I'd like to clearly understand the advantages and disadvantages of bandmilling versus circular saw milling. I have noted with most of the portable circular saws that one cannot turn a log, and one is limited to the width of the cut.
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor
You are dealing with two issues. One is the type of saw blade, the other is how the log is handled. These are pretty much separate items.
Your answers are scattered through past issues of Independant Sawmill and Woodlot Magazine.
I suggest that you take one good mill (for example, Wood-Mizer LT-40) and compare it to all the other mills, noting pros and cons. You will be less confused than if you try to compare all mills at once to each other.
If you are impressed with amounts of steel and wide blades, you can shop for Paulsen's mills in BC and Heartwood Saw's bandmill, also a Canadian Company.
Gene's right about picking one saw to make your comparisons, though. If you don't keep it simple, you will end up with a lot of data and no education.
From my experience, large logs limit you to Mobile Dimension, Peterson or Lucas - all circle mills. Ripping a log with a chainsaw to fit into small band mills is wasteful, and bigger band mills like Timberwolf are bigger bucks.
Your strength issue is mute on the swing blade tech. The log is merely resting on support skids. The log rotation issue - not that necessary on a swinger. You get up to 10" wide boards in either horizontal or vertical face (which reduces the need for rotation). Also, this mill gives added bonus of up to 20" wide cuts in horizontal position by double cutting.
If you're after high production, consider using the Peterson ASM automated swing blade to cut your cants, 10"x20", and use maybe a Wood-Mizer to resaw the cants which makes for better recovery, less blade cost and more consistent, accurate boards off the band. Reason being, there is less chance of wavy boards. This happens time to time when attempting wide cuts. Also, hassles of pulling grit and dirt through with the band reduces the life of a band blade.
Depending on your budget, there are a lot of options out there.
This had a 5 inch band and the teeth were swaged. The band needed hammering when sharpened so it would track. If you hit metal while sawing, you lost big bucks.
It was fast when it worked, though.