Wood carving is the type of hobby that is rewarding over all, but initially a bit of a conundrum to understand how to begin. If you at least already have an idea of what you want it to look like then the next step would be to find the right tools to make it look how you imagine. Whittling, chip, and relief carving are the three ways to carve wood by hand and below we have included the best wood carving set available for all types.
Most popular form of carving to create figures and three dimensional shapes. It’s recommended to use three types of knives for this method, but the primary knife is called a whittling knife. Detail and hook knives are also implemented with this style for meticulous and specialized cuts. Hook knives are most well known for making spoons and bowls. BeaverCraft brings all posibilities together with their best wood carving set.
Top Pick: BeaverCraft S17 Kit
Used to create geometrical shapes and designs into wood. It’s pretty often incorporated with whittling because they are both so easily intermingled. Though the cutting style between the two are still different. Chip carving requires cuts to be made into the wood from alternate directions that chip out pieces of wood and create a pattern.
Top Pick: Two Cherries
Implements gouges, chisels, and mallets to create an image often on a flat panel of wood. In my opinion, this is the most the most technically challenging style of wood carving, so the best chisel set will go a long way. Pfeil carving tools are of higher quality and therefor last longer, but the best chisel set is VonHaus 16 piece and will be as good as you take care of it.
Top pick: VonHaus 16 Piece
Consider for a moment what the best wood carving set should have, then take a look at what comes with BeaverCraft’s ready to go set. Most items that you see in this set cost up to half the price for the entire kit. While their price is often congruent with their quality, some prefer to use cheaper options and just take really good care of the tools. I’m one of those people I’ll admit, and I’ll tell you why I’m one of those people too: Because the tools will last just as long.
Three types of knives come with this set including your main whittler, detail knife, and a hook knife for spoon carving. If you’re at all familiar with BeaverCraft, the handles for their knives ran a little small before, but now they have extended the improvement is a game changer.
Additionally, the stropping kit is combined with the knives to keep your tools razor sharp and ready to use. It’s worth noting that keeping your tools clean and sharp determine the length of its lifespan, not the price of the tool. It’s important to have before you start carving because something you’ll figure out (if you haven’t already) is that carving wood dulls out knives pretty quickly, which makes having a stropping kit necessary. Fortunately, BeaverCraft has blessed us with the convenience of this whole kit.
The quality of blades run equal with the company’s effort to inform carvers the fundamental best practices for carving and how to take care of their tools. While it’s great to see a company that makes a good product, it’s even better to see a company that cares.
Before I made my first cut into a piece of wood, I started out with Flexcut, and while it seems the business has had some hiccups regarding the blade fixation in the wood handle (a really easy fix by the way), I’ll be damned if this isn’t the best wood carving set for beginners.
Granted it doesn’t come with the strop and compound to keep the knives sharp, but it comes razor sharp out of packaging. A huge advantage Flexcut has over many other knives is the shape of their handle. The wide middle body and tapered edge fits inside the hand in such a way that it would be a crime for a handle to be shaped any other way. It’s almost like a car that’s too comfortable to sit in because it’s potentially hazardous, and here I am recommending it to beginners. Reason being is if this is your first time carving then you shouldn’t worry about how something fits in your hand right away, instead you should focus on building your technique and taking proper care of your tools. Proper whittling kit for beginners are going to be much similar to what Flexcut has to offer in this kit.
The high carbon steel blades is the preferred material type for blades, it puts up best with wood and it lasts a lot longer than steel does. If you take care of your tools, you won’t run into any problems with chipping or edge folding, however the blades are a partial tang which means the blade is inserted into the handle then fastened in. Problem with partial tang is that after a while the blade might begin to feel loose. Fortunately, it is a quick and easy fix. Easily the best whittling kit for beginners and will remain a staple among other wood carving tools.
The best chisel set is going to be appropriate for its designated purpose, for the case of this set it will be for small pieces and delicate cuts. Typically, you might need to hammer a mallet against a chisel to hack away at your project, but for this type of carving all that is necessary is the pressure from your hand.
All 12 pieces come attached with a SK2 carbon steel blade and a diverse range of compatible applications from wood carving to pumpkin carving. These smaller chisel type sets are often combined with whittling to offer a further range of capabilities. The combined usage of gouges and a roughing knife can produce a project that would be otherwise incredibly difficult to do without the other. Each tool in this kit is different in looks and in purpose. While many of them are really just a slight variation in size, there are a couple special shaped blade that are for specific types of cuts. The best way to get accustomed to knowing when it is best to apply a certain tool is by jumping right into carving.
Like any other best wood carving set, this kit also comes with various whetstones to sharpen your tools. Pay attention to which stone is necessary for which tool, otherwise you might end up permanently defeating the purpose of that blade.
High quality wood chisels are unfortunately hard to come by and it’s refreshing to have a company like Pfeil around who gives quality much more attention than the average. This Swiss made kit is by far the most thoughtfully crafted best chisel set available.
Pfeil has the best wood chisel set in the higher budget bracket. Carvers who are well versed among their own tools along with the potential of other tools including the reputation of them are going to be more familiar with this brand. That’s not to say that this professional wood carving chisel set is exclusive to them, far from it. In fact, they wouldn’t be one of the top selling competitors in the wood carving industry if only veteran wood carvers bought from them.
Six different shaped hand tools are included with this kit which are 3 gouges ranging from sizes 7mm, 5mm, and 3mm. One 8mm skew chisel, a 1mm veiner, and 2mm v-parting tool. The square tang each blade has refers to its small body size, and instead of there being a typical tapered edge on the tang it is square. Couple the square tang with its alloy chrome-vanadium steel blade and that’ll be the recipe for a resilient tool.
The kit itself obviously doesn’t come wrapped in a bow as neatly as some of the other sets available in this post, but its quality is unparalleled making it perhaps the top high quality wood chisels you can get.
Now, I’m not that big of a tool head that I start drooling over any and everything I find online. However, there are rare exceptions to this, like this amazing 16 piece professional wood carving set. The VonHaus kit is designated for heavy wood carving and provides everything you’ll need to continue to do just that. It is by far the most convenient, fairly priced, and easily portable best chisel set you’ll find online.
VonHaus as a company is featured in lots of outdoor and home appliance magazines like Notebook, Style at Home, and the Independent, so their commitment to help people create homes and decorative projects have certainly not gone unnoticed. What makes them stand out from the rest is their attention to detail and most importantly customer needs. The VonHaus 16 piece professional wood chisel set is a prime example of this. Where most companies will just give you the tools, VonHaus gives you the tools and everything that is necessary to continue using them and doing what you love.
I’m skipping ahead of the tools for a minute to go over the accessories that are included because I feel it is important to point out how crucial they are to have. The black canvas carry case has individual elastic holders and compartments to maintain organization among your tools and generally make it easier and safe to carry around. A mallet is needed for the type of carving these tools are meant for along with a sharpening stone, and two files that you’ll find yourself using as often as your chisels and gouges. It should go without saying that buying this equipment separately is a huge pain, but starting without them is even more detrimental than just biting the bullet. Completing a full project without these accessories is a fools errand.
The five short palm wood gouges and seven long shaft chisels have chrome vanadium steel alloy blades that are heat treated, meaning it increases the hardness of the blade without making the whole blade brittle. It’s typically the industry standard for quality. The durability is clearly present when using these tools and easily slides through the wood with minimal hiccups, if at all noticeable.
I wouldn’t take a mallet to this kit if I were you. Awarded as #1 Best Seller, Gimars’ 12 piece set is great for micro detail carving for any hobbyist. The best wood carving set uses comfortable yet incredibly accurate tools for precise cutting.
The blades are made of SK5 carbon steel with electrolylic coating that come razor sharp straight out of packaging. For those of you who draw at all, they are like stencils for wood carving in order to create as much detail in your work as needed. That being said, I would be very careful how you handle these knives and actually recommend using hand protection with all tools.
They work best against softwood such as pine or basswood, so they might struggle against hardwoods like oak or cherry. If you are looking to carve hardwood, I would suggest grabbing a different set.
Two Cherries is up there in terms of quality next to Pfeil. Unlike our previous suggestion, this best wood carving knife set is designated for chip carving only.
Huge disclaimer first, this product does contain lead so do not place your hands in your mouth or any other orifice after using. It’s highly recommended you wear hand protection when handling these tools.
Crafted as fine German hand made tools, Two Cherries Tools is less well known compared to other companies of similar caliber. They are a diamond in rough of wood carving tools. Each of these three knives included in this kit are specific to chip carving, and should be limited to that otherwise you might damage the blades.
As for the blades themselves, they are fine, accurate, and lightweight so using them is a breeze.
Read Before Using
By acquiring the best wood carving set, you also adopt certain responsibilities that come with the power to make wonderful pieces. Yes, these knives are sharp, but there’s nothing more dangerous than a dull blade. On top of keeping your equipment work ready, knowing how to use them is equally as important as taking care of them.
How to sharpen your knife
Although it may seem easy to do, sharpening your tools is a craft in its own and you’ll probably end up spending more time learning how to sharpen your tools than you will be using them.
The video only shows how to sharpen a whittling knife, however the same concept applies to your best chisel set as well. Focus on sharpening the edge of the blade rather than the whole blade itself.
There are different types of ways to sharpen your equipment. In this video, a strop and compound are utilized to get a razor sharp finish, but a sharpening stone can be used as well to get the same effect.
How to carve
Creating good habits is essential to mastering the techniques of wood carving, and to keep yourself from hurting..well..yourself. You can follow our guides for whichever types of carving style you are wanting to learn!
Learning how to whittle isn’t quite as difficult compared to some of the other style of carving, however it is nonetheless important to do right.
How to relief carve is arguably the hardest because it takes the longest and requires the most effort. Anytime a mallet is needed to carve into wood, chances are it isn’t going to be as easy as picking daisies.
You’ll find out when following our chip carving guide that this style is a little more unorthodox compared to the other styles because it requires you to basically stab the wood in order to create designs. Still lots of fun and incredibly rewarding.
Hand protection is not an option around sharp blades that have the potential to do serious damage, yes even dull blades can. Some simply wrap their fingers with cut resistant tape, however I recommend either getting a finger guard or glove to cover everything for extra measure.
Additionally, you will be carving wood after all, and inhaling any amount of wood fibers is really damaging to your lungs. Face masks are recommended to have on during operations to reduce any risk of bodily damage it may have.