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What to Look for in a Wood Carving Knife for Beginners?

by Tam Nguyen 25 Sep 2021 0 Comments

beavercraft knives

Hello fellow wood carvers to be! If you have come across our post, you might be considering to try wood carving as your next hobby. As it usually is when starting to learn a new craft, you need the right kind of equipment and material.

When it comes to learning how to work with wood, the essential tool you must have with you is a solid knife. There are different types of knives used for wood carving, as you have probably noticed, and perhaps the exhaustive list of chip carving, spoon carving, sloyd knives, and many others is giving you a headache already.

But, worry not, we are here to help you choose a wood carving knife for beginners, the right tool for the first exciting projects you wish to give a try.

So, let’s check out what are the features of a good wood carving knife for beginners, and what are our top recommendations for your very first carving knife.

How to pick a good wood carving knife for beginners

With any wood carving knife, there are some key features we are checking out that make a quality knife:>

    • The handle

Handle of a wood carving knife needs to be comfortable to hold. You will be spending a couple of hours holding your knife, and the last thing you want is to have hand fatigue after finishing each project. In general, when checking out the quality of the handle for a knife you are purchasing online, be sure that it has an ergonomic design.There are handles made in different shapes and sizes, so what you should check is if the handle is fitting for you. It can happen that a handle of a knife has great reviews, but if you have larger hands it would not be the best for you.Materials out of which the handle is made also vary, so we have oak handle, walnut, ebony, olive wood, and other hardwood.

    • The blade

Some might think that a wood carving knife for beginners shouldn’t be very sharp. This is a common misconception. The blades of your carving knives should always be razor-sharp, and as such they are much safer to use.Blades of a wood carving knife are usually made of hardened steel, so the features you should check with each product are the durability and whether it holds an edge for a long time. Durability of a wood carving knife means it will last for years before you need to replace it with a new one, while if the blade “holds an edge”, it means it stays sharp throughout your carving project and you don’t need to sharpen it frequently.

Our recommendations: wood carving knife for beginners


The ashwood handle of the blade is shaped to be very comfortable and used by both left-handed and right-handed craftsmen. High-carbon steel of the blade is hardened and suitable for both softwood and hardwood projects.

Straight knife like this with a sharp tip is handy for chip carving projects as well as whittling. This makes it a great choice for your first wood carving knife you can use to try out different carving techniques, even experiment with elephant, owl, dwarf, and other challenging designs.

BeaverCraft – C3 – Small Sloyd Carving Knife


When it comes to sloyd knives, the shape of the blade is designed to reach hollow and thin areas, making it your great companion for spoon, detail, chip carving, and especially complex caricature carving projects.

This is a good choice for beginners as it comes in handy for general woodworking, so you can always find use of it around the house as well as in your workshop.

BeaverCraft – C14 – Whittling Knife


The long and straight blade of this knife is quite specific among whittling and wood carving tools. It is designed to remove thin layes of wood, and the cutting edge is very long and easy to sharpen.

This whittling knife reaches unaccessible areas, making it easy to complete even the most challenging whittling projects.

BeaverCraft – C4 – Whittling Knife


This knife has a long blade with a thin and rounded point, and it is designed for roughing and whittling. You can use it for any wood type projects, and remove big chunks of wood with its sharp tip.

It is very useful for spoon and bowl carving projects, and other wood carving designs where you need to remove heavy stock quickly.

BeaverCraft – C8 – Small Cutting Knife


Here we have a smaller knife for detail and delicate carving, and it is suitable for beginners who wish to try animal and caricature carving, or even relief carving projects. Holding it is super comfortable, which is important as carving sculptures can take a long time of dedicated work.

The blade is sharp and precise, for cutting out small bits of wood and creating beautiful shapes on your wooden surfaces.

What to Look for in a Wood Carving Knife for Beginners FAQ

What are some important factors to consider when choosing a wood carving knife for beginners?

When choosing a wood carving knife for beginners, it is important to consider factors such as the blade shape and size, the type of steel used, the handle material, and the overall ergonomics of the knife.

What is the best blade shape for a wood carving knife?

The best blade shape for a wood carving knife depends on the type of carving you plan to do. A straight blade is good for general carving, while a curved blade is better for shaping and detailing. A hook blade is ideal for hollowing out areas.

What type of steel should beginners look for in a wood carving knife?

Beginners should look for a high-carbon steel blade, as it holds a sharp edge well and is easy to sharpen. Stainless steel blades are also an option, but they tend to be less sharp and harder to sharpen.

How important is the handle material when choosing a wood carving knife?

The handle material is very important when choosing a wood carving knife. A comfortable and ergonomic handle can help prevent hand fatigue and allow for better control of the knife. Some popular handle materials include wood, plastic, and rubber.

 

Author:

Roman Law

Wood carving guru

 
From a childhood enchanted by nature, my passion for wood carving guided me on a path of creativity. With a pocket knife, I uncovered the transformative power of my hands, breathing life into driftwood and forging a lifelong connection with the medium.
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