How to Make Money Sawing Lumber: A Profitable Guide

How to Make Money Sawing Lumber: A Profitable Guide

Posted by Admin on Oct 4th 2023

Are you interested in finding a lucrative way to make money? One potentially profitable opportunity is sawing lumber with a portable sawmill. In this guide, we will explore the various aspects of this industry, including the equipment needed, the steps involved, and the potential for earning a substantial income. Read on to discover how you can turn sawing lumber into a viable source of revenue.

Why Sawing Lumber Is a Lucrative Venture

Sawing lumber can be a highly profitable business for several reasons:

  1. High Demand: Lumber is an essential material in various construction projects, making it a constantly sought-after commodity. For example, the lumber wholesale industry in 2022 was $1.96 billion dollars. It is not going down anytime soon.
  2. Low Investment: Starting a portable sawmill lumber business requires minimal upfront investment compared to other ventures, allowing you to get started quickly.
  3. Flexibility: You have the freedom to choose the scale of your operations, from a small sawmill to a larger production facility, depending on your resources and goals.

Now that we understand the potential for profitability, let's delve into the steps involved in starting a sawing lumber business.

Getting Started: Equipment and Setup

To begin sawing lumber, you will need the following equipment:

  1. Portable Sawmill: Invest in a reliable and efficient portable sawmill that meets your specific needs. Consider factors such as production capacity, portability, and ease of operation. One big advantage of the Cooks AC-36 portable sawmill is that it is set up to be a true one-man operation if needed where sawn lumber is brought back to the operator as opposed to being sent to the opposite end intended to be removed by an additional person.
  2. Safety Gear: Prioritize safety by equipping yourself with protective gear, including goggles, gloves, and ear protection.
  3. Storage and Drying Facilities(optional): Adequate storage is essential for preserving and maintaining the quality of the sawn lumber. Rough cut lumber does not require drying however if left in the open sun it will over time deteriorate quicker than if placed under something like a lean to cover. Drying is not typically associated with portable sawmill and rough cut lumber but it can be an additional service that can be offered and considered a business advantage as long as the demand for it is there.

Sourcing and Preparing the Lumber

To make money sawing lumber, you will need a sustainable source of raw materials. Consider the following options:

  1. Invest in land with trees – This can potentially be the best money return option. Find land with enough trees that felling, sawing, and selling the lumber for the trees will cover the cost of the land. Then you have the option of selling the land, or developing the land all for additional profits.
  2. Logging Companies: Establish partnerships with logging companies to procure freshly cut logs directly from their operations.
  3. Tree Removal Services: Collaborate with tree removal services to obtain logs from trees that have been recently felled due to disease, storm damage, or other reasons.
  4. Private Landowners: Approach private landowners who may have trees on their property that need to be removed and offer your services.

The Sawing Process: Efficiency and Quality

Achieving efficiency and quality in the sawing process is crucial for profitability. Here are some key considerations:

  1. Cutting Techniques: Cutting techniques such as rough cut sawing or quarter sawing takes a little time to master and become efficient at performing, but with patience and effort you can quickly become familiar with the sawing techniques and well as various types of wood and how to best saw them depending on what the market demands.
  2. Minimizing Waste: Optimize your sawing techniques to minimize waste and maximize the yield from each log. This will directly impact your profitability.
  3. Quality Control: The level of quality will depend on the customer. Rough cut lumber is just that – rough cut. It is not planed lumber and therefore has a greater tolerance that lumber that requires high tolerances. Ultimately, you’ll need to meet whatever standards is set by the customer and then you can price your lumber accordingly; the higher the precision the higher the price.
  4. Portable Sawmill: As important as the other three processes listed above, the sawmill you choose is a vital part to your success in sawing lumber. Look for a company with a solid reputation and great customer service. Cook’s Saw has been a leader in the sawmill industry since 1970 and the amount of repeat sawmill buyers is a testament to how well these machines are serving them. We build machinery to help you make more money!

Marketing and Selling Your Lumber

To make money sawing lumber, effective marketing and sales strategies are key. Consider the following approaches:

  1. Local Market: Start by targeting the local market, including contractors, carpenters, and homeowners. Network within the construction industry to establish valuable connections. This can be done with word of mouth from friends, facebook, craigslist, and your local newspapers.
  2. Online Presence: Create a professional website and leverage social media platforms to showcase your products and reach a wider audience. A quick and free option is to set up your online presence using facebook. We are big proponents of facebook but at the time of this writing it is still one of the quickest and easiest ways to get your name out there for free.
  3. Value-Added Services: Portable sawmills offer a huge advantage to you as you are able to bring your sawmill to the customers site if needed. This means cutting can be done at their location and may be preferred as the customer may not have the means to come pick up the lumber from your location.


Sawing lumber can be a highly profitable endeavor with the right knowledge, equipment, and marketing strategies. By understanding the steps involved and focusing on efficiency and quality, you can establish a successful sawing lumber business. Begin your journey towards financial prosperity today by exploring this lucrative opportunity.

Here at Cooks Saw our motto is “We want to help you make more money!” and if there’s any questions you have about how to get started sawing with a new Cooks portable sawmill to start making money, please give us a call today!