Wood carving is a wonderful activity whether it’s something you’d like to do as a hobby or get the skills to do it on a professional level and maybe make some money out of it. Whatever the case, woodcarving can’t be properly done without using the right tools. And this is exactly the topic we’re going to focus on today.
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Quick Comparisons of the 5 Best Wood Carving Tools
What is wood carving, really? It’s actually a wide net of techniques and it all depends on what devices you have to do the task. You may have bought some piece of furniture or seen some wood sculptures and wondered how people managed to create those intricate and intriguing shapes. Aside from the right kind of wood, you also need the right tools to do the job. There are plenty of different types of wood carving tools that can help you.
These are some of the most commonly used tools in carving because they can be so versatile in terms of what you can achieve with them. Naturally, they are available in different shapes and sizes. They can be used for several wood carving activities, such as paring or cutting.
They are a very particular type of carving knife with a distinct shape that makes it easy to tell it apart from the others. It can be used to trace around wooden patterns and it’s often used to create more delicate and intricate designs.
You’re probably familiar with what a chisel looks like: it has a sharp cutting edge (which is known as a blade) and it’s used in wood carving quite often. It’s usually connected to a wooden handle and the blade itself can be in many different shapes and widths. This will determine the specific use of the tool. The best wood carving chisels should be sturdy with a blade that can easily be sharpened.
The veiner is a tiny gauge that helps you make deep round hollows because it’s a unique U-shaped cutting edge. If you want to create curved patterns in the wood, a veiner will come in handy.
This is a technical term used to describe a specific curved file that’s used for finishing touches. Carving wood can lead to rough edges and splinters that could cause injuries, so using a riffler at the end is a must.
If you’re a professional carver, then you’ve most likely used this tool before. A gouge is an extremely important tool to have in your wood carving arsenal. It looks like a chisel but it comes with a curve in the blade which, as you might have guessed, is used to create shallow hollows and wooden curves.
When you want to make relief carvings and create intricate wooden details, it’s important that you have some V-tools in your kit. It comes with a cutting edge that’s very helpful in making specific patterns on wooden surfaces.
Short Bent Tools
These are very similar to tiny hooks that have a wooden handle. They are very similar to V-tools, gouges, or chisels, but the end of the blade is bent in order to help you gain access to the corners of a certain wood carving. About 75 percent of the blade is straight, but the end is deeply curved.
Fishtails are actually gouges or chisels that have a thin and light blade and the cutting edge is wider compared to the rest of the blade itself.
If you’ve never had to buy wood carving tools before, it makes sense that all the available products confuse you and you’re not sure which features to prioritize over others. When you’re looking to get your hands on quality wood carving tools, here’s what you should pay attention to:
Wood carving tools can be sold individually but beginners might want to look into sets. These sets include basic tools, for the most part, so you can expect them to have a few carving knives, some chisels, some V-tools, and other similar products. You also want to look for sets that have a decent amount of tools in them, so you won’t have to limit yourself to using the same two tools over and over again. But, for the most part, stick with simple sets and don’t get carried away by those that have an overwhelming number of tools inside.
The materials that the tools are made from are, obviously, very important as well. You want wood carving tools that are made with durable steel blades and have handles that provide you with a good grip. You want to be able to hold that tool steady even when your palms are sweaty, which is why slippery or plastic handles aren’t always the best choice.
The sharpness of the blade is also an important factor. Having a dull blade can completely ruin the carving experience for you. However, even if you buy tools with sharp blades, they aren’t going to stay like that forever. That means it’s your responsibility to make sure that the edges are properly cared for and that they never go dull.
Last, but not least, learn to know which are the tools that you can go without for the time being. If you want to learn wood carving, you will need to start with learning how to work with tools such as knives or chisels. You can save rifflers and veiners for later.
Top 5 Wood Carving Tools Reviews
It’s time to get down to business and show you who makes the best wood carving tools that money can buy.
Our first brand on the list is Xiem Studio with a set of 9 different carving tools that will help you create intricate designs on a wooden surface. While this set includes 9 carving tools, each one features a double-edge design with a different tool shape at each end, which actually means that you have a total of 18 different shapes to work with. The tools can be sharpened, so you can enjoy using them for years to come.
Each of the tools is made from resistant stainless steel with decent durability. Each of the tools has a red rubber grip in the middle which is amazing because it lets you grab and use the tools with the best possible precision, even if your hands tend to get a bit sweaty. The best part is that the tools can be used to carve on multiple surfaces, and they can also be used by people who work with clay.
Who Should Buy This?
If you’re looking for a reliable set of carving tools that will help you work on fine details and provide versatility in terms of how far your designs can go, the Xiem Studio set is a great option to start with.
Looking for a more professional-style set of carving tools in the best selling category? This set might be just what you need, especially if you love buying tools that come in a neat wooden box. This particular kit includes 9 different carving tools that look and feel amazing but are also constructed in such a way as to provide a quality experience each time you use them.
At the core of each tool lies a carbon steel blade that promises to withstand the test of time, especially when the tools are neatly sharpened and cleaned constantly. The handle is made from ash hardwood with a nice finish that makes it super comfortable to hold the tools while you’re working.
Who Should Buy This?
Those of you looking for a professional carving set that’s made with quality steel and wooden handles might want to take a look at the Flexcut carving tools kit.
Nice wooden box packaging.
Carbon steel construction.
Nice handle finish.
Comfortable to use.
Great for beginners and pros.
A bit expensive.
3. Marukatsu 5 Piece Japanese Yasuki Shirogami White Steel Chisel Set
Materials: laminated Japanese white steel, Japanese red oak handle
Are you ready for a really professional set of wood chisels that cost a small fortune, but they are really well-built and designed for people who are serious about wood carving? Then the Marukatsu set of 5 chisels is the right product to buy. It comes with 5 tools, each one with blades of different widths, ready to provide you with a flawless experience.
The blades are made with hand-forged Japanese white steel, offering excellent durability. The single hollow-ground back is something that a lot of carves prefer having on their chisels. The handle is made from Japanese red oak and it’s enhanced with a heavy-duty steel ring. Long story short, everything about these chisels screams quality, so this isn’t a set that you want to spend money on if you’re a beginner.
Who Should Buy This?
The Marukatsu set is designed for people who want to invest in a high-quality set of chisels for woodwork, but also for those who are willing to spend a bit more money to actually enjoy a high-quality product.
Here is another really good set for people who need spoon tools to work on their carving projects. Whether it’s wood or clay, this set offers 4 very durable tools that are perfect for enhancing your works and helping you obtain delicate and masterful results every time. The set comes with 2 right-hand hook knives (tapered and straight), one spoon carving gouge (¾-inches), plus a carving knife with a dual-bevel.
If you’re looking for chatter-free cuts and want to make curved details or maybe wooden spoons, this set provides you with the right tools to do so. The blades measure 2 inches in length and have a 1-inch radius curved blade. The hook knives measure 9 inches overall. The tools have European beech handles and they include a leather tool roll.
Who Should Buy This?
Looking to create wooden spoons or work on projects that require making round carvings? Then the Narex set is the right product to shop!
Our last item on the list is one amazing carving knife that’s really suitable for beginners, but also a worthy buy for people with more experience in carving wood. It comes with a laminated steel blade that measures 2.4 inches and feels sturdy enough to withstand quite some time of use. The high carbon steel core in the blade surely helps to expand its lifespan.
The knife has an oiled birchwood handle with a nice smooth finish that makes it comfortable to wield the knife even for hours on end, being very delicate on the hands and easy to work with. It does come with a sheath but it’s pretty much a standard product that the company designs and it isn’t customized to actually fit this particular knife model (however, the knife does fit inside pretty well).
Who Should Buy This?
The top-rated Morakniv carving knife is suitable for both beginners and experts that want a suitable product to help them work on their carving projects with a quality tool at hand.
Very sharp blade.
Great for whittling.
Comfortable wooden handle.
The sheath is too big.
When it comes to professional wood carving, you’re going to need a lot of tools, but if you are a beginner, you can’t get away without making a large investment up front. That doesn’t mean you have to run out and buy a fancy wood cutting machine or anything.
Naturally, the more you want to learn about wood carving and the more intricate designs you want to create, the more tools you’re going to have to invest in it. With that being said, I’d personally consider the FLEXCUT Carving Tools to be the best choice.
The quality of the blade is important if you want to avoid frustrations and actually get decent results every time. The best wood carving tools will also have handles that make it easy to get a good grip and work with that specific tool.