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What Can You Use to Cut Lumber? (How To)

Lumber is a collective term that is used to mean any part of a tree that has been cut down. It includes logs of wood, individual planks or boards, and pieces of wood both big and small. Today, I will be covering all the different tools that can be used to cut lumber and how well they work.

A chainsaw, Alaskan sawmill, bandsaw, chainsaw mill, table saw, and portable sawmill with work to cut logs into planks/boards of wood. These also work to cut boards to length, in addition a miter saw, chop saw, hand saw, and reciprocating saw work to cut boards to length.

Some types of saws are better suited to cutting boards out of logs of wood. Whereas, others are suited to cutting boards to length, and individual pieces of lumber to size. Below are how well each of the different types of saws work to cut lumber from logs, and lumber into boards.

What Can You Use to Cut Lumber? (How To)

There are a range of different saws that work well to cut lumber. Here are the ones that work to cut individual planks out of logs.

A chainsaw, Alaskan sawmill, bandsaw, chainsaw mill, table saw, and portable sawmill with work to cut logs into planks/boards of wood. These will also work to cut boards to length, but a miter saw, chop saw, hand saw, and reciprocating saw will also work to cut boards to length.

Some do a better job than others, and some can also be used to cut planks into smaller, and more intricate pieces. Below, I have provided a detailed explanation about each different type of saw that works to cut lumber, and how well they work.

Can You Use Chainsaw to Cut Lumber?

A chainsaw is well known for being used for felling trees. It’s very powerful at cutting very thick and dense trees, but to improve the utility of a log it needs to be cut into smaller pieces and into planks. So, here is whether a chainsaw will work to cut lumber.

Overall, a chainsaw can be used to cut lumber. A chainsaw is commonly used to turn logs into lumber. A chainsaw with a much longer blade than the standard length works better for cutting logs into planks. It’s also possible to mill a log with a chainsaw freehand, explained below.

Can You Use Circular Saw to Cut Lumber?

A circular saw is commonly used on construction sites because it’s portable, hand held, and very powerful. Cutting logs into lumber requires a bit of skill to make the best use of a log, and to make straight boards. So, this is whether it’s possible to use a circular saw to cut lumber.

In general, a circular saw can be used to cut lumber. A circular saw is commonly used to cut lumber and does a very good job. But, it does not work to mill a log into planks, because the blade is too small. It’s ideally suited to cutting planks or logs to length, provided the log is thin enough.

A circular saw is commonly used in sawmills for cutting logs to length. However, the blades used are very large, and about 3 feet (1 meter) in diameter or larger. Logs come in a range of different sizes, but a regular sized circular saw blade is too small to cut all the way through a regular sized log.

It can still be possible if the log is rotated after it has been cut from one side. But, it can definitely not be used to cut a log long ways to turn a log into planks of wood.

Can You Use Alaskan Sawmill to Cut Lumber?

An Alaskan sawmill is a somewhat homemade mill that only requires a few items to turn mill lumber. Logs can be turned into lumber in many different shapes and sizes. So, here is whether an Alaskan sawmill can be used to cut lumber.

Overall, an Alaskan sawmill can be used to cut lumber. An Alaskan sawmill does a very good job of turning a log into planks. It can be operated by one person, but a much longer chainsaw blade than normal works the best. An Alaskan sawmill is more than adequate to cut lumber to length as well.

The good thing about an Alaskan sawmill compared to using a regular chainsaw to mill wood, is that it’s fairly easy to make precisely cut boards. Whereas, a chainsaw requires a lot of coordination and strength to cut a log into boards that are straight.

Can You Use Bandsaw Mill to Cut Lumber?

A bandsaw mill has a large bandsaw blade that is set up so that it can move back and forward along a table. On the table wood of many different shapes and sizes can be clamped or strapped down to secure it. But, this is whether a bandsaw mill can be used for processing a log into lumber.

As a general rule, a bandsaw mill can be used to cut lumber. A bandsaw mill works very well to cut a log into individual planks. A bandsaw mill is commonly used in industrial sawmills that process a large number of logs. But, cutting lumber to length is best done by a power saw like a chop saw.

Interestingly, a portable saw mill is almost identical to a bandsaw mill. Further below, is a rundown of how a portable saw mill works and what type of saw it uses so you can see how similar they are to a bandsaw mill.

Can You Use Chainsaw Mill to Cut Lumber?

A chainsaw mill can be used to cut a range of different shapes and sizes of wood. A log, or pre-milled lumber can be cut into different shapes or sizes using a range of different tools. This is if a chainsaw mill can and should be used to cut lumber.

In general, a chainsaw mill can be used to cut lumber. To process logs a longer chainsaw blade is preferred. It will be less time consuming to make the long cuts required to cut a log into planks. A power saw like chop saw is better suited to cutting planks to length.

Copyright protected content owner: ReadyToDIY.com and was initially posted on November 26, 2022.

But, a chainsaw also works well. The one disadvantage of a chainsaw is there will be a bit more waste. Due to the fact that a chainsaw has a wider blade than something like a chop saw or miter saw.

Can You Use Portable Sawmill to Cut Lumber?

A portable sawmill is a smaller version of an industrial scale saw mill, and ideally suited to cutting medium sized pieces and quantities of wood. It is much more efficient that using a handheld power saw, but here is if a portable sawmill can be used to create lumber out of logs.

Overall, a portable sawmill can be used to cut lumber. A portable sawmill does a very good job at cutting a log into individual planks. There are a range of other mills that can also be used like a chainsaw mill. A portable sawmill can not be used to cut lumber to length.

A portable sawmill is ideally suited to make cuts along the length of long pieces of wood. The orientation of the blade makes it impossible to cut wood to length.

It’s possible some portable sawmills come with an additional blade that can be used for cutting lumber to length. Otherwise, a saw like a chop saw or miter saw should be used for this purpose.

Copyright article owner is ReadyToDiy.com for this article. This post was first published on November 26, 2022.

Can You Use Table Saw to Cut Lumber?

A table saw is common in a woodworking workshop, and is ideal for cutting very large boards, as well as, doing all sorts of different kinds of cuts. There are a few different blades that can be installed on a table saw, but here is whether a table saw will work to cut lumber.

Overall, a table saw can be used to cut lumber. But, a table saw will need to make multiple cuts to cut through a log, and will only work for wood that is smaller than 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. In saw mills, much larger saws around 4 feet (1.3 m) in diameter are used for cutting logs.

Whereas, table saw blades are much smaller. A table saw blade can be adjusted so that it makes a deeper cut in the wood. But, if a log is wider than about 4 inches in diameter a table saw will never be able to cut all the way through it.

Even if it’s cut from one side and then flipped over. Therefore, it will only work if the boards are under 4 inches in diameter, width, or height. But, for any wood that is this size it does a VERY good job at cutting it.

Can You Use Hand Saw to Cut Lumber?

A handsaw is a common tool that nearly everyone has. It is very effective at cutting wood, even though it does take quite a bit of effort to use. Ideally, something more powerful will be used for milling wood, but this is a summary and explanation about whether a handsaw can be used to cut lumber.

As a general rule, a hand saw can be used to cut lumber. However, whole logs will take a very long time, and be very difficult to cut with a hand saw. A hand saw is also very labor intensive. A power saw such as a circular saw, or chop saw are much easier to use for cutting lumber.

If you need to cut a small amount of milled wood then a saw is perfectly fine to use. But, if you need to make quite a large number of cuts then ideally you should use a power saw such as a chop saw.

Can You Use Bandsaw to Cut Lumber?

There are a few different types of bandsaws. Some can fit in a workshop or shed, and have a small blade relative to other types of power saws. But, overall here is if a bandsaw can be used to cut lumber.

A bandsaw can be used to cut lumber. Very large band saws are commonly used in saw mills for cutting a log into individual planks. A workshop sized bandsaw is ideal for making intricate curved cuts in lumber. Whereas, for milling a log into lumber a much larger bandsaw is required.

There are portable sawmills that are about the size of 18 feet (6 meters long). These are fitted with a bandsaw that is about 3 inches (7.5 cm) in width. But, only a small fraction of an inch thick.

A workshop sized band saw can not be used to mill a log into a plank or board unless the log is very small, about 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. Otherwise, it will be too big, and won’t fit in a workshop sized bandsaw.

Can You Use Reciprocating Saw to Cut Lumber?

A reciprocating saw can be used to cut a range of different materials. Cutting lumber out of logs requires long wide cuts, whereas, milling planks and other random sized pieces of wood requires smaller sized cuts. So this is whether a reciprocating saw can be used to cut lumber.

As a general rule, a reciprocating saw can be used to cut lumber. But, only if the log is thinner than 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. It also works well for cutting individual boards of lumber that are no larger than 4 inches in width or height.

A reciprocating saw has a reasonably small sized blade that is about 3 inches (7.5 cm) in length. Therefore, it can only make cuts that are this long. Many reciprocating saws are also battery operated.

As a result, they don’t have a lot of power, and take more time to make a cut than a power saw that plugs in like a chop saw. These power tools also have a larger blade, and therefore, can make longer cuts than a reciprocating saw. Therefore, they can cut logs that are much wider than what can be cut using a reciprocating saw.

Can You Use Miter Saw to Cut Lumber?

A miter saw is a type of power saw that is very similar to a chop saw. The main difference is that the blade can be tilted so that it cuts the wood at an angle, rather than only being able to cut at a 90 degree angle. But, here’s a rundown of whether it’s possible to use a miter saw to cut lumber.

In general, a miter saw can be used to cut lumber. But, a miter saw can not be used to cut a log into individual planks of wood. The reason is the layout of a miter saw does not give enough room to feed a log through it. It’s ideally suited for cutting lumber to length.

Miter saws have a blade that is fixed to a protective shield. Because of this design it’s not possible to make a cut that is larger than about 3 inches (7.5 cm).

Therefore, long cuts along a log can not be made. And a log can not be made into planks.

How to Cut Lumber Properly

Lumber is made in a process called milling. This process cuts a log into thin pieces that are very long, and then the edges are cut straight to make perfectly shaped boards. To cut lumber into logs requires a bit of specialist knowledge, so here is how to cut lumber properly.

Overall, first the bark is removed using a draw knife, but is optional. After that a flat cut is made to create a straight edge which is used as a guide for the remaining boards. Once the first cut has been made, boards are cut parallel to the initial cut. Then the edges of each board are trimmed.

The exact procedure depends on what type of saw is being used. For example, if a band saw is being used the log is fed into the band saw. Whereas, if a chainsaw is being used, a person makes the cut while walking along the length of the log until the entire cut has been made.

In general, a bandsaw, chainsaw, Alaskan sawmill, portable saw mill, and chainsaw mill can be used to cut lumber into boards. But, any type of saw can be used to cut lumber to length. But, a power saw is far more efficient and easier to use than a regular saw for cutting boards to length.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on November 26, 2022.

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