Have you ever dreamed of building your own home with lumber milled from your property? Perhaps you’d like to start, or complement, your own custom sawmilling business?
For over three decades, Peterson Portable Sawmills have been the passion and livelihood of thousands of satisfied sawmillers worldwide; from farmers and woodlot owners, to custom sawyers and commercial operators who enjoy after-sales service that is second to none.
With Peterson, you get what you pay for; well designed, efficient and versatile portable sawmills with features that will SAVE you money on running costs. As Butch says, don’t settle for anything less.
“After looking at 1-2 man manual saw mills for 5 years I am certain that a swing mill is the best for most needs and Peterson certainly makes the most versatile of the lot. I am sure glad that I waited to purchase a mill until I could afford the best and didn’t settle for less!” – Butch Cherrington
We usually feature more mature operators in our blog. Typical (Peterson) mill owners tend to be middle-aged (or older) men. In sharp contrast, Englishman Ben Scott is only 18 years old and already a seasoned miller. While in secondary school (high school), Ben has been milling logs since the age of 15.
Reports of increased milling productivity come in weekly from commercial operators with some stating that the Peterson is the “best forestry or agriculture machine” they’ve ever purchased. One example is Australian miller Andrew Smith who has almost doubled the production of his previous manual model sawmill (competitor brand) since he purchased a Peterson Automated Swingblade Mill.
Watch this video of Andrew milling hardwood with the touch of a button during his on-site ASM training. Andrew now turns out 80 – 85 cross-ties per day without breaking a sweat.
Innovative double cutting – the first swingblade mill to allow a true double cut
No need to turn the head unit around like imitation mills
Wide boards and slabs can be twice as valuable as dimensional lumber
Witness the ease of Double Cutting with Peterson Portable Sawmills
All sawmills include two Peterson blades and an electric diamond wheel sharpener so you can sharpen your blade while it’s still on the mill in under 10 minutes. Blades have been known to last more than 10 years! Click on the image to view our Blade Maintenance Comparison Sheet.
“My friend has a big bandsaw mill (Woodland Pro 4000), but he can’t handle long and large diameter logs. So my Peterson mill, with extra rails, was just what was needed to do the job. Now I have more work that no other mill in the area can do!” – Steve Cannon
Peterson’s range of portable sawmills are customised to the purchaser’s application
Select a standard model and choose the extras or upgrades you need
A portable sawmill for everyone, from part-timers (Junior Peterson) to commercial operators (Automated Swingblade) and everyone in between (All Terrain Sawmill, Winch Production Frame and Dedicated Wide Slabber)
Compare our sawmill range with this easy-to-read one page document
Ark Yingling. Illinois, USA
Small portable sawmills are the epitome of eco-recycling. The three legs of sustainability (environment, social, and economic) are all served well by the Peterson machines.
While doing my sawmill research, I was looking for a mill that was portable, easy to set up and that I could use to mill trees that were getting wasted during earthmoving jobs. None of the other mill brands are as versatile as my Peterson Winch Production Frame.
Ron Armstrong, ON, Canada
I got the mill last week and have milled two logs so far. The mill is well built and thought out. Very happy with the purchase. I’m excited to start milling some large logs that have been piling up, thanks again for building a great mill.
As a log home company we have built in excess of 60 homes using the mill. We are using our Peterson all the time, it has definitely been a key component to our success.
I wanted a mill that I could use by myself, that was low in maintenance, was accurate, durable, and that I didn't have to have 2 or 3 people with me to run it. I own a tree farm and have been in the metal fabrication for 35 plus years. I was VERY pleased with the welds and workmanship of your mill. A friend of mine who is a woodworker just couldn't believe how even my boards were in thickness and how smooth. Aluminum and stainless steel are not the easiest metals to work with. So I bought a Peterson. I want to thank all of you for a great mill. All of you have been very easy to get along with, answering questions and concerns and anything else. Please accept my thanks for a great mill and a great staff.
In 2004 we bought a Peterson WPF to supplement our bandmill. We use it to cut any logs over 30” in diameter. It has increased our production so much that we now sell lumber on eBay to customers around the world and were able to pay off our 30 year home mortgage in less than 11 years.
I could very easily cut over 1,000 bd ft of hardwood lumber in a days' time when I had just one helper. If I had the luxury of having one person to feed me logs, and a couple more people to off-bear the lumber, there is no telling how much production I could have achieved. I’m really amazed at how little waste there is with the Peterson. Petersons are GREAT people to deal with from before the sale to way afterwards! Even after I had owned my mill for a year they were still calling me just to chat and see how it was doing. Several of my friends own Lucas Mills, and since they had a chance to see them both and compare, they were sold on the Peterson sawmill.”
My friend has a big bandsaw mill (Woodland Pro 4000), but he can't handle long and large diameter logs. So my Peterson mill, with my extra rails, was just what was needed to do the job. Things worked out great and the client is very happy. He loves the rustic look of the circle saw cut timbers. While we were out there working, a log truck owner came by and saw the Peterson in action. He asked me if he could bring some logs to my property and have them milled up into large, long beams. More work that no other mill in the area can do!
It really is a remarkable machine that can take on any job. I have used a Norwood bandsaw in the past, but I prefer working with a swingblade because it’s much more hands-on. You get a feel for each individual piece of timber that you cut as you work through the log, as opposed to turning the log all the time to square it off.
Eric Stavrand, Maine, USA
I am very happy with the mill. The build quality of the mill is of the highest order; I’d originally looked at getting a Lucas Mill but really wanted the Peterson due to the aluminium/stainless content, Honda engine, plus it’s the original portable sawmill and clearly from the most innovative company.
It was amazing how quick the mill was assembled and how quickly we were sawing. The two of us were able to unload and have the mill ready to saw in around 20–25 min. Not too shabby for our first set-up. I really couldn’t believe how easy it was and how smoothly everything went. We produced 2 dozen 12’ 1x6’s in almost no time at all. And they were perfect! I would like to take the credit for how well they came out, but I think that the credit goes to the mill. My WPF was worth every penny. I bought an 8” with a 27hp Kohler and couldn’t be happier. I still can’t believe the amount of lumber that I have gotten out of it in a very short amount of time.I’m sure you will enjoy your Peterson as much as I do mine. The word is starting to spread that I have a mill, and everybody was right... logs are finding me!
We heat our home and shop with the waste and sell the chips to horse folks to use in their stalls. I love my JP!
In 2013 I bought the very first JP sold in the US. I haven't purchased any dimensional lumber since then. One of the major reasons I chose the JP is that I can operate the JP by myself, and I do. We heat our home and shop with the waste and sell the chips to horse folks to use in their stalls. I love my JP!
To us there is no saw that compares. As we are on a remote island lacking any roads or vehicles, all transport is done with man power. The Peterson is so portable!
The mill is easy to use and simple design that is durable. Cuts are extremely accurate and consistent from end to end. I just wanted to let you know what a good job Russell Wilkins is doing representing Peterson. I e-mailed him with some questions about Peterson mills on Sunday and this Monday evening he called me to answer my questions. We talked for about an hour, and I had all my questions throughly answered. I did not expect to receive this kind of personal service, so needless to say I was very pleased. This is the kind of help that keeps customers happy and coming back for more business.
We enjoy working with the Peterson mill! The one I am using was bought in 2005 and to date nothing has gone wrong. Now, with good experience, me and my little brother can set the machine with the log and mill it at once. The ATS is very light and versatile to go on any slope. It is very exciting working with this machine.
It's exhilarating when seeing tree trunks rapidly converted into usable timber accurately and with minimal effort. At timber shows the Peterson stops people in their tracks, they have never witnessed the like.
It’s relatively easy to perform general maintenance and to replace wearable parts like bearings etc. myself, especially when you compare the relative simplicity of this mill to fully hydraulic ones.
I would like to thank Petersons sawmills for their customer service and support over the last 21 years. I love my sawmill just as much today as I did when I first started using it.
Paul Noordanus, Tasmania, Australia
I would like to thank Petersons sawmills for their customer service and support over the last 21 years. I love my sawmill just as much today as I did when I first started using it.
I didn’t have any problems with shipping or communications whatsoever. The mill fired right up. They even called a couple of days after I started sawing just to see how things were going. I’m not sure how much more support a person could ask for. If I had to do it again, the only thing I’d do different would be to have bought it sooner!
My Peterson is one of the best investments I’ve ever made, it is by far the best swingblade sawmill on the market. While I don’t use my sawmill every day, it’s always ready for me when I need it. Even though I use the saw mostly in the same place it’s always good to know if I need to move it, it’s fairly easy to do so.
Charles Prymula, Illinois, USA
I’ve been using my Peterson 9" swingblade since 1998. We make a good deal of trailer planking and flooring stock. It lets me get at almost all the quartersawn lumber a tree has to offer. The blades hold up well against incidental hardware and urban logs have more than their share. Being able to face off and flatten trees too large for my circular mill is another plus. Resawing and ‘surface skinning’ rough stock are weekly requests. Breaking down large trunks into movable cants for further processing helps in situations where time and tempers won’t allow unlimited cutting. I’d buy another one.
John Henare, New Zealand
My sawmill is an early model yet still allows me to turn old native logs I recover from the local river into beautiful straight timber. It’s really easy to operate by myself and very precise. Fantastic machine.
My family and I have been having so much fun using our new mill and I can’t seem to stop talking about it. Thanks for such a great mill. I use the double cutting much more than I ever expected to. I sure am glad I picked Peterson every time I double cut.
The first time setting up the mill took us 45 minutes and breaking down the mill took 45 minutes too. Now we can do so in just 15 minutes.
Scott Smith, North Carolina, USA
For background, my principle interests are cutting very long and large beams for timber frame-type applications and quartersawing. These goals narrowed my selection down to a swing blade as opposed to a band mill. First, Peterson basically invented the swingmill concept that both they and Lucas use. Second, you can double-cut with a Peterson mill without having to pick up and turn the carriage. You can’t do this with a Lucas. I often work alone and this was an important feature for me. Third, their customers consistently rave about them. Fourth, you can cut a bigger cant with the Peterson than you can with the Lucas. Considering my goals, this was also important.
Mike Heili, Missouri, USA
Thank you for all your support beginning with the purchase, the technical support, and the selling of the tracks. You have a great product and a super staff.
I’m very happy with how it has made my life easier compared to operating my old bandsaw mill. That machine produced wavy boards and involved a lot of manual handling of logs and blade sharpening. With the Peterson, my job is much less physical, which suits me well.
While I could see the advantages of a swing mill, I wasn’t impressed with the quality of the Lucas mill brand. Further research led me to Peterson and it was obvious to me that the Peterson mills were of better quality.
Hans Petersen, California, USA
I am writing to tell you that I have sold my sawmill. Thank you for your years of excellent customer service and fabulous product that you provided me with. I had the mill for 13 years and it works as good now as the day I bought it. What an amazingly strong and wonderfully engineered piece of equipment. Sad to see it go. I hope the new owner appreciates it as much as I did.
When I told my wife Darlene I was going out to hug my mill she said (due to the cold weather): “You are going to get your lips stuck to that sawmill!” Apart from that, running my ATS is safer than driving a car.
I move around a lot and the Peterson is truly portable and easy to operate. The mill is quick to set up and break down, light and easy to carry around and operate, yet stable and safe.
Tracy Brittson, Oregon, USA
I spent many hours researching both the Peterson and the Lucas on the net before I decided. I chose the Peterson over the Lucas because of the ability to more easily double-cut and the fact that both vertical winches are on one end of the mill just made more sense.
Y’all have a recipe for customer service success like I’ve never seen. It seems there are always hassles to get things done or made right but never once with Peterson. Thank you so very much for being such a pleasure to work with.
I still enjoy milling, even now that I’m nearly 80 years old. Taking on the challenge of a log feels bloody good!
Peterson Portable Sawmills are the best portable sawmill available and the people that produce it are wonderful. They’re there to help you every step of the way and, amazingly, they listen to us, their customers, and make improvements based on our needs. I can’t say enough good about them or their product. In fact, I would not even consider owning a different sawmill. If you are EVER THINKING about owning a portable sawmill, save yourself the time and check out Peterson Portable Sawmills."
Mike Schaas, USA
The swing blade sawmill is genius. I wish I had thought of it. I recommend swing blade sawmills to anyone who doesn't have all the heavy equipment. Price might be the one you consider the most. But I say "Buy the best, you only cry once!".
The JP is the perfect sawmill for a part-time miller. It’s a simple machine really, and easy to use. For me, it was the logical first step to blade milling.
We are really pleased with our amazing machine! I think it is the ultimate in portable sawmills. I have sawn approximate 12,000 board feet of high-quality lumber with it in under a year. I bought it because I had property with quite a bit of timber on it and I needed a quick and inexpensive way to make it into lumber for my buildings.
The bandsaw millers I talked to all complained about one thing – constantly having to replace saw blades. It was something that I wanted to avoid and the circular blade of the swing mill seemed to be the perfect solution.
(Additional feedback, received after David has been milling for over 12 years:) I think anyone who looks at both Lucas and Peterson will buy the Peterson mill. I know that I have never regretted buying mine. It's a good, solid, well-engineered machine. Easy to set up, tear down and move. I mostly work alone and can set it up in about one to two hours, depending on how level the terrain is.
David Emerson, New York, USA
I went to a demo of the Lucas and was about to buy one when I saw an ad for the Peterson in Sawmill & Woodlot, called the 0800 number and they sent me a DVD. The quality of the machine was very clear. The winches both at the head end of the mill and no overhead cross link to duck under as the Lucas had. So I bought the Peterson. I have sawn a 32 x 36 barn for myself as well as assorted other lumber for the farm. Altogether a very nice basic portable mill and the people at Peterson are outstanding to work with on any problems or questions. (Additional feedback, received after David has been milling for over 12 years:) I think anyone who looks at both Lucas and Peterson will buy the Peterson mill. I know that I have never regretted buying mine. It's a good, solid, well-engineered machine. Easy to set up, tear down and move. I mostly work alone and can set it up in about one to two hours, depending on how level the terrain is.
I’m happy with the top-quality dimensional lumber which I’m producing by myself. I received top-notch support from the Peterson team and expect to be able to recoup a large part of my sawmill investment, once I sell the mill after this project is finished.
I'm very impressed with the WPF. The whole concept of the mill is well thought out, it's well made and easy to operate. Full credit to everyone who was involved with the design and process of developing and building the WPF. It really is a great mill.
As our Wood-Mizer aged, we started to realise that the downtime for maintenance and repairs was higher than the uptime. We were running in to problems that just don’t occur with a swingblade mill.
Butch Cherrington, Ohio, USA
I purchased a Junior model back in January, my mill had a couple small issues that they took care of pronto. I now have close to 50 hours on the mill. About 20% of my needs so far have involved double cutting. After looking at 1-2 man manual saw mills for 5 years I am certain that a swing mill is the best for most needs and Peterson certainly makes the most versatile of the lot. I am sure glad that I waited to purchase a mill until I could afford the best and didn’t settle for less!
I’ve worked on high-tech aerospace hardware for nearly 30 years and this mill is built as well as anything I’ve ever seen launched into space. The craftsmanship is exquisite, and I’m simply astounded that such a machine can be purchased for such a reasonable price. I will work for NASA the usual two days this week, and the space telescope work is great, but it actually pales a bit when compared to the satisfaction one gets from producing such beautiful and useful material with the Peterson mill. You folks bring a lot of joy to the world, not to mention some of the best machinery, lumber, exercise and peace of mind available anywhere. The sawmill has been working flawlessly and it was exciting to see that 40 foot beam getting lifted off the mill.
Trevor Thompson, New Zealand
My Peterson Production Frame Mill has served me well for over 14 years with many cubes of quality timber produced in that time. With the stainless steel and aluminium materials used in its construction it is still going strong and is likely the best investment I’ve ever made in machinery.
Bill Johnson, NSW, Australia
We here at Johnson Bros Sawmill still use our Peterson WPF regularly, and are completely satisfied with its performance over the several decades we’ve had it. It never skips a beat.
Contract and tree work is as competitive as it's ever been - winning the bid depends on finding ways to reduce costs where others can't. With my Peterson mill I can always make profit out of the driest and knottiest wood out there. When the tree work isn't coming in, I'm pulling a profit from logs that most others are sending to the landfill or burning in the stove.
I love how I don’t have to reconfigure the setup and that I can use both my WPF and my DWS anytime.
Tom Kimmerer, Kentucky, USA
My company has a Lucas Mill, but we will probably need to add a second mill within the year and the Peterson, especially the ASM, is high on my list. I was very impressed with the engineering and ease of use that I saw at Sawlex, the sawmill & logging expo.
One of our members, a qualified engineer, looked at the mechanical engineering of both the Lucas Mill and the Peterson, and concluded that the Peterson is simply much better made than the Lucas Mill.