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What Carving Knives to buy?

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Forum topic by Jorge Velez posted 1061 days ago 2302 views 1 time favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jorge Velez

340 posts in 1172 days


1061 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question carving tool

Hello LJ’s Carvers,

I would like to start on carving and I need some expert advice here.

which of this set would you recomend:

Option #1

Flexcut Carvin' Jack

Option #2

pfeil Swiss made 4pc Whittler's Knife Kit

I’ll appreciate your time and valuable advice.

thks!

-- Jorge Velez, Guadalajara, Mexico.


14 replies so far

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12239 posts in 2683 days


#1 posted 1061 days ago

I am a beginning carver and went throug the same selection process. I’m using Hocks and like them alot…. Swiss made is good stuff. I have some of their gouges… The majority of my gouges are Ashley Iles… I would think the carving jack would be more for carving on the go.

http://hocktools.com/Knives.htm

I am sure you will get quite a few opinions.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15288 posts in 1453 days


#2 posted 1060 days ago

I like Swiss Made (Pfiel) gouges and chisels. However, as far as the knives go I would say that Wayne has it right – the Hock are better than the Swiss Made. Helvey are also good knives. That little gizmo that flexcut makes would be handy on the go but I would want to take one or two good knives with me as well. Happy carving.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View TheWoodenBox's profile

TheWoodenBox

167 posts in 2195 days


#3 posted 1060 days ago

It all depends on what style of carving you want to do.

I am a chip carver, we only use two styles of knives. (A chip carving knife and a stab knife)
If you want to relief carve you will need a wide selection of gouges and chisels.
If you want to “whittle”, as I call it, you will need a wide selection of knives but only use a few all the time.

My advice would be to decide what you want to carve and go from there. It sounds like, by the look of the knives your looking at, you want to whittle. If that is the case you have to options:
1. Go out and spend the money for a nice set and I can pretty much guarantee, you will not use all the tools in the set. So, you will be wasting some money or
2. Start with one knife and slowly build your collection, buy the knifes when you need them. This way is also pricey because you are paying per piece. But this way you know you will use them.

So that is my two cents.

View Jorge Velez's profile

Jorge Velez

340 posts in 1172 days


#4 posted 1060 days ago

Hey Guys, thks for your comments here, I should specified before about what type of carving, yes, I would like to try the whittle carving, so I’ll go with the two starters knives and as I get more in to the carving world I’ll work my way up with more tools

I ussually travel around, do you recomend the set of “Flexcut Carving jack” on the go?

-- Jorge Velez, Guadalajara, Mexico.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15288 posts in 1453 days


#5 posted 1060 days ago

I didn’t realize that jack cost $139. Flexcut sales a 5 pc set of short stuby tools that is about $80. It comes in a small box maybe 1-1/2×4 x6 which isn’t that big so you could take it most anywhere easily. You still need one or two carving knives and a sharpening stone. All of this could fit into a small tool roll which would easily go into a suitcase. You can start out with one knife and work up or just go ahead and splurge. To be honest a v-tool, a small 11 gouge a couple more sweeps of medium size gouges will help your carving and make some things a whole lot easier to do.

This set is from woodcraft and is number 814055. I would rather have this set than that jack and it’s only $75. You might be able to store one knife in the box as well. But these all could go into a soft tool roll along with a ceramic stone. If you thought that you might damage your tools you might want to get two different grit stones. However if you are careful with your tools you would only need the finer stone until you got back from your trip.

Incidentally, what really makes a nice little setup are some wooden boxes that you can get from Hobby Lobby for just $20.00. I think they are maybe 8” x 8” x 12” or something like that and have a tray and some compartments underneath the tray. They have carrying handles and briefcase latches. They also have one the size of a briefcase and built the same way. They are both very nice and only $20.00 each.

That set above has a skew tool which comes in handy getting into tight corners.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1279 days


#6 posted 1060 days ago

I think the Jack is more of a novelty. I’m sure it’s a fine tool but it’s not a bench tool anymore than a Leatherman is. I’m not an accomplished carver but I’ve got a mixture of Pfeils and I like them. My big gouges are all Butcher. Don’t forget to keep room in the budget for sharpening!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View murch's profile

murch

1134 posts in 1210 days


#7 posted 1060 days ago

I bought a set of flexcut palm gauges similar to Helluvawreck’s only with a more rounded
profile and I am very happy with them. Those and a bog standard Stanley knife will do
a lot of work for you.

I am sorely tempted to get the “carvin jack” even though, as Bertha says, it is only for fun.
But still, I’d love one in my pocket. ( Dear Santa….................)

-- A family man has photos in his wallet where his money used to be.

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7167 posts in 2234 days


#8 posted 1060 days ago

Go with separates unless you have a need to carve while on
backpacking trips.

I have carving tools with dedicated handles and also some with
switch-out handles and the dedicated ones are way preferable
in all factors excepting economy.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1279 days


#9 posted 1060 days ago

I’m with Murch, I want one of those Jacks badly:) It’s a great gift for any woodworker. I hope the word gets out and one lands in my stocking.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7167 posts in 2234 days


#10 posted 1060 days ago

yeah, the jack looks like a cool tool…. however to be safe I think
you’d have to pull out one tool, use it, put it away and pull
out another to use. Seems like a tedious way to work.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12239 posts in 2683 days


#11 posted 1060 days ago

I also have some Murphy knives. They are much less expensive that the Hocks and I would say the Hocks are much better knives. But they are another option. On the Hocks, you can buy them one at a time and woodcraft does carry them at my local store. If there is a woodcraft near by you they might have some to check.

http://www.rmurphyknives.com/store/carving-knives.html

Also, you could go the higher end route and get one from Dell Stubs at Pinewoods Forge. I belive he currently has a 4-6 week backlog. I just ordered a couple of curved knives for spoon carving.

http://www.pinewoodforge.com/catalog.html

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View mrkenneth's profile

mrkenneth

1 post in 806 days


#12 posted 806 days ago

i have my fujiwara knives which have given to me from my mother in law when she visited japan last month.
i love them so much because its very sharp.

View mtenterprises's profile

mtenterprises

814 posts in 1279 days


#13 posted 806 days ago

If you read more about the jack you will find that it comes in a lefty and a righty, not for the left handed person or the right handed person they come that way depending upon your style of carving, cutting away from yourself or cutting towards yourself. Magicman’s advice would be best, buy 1 at a time as necessary. If I were starting out buying new I’ buy a roughing knife, a cutting knife and a detail knife for whittling. For reguler carving I’d get a small starter set then add as I go. And there is a lot to add!. Have fun and post some of your work.
MIKE

-- See pictures on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/44216106@N07/ And visit my Facebook page - facebook.com/MTEnterprises

View Jorge Velez's profile

Jorge Velez

340 posts in 1172 days


#14 posted 805 days ago

mrkenneth & mtenterprises, thks for your kind advice!

-- Jorge Velez, Guadalajara, Mexico.

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