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5 Types of Wood Carving Tools You Should Know

While chisels and wood carving tools are designed with the same principle in mind, there are some differences between classic woodworking chisels and ones used on other carving projects. Here are the types of carving tools you should know before starting your project.

Wood carving tools can be divided into two categories: flat chisels and gouges. Chisels have a flat edge while gouges have a rounded blade, making them efficient in caricature and relief carving.

Flat wood carving chisels

There are two types of flat chisels you’ll commonly see — a straight chisel and a skew chisel. A straight chise has a bevel on both sides and is great for removing excess wood quickly. 

A skew chisel has an angled blade, making it a good tool to use when you work with hardwood and need to clean corners.

Semicircular gouge

As the name suggests, these blades are bent into a semicircle and are made for deep, round cuts. They are an essential blade for carving projects like sculpture carving, relief carving, and whittling.


A U-gouge is a very common tool with a blade that is slightly bent on each side. These can be used for deep cuts, bowl carving, and removing the surface on a round shape. They are also good for roughing the final outcome at the project finish line.


This tool has a specific rectangular shape, used for parting the project out of the main woodblock.V-gouges are also used in relief carving and whittling and work well when carving shapes like letters, symbols, and outlines.

Special chisels and gouges

There are also a number of wood carving tools used for delicate and minute shapes and lines. A dog-let chisel and micro chisels have small blades, perfect for projects with many tight spaces. A spoon gouge on the other hand has a particular shape, and is sometimes the best choice for awkward cuts.

At UJ Ramelson, we blend age-old traditions with advanced technologies to make the finest carbon steel carving and jewelry tools. Everything is hand forged, heat treated, and tempered by our own expert craftsmen! Contact us to learn more about the products we offer and how we can help on your next project.