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Oct 26, 2022

What is Circle Sawn Lumber and What Can I Use it For?

Tags: Circle Sawn Lumber

If you're new to our site or just new to woodworking and construction in general, you may have found yourself wondering – what in the world is circle sawn lumber? More importantly, you may be wondering what people use rough lumber for other than landscaping or exterior applications. If you've asked yourself these questions before, you've come to the right place.

At Marks Lumber, we specialize in authentic circle sawn material, including timbers, flooring, siding, and lumber. Today, we're doing a deep dive into all things circle sawn including applications, aesthetics, milling processes, and the history of this iconic texture. Learn more below.


A circle sawn texture is exactly what it sounds like – rough sawn lumber that shows the arched blade marks created using a circular saw. This texture is known for its character, providing a beautiful Montana-look that epitomizes our home state's rugged, natural beauty.


Marks Lumber is one of the few sawmills left in the Western United States that continues to manufacture circle sawn lumber and timbers. The invention of the circular saw dates back to the late 1700s, at the start of the industrial revolution. Using steam power and a circular saw blade, the accuracy of lumber milling increased, and lumber production skyrocketed. Electricity further developed and increased production in these sawmills.

Later, when the band saw was modified, many of the old circular sawmills switched to band saws or a hybrid sawing method to increase efficiency and create less sawdust. Nowadays, circular sawmills are few and far between in the U.S., which is why the circle saw texture is now so unique.


At Marks Lumber, our authentic circle sawn lumber is manufactured using a 56-inch circle saw head rig. After the logs are bucked and debarked, they are fed into a circular saw, where the sawyer determines how to best use the log to minimize waste. Boards will then go through an edger and trimmer, but the texture created on the head rig is what remains and adds character to our products.

Unlike a retextured product, material created using a circle saw head rig will have distinct variances in the saw marks due to the different densities of each given log and the fluctuation in speed as logs are fed through the head rig. This provides the texture with more of an inconsistent and authentic look that compliments the natural beauty of the wood.


While circular saw mills may be few and far between nowadays, that doesn't mean the demand for these unique textured products is dwindling. In fact, more and more people are manufacturing retextured products that attempt to emulate this iconic texture.

Circle sawn products may sound like something only used for exterior or agricultural use, but that couldn't be further from the truth. You can use rough sawn wood products in all the same applications as planed products – yes, even for flooring! In fact, Marks Lumber's circle sawn flooring is by far our most popular product. All it takes is a light sanding, some sealant, and a finish, and your circle sawn floors will be soft to the touch while boasting that beautiful rough sawn texture.


Circle sawn products can be used in a variety of applications and all kinds of different home styles. Full dimension circle sawn timbers can give a rustic look to a true timber frame home. Circle sawn flooring adds complexity to a mountain modern estate. And circle sawn shiplap on a contemporary home creates intrigue with sleek designs. Despite popular belief, we've seen circle sawn material used in just about every application imaginable. Just because it's a rough texture doesn't mean it's only for rough jobs!

No matter what kind of project you're tackling, don't be afraid to try out circle sawn material. Contact Marks Lumber today to learn more about our circle sawn wood flooring, siding, timbers, and lumber.


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