Advice on Wood Carving Tools

Article Posted By: Craig Allen

of Senior Editor, The Home Depot Blog

A wood block print by Joseph Caylor

Woodblock print The Exchange by Home Depot associate Joe Caylor

One of the keys to starting a new hobby is getting set up with the right tools. You don’t necessarily need a comprehensive array of every tool or gadget you could ever need. Having a good starter kit of the basics will usually be enough.

Reader Inellalexander seemed to be thinking of starting a woodworking hobby when he asked for some advice on wood carving tools on our online How-To Community.

Forums associate Travis Poore had an unexpected suggestion on a tool a wood carver might use:

“Tools used in wood carving seem to vary as much as the carvings themselves. You have many to choose from. I can remember watching that guy carve a grizzly bear from a tree trunk with a chainsaw way back when I was a kid. I guess that’s one way to carve wood!”

He also had some wood carving tool advice that’s a little more practical. He says the General Tools 5-Piece Pro Carving Tool Set is worth looking into. Wood carving tools such as these give a good start for your first set of gouges in a carving. Typically these tools will be used on projects under 18 inches, but they are good for adding detail to a project of any size.

General Tools 5-Piece Pro Carving Tool Set

Wood chisels, such as the Sweetheart 750 Series 4-Piece Socket Chisel Set below, displace wood more quickly than wood carving tools but don’t give you as much detail, but they can be useful in wood carving.

Sweetheart 750 Series 4-Peice Socket Chisel Set with Tool Roll

Sometimes a motorized tool is the right tool. Travis says this Dremel rotary tool kit is a woodworker’s dream.

Dremel 4000 Series Rotary Tool Kit

Home Depot Forums associate Joe Caylor, who also posts on the Forums, has done a fair bit of wood carving himself. He chimed in, endorsing what Travis said.

“I’ve taken several printmaking classes in college, and my intro printmaking class we used the carving tools that LawnRanger showed. I did a two-color wood block print and used the traditional tools; but to fine tune and also get deeper gouges out of the block, I used a Dremel combo kit as well. I have to tell you, the Dremel saved me time and saved my wrists.”

You can see the wood block print Joe is talking about at the top of this page. Not bad, huh? Seems like Travis’ advice on wood carving tools is pretty good.

(Keep this in mind as a gift idea for the wood carver in your life, or someone who is thinking of giving wood carving a try!)

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