Wood carving is an exciting hobby that might require only a knife and a piece of wood but it can also be much more complex and exciting. There is a great variety of tools that can be used for carving and the only question that you need to ask yourself is “What do I want to do with those tools?”
Carving comes with a great range of options, starting with easy whittling projects that you’ll need a simple knife for and that’s about it and ending with quite impressive carved objects with a lot of intricate details that will be very tricky to do with only a knife.
In this article I’m going to give you the descriptions of what you can use in carving and what for on the example of BeaverCraft tools for wood carving.
It isn’t surprising that a simple carving knife is the first in my list. This is where everything starts, either you begin with whittling or carving. Carving knives exist in a lot of different sizes and blade shapes to fit your artistic needs and be comfortable to work with.
Different shapes of the blade define its purpose and the size of the blade is a clear show of how fine and nice will be the details that you decide to do with your carving knife. Don’t forget to keep your hands and fingers protected with a safety tape and a thumb guard when you are working.
A chisel can be considered one of the hardest to replace tools for wood carving. It won’t be of great use for you if you are starting with some abstract figurines and shapes – chisels are mostly designed to add details in different shapes, sizes and forms to your carved creations.
The most prominent characteristic of a chisel is its sweep – the bigger sweep, the deeper details you can get with the chisel. So, basically, sweep #1 is a flat chisel that you can use for carving general outlines in some corners or angles where your knife won’t fit, while #9 or #10 is a quite deep chisel that can be used to go very deep into those corners or add some fine depth to the details.
Another important trait of chisels is their shape. They can be flat or v-shaped so suitable for any type of detail you might need to get on your carving.
A gouge is a tool that’s very similar to a chisel. The difference is in the shape: a gouge is like a chisel with a rounded cutting edge, looking a little like a scoop. It can be short-bent or long-bent. Short-bent gouges are easier to use if you are used to working with palm tools, they are meant to do quick and deep cuts into the wood. Long-bent gouges will make a deep cut that’s much longer so that is up to you what to use and what for.
A hook knife
This tool is quite popular, especially amongst the beginners who start their carving path with spoon or bowl carving. You won’t be surprised to hear that this knife has a hook on its end. That shape is very helpful when it comes to spoon carving, for example – you can make deep short cuts of the precise almost spoon-like shape. These knives are also useful for bowl or kuksa carving.
These are the basic tools for wood carving. There are much more different things to work with but if you are just starting these are what you need to get a great result and get inspired to improve carving skills. Remember: always keep your tools sharp, your hands and fingers protected and your imagination – bright and alive!