Wood carving is a great hobby that is highly rewarding overall. However, it can be a bit troublesome to start it. If you’ve got an idea of your woodworking project and what you want it to look like, the next step is finding the best wood carving tools to help you make it look like you imagined.
There are various wood carving tools out there, but you’re probably going to want some for relief carving, chip carving, and whittling when dealing with wood. Below, we have the best wood carving tools to consider.
- Whittling – The BeaverCraft S15 kit is an excellent choice for a beginner. It includes many wood carving tools, such as a chipping knife for diverse designs.
- Chip Carving – The BeaverCraft C6 knife is excellently designed to make consistent patterns.
- Relief Carving – With the Schaff 12-piece set, you get tons of gouges and chisels to make different shapes with your wood carving tools.
- Power Carving – With the Dremel 4300, you have many speed functions and appropriate ventilation to get a smooth carve. This is a staple when carving wood.
Those who want to learn and start a woodworking project are sure to get a lot of value from this guide. You can work with a number of wood items and these wood carving tools. Would you like to carve wood by hand? Now you can with these 10 wood carving tools.
Best Wood Carving Tools Starter Set
The best advice we can give is to consider the right wood carving tools for your next project, whether you’re whittling or doing some chip carving. You’re going to find what you need at the end of this review. Picking the best carving tool is easier, and you’re going to get a lot of value from this article.
BeaverCraft S15 Whittling Set
When it comes to wood carving tools, this kit contains six pieces and offers three carbon fiber knives (chip, detail, and roughing), with a strop, leather, and storage pouch. That way, you can create patterns and figures with these carving tools.
What do you need from your wood carving set? It should have everything that the BeaverCraft brand offers. Many of the carving items you see here cost about half the price for this entire carving kit. While the price is often based on quality, you may want to use cheap alternatives and take better care of the tools. Typically, the tool lasts just as long if you maintain it.
The S15 kit offers a ton of tool options and can double for chip carving and whittling. Chipping techniques often use a stoyd (general knife) and other knives to add design and depth to your project. These carving knives offer the fundamentals you need to continue doing what you love.
Carvers are sure to appreciate the three knives, such as the detail, whittling, and chipping knife. Each one has a specific purpose. The blade material is high-carbon steel, and the handle is ergonomically designed to hold for a long time.
There’s also the stropping kit, which combines with the carving knives to keep the tools sharp. Keeping the tools clean and sharp can expand their lifespan. Sharpening your tools is essential before carving so that the knife doesn’t get dull. Carving into dull wood can be damaging to the knife.
However, there isn’t a roughing knife included, which is essential. You need the roughing carving knife to remove large amounts of wood. The whittling knife may struggle with that task. While it can do it, you could use a longer blade to make it easier.
This set offers high-quality blades, but they are sure to dull. Therefore, it’s convenient that you get the honing compound and strop to get your steel blades back to normal. You’re probably going to do that often.
The quality of the blades is excellent, and the edge is designed for many styles of woodworking. Plus, you get many sizes of blades, all of which are made by hand. These carving tools are definitely the right option for you!
Flexcut Beginner Set
When you want the best carving tool out there, you should consider the Flexcut Beginner Set. It’s a popular starting option and features a detailer, roughing, and cutting knife. Before cutting into wood, you should always inspect your carving knives. The brand did have a few issues regarding the wood handle and how the blade went into it. However, it fixed this issue. We find that these are some of the best wood carving tools on the market now!
While the set doesn’t feature a compound or strop to keep the knives sharp, they come razor sharp right out of the bag. A huge advantage of this brand is the handle shape. There’s a wider middle with a tapered edge, so it fits in your hand as you want it to. In fact, we wish all handles were shaped that way!
If this is your first time carving, you shouldn’t worry about how it fits. Focus more on your technique and taking care of each tool.
You’re going to appreciate that the carving tools are made of high-carbon steel, which is the preferred material option for any blade. It can handle the wood better and lasts longer than traditional steel. There shouldn’t be a problem with edge folding or chipping if you take care of the tools. However, the blades only have a partial tang, so the blade is fastened into the handle. You may notice that the blade feels a little loose with time.
Those who want carving tools for beginners would do well to go with this brand because it fits well in your hand and offers many sizes. If you’re buying your first set, go with Flexcut to make each cut count.
BeaverCraft C6 Chip Carver
Wood carving is a fun hobby, but you need the right wood carving tools for the job. BeaverCraft has an excellent carving knife for chipping. You’re going to appreciate the ergonomic handle and straight edge to make it easier and more consistent to use.
Those who have just got into chip carving are sure to like this knife and want it as a staple. It features a number of great abilities and can help you as you gain new skills. Though the overall design is basic, it can cut through various sizes of wood with ease. This tool offers a specially designed blade so that it’s efficient. You can easily make lines, squares, and triangles!
Two Cherries 3 Piece
Two Cherries is another great brand that focuses on quality. We feel that this could be the best carving knife out there, but they’re focused on chipping.
Each carving tool features a steel blade that fits well in the hands. There are a number of sizes available, so you can get the design you need most. Since each one is made with you in mind, any tool you choose is going to help with the job.
Carving knives like this are excellent, but you should always wear hand protection because the blade is sharp. These are handcrafted German tools, so the brand isn’t as well known as some of the others. Still, each one has a durable handle if you use the kit for what it was designed for. They’re considered the diamond in the rough when it comes to wood carving tools, and they’re all made for chipping. Take our advice and choose this one. Plus, the blades are lightweight, accurate, and easy to use.
Schaaf 12 Piece Set of Chisels and Gouges
A gouge is a chisel you use, but the cutting edge is bent to a curving shape. Ultimately, you want the gouge to carve grooves into the wood without it getting too deep. In a sense, the gouge removes extra wood fast, especially when working on a flat surface.
When it comes to wood carving tools, you want the Schaff kit because it is full of gouges and chisels you can use. Each tool can gouge out the wood effortlessly, and the gouges are designed for inexperienced and experienced professionals.
These carving tools for beginners are designed for various woodworking projects. you’re going to have to gouge out the extra bits, and this tool is going to help you do it.
Since these carving tools are designed for relief projects, you need an adequate and high-quality set. This one performs well and helps with gouges to finish everything. With this kit, you have gouges and chisels, so it’s going to give you everything you need to start. If you’re an intermediate or advanced woodworker, you can add these gouges to your arsenal as a backup or to grind at various bevels.
Each blade is made of steel to offer value and ease of use. There’s no way that the steel edge isn’t going to help with whatever you’re doing. Plus, you may see that each one is bent to a different angle. That makes it to where you can use them for various purposes and designs.
On top of that, each handle is comfortable to hold in your hand. The various sizes ensure that you can get through just about anything. While they are basic, they’re definitely great to have in your shop.
With 12 pieces, each one is bent to a specific size for a particular purpose. These wood carving tools are just what you need!
TIMESETL Sculpting Set
The best wood carving tools can’t be complete without chisels and gouges. With the TIMESETL brand, you get many small pieces to create various cuts. You may think that you need a hammer against the chisel, but that’s not the case for this type of wood carving. Instead, you only need the pressure from your hand.
There are 12 pieces included, and each one features a carbon steel blade. You’re going to find different applications you can use them for, and each woodworking project can benefit. It’s so much easier to gouge out the extra bits, and there are various sizes. Since each one is made with steel, you don’t have to worry about damaging your wood carving tool when you use it. The size of the handle is easy to hold, though they are small and precise. Wood carving has never been easier!
The small chisel and gouge sets are usually used to whittle and offer more capabilities. Plus, since you have a gouge and roughing knife, you can make something that might be hard to do otherwise. Each tool within the kit has a different appearance and purpose. Most of them vary slightly in size, but there are a few specially shaped blades that are suitable to gouge.
You would be able to do many things with these gouges, and they are all designed with a sharp edge. There are also whetstones to help you sharpen them and keep them cutting.
Each blade is bent differently, and that’s what makes these great for wood carving. The bent shape ensures that you can create different styles and designs. Of course, you must ensure that they stay bent when you sharpen them, so care is required.
Pfeil Carving Tools Set
It’s usually hard to come by high-quality gouges and chisels, so it’s great that the Pfeil Carving Tools Set is available. This is a Swiss-made wood carving kit, and we feel that it’s a thoughtfully crafted kit!
This brand is ideal for wood carving, and each tool is designed to gouge out extra wood and keep your project clean. People who focus on tool quality are sure to find that these are a great option and have more potential than others on the market.
Whether you’re a professional or not, you want the best gouge you can get. There are six hand tools, and each one is shaped in various ways. You get three gouge styles, which range from 7mm to 3mm.
With a number of sizes to choose from, it’s no wonder that these offer the best gouge techniques. Plus, there is a comfortable handle to hold, so your hands don’t get tired as you’re working.
VonHaus 16 Piece Palm Chisels and Gouges
If you plan to gouge a lot, and you probably are, then you need the right wood carving tools to help with the job. When you gouge, you want it to be safe and easy to do. Most gouges are designed for a specific purpose, so you should familiarize yourself with each gouge before starting out.
The VonHaus kit focuses on heavy wood carving and offers everything you need to gouge out the extra bits. It’s reasonably priced, convenient, and portable. When you need to focus on each detail, these gouges are the perfect solution for your woodworking projects. Many professional woodworkers use them for wood carving, so you’re going to have one of the top options.
This company offers many outdoor and home appliance products, so they’re committed to helping people with their wood carving projects. What makes this brand stand out is that it focuses on its customers. There are 16 tools in this set, and each tool is designed for a particular purpose.
However, a carving tool isn’t just about the tool itself. You also have to think about the accessories that come with it. There’s a black carrying case with individual holders to hold each tool. It’s easier and safer to carry. You also get a mallet to use each tool and a sharpening stone with two files. You’re bound to use them with the gouges, and can do so easily.
If you were to buy each of these things separately for use with the gouges, it could cost a lot more. In fact, you get five small wood gouges with seven chisels. Each one uses vanadium steel alloy, and the bad quality is second to none. They also have a decent price, and each gouge is shaped according to what it’s used for. Their smaller size makes them perfect to hold and make gouges whenever you need to. Plus, we like that the gouges are made of durable steel.
Grimars 12 Piece Set for Beginners
Wood carving couldn’t be the same without the right tool kit. Though it is a best-seller, this kit isn’t designed for mallets. Ultimately, the best wood carving tool kit is going to offer accuracy, precision, and be comfortable to hold in your hand.
The blades of this product are made of carbon steel, and there’s an electrolytic coating to offer a sharp straight edge. If you like to draw, you can use each wood carving tool as a stencil for the wood to create as much detail in the work as necessary. We would recommend that you be careful when you handle the carving knives because they are very sharp.
In general, these knives would work best on softwood and can struggle with hardwood. There are various sizes available, so that should help you find the right tool for the job.
Dremel 4300-5/40 Rotary Tool
When wood carving, the Dremel 4300 is a great option because it is portable and easy to use. When power wood carving, this is a staple. Since it’s a meticulous craft, you need the right carving tools for the job. This brand offers 40 accessories, which gets you started with everything you need for your woodworking projects. There are various items and sizes available, and the quality can’t be beaten.
Wood Carving for Beginners
Wood carving comes in different styles and techniques. The tools you use for carving are going to change based on what you’re doing. Therefore, it’s a good idea to get a good value and buy various tools.
When working with wood and carving, whittling is the most popular. It’s easy to learn and start, and it’s fun to do. This carving style helps you make a three-dimensional shape, such as a face or spoon.
It’s best to use the right wood and a folding or hook knife. However, you can find different carving knives, and attention to detail is essential.
There are different types of knives out there used for this craft:
- Roughing – This shape is slightly different compared to the standard knife. It has a longer blade, which removes a lot of wood.
- Detail – This one has a shorter blade and a pointed tip.
- General Knife (Sloyd) – This is what most people use to get started.
- Hook knife – This is the basic knife required for creating concave shapes in the project, such as for bowls and spoons.
- Foldable – This can be an alternative to the general knife because it folds away and can be more convenient and safe.
These are all the carving tools you need to get through complex carvings. However, it’s good to practice the different methods and styles if you want to get really good. Typically, they are made to last a lifetime, but you should check out a guide to get started.
Chip carving might not be as popular as whittled carving, but it can be used to make intricate designs and patterns onto a flat wood surface. The knife gets punctured into the wood at different angles to cut away the material and create the symmetrical shape.
There are various methods for chip carving. First, the carving knife has a rounded blade with a straight edge. This carving knife is used with a detail or draw knife. Carving like this is often more challenging and less forgiving. However, the method can work well when it’s done consistently and correctly. If you’re not great with this technique, consider working on the skill before starting such a carving style. You can easily find a guide to help you find out more about this style first to help you learn about the tool. We feel that would be best and can help you focus on how to work correctly.
Typically, a sloyd knife can be used, but it’s not necessary.
A more challenging carving technique is relief carving, where you use many gouges and chisels to create more depth in the portrait. It’s also a more expensive wood carving option because high-quality tools don’t come cheap, and you may need various tools for each part.
There are different variations for the tools, and we can’t list them all. However, gouges are a top priority, and you’re going to need many different sizes of gouges to get the work done quickly.
Projects may require a specific one, so you should probably get it then. However, if you choose a set of gouges, you may already have it with your other wood carving tools. Go with the basic tool set up for carving and gouges until you know what you’re going to need most.
Here are some of the basics you may need while you work on relief carving:
- Chisels – These tools have a flat blade with a one-ended bevel.
- Gouges – They’re slightly smaller than chisels and may have a V- or U-shape.
You shouldn’t need a sloyd (general knife) for carving, but it depends on the work you’re doing. There are a number of uses for one, and it might be best to use a guide until you figure everything out.
The hardest carving style to master is power carving because you need an electronic tool to get the job done. Power carving uses various tools to carve wood with many techniques. It’s not as straightforward as using hand tools, but it is great at removing material and handling larger projects.
Wood carving like this requires:
- Rotary Tools – A Dremel can be used for carving and is a handheld device with a small motor. It spins quickly to remove wood materials. You can change out the rotary bits.
- Chainsaws – They work well for large projects.
Power carving may also require you to have other tools, such as a sloyd. You may have to carve by hand at times, but that’s a small percentage. Find an online guide to get you started on carving with power tools.
Sharpening and Honing
A thin knife is often the best carving tool, and you want to keep it sharp. sharpened knives are always safer and easier to use than ones with a dull edge.
There are a number of ways to sharpen the blades, but it’s best to use a whetstone and honing device. That way, carving is easier, and you can make thin cuts as needed. It’s not hard to do, but you should take into consideration the size of the knife.
Sharpening a Knife
Since a sharpened knife is essential for carving, you need the right tool. We recommend that you use a whetstone on the edge. Make sure that you use it on each side of the edge the same amount of times. Work from the handle downward.
That way, when you’re carving, you never have a problem. It doesn’t matter what size the carving blade is; you can still sharpen it and keep it pointed.
Carving is dangerous because you have to work with a sharp knife. Save yourself some trouble by checking your carving knife to ensure that it is sharp. It’s more dangerous to be carving with a dull tool.
The size of the carving tool isn’t a concern, as long as it fits comfortably in the hand. Make sure you wear eye and hand protection in the correct size. That way, you’re protected when carving. Things you may need include safety goggles, carving gloves, a respirator, and a thumb guard.
We hope that this guide has helped you focus on the best wood carving tools out there. If you’re a beginner, you’re still developing your skill. The advice shown here is designed to help you on your journey to learning about wood carving. We feel that the BeaverCraft S15, BeaverCraft C6, Dremel 4300, and Schaaf brand are the best carving tools on the market right now. Happy carving!