect to be able to saw. You don't have to try and squeeze the log between 2 or more posts. This gives you the ability to whittle the log down to a more manageable size right on the mill. An odd shaped log can also be sawn more easily on this cantilever design.

Another advantage of this unique to Woodmizer design is that you can cut logs accurately on an uneven surface. While it is always a good idea to get your sawmill as level as possible, the monorail design gives you more flexibility since the saw-head is always parallel to the track.

Woodmizer Blades

Many portable sawmill makers build their sawmills to fit Woodmizer blades. The reason they do, is that Woodmizer makes the best portable band sawmill blade available. I have personally used their blades on a few different sawmills. I have also used other manufacturers blades. I have found that the quality and price of Woodmizer blades beats the other brands every time.

Woodmizer Hydraulic and Super Hydraulic Sawmills

Time saving hydraulic and electric automated features are more things that set Woodmizer sawmills apart. I can tell you from personal experience that having hydraulic and electric automation on a sawmill is a blessing. You don't have to load or turn that heavy log by hand and that saves your back making you more productive. Having all the controls at your fingertips is a great advantage when you want to produce larger quantities of lumber in less time.

Safety Tip

Having to many saw-milling processes automated may make you more detached from the process. You may find yourself daydreaming about that next piece of timber, because the computer is thinking for you, it leaves your mind to wander. This is a dangerous thing to do when operating a sawmill. You need to be well aware of everything that is going on so that you can work safely.

Manual Mills

Woodmizer does make smaller manual sawmills for sawyers that have a smaller budget to work with. The one thing that sets them apart in manual mills is the name Woodmizer. In the manual sawmill market there is more competition, which translates into higher quality and lower price across the market. This broader competition has produced other sawmills that are comparable in quality to the manual Woodmizer sawmills at a lower price.

Features That Aren't Needed

Certain features of the manual Woodmizer sawmills don't make much sense. The crank feed system on the LT 15 and LT 28 sawmills is an unnecessary feature. It would be easier to just push the saw-head through the cut than to turn a crank that pulls the saw-head through. Turning this crank puts stress on the operators shoulder increasing fatigue. The only reason I can see for this feature is so that you can upgrade to a power feed system easily.

Where did the “Cantilever” and “Monorail” System go?

Two of the best features on most Woodmizer sawmills disappear on the smaller LT10 and LT 15 model sawmills. These models run on a dual track and have 2 posts that support the saw-head. This fact eliminates the biggest difference between Woodmizer sawmills and other brands of portable sawmills.

Affordability

Woodmizer sawmills are at the higher end of the scale when it comes to price. Although this may seem like a distinct disadvantage, it is actually an advantage. All of the technologically advanced features that set Woodmizer apart cost money to produce. It is like the old saying goes “you get what you pay for”, if you want a high production automated sawmill you are going to have to pay for it. These sawmills have been designed to produce the most accurate lumber in the most efficient way. For a true production sawmill Woodmizer stands out as a leader in the industry.
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