You are here

14 posts / 0 new
Last post
LizardHead's picture
NorWood vs other brands

I have been in the market for a midsize personal sawmill. I am looking at NorWood ls29, Woodland Mills 30 inch, and TimberKing 1600. Any thoughts would be great.  I don’t want to buy a machine for a cost savings and then later find out that if I had only bought a bigger machine I could have done more with it. I am building a log cabin on  15 acres of Maple, Ash, Walnut, beechnut, &oak.  It will be used for personal projects however I may decide to use it to cut for other people so I want that option .  I have been leaning toward the 30 inch l Mill by Norwood, but the Woodland Mills also looks like a good option. 

Post Oakie
Post Oakie's picture

Hi, LizardHead, & welcome to the Norwood forum.  This is a good place to get some info on sawmills.  First, it would help to tell us a bit about yourself-- where you are, what your use for the mill will be, what size & species you'll be cutting.  What is your budget?  Is the the start of a business?

You are all over the map on this one, comparing a small manual mill to a hydraulic mill with twice the horsepower and over 6 times the cost.

You might also check on availability, as some mill manufacturers are back-logged 8 months or more.

Being a Norwood owner (what would you expect from this forum?), I can tell you more about their machines.  Norwood has a good range of machines, from small "hobby" sawmills to the HD36 hydraulic mills that can handle up to 36" diameter.  Their maximum horsepower engine is the B&S 23 hp (on the HD36), which chews through anything I put on the mill, and yes, I have milled 36" diameter logs on it.  Since Norwood mills are sold as a kit, there is quite a bit of savings, and shorter waiting times, since assembly is typically the bottleneck for other mills.  Also, the Norwood HD36 gives you the option to start out with a manual mill, and add hydraulics later.  Mine has held up well for the past 5 years, and if something happened to it, I would buy another.  Also, good service & tech support from Norwood, though I haven't needed it much.

So, bottom line... let us know more about what you expect from your mill, and you'll get plenty of suggestions.

northcoast's picture

I was in the same boat.  Researched everything I could on the two brands (had also looked at the Frontier OS27) & watched all the videos out there.

My dad owns one of the original Norwoods (MK 3 ?) and still runs it today, never had an issue.  I ran the mill a lot, it was top notch quality & I was pretty set on a Norwood mill.  I wanted to be sure the new mills are built with the same quality.

However, after multiple phone calls & messages not returned, emails ignored, I am not impressed with Norwood.  Same result when inquiring about the Frontier mill - zero response.  Also tried posting on this forum but the threads would never be published.

When I emailed Woodland Mills, I had a response within 2 hours, exceptional detail on every question I had, listed every issue their mills have had & how they've upgraded, let me know their parts availability & inventory on common wear items, gave me part numbers on bearings & belts to source them through a local parts store if needed.  


Hello Northcoast


I apologize that you haven't heard back from us. Our goal is 100% customer satisfaction. So hearing that you're not fully sattisfied with the level of service you've received, or lack thereof,  is not something we take lightly. If you happen to know who you spoke with or left a message with, if you could please send me a privat message I'd very much appreciate it. We'd appreciate if you give us another opportunity to exceed your expectations, which is what should have happened the first time. 


As for your comments not posting, I did look into that as well. It appears that your first post was created on 3/6/18 after 4:30 EST. The Forum is set up that every new account's first post has to be approved by a moderator due to spam filter setting. You wouldn't believe the amount of spam posts and comments that we get hit with on a daily basis. Sometimes a new post by a new account gets filtered in with the hundreds of spam posts by bots. In this case I don't believe that happened. It looks like your first post was after our normal business hours. So the post didn't get approved until the following morning. Typically once your first post is approved every other post automatically posts to the forum as well, unless one of the comments got accidently overlooked and filtered as a spam post. You should be good to go from here on out. Sometimes it can be a bit of an inconvenience for new accounts having to wait for their accounts to be verified and for that I apologize. Trust me, it's better to wait than have to read thru hundreds of daily spam posts and comments. 


As for the quality of our sawmills and accessories, I can assure that all Norwood mills are built more rugged than ever yet we couldn't ingnore the success of our earlier model sawmills so we incorporated alot of the same design concepts that were used with our earlier model sawmills wherever possible while making improvements on some areas as well. All the improvements only enhance the machines capabilities and make it more user friendly and versatile for our customers, something we take a lot of pride in...and are always working endlessly at. 


We do believe that what sets us apart is our attention to detail and listening to our customers. Again, I apologize that we dropped the ball and somehow let your inquiries fall thru the cracks. We hope you provide an opportunity to satisfy your needs and look forward to the opportunity. IF there's anything I can directly help you with feel free to shoot me a private message and I'll be more than happy to help, whether its something as simple as ordering an information package with Norwood or Frontier products or answering any of your questions directly. Of course, you're always welcome to call us toll-free at 1-800-567-0404. I assure you that you won't fall thru the cracks again and we'll see to it that you're 100 % satisfied. 




Best regards,

Mike at Norwood 

zehrbrox's picture

You will never wish you bought a smaller mill, I had an order in for a LM29 and changed it to the HD36 with the 23HP vangaurd.... wow was a glad i did we build a 24 x 24 timber frame cabin with four 8x8" ash bents in it.  I think I may have not finished it, or been discouraged if it were a smaller mill.

wayne busse
wayne busse's picture

 The big thing for me was the was the embossed rails on the 36.  Small mills all have small angle iron for rails and have to be supported by wood beams or lots of support legs that need to be in concrete. Medium sized mills have rectangular tubing and extensions are more of a problem at the splice. I made my own trailer package for $800.00 on a 24' mill. I love all the bolt holes, I'm always making mods and there are endless spots to mount them.

 When your cutting big logs on a manual mill, you need a pry point to move the log up tight to the rests.

I also like the skinny bunks that don't hold sawdust.

 The 36 is the only mill that has the log rest actuators. "As an option."  Love them, save tons of time and I don't have to climb over a log and the mill to move them up and down.

OL' Purple Pete
OL' Purple Pete's picture


Well I guess by the way I noted this subject on NorWoods Vs other Brands.To Me it's like the the day the Mack truck vs the peter built.Well I drove Kenworths,Macks,Western Stars,Peterbuilts,Frieghtliners,Volvos, 5 star Generals,And some not being around called a White mustang,.To me ALL are 18 wheelers with a motor under the hood.They all have the same NEED called fuel.And A DRIVER that can drive.So I still Love my ol' B-75 Mack made in 1952  with 6 cyl. motor with a 5 & 4 trans STANDARD STERRING also standard transmission.Then you people say why,Well it's called a REAL truck.Sure Peter built a truck for a man to drive ,But Mack built Phantom 309 And the KW built Widow maker I still LOVED them all.Cause EACH of them Had their OWN faults of their own.Just as bad as those saying about the Ford,Chev,Dodge.I worked hard for my OLD LM2000,I bought in one payment and waited for it to come to me.Well It's stilll here & still going.So what I'm saying EVERY SAWMILL HAS IT'S FAULTS ALSO....JUST THE NEW ONES ARE LESS NOTICABLE CAUSE THEY ARE MADE WITH ALL IMPROVEMNTS OF ALL THE OLD ONES.So I must say the new ones well got some thing my LM2000 has not got.COST.Mine is mine not the finance company or the bank.And sure sawdust sticks to bunks and it don't have hyd power with all the bellls and what not.But she is MINE!.She also don't have shinny bunks ,also she angle iron for tracks and swiss chesse frame THAT DON'T BEND FOR NOTHING.I'm dam PROUD of her.So I know there is alot other mils out there but they also have alot of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ & other things that break also,But with out bragging I'm PLEASE TO SAY THE SHE IS A NORWOOD BANDMILL.But My advice is Go and look at  others and come to Back and BUY Norwoods for they are no.1.They now have finacial payments south side of Canada,But I don't know about here.Cause I paid for mine before it was sent.THAT WAY SHE IS MINE.........I HOPE NOT OFFEND NOBODY CAUSE THERE  ALOT OF OTHER MILLS OUT THERE.I LOVED MY MILL CAUSE I GOT PUT IT TOGETHER AND KNOW EVERY BOLT & SCREW ON HER.TO THAT'S THE NUBER ONE THING.NUMBER 2 IS BELOW ... wink 

To me I own a lm 2000 norwoods that has all those things I just read here about the dislikes  and MY lm 2000 got them all.So to me I'm just please with what I got ,Cause to me she is my ol' mack B-75  that will keep on going when others are looking for parts.

                                                                                                                                       My 5 cents cause we don't have pennies no more here in this country.

Post Oakie
Post Oakie's picture

Sales & customer support are two different divisions in most companies.  If you requested the info from their web site, maybe they had some sort of glitch-- it happens.  I've always had good luck with their customer support, though I haven't needed much.  They make a tough sawmill, and it is well thought out and designed.

Bill MacLellan
Bill MacLellan's picture

Hey folks. I was in the market a few years ago for a mid sized mill. Check out the operation of some of the other brands. Not to put anyone or brand down, they are all good, but have there down side as well. Example the WM15, nice little mill. But I did not like the fact you had to stand there and crank a handle all day to saw, as well you are on the sawdust side. I looked at the woodlands mill, both have dealers local to me. Once again nice mill. But you had this little crank to move the head up or down, then you had to lock one side of the head then the other, then turn your water on and then throtte up. Good mill comes assmbled, but to fiddly for me. Yes I like the log stops that could be adjusted from the operator side. Norwood look into that... So what I am trying to say is I like the Norwood with the auto throtte and water, not to mention the easy head/cut adjustment. I have a lot of hours on my mill now, and have only had to replace normal wear items such as a set of new rollers and belts. Oops! 1 more like. Drop a big log on some other brands and see how they hold up, or the cost to repair when the bed bends. I have not bent anything yet but I have slightly abused it several times with big logs. As I said I am not sponsored by anyone just my honest thoughts from when I was shopping for a mill. Get out there and visit a owner and check them out inaction, I did before making the decision.

Check out the new Norwood vid posted yesterday with PO as the star. Cut that white oak like butter.

r.garrison1's picture

You mentioned a couple of my primary reasons for choosing the Norwood.

  • You aren't walking through blowing sawdust; it comes out the other side. Ending the day covered in sawdust isn't fun.
  • Hand crank; I've had wrist problems in the past, don't want them in my future.
wayne busse
wayne busse's picture

 Bill, you didn't read my post.  I have the log rest actuators on my HD 36, made by Norwood. Love them...

c comeau
c comeau's picture

Yes the hd 36 has them but there not offered as an option for the lm29. I'd like to have them instead of what I got with the mill.


wayne busse
wayne busse's picture

frown  I wonder if you could mod them to fit on the 29..

r.garrison1's picture

I don't know if you need to. What about getting something generic, hydraulic or motor operated.