What Are The Best Wood Carving Tools For Beginners?

Wood carving is a fun, accessible, and creative craft that just about anyone can get into. Better yet, it doesn’t require a fancy workshop or expensive equipment like most people think. Really, all you need is a piece of wood and something to carve it with! When it comes to wood carving, having the right tools is everything. Not only will the best wood carving tools affect the results of your carving endeavors, but it will also affect the difficulty and safety of your projects.

The good news is that there is a wide selection of wood carving tools to choose from. The bad news? This can make finding the best wood carving tools for beginners more of a challenge. At UJ Ramelson, we are your one-stop-shop for high-quality wood carving tools and supplies. We make it easy for beginning and experienced carvers alike to find exactly what their projects call for. If you’re new to wood carving, you can find the right tools to get started by browsing our selection of handcrafted carving knives. Until then, continue reading as we share the different tools and knives beginners need to kickstart their wood carving endeavors. 


What Are the Best Wood Carving Tools for Beginners to Have? 

The art of wood carving has been around for a while, and as such, there is now a vast selection of different wood-carving tools to choose from. However, for beginners, the tools needed to start the craft depend on the specific projects you will be working on. Just like with most tools, the more advanced and knowledgeable you become about wood carving, the easier it will become to find the best carving tools for your skill level as well as the specific projects you want to tackle. For now, though, consider getting your collection of wood carving tools started with these essentials. 

Chip Carving Knives 

Chip carving is a wood carving technique that requires you to be focused on tiny details. Chip carving knives are used to remove little chips of material from a flat wooden surface. These knives are normally smaller in size so that they fit comfortably in your palm. Unlike other carving knives that are drawn outward to shave wood away, chip carving knives are drawn forward. Therefore, the blades protrude from the handle at a downward angle and allow for a more controlled and accurate cut. 


A chisel is definitely a tool you want to have when starting your wood carving endeavors. Chisels are used to peel curls of wood from a block or for keeping wood surfaces flat. There is a wide selection of wood carving chisels available, all in different sizes ranging from small to large. Beginning woodcarvers typically start with larger chisels and work their way to working with detailed-focused miniature chisels.


Similar to a chisel, a gouge has a straight handle. However, rather than having a flat, straight blade, wood carving gouges have curved blades. Therefore, these wood carving tools are most often used for creating hollows and curves along wooden surfaces. They also are particularly useful for cutting ornamentation, radials, and rounded surfaces. There are different types of gouges, like the U gouge and V gouge. U gouges are typically used for creating deeper, curved cuts while a V gouge is designed to make more precise and angled cuts.


A mallet is another indispensable tool in wood carving. Woodcarvers’ mallets are typically used to strike the end of a chisel or gouge to drive the blade of these tools deeper into the wood. It is recommended that beginners start with smaller mallets that are lighter in weight. As you become more skilled in wood carving, you might eventually need to have a variety of them for working on various types of woods and designs.

Whittling Knife

Whittling is one of the oldest wood carving techniques, distinct for its sharp, textured cuts that leave knife “strokes.” Whittling knives are designed specifically for this carving technique. They have a single-fixed blade and a handle that is easy to grip for long periods and have better leverage, allowing more precise control and pressure. They are most often used in a time-consuming, non-artistic process of repeatedly shaving slivers from a piece of wood to get a particular design.

Carving Knife Set

A carving knife set is a great way to get all of the essential tools that beginning woodcarvers need. These sets often include chisels, gouges, and other carving knives that are commonly used for projects. Some are even designed primarily by the size of the project to be carved. Purchasing your wood carving tools in a set can save you both time and money and will help beginning woodcarvers get a feel for some of the basic tools they will be using throughout their carving endeavors. 

If you or someone you know is interested in getting into wood carving, these tools are a great way to get started on some projects. As carvers become more skilled in their work and take on more complex projects, other wood carving tools may need to be purchased and used to achieve the desired results.

Visit Ramelson to Find the Carving Tools You Need

At UJ Ramelson, we have a wide selection of chisels, gouges, carving knives, and other wood carving tools that can help any beginner get a good start in pursuing such a creative hobby. We even have a wide selection of wood carving knife sets. All Ramelson carving tools are handmade in the USA with the finest materials, providing you with durability and reliability that you can trust. Visit our website to shop our wood carving tools.



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