This is mine.. what is your favorite carving tool?

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Forum topic by EPJartisan posted 04-30-2013 07:16 PM 2976 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1118 posts in 3154 days

04-30-2013 07:16 PM

I carve small things, but I love detail, so I use many small carving tools, but hand down my favorite tool is this palm chisel, I adjusted into a shape I use for most everything. This is actually the third one, I use them ruthlessly and shape them again and again. I have made several large chisels in the same shape for cleaning logs and some chop carving…. I can also use them on my mini-lathe for roughing or for finer scooping detail at slower speeds.

Only 1/8” wide palm chisel. The top is a polished rounded edge without a bevel, gives me a scoop to take out small controlled gouges. The bottom is flat so I can flatten both flat and curved surfaces. The combo lets me cut fine lines even against the grain and with a push or a pull motion. IT can cut with a scoop to the left or the right… and amazing for undercuts. Sharpening is every 25-30 cuts. I use a piece of Melamine particle board as a sharpener for my smaller carving tools. A few pulls of the curved edge into a leather strop (with Aluminum Oxide powder) and the flat side with 600 grit sandpaper. I use it to carve fine detail, to cleaning up glue, shape dowel holes, clean my pipe, and even used it to get a huge sliver out of my finger. Currently, I am abusing it by carving detail into plaster…

So what is your favorite, tend to use most often, or just love most when you get to use it…
carving tool, why, and how do you use it?

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

11 replies so far

View Porchfish's profile


824 posts in 2561 days

#1 posted 04-30-2013 08:48 PM

I have a favorite carving tool too ! It is always the first one I pick up that is NOT dull or doesn’t need honing ! (;-{) )

-- The pig caught under the fence is always the one doing all the squealing !

View SteviePete's profile


226 posts in 3332 days

#2 posted 05-04-2013 03:40 PM

Twelve gouge sweep at 4mm. Steve J. On Wisconsin

-- Steve, 'Sconie Great White North

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2658 posts in 2951 days

#3 posted 05-07-2013 02:46 AM

Mastercarver is my favorite

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

View eugenie's profile


101 posts in 1903 days

#4 posted 06-07-2013 05:57 PM

I use a hand held rotary tool and a 5/16” carving bit. I find that it is a fast and efficient way to carve. I use the same method for most of my over 100 woodworking plans. I sell my furniture on etsy, so I have to get the pieces out quickly. Anyway, it works for me.

-- Eugenie Woodcraft

View Noor's profile


6 posts in 2469 days

#5 posted 06-07-2013 08:51 PM

I have some nice old Dastra, Stubai, Two Cherries, Ashley Iles, Pfiel, etc, but one tool, a 100 year old 30mm #3 from Buck, is a sweetheart. Holds an edge forever. Beat up, paint-splattered handle. Was used to open paint cans before I rescued it. I have some newer Buck tools, and they are among my least favorites. Just a lucky find with old #3, I suppose.

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2722 days

#6 posted 06-08-2013 09:39 PM

This is a Crocker graver sharpening tool and it works super for sharpening small V tools and flat chisels. I know it’s not really a carving tool but it sure helps getting a consistent edge on my small V tools.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2516 days

#7 posted 06-08-2013 10:25 PM


-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View irishbob's profile


9 posts in 2425 days

#8 posted 06-10-2013 07:00 PM

I like carving small items in the Jack Price style and my favorite carving tool is a plain old carving knife My favorite is a 1 7/8 inch Denny blade with a home made handle. Some say it is a large blade for a 2 inch tall piece but I like it.

-- Robert New Mexico

View RobsonValley's profile


31 posts in 1792 days

#9 posted 08-14-2013 03:41 AM

Probably a 9/15 and my 30 oz lead core mallet to start after the saw-cut rough-out.
Probably a 5/35 then a 2/30 to see some shapes.
Smaller tools as I go on. Never wanted to carve angels on the heads of pins.

View mungletroll's profile


28 posts in 1828 days

#10 posted 08-25-2013 07:14 AM

A simple, Wharncliffe style knife. Made by me about 30 years ago from an old file. Wickedly sharp and keeps an edge all day long even when carving box.

-- Trev's Lakeland carvings - When the knife slips where will it go?

View facecarver's profile


154 posts in 1704 days

#11 posted 11-02-2013 03:48 PM

Helvie detail knife !!!!

-- Dennis Stallings; I am what I am,And that's all what I am...

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