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Forum topic by Douginmo posted 01-08-2014 04:57 PM 1070 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 1842 days

01-08-2014 04:57 PM

Im a newbie to wood carving, however me and my son are intrested in getting into it. My question is what kind of tools should I start with. Ive nbeen looking at some sets from flexcut and a couple others, but I just wanted somei nput on any experiences with good or bad sets. Thanks in advance

6 replies so far

View Mark's profile


984 posts in 2215 days

#1 posted 01-08-2014 05:02 PM

Morning Doug. Welcome to the site. I’m sure someone with a bit more experience than myself will be along directly, but in the meantime….I started out with just a basic X-acto knife set. Ya know the one with the red handle. It has two other handles as well and has served me well for many years. Cheap replacement blades as well. Hope this helps.

-- Mark

View mpounders's profile


907 posts in 3136 days

#2 posted 01-24-2014 07:29 PM

Flexcuts are good, but I recommend getting palm tools with their own handles (it gets old really quick swapping the blades everytime you need to make a different cut). Rammelson also has some decent tools, but they made to be sharpened a bit first. Try Smokey Mountain Woodcarvers or The Woodcraft SHop.

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

View darinS's profile


714 posts in 3108 days

#3 posted 01-24-2014 08:40 PM


what kind of carving are you interested in? That will make a difference as to what people recommend.

I have the flexcut knives for chip carving and they work well for me (I’m a beginner though, so keep that in mind). Additionally, there are many other manufacturers out there that make a quality product.

I have not tried relief carving (different set of tools) or doing anything like a ball and claw foot (similar if not the same tools as relief carving) so I can’t help you there.

-- Rule 40 - If it seems like someone's out to get you, they are.

View EPJartisan's profile


1122 posts in 3366 days

#4 posted 02-07-2014 02:15 PM

I have always enjoyed carving wood, even as a kid. I was lucky enough to have a woodworking father and a outdoorsey mother (girl scout leader who loves camping and roughing it).. I learned whittling first with a basic sharp knife. I was shown my arc of safety (one arms length around myself) and learning how to sharpen a flat knife is so much easier than chisels or gouges. Whittling is a great way to learn wood grain and cutting techniques that can lead to both palm carving (not wood sculpting which involves rasps and special cutting tools) and chip carving.

My whittling sticks into shapes and animals is what lead me to carving ritual wands for the Wiccan community. I am not picky about the tools I use today, but when starting: easier = more fun = greater skill development = greater fulfillment of life and more difficult projects.

so to start.. I’d stick with easy woods to carve: bass wood, balsam, or poplar… or go on a hike and pick up chunks of wood off the ground. If you do the latter.. nature is also a wonderful bonding place to learn and explore. Also, IMO, it teaches that the world around you is a resource, and using it makes one feel more part of it. So I recommend getting a few chip carving knives and a small set of palm chisels (Flexcut tools are AWESOME for beginners)... and a sharpening stone.. because once your tools go dull.. carving will be less fun = giving up out of frustration and impatience. :)

-- " '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."

View Dan's profile


4 posts in 1768 days

#5 posted 03-25-2014 08:27 PM

I just saw a similar post here is what I said

If you haven’t already I would get a nice Knife, Chisel, Gouge set and then add on different blades and gouges as you need. There are some really nice ones out there but the best part about buying an affordable kit in the beginning is you get to know what blades you really like and will eventually replace with a high end version and what ones you rarely use and wont need upgrades for. I started with an xacto and a flexcut combo sets.

I go over a few options on my carving blog here

or try these
Deluxe Wood Carvers Palm Tool and Knife Set-Flexcut
SE 7718WC Professional Wood Carving Chils with Cloth Pouch-18 Piece

-- Dan

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2688 posts in 3163 days

#6 posted 03-26-2014 12:32 AM

There are different types of carving and each require different tools. Whittling needs a knife. Chip carving requires a knife. Relief carving or carving in the round (sculpting) require gouges, and power carving requires a rotary tool (Like a dremel) or a reciprocating tool attachment on a Fordom or a Mastercarver. There are regional guilds around the country. I learned to carve in Calif. Carvers Guild. Look for the one in your area and they can teach you any of this type of carving for a very very low price. I paid just $25.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

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