Tools for spoon and bowl Carving

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Forum topic by Benboy posted 11-14-2014 04:20 AM 2402 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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105 posts in 2498 days

11-14-2014 04:20 AM

I’m interested in spoon and bowl carving and I could ask for some tools for Christmas but I don’t know what to ask for. Any bowl and spoon carvers out there who can point me in the right direction?

-- If I can't make it, I probably don't need it.

2 replies so far

View hairy's profile


2783 posts in 3768 days

#1 posted 11-14-2014 01:10 PM

I use wood carving gouges, then use a hook knife , cutting across the grain to clean up the cuts.

I also have one of these, but I don’t have much success with it. Probably because it’s hard, at least for me, to sharpen.

-- My reality check bounced...

View jdh122's profile


1058 posts in 3053 days

#2 posted 11-14-2014 04:34 PM

You need a decent double-bevel axe (ie NOT a hewing hatchet), relatively small. You can buy a cheap one and tune it up, but I’ve had little success with that. I bought the Hultafors BUshcraft axe and love it ( Not sure it’s available in the US, but Gransforth Bruks and Wetterlings make virtually identical axes. You probably want about a 1 lb head, although some people go a bit larger. Make sure the axe has a handle at least 12 inches long or so.
For spoons you need a carving knife that has a relatively long blade (3-4 inches, 4 is better than 3) that is sharpened with long bevels (that is, not sharpened like a chef’s or a pocket knife). Mora knives are good and quite cheap, just don’t get one with a 2 inch blade.
You can use gouges or do all of the hollowing with a hook knife. There are a few small blacksmiths making excellent hook knives. Check out
But you can do well (just not quite as well) with a basic Mora hook knife for a lot less money. Just make sure NOT to get the one that is sharpened on both sides of the blade, since you want to push with your thumb sometimes. The one hairy linked to is sharpened on one side only.
That’s all you need for carving spoons. If you want to do bowls you should add a small curved adze to your kit. Pfeil, GB and others sell one, although the prices are not cheap. I reviewed one here a while ago that I got on Ebay from a Bulgarian blacksmith that was very cheap and worked nice. I also bought a blacksmith forged one from North Bay Forge, elbow adze in a style that is closer to the Native Indian style than to European adzes and I like it a lot (, I have the small gutter adze).

Good luck. It’s a blast, expecially the ax and adze work.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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