Wood-Mizer LT40: The Best Sawmill for Your Business

By Marcin Kozłowski, PR Specialist

Wood-Mizer LT40: The Best Sawmill for Your Business


“The LT40 is a fantastic and useful machine. It works well in every weather. It does a great job in contract sawmilling in the mountains. It is simple to operate, and I can transport it to the sawmilling site when it is attached to the car as a trailer. I don’t have to carry heavy logs to the stationary sawmill anymore. I enjoy working on my LT40 sawmill,” says David Jones from Wales, a user of the LT40 and one of the thousands of happy owners of this legendary machine.
Earlier. The LT40 sawmill has forever changed how people process timber for building and construction. Before portable sawmills, customers had to transport logs to the sawmilling company, where only heavy, stationery, and inefficient machines worked. The sawing parameters could not be changed, and the entire log had to go through the machine. The sawmill blades used in the frame sawmills made a thick kerf in the wood and generated large amounts of sawdust, while the quality of the produced timber was far from acceptable. 
Revolution. The breakthrough came around with the introduction of a lightweight Wood-Mizer sawmill in 1982 in Indiana, USA, developed by two talented engineers, Don Laskowski and Dan Tekulve. The LT40 sawmill premiered on the European market in the early 1990s while opening a new chapter in the wood industry. It allowed many sawmilling companies to upgrade and ordinary people to set up their businesses and independently process logs. The new sawmilling technology was a surprise for the people of the early 1990s, who had never seen a portable sawmill that could be used for sawing larger logs into a stack of boards with only a narrow sawmill blade and a small-sized gasoline engine. 



Mobility. The LT40 sawmill allows for a portable conversion of logs to timber where the material is needed, for example, at a construction site, in a customer’s backyard, or the forest. The design of the sawmill is lightweight and compact - ideal for towing it behind a car.  The sawhead is secured for transportation, and once the sawmill is at the site, you need only to adjust the legs, detach the fenders, and … you’re good to go!  

Versatility. ”The LT40 sawmill is the worldwide top-selling machine because it fits most sawmilling companies' business profiles. It is a smart solution for an individual and occasional sawmillers, for a middle-size company that keeps its production at a constant level and doesn’t want to change the scale, and finally, for large sawmilling enterprises which have the potential to extend the LT40 to a small sawmilling system,” says specialist Dariusz Kujawa, Manager of Customer Service. 

The LT40 sawmill users can make a wide selection of wood products – from classical timber for building a house to various construction elements and finishing slats or boards. The LT40 sawmill is compatible with a log deck, sorting table, board edger (e.g., EG300), or a multirip (e.g., MR200). In addition, it is a good match for a range of woodworking equipment such as planers/moulders, thicknessers, or table saws, which have been designed for producing high-quality finished wood products. Those sawmillers who also work on woodworking machines are aware of the meaning behind the slogan “From Forest to Final Form.”  



Reliability. The LT40 earned global recognition from users who work in various weather conditions and with diverse workloads. They are the best testers and ambassadors of this machine, as they work on it daily. The LT40 sawmill has proven reliable in the hot and humid air of Subtropical Africa, the coniferous and deciduous forests of Europe, and the harsh climate of Scandinavia. The sawmillers use their LT40s to mill various species of wood - softwoods and hardwoods, frozen, humid, and dry woods, and have even been used to cut large ice cubes for building ice hotels!  

„Wood-Mizer offers spare parts even for the oldest LT40 sawmills, which defines the strength of the Wood-Mizer brand while delivering the owners many benefits. The fact that so many LT40 sawmills are in use globally is evidence of the machine’s usefulness and longevity,” points out longtime Wood-Mizer employee and Production and Investment Corporate Director Grzegorz Laskowski.  

Business. „In the old times, starting a sawmilling business was always connected with building an infrastructure for the stationary sawmill – laying the floor, building the foundations, erecting the roof, etc., which triggered relatively high initial costs. With mobility as the main feature of the sawmill, many people could start their businesses and offer contract sawmilling to local customers. The LT40 sawmill created an opportunity for an easier start in business, as the future entrepreneur was able to start working for his customers after a 2-day training in sawmill maintenance and operation,” explains Grzegorz Laskowski. 

For sawmill business beginners, contract sawmilling was a dream come true with freedom and work independence. Wood-Mizer gave everybody a chance to run a self-sufficient enterprise. „The launch of the LT40 sawmill was a breakthrough for young businessmen because it encouraged them to act independently. They could make business decisions by themselves and earn their living also by themselves. Moreover, operating the sawmill was quite easy while maintaining it required only a minimal understanding of general mechanics,” says the Chairman of the Board of Wood-Mizer Holdings Inc. Richard Vivers who is committed to managing the company for over 30 years, starting his professional career from contract sawmilling in his homeland Scotland.



Users. The first sawmill built in 1982 in the USA was delivered to customer Joe Bistrovich who started the machine’s successful sales record – since that time, the LT40 has found over 100 thousand lucky owners in 120 countries worldwide!  

„In the past, the biggest concern for our sawmilling company was processing those larger logs. None of the nearby sawmilling companies dealt well with cutting 70-80 cm wide logs, and the quality of the service was terrible. The LT40 sawmill that we saw at our friend’s was just the thing we needed. We were glad to see that the sawmill saved the wood, leaving only a 2-mm kerf in the log, and the operation of it was easy and intuitive. In addition, it was compact and very accurate. The sawmill we purchased has been doing a great job, especially on hard and expensive woods,” point out the owners of the Polish company DOM, who specialize in making wooden houses.  

„I value the LT40 sawmill mostly for the ease and comfort of operation. For a woman working daily on this machine, it’s important to use the hydraulics for convenient log-loading, turning, leveling, and clamping it securely on the bed. The control panel in my LT40 sawmill has been equipped with the device for automatic thickness control of sawn timber (Setworks), which prevents me from having to count and remember board thickness. The Setworks recalculates these values automatically, and each time the sawhead returns to its initial position, the device sets it to the desired thickness,” says Sandra Eule, a self-sufficient female sawmiller from Thuringia, Germany.  

„We fell in love with that machine ever since we saw it at the trade show presentation,” recall the Geronazzo brothers from Italy, who run contract sawmilling in hard-to-access regions of the Alps. „With the mobile LT40 sawmill, we can get to the place appointed by the customer and work on site. Once we arrive at a place, we start the engine to warm it up, and after a few minutes, we’re ready to start making the boards. That way, we managed to eliminate the transportation problem and saved money. We don’t need a farm tractor or a truck to carry logs from the forest and deliver boards to the customer”. 



Philosophy. A Wood-Mizer sawmill is more than just a machine for converting logs to timber. These machines teach how to use wood responsibly, protecting and saving forest lands for the next generations. The sawmills with the Wood-Mizer logo are often used to revitalize parks and forests, giving the rejected logs a chance for a second life and an opportunity for people to build practical objects from wood. 

„The LT40 sawmill was the first machine created with the thought of responsible management of forest resources. With the super-thin sawmill blades that make only a 2-mm kerf in the wood, every log is converted most efficiently while the amount of waste is reduced to the minimum. If we suppose that this way we can save at least one board on each log, we can easily understand how much forest we can preserve from cutting down in a longer period. Additionally, the mobility of the Wood-Mizer machines allows for curbing the carbon footprint of a sawmilling process because it eliminates the need to transport the logs to a stationary sawmill, as it used to be in the old days,” says Robert Bagiński, the President of Wood-Mizer Industries in Koło, Poland, who has been with the company since 1996.   

New York Heartwoods, a municipal sawmilling and woodworking company located in New York, USA, is one of the promotors of the so-called urban wood economy, specializing in renewals of local forests and rational utilization of unwanted logs. „We picked up a contact with the local Transportation Office, recycling centers, as well as farm and forest owners to „save” the logs which would get to the dumpsite anyways. This wood gets a „new life” from us, as we transform it to high-value and practical products such as park tables and benches, fences, floorboards, furniture or even town buildings,” claims Megan Offner, a co-founder of New York Heartwoods.



Today. The LT40 sawmill is available in stationary and mobile versions, with the bed hydraulic functions in manual, STANDARD, and SUPER configurations. It offers electric motors or gasoline engines compliant with the latest European emission standards. The LT40 is available with the standard or wider sawhead (WIDE) and the bed in three lengths which can be extended.  

The sawhead, fed along the sawmill frame on a single, two-support mast, allows for a maximum sawing width of 90 cm, and its movement is driven electrically. The 483-mm wide sawmill blade wheels are made of cast iron and are compatible with 4010-mm long and 32, 35, or 38-mm wide sawmill blades. The operator panel can be fitted with one of the devices for automatic thickness control (Setworks), and the sawhead comes with the electrically adjusted blade guide arm, the blade cleaning system with an electric valve (optionally LubeMizer), the hydraulic blade tension mechanism with a gauge and an optional debarker.  

The sawmill bed in the top hydraulic package (SUPER) includes vertical side supports, a two-rod central clamp, hold-down clamps, a chain turner, a log-leveling roller, a dual-driven power roller, and a log deck. The LT40 sawmill can be easily extended with additional machines and equipment to a small sawmilling system.  



Innovations. Within its 40 years, the LT40 sawmill hasn’t changed much, preserving its main characteristics – the sawhead, mast, blade feed system, sawmill frame, bed functions, etc. However, some modifications have been introduced due to the changing safety standards and constantly growing user expectations regarding efficiency and comfort of operation. Often, the LT40 sawmill users (as well as other Wood-Mizer machines users) suggest how the sawmill could be improved – and these ideas are put into operation for the next generations of machines.   

Classics. Wood-Mizer LT40 sawmill is a classic machine that gave birth to the LT sawmills and the LX series in the following years. Today, many sawmills of other brands have tried to follow its design! 



In 2022, Wood-Mizer celebrated the 40th anniversary of the LT40 sawmill. It is an outstanding recognition for this machine, its leading engineers, all the Wood-Mizer employees, and thousands of its owners around the world who can call it proudly “My legendary LT40 sawmill”.


Read more on the "History of the LT40 Sawmill":




Subscribe to our newsletter
Get email updates about exclusive special offers, new products and invitations to special events!