Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (3.7 MB bytes)

Title: Band vs. Circular Sawmills: Relative Labor & Maintenance Costs

Author: Steele, Philip H.; Araman, Philip A.;

Date: 1997

Source: Southern Lumberman. June: 22-25.

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Substantial sawmill lumber yield increases from kerf and sawing variation reductions can be realized by employing band rather than circular headrigs. Softwood sawmills rapidly adopted bandsaw headrig technology to the extent that it is currently unusual to find circular saw headrigs in a softwood sawmill. Hardwood sawmills, faced with a different economic situation, have been relatively slow to adopt bandsaw headrigs. Hardwood sawmills utilizing circular headrigs to process low-value products or making relatively few headrig sawcuts on each log may find that headrig kerf reduction is not a significant factor in profit maximization. For them, circular headrigs are usually the most economical primary processing option. Cost is another reason that hardwood sawmills have been slow to convert to band headrigs. Hardwood sawmill managers may not feel that increased profits from higher yields would offset increased costs. The capital cost of a band headrig can be expected to be three to six times that of a circular headrig. Installation costs and income lost during installation may be considerable. These costs can be determined from band headrig manufacturers and engineering consultants. Unlike headrig and installation costs, operational costs relative to circular headrigs are currently difficult to determine. No published information describing the relative operating costs of band versus circular headrigs exists. This information, if available, would be valuable in helping hardwood sawmill managers determine the feasibility of converting to band headrigs. Our study quantifies and compares the more difficult-to-estimate relative labor and maintenance costs of band versus circular headrigs.

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication. (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)



Steele, Philip H.; Araman, Philip A. 1997. Band vs. Circular Sawmills: Relative Labor & Maintenance Costs. Southern Lumberman. June: 22-25.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.