Wood Carving Knives

Wood Carving Knives

As a passionate woodcarver, I am very attached to my carving kit. Among many tools in my ensemble, there are some knives that I consider absolutely essential, and the ones that I love using the most.

I’ve been trying out different manufacturers until I have chosen several different knives that I would never replace because of how they fit my hand, and how easy carving with those blades is.

There are many different types of carving knives, and while some craftsmen use a simple, basic knife, others prefer to work with the whittling knife, and some are using the multi-practical jack for their projects on the go.

Detail Wood Carving Knives

Detail knives are, as the name suggests, used for detail carving projects. Their blades have a specific shape and even though the cutting edge is long and sharp, the tip of the blade is what matters the most.

The tip of a detail knife has to be very thin and razor-sharp at all times. But, what matters the most is the comfort of holding a detail knife. They need to support a good grip because details in carving require a lot of focus, attention, and a firm hand.

So, the handle matters a lot, plus how the knife fits your hand when you are using your index finger or your thumb to press the blade additionally. Large handles will be an obstacle to making clean and delicate cuts.

Geometric Wood Carving Knives

Geometric knives are very specific and used for complex projects such as cutting a fine pattern on a woodblock or panel. Their cutting edges are almost under a steering angle as opposed to the handle, and they are long and sharp for cutting geometrical shapes.

These knives are meant to be held with your whole hand gripped around the handle, and the thumb on top, adding pressure. You can either cut towards you or away from you, and “draw” clear straight lines on the wooden surface.

These knives are also used to even out the background of your relief carving, which they do rather well compared to the round gauges and flat chisels.


What are the best wood carving knives?

Wood carving knives vary in size, shape, blade length, and design of the cutting edge. Depending on the type of project you are performing, you should either use a straight cutting blade, or rounder gouges, while for specific carvings you might go with a detail knife or something more distinct as geometrical knives.

Whichever shape of the blade you need to use, the best knife out of many similar ones is by far the one with the most comfortable handle. If you are a wistful carver, you will be holding a knife for a couple of hours and you need to avoid having hand fatigue as a consequence.

What are the types of wood carving knives?

The most common carving knife used is a chip carving knife, that you can cut through the entire project with. For fine carving with many delicate cuts, you would need a detail knife, with a thin tip that you would use to cut all the way to the places that are hard to access. Whittling knife is also very common among craftsmen who enjoy working on panel projects, and these knives can really help you make a piece of art.

For other wood carving hobbies, you would need bigger and diverse toolkits. Relief carving, for example, involves many types of U-gouges, V-gouges, and chisels in different sizes. On the other hand, carvers who enjoy modeling wood as a relaxing hobby, sometimes pull through the entire project with a simple carving jack knife.