The best wood carving tools for beginners
One of the biggest challenges people face when getting into the hobby is finding the best wood carving tools for beginners. Given the wide selection of carving tools for wood that are available, it can be easy to get lost and overwhelmed. Beginners need tools that are durable, easy to handle and maneuver, and that won’t break the bank.
If you’re a beginner, the best way to get started with wood carving is to purchase a wood carving tool set. These sets will include the essential tools that you will need at a reasonable cost. Using the tools that come in these sets will help you get a feel for the craft, and as your skills and experience grow, you can add more wood carving tools to your repertoire. But for now, let’s focus on the tools that you’ll most likely be using and what they can do.
Chip carving knives
A chip carving knife is used to make precise cuts or incisions in wood to remove specific shapes or chips. Chip carving tools work best with soft wood, such as basswood or butternut. However, depending on the project you want to accomplish, chip carving knives can be used with different types of hardwood.
The best whittling knives have a curve to the blade and a handle that can sit comfortably in your hand while small slivers or pieces of wood are removed. Whittling knives are best used with a softwood, as it is much easier to shape and work with in general.
Bench carving knives
While bench carving requires some skill to accurately achieve desired detail work, having the right tool along with a quality piece of softwood will help beginning wood carvers catch on quickly.
While your standard wood carving chisels are used for roughing and removing large amounts of wood, micro wood chisels are the top choice for projects that require fine details. For beginners, it is best to start with larger chisels before working with mini chisels meant for small detail work.
For projects that require precise grooves and trenches, carving gouges are the way to go. These tools also allow you to stop-cut around round objects. Both long-bent gouges and short-bent gouges are great tools for those looking to get into relief carving, which is where a figure is carved into a flat piece of wood but does not protrude far beyond the flat surface.
V-carving tools, as well as the closely related veiner tools, allow for cuts that have more depth compared to your standard carving gouge. These tools are commonly used for different styles of relief carving. With V tools, beginners can improve their fine detailing skills and expand their scope of potential projects.