The Forestry Forum is sponsored in part by:




TimberKing Sawmills




Toll Free 1-800-582-0470

LogRite Tools



Forest Products Industry Insurance


Norwood Industries Inc.


Sawmill & Woodlot Magazine



Your source for Portable Sawmills, Edgers, Resaws, Sharpeners, Setters, Bandsaw Blades and Sawmill Parts

EZ Boardwalk Sawmills. More Saw For Less Money!

STIHLDealers.com sponsored by Northeast STIHL


Woodland Sawmills

Peterson Swingmills

 KASCO SharpTech WoodMaxx Blades


Turbosawmill

Sawmill Exchange

BRUTE FORCE Authorized Dealer

Woodshax Outdoor Vending Solutions

FARMA

Forestry Forum Tool Box

Author Topic: HFE-21 vs LUMBER SMITH  (Read 3978 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline GHOSTSHRIMP

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Age: 37
  • Location: vermont northeast kingdom
  • Gender: Male
  • family man, illustrator, homesteader
    • GHOSTSHRIMP GLOBAL ILLUSTRATION COMPANY
HFE-21 vs LUMBER SMITH
« on: March 31, 2014, 01:04:22 pm »
hey gang. i've seen some topics on here about these saw mills, but i was wondering specifically about people's opinions about which one would be a better investment, cause these are all i could afford.

my wife, son (soon to be 3), and myself are homesteading on our 25 acre property in the northeast kingdom of vermont. over the past 2 years we've been building/living in our 16x20 cabin. when the snow melts we'll be building a 20x20 addition on a minimal budget. as i'm doing my materials list here, i'm wondering if buying one of these low cost mills might be the more economical way to go. we have plenty of trees, and plenty of help with labor, so it's really just about using our limited money wisely. we plan on making more additions to the house over the next few years, as our family grows, and i also run a camp in our forest here, where we do small scale building projects every summer.

the LUMBER SMITH is pretty affordable, and has a HONDA motor. but it looks more fragile, will it last me at least for the 3 years it will take to finish my house?

the HFE-21 is the absolute limit of our budget. is it worth the extra 6 hundred dollars? i like the rail set up it comes with. it seems like that would make the work go faster. is the BRIGGS engine inferior to the HONDA?

eventually i plan to get a larger mill, but i'm wondering if getting one of these now would be better than just spending that money at the local sawmill. any thoughts?
daniel bandit

Offline Magicman

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 33070
  • Age: 74
  • Location: Brookhaven, MS
  • Gender: Male
  • A "Traveling Man"
Re: HFE-21 vs LUMBER SMITH
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2014, 01:15:29 pm »
GHOSTSHRIMP, Since I have no experience with either, I have no suggestion to make, but Welcome to the Forestry Forum.   :)
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Offline GHOSTSHRIMP

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Age: 37
  • Location: vermont northeast kingdom
  • Gender: Male
  • family man, illustrator, homesteader
    • GHOSTSHRIMP GLOBAL ILLUSTRATION COMPANY
Re: HFE-21 vs LUMBER SMITH
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2014, 01:27:43 pm »
THANKS! i just noticed the WOODLAND MILLS link in the margin here too, and the HM 126 looks interesting. i guess i should say i'd be interested in any suggestions for mills under 3G.
daniel bandit

Offline m wood

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 598
  • Age: 54
  • Location: western NY
  • Gender: Male
  • How did I get to be a senior member :)
Re: HFE-21 vs LUMBER SMITH
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2014, 03:24:58 pm »
welcome ghostshrimp to the forum.  You will surely get some positive feedback on both the hfe21 and the woodland mills from other members here.  They are often topics of discussion. 

according to your mentioned needs, it sounds that either would be worth considering.  But, I have serious doubts about the lumber smith accomplishing what you need, sorry.  It just wouldnt be in the same category as the others.

if 3k is your budget, please dont rule out a used mill.  I purchased used just over a year ago and was well under 3k for a whole lotta mill, allbeit manual, but still a good older Norwood. 

Check back on your thread frequently, because we are an opinionated group :D, and there are many others here that can help guide your decision.  BTW, what type and size trees will you be milling from, there on your homestead?
mark
I am Mark
80 acre woodlot lots of hard and soft
modified nissan 4x4/welding rig
4x4 dodge plow truck
cat 931b track loader
Norwood mark IV
4' peavy
6' peavy
stihl 034
"her" wildthing limber saw
ALL the rustic furniture  woodworking stuff
check out FB

Offline 4speed

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 74
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Corsicana, TX
  • Gender: Male
    • King Bail Bonds
Re: HFE-21 vs LUMBER SMITH
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2014, 03:38:57 pm »
Welcome to the forum, GHOSTSHRIMP. I don't know if you looked at the comparison chart on Woodland's site, but they offer a comparison of many of the available hobby/entry level mills.
http://www.woodlandmills.ca/pages/portable-sawmill-comparison
We are in the same boat, as we outgrew our shack 4 kids ago. I have pretty much decided on the Woodland Mill, with the EZ Boardwalk a close second if the budget allows when purchase time comes.

Offline justallan1

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1648
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Southeast Montana
  • Gender: Male
  • living and learning
Re: HFE-21 vs LUMBER SMITH
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2014, 03:45:52 pm »
Welcome to the Forestry Forum, Ghostshrimp.
I have the HFE-21 and like it a lot. It's billed as a hobby mill and does absolutely great at that. I saw a lot of power poles, pine, juniper and box elder with mine and it's easily paid for itself in just over a year that I've had it and I have a full time job ranching that I have to work around. Hud-son claims it can saw a 21" log, it CANNOT, it can saw about an 18-19" log if it's pretty straight. I'm not complaining, just pointing out the facts. I accidently found that out before I bought mine and was okay with it for what I have to work with.
I had researched the heck out of the Lumber Smith also, but just thought it was too light weight and although I never heard of this problem with them, I was worried about an aluminum housing getting vibration fractures. Again, I had heard nothing saying that, it was just my opinion.
There are a couple people on here with Harbor Freight mills you may ask about and if I were to do it again, I would look at some used mills. You may find a good used one that can do a lot more.
Please note that my mill is the only one that I have ever used.

Allan

Offline MattJ

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 260
  • Location: Raleigh, NC
  • Gender: Male
Re: HFE-21 vs LUMBER SMITH
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2014, 04:42:24 pm »
I also have the HFE-21 and have liked it and as was previously mentioned the 21" is overly optimistic (I've done slightly larger but had to trim the sides for the first cut).  It is a good solid saw and the engine has been great.  The one difference that will make a big difference is the height adjust and dogs will be much faster than the lumbersmith.  I would argue these two features alone will make sawing 2X faster for the HFE or any other comparable mill.  I can switch from one height to the next and be sawing again in probably 5 sec max. 

Offline 21incher

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 2043
  • Age: 62
  • Location: Marion, NY
  • Gender: Male
Re: HFE-21 vs LUMBER SMITH
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2014, 05:01:08 pm »
I also have the HFE-21 and am extremely happy with it. I have squeezed some 24" walnuts on it with the help of a chainsaw. But as mentioned before you have to cut it into a 19 inch cant. Mine came with a 7 hp Subaru engine and it has plenty of power to get the job done. The dogs are very easy to operate and the people at Hudson are great.
 

 
Hudson HFE-21 on a custom trailer, Deere 4100, Kubota BX 2360, Echo CS590 & CS310, home built wood splitter, home built log arch, and a logrite cant hook.

Offline GHOSTSHRIMP

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Age: 37
  • Location: vermont northeast kingdom
  • Gender: Male
  • family man, illustrator, homesteader
    • GHOSTSHRIMP GLOBAL ILLUSTRATION COMPANY
Re: HFE-21 vs LUMBER SMITH
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2014, 05:12:34 pm »
thanks for the feedback everybody! i did see the comparison chart on the WOODLAND site, and that was very helpful. i think i'm probably leaning towards the HUDSON or the WOODLAND mill. somebody asked me what size logs i'm working with. we have all sorts and sizes throughout our 25 acres, but i have my eye on about 20 eastern white pines right near the building site that vary from 12 to 26 inches in diameter. we've taken some down already, and sent them to my neighbors large mill. so if we get a mill we'd be doing the smaller pines and the upper portions of the larger ones, and he would do the bigger stuff. seems like everyone had their own mill here in VT and i want to get in on the fun!
daniel bandit

Offline Ocklawahaboy

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 713
  • Location: Ocala fl
  • Gender: Male
  • Learning as I go
Re: HFE-21 vs LUMBER SMITH
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2014, 06:11:56 pm »
Danger Will Robinson.... once you get the mill there is no going back!  I was looking at the HFE mills and ended up finding a used WMLT40 for 4K.  It is VERY used but has been a superb hobby mill. HFE almost got my money though.  Don't forget to keep a couple hundred set aside for a logrite or two. 

Offline qbilder

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 294
  • Location: Alamogordo, NM
  • Gender: Male
  • lil helper
Re: HFE-21 vs LUMBER SMITH
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2014, 06:33:11 pm »
I have a Lumbersmith mill & can tell you without a doubt it is not the mill for what you need. I love mine, have no complaints. Service & guidance from the manufacturer is top notch as well. It's a great mill to take in to the woods & mill a log in a remote setting, or to toss into the bed of your truck & haul to your buddy's house to mill a log or two for him. It cuts nice & the Honda motor is very strong with the gear drive, but it can be cumbersome and slow raising/lowering the mill. It's also time consuming to secure the log for cutting. A stationary manual mill would be best for what you have in mind. Hope this helps.
God bless our troops

Offline hunterbuild

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 88
  • Location: near Keystone SD
  • Gender: Male
Re: HFE-21 vs LUMBER SMITH
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2014, 11:11:30 pm »
 

  I've been happy with my Harbor Freight. You can get it for under $1700.00 with a coupon. I can saw 20" with no problem. See other posts on this saw.

Offline VictorH

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 397
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Southeast Nebraska
  • Gender: Male
Re: HFE-21 vs LUMBER SMITH
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2014, 12:07:25 am »
You may want to consider hiring someone to come in and saw your logs for you.  Get your logs ready and a cut list of what you need for your addition.  It will cost less, take less time and give you a taste of milling.  Just a thought.
1995 LT40H24

Offline 47sawdust

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1009
  • Age: 70
  • Location: worcester,vt.
  • Gender: Male
Re: HFE-21 vs LUMBER SMITH
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2014, 06:08:06 am »
Victorh makes a very good point.Their are several custom sawyer's in your area that would saw logs for you and you could get on with your building process.There is a lot to this sawing business and you might enjoy it more if you could ease in to it.
Whatever you do the forum is friendly,helpful place.
Mick
Mick
1997 WM Lt30 1999 WM twin blade edger Kubota L3750 Tajfun winchGood Health Work is my hobby.

Offline GHOSTSHRIMP

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Age: 37
  • Location: vermont northeast kingdom
  • Gender: Male
  • family man, illustrator, homesteader
    • GHOSTSHRIMP GLOBAL ILLUSTRATION COMPANY
Re: HFE-21 vs LUMBER SMITH
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2014, 12:06:08 pm »
yeah my friend who lives up the road has a big mill. he sells us cheap lumber, and mills our wood for us even cheaper!
daniel bandit

Offline thecfarm

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 24742
  • Age: 55
  • Location: Chesterville,Maine
  • Gender: Male
  • If I don't do it,it don't get done
Re: HFE-21 vs LUMBER SMITH
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2014, 05:20:32 pm »
GHOSTSHRIMP,welcome to the forum.How close are to Essex Junction? There will be sawmills there,in action for you to look at.
Check out this thread.
http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php/topic,74139.0.html
It's a free show,if you register on line. There is a place to check on vendors at the website. I have been to 4 shows here in Maine and I always have a great time. Even worth a 3 hour drive
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline celliott

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1131
  • Age: 26
  • Location: Danville VT
  • Gender: Male
Re: HFE-21 vs LUMBER SMITH
« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2014, 05:32:24 pm »
Ghostshrimp, I can't help you with your mill choice but I'd just like to welcome another fellow Vermonter to the forum! I'm in Danville.

I'm wanting to get an alaskan type chainsaw mill. I don't have a need to do alot of milling, plus the chainsaw is multipurpose for me. But I'd say a chainsaw mill would be a bit too slow for what you want to do.
Chris Elliott


Follow our progress on the Northern Forest Canoe trail summer 2014 here-
 http://chris-and-meghannfct2014.blogspot.com/

Offline GHOSTSHRIMP

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Age: 37
  • Location: vermont northeast kingdom
  • Gender: Male
  • family man, illustrator, homesteader
    • GHOSTSHRIMP GLOBAL ILLUSTRATION COMPANY
Re: HFE-21 vs LUMBER SMITH
« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2014, 06:44:29 pm »
hey we're neighbors! our homestead is in Hardwick! we should get together once this snow melts. do you have acreage as well?
daniel bandit

Offline celliott

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1131
  • Age: 26
  • Location: Danville VT
  • Gender: Male
Re: HFE-21 vs LUMBER SMITH
« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2014, 06:57:06 pm »
Yup, Hardwick isn't too far away.
I don't currently own any property. I recently graduated from college and am looking for a full time job in the forestry field. Still getting on my feet and out in the world  :)
Chris Elliott


Follow our progress on the Northern Forest Canoe trail summer 2014 here-
 http://chris-and-meghannfct2014.blogspot.com/

Offline celliott

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1131
  • Age: 26
  • Location: Danville VT
  • Gender: Male
Re: HFE-21 vs LUMBER SMITH
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2014, 06:58:33 pm »
We might have enough Vermont members to have a forestry forum get-together somewhere sometime. Beginning to see more and more of us Vermon'ers on here  8)
Chris Elliott


Follow our progress on the Northern Forest Canoe trail summer 2014 here-
 http://chris-and-meghannfct2014.blogspot.com/