The advantages of purchasing a Peterson sawmill

There are many reasons why Peterson Portable Sawmills design and manufacture the best portable sawmill on the market today. The company stand behind their product 100% and are proud of their top quality, versatile and efficient mills.

Since the invention of the swingblade mill by Peterson Portable Sawmills, many people have tried to replicate the technology. The ease of use, the amazing versatility and the machine’s portability all make Peterson’s swingblade the best portable sawmill. Replicas on the market offer some of these things also, but they do not have the quality of the original swingblade mill, nor do they show as much innovation in their designs.

The Peterson Advantage

We’re open 7 days a week

Free sawmill training worldwide

Even when you think you know all there is to know about operating a sawmill, you will enjoy the hands-on experience of free training with one of our Peterson mill operators.

It’s about relationships

We comply with the highest safety certification

All of our standard mills (excludes electric mills) comply with CE Certification. This certification is the highest internationally recognized standard for safety compliance.

Get great recovery and high production

great recovery and high production

Let’s make it easier to use

  • Set your Peterson mill up on almost any terrain in between 5-20 minutes

  • Roll your logs into place by hand or with a cant hook, or set up your mill around the log

Don’t lose out, get high resale value

Peterson mills and blades are built to last and are made of extremely durable components; this makes the re-sale value high; most owners only lose about 10% from what they paid for it.

Effective one-person operation to keep costs down

  • Unload and set up onto a small trailer or pick up deck within 20 minutes

  • Disassemble and load up again within 10 minutes

  • One-person operation on both manual and automated models

  • Remove your own boards manually or with the board remover on the ASM

bandsaw versus swingblade


Advantages Over Bandsaw Mills

Our versatility sets us apart

  • Cut different dimensioned lumber out of one log with ease for higher yield

  • Where some logs may be deemed ‘worthless’ by bandsaw operators, the Peterson is the best portable sawmill for the job

  • It is much easier to quarter saw with a Peterson because the saw moves around the log

  • The Peterson mill does not require any extra equipment i.e. an edger or resaw

  • Use the double cut feature on any of Peterson’s swingblade range for obtaining wide boards and slabs

  • Enhance your wide slabs and beams with the optional Peterson planer blade and achieve a smooth, flat and even surface

  • Use Peterson’s optional sander disc to add the finishing touches on your high-end products like beams and slabs, leaving a fabulous almost-gloss finish

  • Add an optional clip-on slabber to cut even wider slabs or if you’re looking at a commercial slabber, check out the Dedicated Wide Slabber (DWS)

All terrain sawmill

Portability, it’s in the name

  • Peterson mills do not require flat ground, they can be set up on a moderate slope with undulating terrain

  • The All Terrain Sawmill (ATS) can be set up in very remote locations on uneven surfaces as pictured

  • Easily push your mill head and frame to your desired location when jockey wheels are attached

  • Set up from 5-30 minutes when changing milling sites

  • Disassemble and load in under 10 minutes

Achieving a simplistic design for all

  • Peterson mills are supplied with an instruction manual and video (where possible), and this is quite sufficient to get most operators started

  • A half-day of training is provided in certain circumstances which equips you to be a great miller

  • Peterson mills are so simple that even our most advanced model, the Automated Swingblade Mill (ASM) has fewer than 10 buttons needed for operation

Handling lumber – we’ve made it easy

  • No log-turning required, a Peterson mill cuts dimensional lumber straight away and you can grade as you go

  • Set up the mill over a log in under 20 minutes

  • Load logs over or under your tracks (HiLo tracks are available for WPF models)

  • Peterson blades cut true, they don’t go around knots on large cuts like bandsaw mills tend to

  • A Peterson swingblade can handle large, abrasive logs with ease

saw mill handling lumber

No expensive blade maintenance

  • Circular saw blades require far less maintenance than bandsaw blades as they’re so durable

  • Sharpen the blade on the sawmill in under 5 minutes

  • Bandsaw blades running cost: NZ$12/1000bf

  • Peterson circular blades running cost: NZ$1/1000bf

Thin kerf vs wavy boards

  • A bandsaw blade’s thin kerf reduces the ability to track or cut a straight line. Peterson’s durable blade with slightly more kerf provides a true cut with far less deviation when hitting a knot or foreign object, giving you improved accuracy and a better quality finish

  • Peterson manufacture a MicroKerf blade which is still a far superior blade to those on a bandsaw, but with less kerf than Peterson’s standard blades – read more below

  • The Peterson range is much more accurate than bandsaws which will make downstream processing more efficient

Speaking of kerf… Peterson’s MicroKerf blade has revolutionised swingblade sawmilling


Since the development of the MicroKerf blade, using 4mm kerf tips, – the smallest available in today’s market – Peterson’s now offer a thinner kerf, but with all the benefits of circular saw technology.

The MicroKerf blade has been proven to increase cutting speed by 20-30%, while also increasing recovery by 15-20%.

Advantages Over Other Dual-track Swingblade Sawmills

We are the Founders of the Swingblade Portable Sawmill

  • Peterson Portable Sawmills are the original designers of the world’s first portable swingblade sawmill

  • Peterson continue to revolutionise the portable sawmilling industry with new inventions and upgrades to our proven range

  • Our reputation for pre and post sales and service is exceptional – read these testimonials for proof that Peterson have some of the best portable sawmill products available

Double Cutting Like No Other

Double cut wide boards and slabs easily without having to turn the mill around like other brands. Simply remove two bolts and take off the sawdust deflector (or make no adjustments at all with the Junior Peterson) and you’re away!

We all want a better production rate

  • Sizing adjustments for all of the Peterson range are made at the operator’s end of the mill – not at the opposite end of the tracks like other brands

  • Peterson continue to refine our blade technology enabling faster cutting with no burn out

  • All mills are fit with a repetitive sizing slide for milling the same dimensions quickly

  • Electric start on all motors – this also means you have a battery to sharpen your blade right on the mill, saving more time

  • The Peterson blade handle works on gravity. Pivoting the blade is effortless, and it locks into place safely and easily

Innovative frame design with unlimited track extensions

  • The JP, WPF, ASM and DWS sawmills run on a box-type frame called the ‘Production Frame’. This style of frame ensures a quick and simple set up time and accurate cuts

  • The JP, WPF and DWS sawmills can be purchased with additional tracks. These extensions allow you to mill up to ANY length log

milling long trees oversized on extendable sawmill tracks

Built tough, with stainless steel gearbox reinforcing

Peterson use quality Italian gearboxes with bulletproof solid steel mounting and external pillow block which completely eliminates any sideways pressure. Our transmission design is very efficient and dependable. This maximises power transfer between the engine and the blade without compromising on durability. Our robust transmission design requires little maintenance and is simple to maintain.

Custom built to suit your application – flexibility after purchase

  • Customise the blade and motor size, track length, motor brand and more upon purchase

  • Convert your existing ATS to a WPF

  • Fit the DWS frame on WPF or ASM tracks

  • Change the track system on the WPF from Hi/Lo to Lo/Lo or Lo/Lo to Hi/Lo

Quality materials for a more robust machine

  • The ATS, WPF, ASM and DWS are manufactured using hand polished stainless steel and aluminum that make them virtually rust free

  • The mills are robust in performance, with a high resale value and, most importantly, have long-term durability in even the harshest conditions

Elevated engine position, it’s just smarter

Peterson mount their sawmill engines higher than other manufacturers for two reasons:

  1. To ensure the air filter intake is further away from the sawdust output, preventing sawdust build up and overheating of the motor.

  2. To allow the ability of double-cutting to full depth, without the motor and gearbox restricting the opposite side of the blade.

Advantages Over T-Frame Swingblade Sawmills

Peterson’s rigid track frame produces straight boards

  • Peterson sawmills offer easy and safe access to all sawn boards. With the ‘open’ design there’s no need to walk around frames, duck under beams, or get in the way of sawdust exits. With the board remover, the board even comes right back to the operator!

  • Peterson sawmills have models to suit your terrain or site. Our production frame models have open access on the safe side and from both ends. Our all-terrain models can operate safely on the side of a hill, and the operators are still well out of the sawdust path.

  • Peterson sawmills don’t have end frame sizing near the ground, which could become covered in sawdust affecting operation. All Peterson sizing is done in well elevated positions. Peterson’s hi/lo frame also ensures there is no sawdust buildup on the track, even in fixed site production.

  • Peterson advertises achievable production and recovery figures, taking into consideration setup time, timber sorting, and site maintenance. Production figures that operators can consistently obtain, week in, week out.

  • Peterson sawmills are not manufactured in China or merely ‘assembled’ at the factory. We proudly cut, weld, treat, build, and individually test every single machine with love and care and to the highest workmanship standards, right here at our factory in New Zealand.

  • Peterson sawmills feature a rigid track frame that offers fixed supports that do not allow sag or flex when the head unit is in the middle.

  • Peterson sawmills feature industrial gauge frame extrusions. We use deeper, thicker wall sections and copyright track die designs. You don’t get serious sag, bounce or wavy timber and all your horse power is going into the cut rather than being lost in wasted movement.

  • The tracks on a Peterson sawmill are fixed and supported along their lengths for stability. They can be broken down very easily into smaller segments for transport.

Accuracy made easy

Peterson do not have any fiddly sizing mechanisms. Our sizing devices are right at the operator’s fingertips, are tried and true and simple to maintain.

Advantages also listed in the dual-track section

milling straight boards

“Our customers tend to be those who have done their research. They’ve read information from different manufacturers, they’ve watched videos online, seen photos, read articles, talked to other buyers, compared results and even visited mill owners. Their sawmill is an investment and business, as well as a lifestyle choice. It’s important to them to get the right machine, once. And they don’t suffer hot-air sales pitches.

That’s why, when they’re ready to purchase, they’ll call us. Because they know by now that Peterson doesn’t oversell. We’re totally honest, we send you to an owner for the ‘real’ feedback, we don’t speed up operating videos, and we don’t boost unrealistic cutting speeds.

We’ve got the superior product that’s as efficient as it is robust, and after-sales assistance that’s more of a friendship than a service.”

– Kerris Browne, CEO Peterson Portable Sawmills