How many cubes can your
Rhino Sawmill cut in a day


The amount of timber cut in a day is usually measured in cubing meters – also known as “cubes”. One cube represents 1 cubic meter of wood – or a stacked square of timber measuring 1m in height, width and length. The amount of timber  you can cut in a day depends on many important factors, including the size of the logs, the hardness of the wood, the strength of the sawmill you have chosen, your own experience as factory owner and the experience and skill of your work force, the moisture content of your wood or how recently it was cut, the time you spend handling your logs and many other operational considerations. 

Here are some tips to help you estimate how many cubic meters of timber you can cut in a day:

  1. Log Size and Species:
    The size and species of the wood you are cutting have a major impact on production. Larger and harder logs like Mukwa and Teak will take longer to cut, and of course softer woods like pine will be easier and faster to cut. Measure and categorize the logs you will be cutting based on their wood type, their size or diameter and the log length. The size and hardness of the wood is a very important consideration – if cutting very hard wood it might be a good idea to upgrade to a sawmill with a bigger motor or engine.

  2. Production Volume or Amount of Logs to be Cut
    Calculate how many logs or how many cubes of timber you wish to cut in a day. Remember that “one working day” varies from business to business – as some will run 8 hour shifts per day, where others might do 9 hour or 10 hour shifts, while other sawmillers might even run 24hour production. You as business owner need to establish how long your shifts will be and how many logs or cubic meters of timber you want to cut on a day.

  3. Board Sizes You Need to Cut
    A very important factor often overlooked by many is the final plank or board sizes you need as your final product. In general, the wider and thicker your finished boards are the faster you will cut it, as thicker and wider cuts will cut up a log faster and in less cuts compared to if you need to cut many smaller board sizes. Board length is also important – as a longer logs and board lengths will take longer to cut than shorter logs or board sizes.

    Most sawmillers cut standard sizes that most of the industry works on. View the image below for the most common finished cut board sizes. 

4.Log Handling Time and Equipment: 
Efficient log handling is crucial to achieving high production output. If your sawmilling team are not experienced with sawmilling then they can waste a lot of time moving, loading and offloading logs off your sawmills. For you to get the best amount of production out of your machine you need to ensure that your machines are kept cutting at all times – without delays from your team. Log handling is a major reason why many sawmills dont achieve their desired production output.

In Africa most small to medium sized sawmillers opt to use manual labour to handle their log movement – due to the lower cost of labour compared to Europe or North America. Remember that decent equipment such as log hooks can help your team a lot – so consider including these in your sawmilling budget.

For those sawmillers who want to use less labour, the best option is to go for a Logging machine, such as a Bell Logger, or a All Terrain Forklift which can help move logs around your facility. Additionally, equipment such as a feed tables or log conveyors can streamline the process and increase productivity. 

5.  Sawmill Capacity: 

Speak to our sawmilling team to get advice on which Rhino Sawmill will work best for your requirements. Our team can provide information on the cutting capacity in terms of log size and hourly production rate. Speaking to our team will ensure that your sawmill can handle the logs you intend to cut and at the volumes you need to do.

6. Blade Sharpness and Quality:
A sharp and well-maintained blade will cut more efficiently and quickly. Regularly check and sharpen the blade as needed to maximize productivity. If your blades are not sharp enough, then your cutting speed will drop.

7. Cutting Speed:
Determine the cutting speed for the type of wood you are processing. Cutting too fast can lead to a lower-quality cut, while cutting too slowly reduces your daily output. If you know how many cubes you want to cut in a day, then our team here at Rhino Sawmills can help you determine how fast you need to be cutting and which sawmill will be right for your wood and cutting speed.

8. Operator Experience:
Having an experienced operator who knows how to operate the sawmill efficiently and safely can significantly impact daily production. Training and experience is a major determining factor in whether a sawmill plant runs affectively and a good team can help improve your output tremendously.

There is an expression often used in the machinery industry; “Your machine is only as good as your operator”.

9. Maintenance and Downtime:
Minimize downtime due to maintenance and blade changes will help your overall production. Regularly inspect and maintain your sawmill to prevent unexpected breakdowns. Have spare parts available for unforeseen breakdowns and to get your machine up and running again quickly. Our team here at Rhino Sawmills will gladly assist you with spare parts and tips – speak to them today. 

10. Environmental Factors:
Consider factors like weather conditions in your area, humitidy and temperature, as extreme heat, cold, humidity or rain can affect the moisture content of your wood or the sawmill’s performance.

11. Plan and Organize:
Develop a well-organized workflow that includes log staging, cutting, and stacking. A clear plan can help maximize efficiency. Our team can assist with tips on log flow and production set up. At Rhino Sawmills we have decades of sawmilling experience – speak to our team today.

Remember that estimating daily production can be a complex task and may require some trial and error to fine-tune your operations.

As a rough and conservative indication of production output, if cutting 38mm x 330mm planks on hard woods then you should be able to achieve a production of about 4 to 5 cubes or more on a Rhino 500, bigger motors will cut faster. On soft woods a Rhino 500 should be able to cut around 8 to 10 cubes or more. This is purely an indication and in the field results will always depend on the factors provided above. As a general rule – the stronger your machine and the more experienced you are with sawmilling the more you will be able to cut. 

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Contact the Rhino team at:

+27 (0)10 110 0115

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Showroom address:
GFP Machines
Plot 7, on the R554 towards Lenasia, Eikenhof,
Johannesburg south, South Africa.

Factory address:
Plot 43, Klipdrift, Potchefstroom, South Africa.

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