What Basic Tools are Needed for WoodCarving?

What Basic Tools are Needed for WoodCarving?

Basic Wood Carving Tools For Beginners

If you have decided to take up wood carving, but do not know where to start, this article will help you. It is clear that hands alone and creativity are not enough for such a task, and a set of assistants is needed to help with the transformation of a piece of wood into a masterpiece.

Starter Wood Carving Knife

What Basic Tools are Needed for WoodCarving?

The main type of tool that is widely used in woodcarving is a knife. However, there are several types of them, which differ markedly both in purpose and in appearance. 

It is recommended that every aspiring woodcarver has a set of quality knives with three different blades: straight, beveled and curved. This set will be useful for different styles of carving, be it whittling, relief carving, or even general woodworking tasks where you need to clean up little details in your work. Let’s take a look at creating a wooden spoon as an example. If a straight-bladed knife is more suitable for shaping the handle or the outside of the spoon, a curved-blade knife is suitable for carving the inside.

Besides the shape of the blade, its size is also important. For example, to perform rough work, it is better to purchase a tool with a cutting part equal to 2.7-3.5 inches, as for delicate work, a blade of 1.1-2.3 inches is sufficient.

Perhaps the most practical and versatile knife, which is held in high esteem by both carving craftsmen and novices in this activity, is the bench knife. It has a comfortable, large enough wooden handle and a short (about 3/4″ of an inch or less) scalpel-like blade. They can perform both rough woodwork and intricate carvings.

Starting Chisels for Wood Carving

What Basic Tools are Needed for WoodCarving?

A chisel is a tool with a sharp edge on one side and a wooden handle on the other. You can push the chisel forward with the effort of one hand, or with the help of blows with a mallet, if you need to apply more force and remove a larger volume of material. There are many different kinds of chisels that differ in shape, size and blade thickness.

Beveled edge bench chisel is the most common and the most useful chisel. The blade is straight and sufficiently thick, the bevel of the blade has a rectangle or square shape. Such a chisel is particularly durable and is used for work that requires a lot of effort.

Skew chisel is a chisel with a beveled cutting part at an angle of 45-70 degrees. The blade can be beveled either to the left or to the right. They are mainly used for the final formation of grooves, holes and various deepenings where it is difficult to work with an L-shaped or straight chisel.

Corner chisels are chisels, the blade of which is curved in the shape of the letter “L” – at a right angle. They are designed for cleaning grooves, final formation of right angles, rectangular and square holes, recesses.

Semi-circular chisel allows for sampling of fibers inside the log.

Butt chisels are small chisels with short blades. They are suitable for intricate, delicate work.


As you can see, it doesn’t take much to try your hand at woodcarving. It is enough to have a few quality knives, chisels and, of course, imagination. When you realize that you have found your business, then you can expand your arsenal by adding other useful tools such as mallets, coping saw and gouge. Until then, remember to keep your tools sharpened and in a safe place.

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2 months ago

My wife has expressed interest in woodcarving. I’m not familiar with the different tools available, but have read about one particular model called “Mora Tools.”

How effective are they? Are there any alternatives for beginners that might be a better fit, cost-wise and well suited to their intended use? I’ve tried researching this myself online. The overwhelming number of reviews and hits on Google seem more geared toward those who have been carving for years, rather than novices interested in learning the art

2 months ago
Reply to  Bobbie

I often use the Mora knife—it’s a pocket knife that has an undersized blade that is easy to replace. I also like the cold steel knives as well. Something with a little heft to it but not too heavy. These can be used for carving, woodworking, or just about anything

2 months ago

Carvers, what are some of the tools you think a new carver should have?

1 month ago

What type of chip carving knife is best to start?

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