The best wood carving tools for beginners

The best wood carving tools for beginners
We hope you enjoy your wood carving hobby. And if you're just starting out or planning to start, you'll be interested in learning about the best wood carving tools for beginners.

The best wood carving tools for beginners

It’s a form of creative expression. It can even relieve stress. The great thing about wood carving is that just about anyone can get started in the craft. All it takes is the right touch, the right type of wood, the right wood carving tools, and you can get started in learning a skill that you can take pride in.

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

Chip carving is a wood carving method that is great for beginners! While there are a number of ways this particular carving style may be executed, chip carving is the quickest, easiest and most pleasurable to learn. Chip carving knives, of course, are designed for this method of carving.

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.

Whittling knives

Whittling is a popular style of wood carving that has been around for ages. Whittling doesn’t require numerous tools, nor does it require a lot of space to execute the style of carving. It simply involves taking a piece of wood and using a specially designed carving knife to achieve a particular design. The simplicity of this wood carving style allows just about anyone to start whittling with little to no experience.

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

Bench carving knives are a little different from your typical carving knives in both appearance and purpose. They typically have a large handle with a smaller blade. This tool is designed to carve out smaller pieces and intricate details. Bench knives can also be used to dig into the wood to remove larger pieces in detail work.

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.

Carving chisels

In addition to carving knives, beginners will want to have a variety of chisels to work with. Chisels are very sharp wood carving tools that are typically used with a hammer or mallet to chip or rough material away. There are a wide variety of wood carving chisels to choose from. Some have an edge on the left or right side. Others have edges on both sides.

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.

Carving gouges

Wood carving gouges are very similar to chisels; however, they have a curved cutting edge rather than a flat one. Unlike chisels, gouges are designed to carve grooves without the corners of the tool digging into the wood. They remove excess wood quickly, especially from a flat surface, where the corners of a flat chisel would dig in.

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

Similar to gouges, V wood carving tools are designed to carve grooves. As the name suggests, however, these tools have a V-shaped cutting edge. When hit or pushed through the wood, the cutting edge creates a thin groove in the wood. It’s great for lines and small details in the design of a wood carving project.

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.