Can you recommend a portable sawmill?

A: I have only seen Hud-Son equipment being demonstrated recently, although there are several other brands available in the UK.

The range impresses me because of its portability. The Hud-Son Oscar range, imported from the USA by JustSaws, can be mounted on the rear of a pick-up or trailer, allowing it to be moved with minimal fuss.

They are compact and do not require a tractor to power them. There is a choice of four models, each powered by a Briggs & Stratton engine and capable of cutting fence posts or producing featheredge boards.

The range starts with the Oscar 18. Although small and compact, it can handle timber up to 18in in diameter. The next size up tackles timber up to 30in.

Tree surgeon Steven Lakin owns a 36in-capacity unit. He says: "My Oscar 236 allows me to mill raw timber on site, rather than simply splitting it up for logs. Financially, this is very beneficial because I now don't use perfectly good left over timber for firewood. Instead, it can now be turned into profitable material."

Hud-Son also manufactures the Stake Sharpener. This machine makes a perfect partner to a portable sawmill by being able to take round or square posts up to 1.5in and sharpen them quickly. It has fully adjustable blade positioning, bed height, stake backstop and legs. The Stake Sharpener is powered by a 6.5hp Briggs & Stratton engine.

The newest machine from the company is the Badger. A new way of processing firewood, the unit utilises a winch and chute mechanism to load long pieces of timber, up to 16in in diameter, ready for processing.

Powered by a 16hp Briggs & Stratton engine, the chainsaw head can cut any pre-set length required, while a 25-tonne splitting ram splits the timber two, four or six ways. There is an optional conveyor for easy ejection of split timber.

- Email your questions to

Sally Drury has been reporting on product developments and testing kit for 28 years. The advice given in this helpline is independent.

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