How our swingblade circular sawmills work

The Concept

To start a log, the blade unit is positioned at the top left of the log, with the blade in a horizontal position. The operator gently pushes the mill frame through the log to affect the first cut. Carriage movement through the log requires about 10 lbs. pressure as you are letting the blade do most of the work. A simple hand movement swings and locks the cutting unit into a vertical position, which is then pulled back down the log. Due to the originality of the design, no special locking mechanisms are required, making the whole process quick and simple – many of our customers comment on how easy it is to use in comparison to other brands!

The First Cut

The operator now pulls the unit back through the log in the vertical position to complete a cut. Your dimensional board is now free for removal, and fully edged! Once a row of cuts across the log face has been completed, the entire unit is lowered to the desired depth of the next cut. This is done using a simple hand or electric winch, and takes about 5-10 seconds.

These steps are repeated until you have only a thin firewood slab remaining at the bottom of the log – you have no need to move the log at any time during the whole sawing process. The concept is extremely inventive, but surprisingly simple. One of its many strengths is the Peterson’s ability to handle a wide variety of cuts. Running a single blade instead of two at once also means you do not need a huge motor, which reduces both overall costs and weight.

The Return Cut

Designed to cut the log horizontally and vertically, the single thin kerf blade of a Peterson swingblade circular sawmill pivots from the horizontal position to the vertical position with ease. Each cut of the log intersects at a precise point resulting in perfect boards every time as is the joy of swingblade sawmills.

Peterson Portable Sawmills use a unique process where a power head drives a tungsten-tipped circular blade through a log, which then rotates 90 degrees to achieve both horizontal and vertical cuts, in order to free a perfectly dimensioned piece of timber from the log. A rise and fall mechanism is mounted within a carriage which is pushed and pulled upon parallel tracks over a stationary log.

Step by step


Petersons export worldwide from our factory in Rotorua, New Zealand.
Encountering fluctuating freight, raw materials, 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 to call and speak to us about your particular needs.
If you would like to recieve a copy of our digital Info Pack and Price List, please click here.