Don’t forget! Use promo code MAKINGLIFE at checkout for any Granberg purchases for 10% off!
Last year, I posted about my Granberg Alaskan Chainsawmill. It was a guide that shared my review of the product, an unboxing and assembly video, and information about how to use it.
Fast forward to last Christmas, I decided to buy something new to help me with my chainsaw milling projects. To make that first cut into your log, you need something to help guide the chainsaw. Previously I had been using an old ladder to make my first cut. You can also use this, but it’s not the easiest setup.
Christmas 2020, I was given some Christmas money and knew that I wanted to purchase the Granberg EZ-Rail system. If you’re thinking about buying this product, continue reading this Granberg EZ-Rail Review to see if it’s something you would like to add to your Grandberg collection.
Note: We have partnered with Granberg International and do earn a commission on sales made using our code. We only provide honest opinions and would not recommend a purchase we didn’t personally believe in. If you use the promo code MAKINGLIFE at checkout, you will get 10% off of your purchase!
Table of Contents for Easy Navigation
What is the Granberg EZ-Rail?
The Granberg EZ-Rail is essentially a first-cut flat surface jig that attaches to the log that you are milling and allows you to make your first cut. In order to cut each slab smooth and flat, you have to cut off the rough, rounded texture of the bark first. The Granberg EZ-Rail makes this process quick and simple.
The Granberg EZ-Rail is made of aluminum and is set up with crossbars and hammer-in dogs to attach it to the log. The Granberg EZ-Rail is very lightweight and easy to set up making this perfect for slabbing in the off-the-beaten-path areas.
It comes in five-foot sections and can be joined together to cut longer slabs. I bought the ten-foot set up which comes in two five-foot sections that connect to make a total of ten feet of EZ-Rail.
Why I Bought the Granberg EZ-Rail
When you are using a chainsaw mill and milling up a log that has not been prepped or altered in any way, you have to cut off an initial slab to get a flat surface for all of the subsequent cuts. The chainsaw mill cannot run the first cut along the rough bark surface or it will not produce a smooth flat cut. Additionally, it will bind your chainsaw bar and possibly damage your chainsaw.
With the Granberg EZ-Rail system, you get an easy, lightweight setup that gives you the flat surface that you need for your first cut. The first cuts that I made with my Granberg Alaskan Chainsaw Mill I used a 1″x6″ board screwed to the log as you can see in the photos below.
The next progression of my first cut chainsaw milling process utilized a wooden ladder that I attached to the log with conduit clamps. This was a fixed setup, meaning that the ladder was cut into an eight-foot section and could not be joined with other sections to slab longer pieces. This setup worked fine but was heavy, cumbersome, and required that I bring screws, a drill, and the conduit brackets.
Last year, we had some extra Christmas money and I began looking more into the Granberg EZ-Rail system. The price was right around $300 and it fit well into my budget at the time. I really wanted to make the slabbing process easier and more accessible to fit in my busy schedule. Honestly, I was looking for something that would help streamline my slabbing process and the Granberg EZ-Rail seemed like the perfect fit.
Overall, the purchase of the Granberg EZ-Rail system was a solution to a time, efficiency, and productivity problem. And once I got it in my hands, it very quickly solved that problem.
Initial Reaction/Unboxing Granberg EZ-Rail
Here’s a video I made showing my initial reaction, unboxing, and assembly of the Granber EZ-Rail System.
Using the Granberg EZ-Rail For the First Time
The assembly of the Granberg EZ-Rail was fairly straightforward. Once I figured out how to assemble the crossbars, the rest of the assembly went smooth and quick. The instructions were also very straightforward and concise.
Once I had the complete setup assembled, I was very surprised at how lightweight it was. The Granberg EZ-Rail was a HUGE improvement upon the wooden ladder setup. I knew that I had a downed cherry tree in the back of our property and I was excited to get it out there for a test run.
When I first set up the Granberg EZ-Rail for my cut, I was confused about how to get a straight and level cut. However, once I started getting it rigged up and affixed to the tree, it seemed to work itself out without too much measuring or tweaking. After hammering in the dogs and using the leveling bolts, it felt secure and handled the weight of the saw when I got to milling the first cut.
One mistake that I made was not screwing the leveling bolts low enough to allow the chainsaw mill to clear. While taking my first pass on the Granberg EZ-Rail with the chainsaw mill, the frame of the mill ran into one set of the leveling bolts. It took me a moment to figure out why the mill wouldn’t move forward, but once I figured it out, I made a few adjustments and finished the first cut.
The whole setup was ultimately simple, efficient, and very timely. It drastically improved my time in setting up and tearing down from the first cut. My only complaint is that the instructions for setting up the system on a log was very lacking. I still have questions regarding accounting for the taper of a log and how to make sure each end is set at the appropriate height.
Pros and Cons of the Granberg EZ-Rail
As with any product, there are positive and negative aspects. When I look at a new product I try to find one that is practical, useful, reliable, and affordable. So when reviewing the pros and cons of the Granberg EZ-Rail, those are the characteristics that I look for. So listed below is a list of the pros and cons.
- Easy to assemble
- Well built and appears to be high quality
- Trusted USA based family company
- Small footprint and lightweight, making it easier to transport and carry
- Easy to set up and tear down
- Was a bit pricey – coming in at almost $300.00 – But the value is well worth it. You know you are getting a good quality and reliable product with any Granberg product
- No instructions for how to set up the system on a log
Would I Recommend Granberg EZ-Rail?
I absolutely would recommend the Granberg EZ-Rail to anybody looking to get into chainsaw milling their own lumber. This lightweight, easy to assemble and use product is one I would highly recommend. Granberg has proven to be a very responsive and reliable company to work with. Any time that I had questions or concerns, they were quick to respond and answer and/or reply. If you are unsure of how to make your first cut and are considering various DIY setups, I would seriously recommend considering the Granberg EZ-Rail as an option. I look forward to using it more and will have a YouTube video at some point showing it in operation.
As always, if you are considering buying the Granberg EZ-Rail or any other Granberg Product, use our promo code MAKINGLIFE at checkout and get 10% off your purchase!
Here’s a shot of what it would look like in your cart after using the promo code: