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Peterson Portable Sawmills

Frequently Asked Questions

Have you browsed our website and still have some questions? The answers may be below, but if not, please send your question through to us and we will contact you as soon as possible.

The Product

One of the features that set Peterson sawmills apart are the materials that we use. Made of aluminium and stainless steel/mild steel the mills won’t rust like others do, even if you have to leave it out in the harsh elements. They won’t be badly damaged by nails or bullets in logs, and because they are powered by reliable Honda, Kohler or Briggs & Stratton engines (dependent on model), they won’t drive you nuts with breakdowns.

Peterson mills can be assembled in 10 minutes by 1 or 2 proficient persons. They are so simple to set up! (See set up diagrams for ATSWPFASM). You don’t need flat ground for set up either, although milling up a hillside isn’t much fun. The mill allows 360 degree access to the log and timber, and can be changed from portable to fixed-site setup. It can also utilize the same tracks for the Dedicated Wide Slabber mill.

A Peterson mill can easily be run by one proficient person. It doesn’t take a master’s degree to operate, nor does it require big burly men to lift and move! The mill can fit in the back of a pick-up, ute, or small tandem trailer and can be wheeled or hand-carried to the site by one person. All mills have wheels, they are so easy to load and unload. For safety reasons, we do recommend a second person at the milling site during all operations, including tree felling and pruning.

 The Blades

Peterson mills can achieve over 80% recovery from good logs. They have 1-point sizing, are accurate to 1mm (.04″) and do not cut wavy boards, even with tension.

Peterson’s blades last for 2-6 years, depending on their frequency of use and how well they are maintained. Some owners have been using the same blades for over 10 years.

Blades are not a problem at all. They can easily be sharpened on the mill in about 5 minutes, and they can be re-tipped in your own garage. Each new mill comes with a sharpener and two spare blades.

 The Operation

The Peterson mill can handle almost any kind of log, and is able to cut any size and length that you require. It works great on both hardwoods and softwoods and you can cut efficiently in both directions. You can take the mill right to the log, so an entire log can be milled without even moving it! Read up about different tree species in our tree dictionary.

The Peterson mill is so versatile it can do almost any cut you need. It can cut solid wide slabs, beams by double cutting (without turning the mill around), and also produce perfectly dimensioned lumber. You do not need to double-handle or re-saw (unless the log has high tension), and you can mill the entire log without moving it. The Peterson mill can easily quarter-saw a log, and is also great for specialist cuts like cants, pole barns and tapered weatherboards. Find exact measurements on each mill’s Specification Chart – ATS, WPF, ASM, DWS. See also our range of Cutting Patterns.

The Purchase

Peterson export worldwide and encounter differing (and fluctuating) freight, currencies and export costs, therefore we have tailored pricelists pertaining to each country. We also have over 40 different mill options to suit all applications, so it often helps our customers to call and speak to us about their particular needs. Request an information pack here.

When purchased from an agent or within a state rep’s territory, every Peterson sawmill comes with a half-day’s training. Outside these areas, a detailed instruction and training video is supplied prior to your mill delivery. Peterson also offers unlimited free phone support, using our international free phone numbers.

Our mills always include a complete kit to get you milling right away. We also have a wide range of accessories and merchandise available.

The mills and tracks are packaged within a solid crate (2×4″ frame, 6×1″ base and fully covered in 12mm (1/2″) ply sheets). All mill components are strapped down to prevent damage within the crate.

All mills are covered by insurance from when they leave the factory up until they reach the customer. In the unlikely event of damage occurring during shipping, Peterson will immediately airfreight damaged components or source replacement parts from our agents/state rep’s. Peterson will then handle dealings with the insurance company, leaving the customer to get on with sawing lumber.

The Extras

Standard frames on the 6″ and 8″ WPF mills (1.2m/4ft) can be upgraded to a larger dimension (1.8m/6ft) at the time of order for larger logs. When upgrading models, but keeping the same size motor, output is reduced by about 5%. Upgrading from 20hp to 24hp can increase output by up to 15%.

Spare parts can usually be delivered to your door within 2-10 days, depending on availability and location. Agents and state rep’s stock a number of high-turnover parts, so that you are not waiting for extended periods of time.

Peterson’s ATSWPF, and ASM mills are all CE-certified. We added a number of features to the mills for them to attain this. As pioneers in swing blade sawing technology, Peterson has acquired a great deal of experience over the years in dealing with hazards associated with single blade sawing. We have used that to design and build a portable sawmill which is second to none in terms of operator safety and ease of use.