Looking for input about milling

Undertheradar

New member
New to forum and not yet milling. I have a Red Oak we took down for safety reasons and would like to mill it into planks. The trunk at the base where we cut it is a little over six (6) feet (72 inches) across. I am looking at purchasing a Granberg mill set-up but, based on Granberg's information my saw (Stihl 661 Magnum - 91cc) is only sufficient to use with a 56 inch mill. I am not very imaginative and appreciate suggestions as to how best to maximize the wood I can mill from this tree. Thank you
 
Hello, I am a chainsaw dealer in Washington State https://schneiderschainsaw.com/. I will give you my educated opinion and hopefully this will help. The 661 that you want to use is basically a high speed high power cross cut saw. It is very powerful for what it does but there is another class of chainsaws that I think would be more useful for your task. The now discontinued Stihl 070 or a Chinese clone 070 105cc has a cutting speed of 8,500rpm. What separates this chainsaw from your Stihl MS661 is that it has the ability to take a guide bar and chain up to five feet. It will remain steady while it is cutting any large tree while your MS661 will start bogging down on any load with a bar over 42". The other chainsaws in this class that would be good are the Husqvarna 3120XP or the Stihl MS881. They run at a higher speed but when they hit a large load they will also run about 9,500 rpm and can also take a five foot guide bar and chain. The difference between these saws is that the Chinese clone costs, for a good one, about $670.00 or there about. The Husqvarna 3120XP, if you can find one, runs about $1,900.00 for the power head and the Stihl MS881 a little more than that. The more modern 3120XP and the MS881 will cut a little faster but for almost three times the cost. However, they are very good machines. I have all three. You can also purchase a special guide bar and chain chain for additional money that are designed for chainsaw milling that will leave a smoother cut. The big difference between crosscut chainsaws and the 070, 3120XP and MS881 is they have far more torque than the MS661 class of chainsaws and were designed for very large trees. I hope that this helps. Steven
 

Bob Hedgecutter

Moderator
Staff member
Do you own a 661 already?
Think about what costs are involved to mill one trunk? $2K for a suitable saw, near the same for huge bar and chains, price of the mill with winch and possibly helper handle- certainly auxiliary oiler.......
Then see who has a portable mill in your area for hire.
If you have not chainsaw milled before- perhaps a 6' Red Oak is not the ideal starting area. You can cook a new saw REAL easily overheating the powerhead on big log milling and then be another $2K in the hole.
A good old 2100 CD Husqvarna will oil a 60"bar capably- for the particular timber and size you have- genuine Stihl 090 is about where I would be looking, most anything else is too small or too expensive.

Now if you were looking to do a lot of this and not one tree- a 100cc plus size saw, smaller bars and smaller trunks to start with will teach you a lot about milling before leaping in to the 6 footers.
 
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My Chinese 070 saws at 105cc are in the class of what you are talking about. I screen all Chinese companies for quality and parts. I also have started selling the Holzfforma 880 which has a 122cc motor and will sell for $798.75 and the 42" bar and chain sells for $221.81. I would support this chainsaw as well with parts as I long as I can get them. The Auston (Chinese) 070 that I carry which is a 105cc sells for $642.74 with a 36" bar and chain. I will also begin carrying the NewTop model of the 070 clone. I have screened about 20 Chinese companies and come up with three or four brands that I would import. I avoid cheap brands and look for quality certification from either the European Common Market or ISO9001 quality certification. I have white oak in Western Washington and that is what I and my chainsaw milling customers use for milling. I sell the Hanakowa and NewTop 660 Chinese clones and have tested all of the models in this discussion to include my Stihl MS881 and my Husqvarna 3120XP. Steven
 

Tyy

Member
The tried and proven MS660 or Husquarna 395 or as suggested the older Stihl 090 or Husky 2100 are dependable & proven . Parts are available anywhere . Chinese offshore product is questionable & dubious in origin at best . Sale & distribution is often less than stellar or reliable . Hope this helps within your decision making ...Cheers !
 
I work with only reputable Chinese factories and have had not problems when ordering parts. The Chinese 070 products are used all over the world for logging and chainsaw milling. The two that I work with are also ISO9001 factories which all of the major outdoor power companies are as well such as Stihl, Husqvarna, Echo, Makita and Efco. Of the four chainsaws that you mentioned the Stihl 090 or the Husky 2100 would be ok if you can find one in good shape. The MS60 and the Husky 395 are cutoff saws and do not have the torque for large log milling.
 

Tyy

Member
There are Husky 395 xp & MS660 all over North America milling hardwood . Peak horsepower overcomes torgue saws all day long in a milling application . I have Milled wood with these two models extensively & do not sell offshore product , so I believe my understanding of saws may be a little less biased . The limit of both the 395 or 660 would be 36" in Red or White oak . If your in bigger wood then perhaps a Echo 800 or a Stihl 880 & 3120 xp may be warranted . P.S. There are no reputable Chinese factories , has the last 2-3 yrs not proven anything to you about the Chinese , they have not designed anything in 100 yrs , just cheap copies don't let $$ greed cloud your judgement . Chinese product is disposable junk at any price point ! Just look at the cheap offshore cloned golf clubs , shoes , gloves etc . Also old 070 , 090 saw technology is just that , old , & slow . Old saws relying on base torgue often overheat when run hard continuously . I find it insulting that you schil your cheap saws on this site .
 
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I sell a limited amount of Chinese chainsaws in the larger sizes because the brands that I carry do not offer anything in the sizes that we are talking about. I agree with you on your 36" bars for those saws are good. I was talking about bigger wood than 36" for milling where the two Chinese saws and the Husqvarna 3120 and Stihl MS881 would feel comfortable. As for Chinese quality, I only deal with Chinese companies that are ISO9001 or European Common Market certified. If I see the word cheap on any add I run away. My markup for the saws that I import is no more than what I would get for Makita, Echo or Efco. Unfortunately, at this time the only large saws built by major companies over 60ccs are Husky and Stihl which my company is not large enough to be a dealer for them. They have priced themselves out of reach for smaller dealers.
 

Tyy

Member
Actually "chainsaw mills" are old school technology much like your oldschool technology Chineese clones. However "they" have their nitche . All Commercial milling today is done with proper bandsaw mills or rotary blade mills . Much more efficient , cost effective & safe !
 
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Hello Tyy, Your assessment about Echo is correct but my company is able to stay open because I work on outdoor power equipment and stereo equipment. The stereo equipment business has been going since 2015 and have many repeat customers. Because I am on the Makita website as a service center I get calls for repair of many different brands. The repair business is what is keeping me going. If something is beyond economical repair I can refer customers to my new chainsaw lineup. My initial Makita chainsaw sales were because older people remembered the reputation of the Dolmar products which Makita ran into the ground. I do not see any outdoor power equipment loyalty to Makita products. Their reputation was built on electrical power tools for the construction field and not outdoor power equipment.
 
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Tyy

Member
A happy ending would include the Dolmar Product line being picked up by a reputable Outdoor Equipment Manufacturer . Get a petition started Steve , then let me know where to sign , heck I would have an Army of support for you !
 
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