If you’re looking for a hands-on hobby that helps you relax, then there’s nothing better than wood carving. It’s a timeless activity that people of all ages can enjoy. But to get the most out of it, you’ll need to ensure that you’re working with the right tools.
Best Wood Carving Tools For Beginners Comparison Table
|1. BeaverCraft Beginners Wood Carving Whittling Kit
|2. Old Timer 24OT Splinter Carvin’ 6in Traditional Folding Whittling Knife
|3. Flexcut Beginner Palm & Knife Set
|4. BeaverCraft Chip Carving Knife
|5. Morakniv Wood Carving 120 Knife with Laminated Steel Blade
|6. Automach Power Carver
|7. Valkyrie Toolworks 12-Pocket Suede Leather Tool Roll
|8. Sharp Pebble Whetstones Wood Carvers Sharpener
In this article, we’re going to review some of the best wood-carving tools for beginners like you in 2020. You’ll find these tools easy to work with as you develop your skills. And before you know it, you’ll produce works of art that people can appreciate for a long time to come.
Let’s get right to it!
Our Best Wood Carving Tools For Beginners Reviews and Comparisons
1. Old Timer 24OT Splinter Carvin’ 6in Traditional Folding Whittling Knife
The Old Timer 24OT Splinter Carvin’ 6in Traditional Folding Whittling Knife is a compact and versatile tool you can carry with you anywhere. Inside, you have multiple wood-carving heads like the v-scorp, gouge scorp, chisel, hook blade, and even a straight gouge.
Since all of those parts fold into a 6-inch package, you’ll find it useful for when you’re on-the-move. That includes traveling, camping, or when you’re carving wood in the outdoors and don’t feel like bringing too many tools with you.
All of the folded parts are kept safe thanks to heat-treated back springs. That way, you won’t have to worry about accidentally unfolding those tools while it’s in your pockets.
- Blade made of 65Mn High Carbon Steel
- Sawcut handle that’s easy to grip
- Wide range of essential wood carving tools
- Limited Lifetime Warranty by Old Timer
What We Like About Old Timer 24OT Splinter Carvin’ 6in Traditional Folding Whittling Knife
We love that this folding whittling knife packs so many essential wood carving tools into a small 6-inch package. These tools are enough for most of the basic carving methods that you’ll practice as a beginner.
Also, it’s excellent that Old Timer included an easy-to-hold sawcut handle. It makes it easy for you to maintain a steady grip, which is essential for safety while wood carving.
What We Don’ Like About Old Timer 24OT Splinter Carvin’ 6in Traditional Folding Whittling Knife
Unfortunately, this tool could have been much better if it had a built-in lock. Even though the tools don’t unfold easily, a lock would provide newbie woodcarvers with an added measure of safety.
- Plenty of essential wood carving tools included
- Traditional design that’s appreciated by older and younger carvers
- A dependable tool from a reliable brand
- No lock to prevent accidental unfolding
- Non-ergonomic handle that’s uncomfortable for extended use
2. Flexcut Beginner Palm & Knife Set
The Flexcut Beginner Palm & Knife Set is an excellent place to start if you don’t know what tools to buy yet. It includes four of Flexcut’s most popular tools which are the cutting knife, detail knife, sweep gouge, and V-tool.
Better yet, these tools are already sharp. So, you can put them to use as soon as they arrive in your hands.
When you finish a task, you can pack them away in the handy tool roll that Flexcut includes in the package as a free gift. That makes it much easier for you to store and carry your tools around, wherever you may go.
- Four tools: cutting knife, detail knife, sweep gouge, V tool
- Razor-sharp hardened carbon steel blades
- Ready-to-use out of the package; no sharpening required
What We Like About Flexcut Beginner Palm & Knife Set
The great thing about the Flexcut Beginner Palm & Knife set is that it keeps to the essentials. For those who are new to wood carving, they won’t find this set overwhelming.
Instead, they’ll receive the four essential tools (cutting knife, detail knife, sweep gouge, V-tool) that everyone starts with when they learn wood carving.
Better yet, the handles are ergonomic and feel nice when you hold them. Plus, their ready-to-use sharpened blades mean you can use them immediately. You’ll only have to figure out how to sharpen them later.
What We Don’t Like About Flexcut Beginner Palm & Knife Set
Some wood carving beginners might find this set a little limiting. The four tools included in the set are a great place to start. But if you learn quickly, you’ll find them to be insufficient after a while.
As an example, this set does NOT include a hook knife for carving spoons, bowls, and similar objects.
Still, if you’re looking for a bare minimum set of tools to start with, this one is good enough.
- The tools are ergonomic and pleasant to hold
- Free tool roll included
- Pre-sharpened blades that are ready-to-use
- No tools for carving spoons or bowls
- The alignment of the blades is less than perfect
3. BeaverCraft Chip Carving Knife
The BeaverCraft Chip Carving Knife is a single tool that’s shaped for carving geometric pieces of wood. With this knife in your toolkit, you’ll be able to cut geometric shapes and small designs into your wood.
It’s an easy-to-use tool for beginners, and it’s suitable for both left- and right-handed use. BeverCraft also made this knife without using harmful chemicals, making it an eco-friendly option that you’ll appreciate.
Made in Europe, it also comes with a pre-sharpened so you can use it right when you get it. Better yet, the ergonomic handle provides maximum comfort for extended use.
- High-carbon steel blade that’s hardened and sharpener
- Ergonomic handle made of Ashwood
- 6 inches in total with 1-inch cutting edge
- Free eBook on stropping and knife storage
What We Like About BeaverCraft Chip Carving Knife
There’s a lot to love about the BeaverCraft Chip Carving Knife. For starters, it’s a premium-quality knife with a high-carbon steel blade. A stiff blade like this one is crucial for carving out small details into your wood carving projects.
Of course, that’s only possible if you have a great handle. The ergonomic handle seen on this knife allows you to maintain greater control over the cutting edge so you can be precise in your designs.
Most importantly, the knife comes from BeaverCraft. This European company has been in the industry for years now, so their tried and tested products are beloved among woodcarvers.
What We Don’t Like About BeaverCraft Chip Carving Knife
The only thing that could use improvement for this knife is the grip. Yes, it’s ergonomic and comfortable, especially for extended use. However, it feels as if your hand could slip if you’re not careful.
Plus, the handle is quite broad. Depending on the size of your hand, that might not be a problem. But those with smaller hands might find it difficult to grip.
Of course, it’s always important to practice safety and wear protective gear when wood carving. However, if you do buy this carving knife, you might want to wrap the handle with some kind of non-slip material just for added peace of mind.
- An ashwood handle that’s beautiful and nice to hold
- Hardened and pre-sharpened blade
- Trusted manufacturer
- Free eBook is a value-add
- The handle feels slippery
- The handle is too broad for some people
4. Morakniv Wood Carving 120 Knife with Laminated Steel Blade
The Morakniv Wood Carving 120 Knife with Laminated Steel Blade is a fantastic general-purpose carving knife. It consists of a laminated steel blade that provides added durability and makes carving into wood a breeze.
When it comes to the handle, the Morakniv knife features an oiled birch wood wooden handle that is not only nice to hold, but also very impressive aesthetically.
To top it all off, the knife comes paired with a beautifully designed black sheath included in the package.
- 2.4-inch long blade; thin and tapered
- Made of laminated steel with a carbon core
- Oiled birchwood handle
- Black knife sheath included
What We Like About Morakniv Wood Carving 120 Knife with Laminated Steel Blade
The best thing about this Morakniv wood carving knife is the fact that it’s an all-rounder. You’ll find that this 2.4-inch long blade is very easy to use for most wood-carving techniques. With this knife in hand, beginners can practice many different methods and approaches without having to switch tools.
Overall, it’s evident that Morakniv designed this carving knife to be aesthetically appealing, with its shiny oiled birch wood handle and the black sheath covered in patterns.
What We Don’t Like About Morakniv Wood Carving 120 Knife with Laminated Steel Blade
The only downside to this blade is that it chips and rusts easily. In this regard, the edge is quite fragile and requires a bit of extra careful care and use.
- Excellent all-rounder carving knife
- An oiled birch handle is an ideal size for most hands
- The black sheath is suitable for additional protection
- Comes pre-sharpened
- The sheath is beautiful but feels cheap
- The blade can rust and chip after a while
5. Automach Power Carver
If you’re a fan of power tools and you’re new to wood carving, you’re going to love Automach’s Power Carver. It’s an electric-powered woodcarver carrying an 80-watt ball-bearing motor that you can use with several types of carving blades.
The entire power carver fits in an aluminum cast body. It comes packaged with five different blades that you can use for a long list of wood-carving techniques.
- Electric-powered woodcarver
- Comes with five different carving blades
- Durable aluminum cast body
- Powerful 80-watt motor
What We Like About Automach Power Carver
As mentioned earlier, if you love power tools, you’re going to love the Automach Power Carver. It makes heavy-duty wood carving tasks much simpler to do, especially if you’re creating larger designs on big wood carving projects.
One of the best features of this tool is the safety feature. The Power Carver uses a free-floating action for its blades, so they won’t move unless they press against a hard surface. So, you can see that Automach designed it with safety in mind.
The powerful motor, paired with a variety of blades, means that you won’t have to tire yourself out when doing large wood carvings. It’s a worthwhile purchase if you prefer working on larger wood pieces rather than smaller ones.
What We Don’t Like About Automach Power Carver
The only drawback that we found with the Automach Power Carver is that it tends to heat up quickly. To avoid overheating, you’ll have to let it rest intermittently. If you’re working on wood projects for extended periods, that could slow your project down somewhat.
On top of that, this tool weighs 1.7 pounds. That doesn’t seem like much, but it’s significantly heavier than traditional wood carving tools. Many woodcarvers might enjoy this hobby because it usually doesn’t involve lifting heavy tools. So, this power carver might not be for everyone.
- Electric powered with a strong motor
- Free-floating action for added safety
- Set of five durable blades included
- Quiet operation
- Overheats easily
- Not ideal for small or medium carving
6. Valkyrie Toolworks 12-Pocket Suede Leather Tool Roll
If you ask any experienced woodcarver, they’ll tell you just how important it is to store your wood carving tools properly. That’s where this beautiful 12-pocket suede leather tool roll comes in.
Valkyrie Toolworks makes this roll using deep brown split-grain suede leather, which is both nice to look at but also very durable. Plus, it’s also very pleasant to the touch.
You’ll enjoy plenty of space even as your collection of wood carving tools grows bigger. You can fit a total of 12 tools of up to 8 inches in handle diameter in this bag. Overall it makes for excellent storage and easy carrying for your wood carving tools.
- Deep brown split-grain suede leather material
- 12 riveted pockets for added durability
- Paracord lace and grommet to tie the bag securely
- 18 inches in total length, 10 inches wide
What We Like About Valkyrie Toolworks 12-Pocket Suede Leather Tool Roll
We love that Valkyrie Toolworks seems to have designed this tool roll with wood carving knives in particular. So, you can rest assured that your tools will fit snugly in this roll without slipping out.
Aside from that, the suede leather is both beautiful to look at (and show off!) but it’s also durable enough to keep your tools safe from damage.
You could roll up all your wood carving tools in this product and pack it in a bag or keep it in the trunk of your car without any concerns.
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What We Don’t Like About Valkyrie Toolworks 12-Pocket Suede Leather Tool Roll
One issue that might bother some customers is the smell of the leather itself. When it comes out of the packaging, the potent leather smell can be somewhat overwhelming.
Depending on your tolerance for smells, you might find it too much. Airing it out does help, but you’ll have to do it for a bit longer than you would with most other leather products.
- Designed for wood carving tools in particular.
- Twelve pockets are ideal for a growing collection of tools.
- Suede leather is nice to look at and touch.
- The strong leather smell.
- Hard to fit certain wood carving tool brands.
7. BeaverCraft Beginners Wood Carving Whittling Kit
BeaverCraft’s Beginners Wood Carving Whittling Kit is the perfect place to start if you’re new to woodcarving. The kit includes a wood-carving knife, three pieces of basswood, three leather strops, and a book with instructions.
The best part is that this product comes with a specific design in mind. Following the precise instructions that come in the box, the kit will help you carve a wizard out of the wooden blocks that come with it.
- Wood carving knife, basswood blocks, and leather strops included.
- Complete picture guide to whittle a wizard.
- Additional polishing supplies.
- Extra customer service for after-sales support.
What We Like About BeaverCraft Beginners Wood Carving Whittling Kit
The best part of this product for wood carving beginners is that it’s an all-in-one package. Not only do they provide the necessary tools and supplies, they even give you your first design!
Better yet, the instructions they provide include pictures printed in color. So you have visual aids to help you carve out that wizard just the way it looks on the box.
Overall, this kit is the ideal way to gain a lot of practice and experience, especially if you’re new to wood carving.
What We Don’t Like About BeaverCraft Beginners Wood Carving Whittling Kit
Unfortunately, the quality of the wood that comes in this kit isn’t exactly the best. They tend to use grainy wood that’s somewhat difficult to carve, especially if it’s your first time trying.
As for the carving knife included in the package, you can think of it as a starter knife. It’s not particularly ergonomic. Plus, it’s not the most durable knife you can find, so it may not last as long as other brands.
- All-in-one kit with everything you need to get started
- Instruction booklet with colored pictures
- Includes wood polishing supplies
- Additional after-sales support
- Wood quality is lacking
- Knife is not durable or ergonomic
8. Sharp Pebble Whetstones Wood Carvers Sharpener
The Sharp Pebble Whetstones Wood Carvers Sharpener is an excellent way for beginners to keep their tools sharp at all times. The manufacturer, Sharp Pebble, makes this product using a high-quality aluminum oxide compound, ideal for sharpening small wood carving tools.
The product comes in the form of two stones that each have several types of grooves in them. That gives you various types of grit to use to sharpen your tools however you prefer.
- Multiple grooves, each for different wood carving tools
- Two types of grit: 400 grit and 1,000 grit
- Works well with contoured tools as well
- High-quality materials for better sharpening
What We Like About Sharp Pebble Whetstones Wood Carvers Sharpener
The best part of this sharpener is that it caters to several different types of wood-carving tools. Instead of being just a flat whetstone, this one comes with multiple grooves and different grits to choose from.
That makes this a very versatile sharpener. With just one of these, you can sharpen all your wood carving tools and then some. You could even sharpen other tools using this product, as well!
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What We Don’t Like About Sharp Pebble Whetstones Wood Carvers Sharpener
This sharpener seems alright for the occasional user. However, it doesn’t seem to have the durability you’d require for heavy-duty use, like if you’re sharpening your tools daily. For that, you might want to look at other sharpeners instead.
- Multiple grooves for different tools
- Two grits in one product
- Non-slip bamboo base
- Useful for non-carving tools as well
- Not durable enough for heavy-duty use
- Harder to sharpen insides of micro-gouges
All of the tools reviewed above are great for beginners to wood carving. However, if this is your first time, we highly recommend buying the BeaverCraft Beginners Wood Carving Whittling Kit.
The reason for that is simple. BeaverCraft’s whittling kit is complete with everything you need to discover the joys of wood carving. It comes with a standard wood carving knife, a few blocks of wood, and clear instructions for your first wood carving project.
As a result, you can jump right into wood carving without having to think about what knives to buy, what wood to use, or what designs to practice making. The completeness of the kit allows you to have fun with wood carving and see if you’d like to go deeper into it later.
Plus, it’s quite impressive how BeaverCraft is trying to encourage new wood-crafting enthusiasts with this kit. Not only does it come with a printed guide with plenty of pictures to help you along the way. But they also offer additional customer service to guide you in using that kit!
When shopping for wood carving tools, one of the most important aspects to consider is safety. Remember: wood carving might seem like a harmless hobby. But the fact is that you’re working with your hands using sharp tools. Injuries are always a possibility, so you’ll have to be safe.
When it comes to wood-carving tools, safety aspects include things like sheaths for sharp tools. Some brands include a sheath for free (like the Morakniv Wood Carving 120 Knife with Laminated Steel Blade reviewed at No. 4 earlier).
But even if they don’t, it would be a good idea for you to buy a few of your own. Basic sheaths aren’t expensive at all.
Aside from that, you should also look at the handles of wood carving tools. In this aspect, you should always choose tools that fit neatly in your hand. If they’re easy for you to grip, then it’ll be much safer for you when you’re using it to carve something out of a block of wood.
Of course, choosing tools with ergonomic handles would be better. These will make it much easier for you to grip the tool, especially if you’re working for extended periods of time. If the grip is uncomfortable, your hand will get tired very quickly.
If you’re concerned about dust and debris, it would also be a good idea to wear protective goggles of some kind. Since you’re working around small wooden debris and dust, you don’t need any heavy-duty eye protection. Your regular protective eyewear from your local hardware store is more than enough to keep your eyes safe while carving wood.