When people think of electric wood carving tools, they often think of a Dremel multipurpose, rotary tool. Both professional and hobby wood carvers use a vast array of electric tools to sculpt their masterpieces. Some wood carvers use only electric tools, while others may use a combination of hand tools and electric.
Electric wood carving tools make the process of carving a block of wood into a specific shape or form easier than if using hand tools. Because the electric tool can carve away excess wood faster, the artist is able to form their sculptures in a fraction of the time it would take using hand chisels or blades.
Electric wood carving tools can include band saws, scroll saws, chain saws, sanders, rotary tools and reciprocating chisel holders. Band saws and scroll saws are used to remove excess material from a larger chunk of wood to make the remaining carving more manageable. Small electric chain saws or carvers that use a chain saw type blade system are often used for larger sculptures. Rotary tools, like the Dremel, are popular because of the many different bits, from sanding to saws that can be used with the machine. Reciprocating heads that hold a variety of chisels are available that will convert a rotary tool into a tool that uses the more familiar gouges and skews.
Electric wood carving tools can be expensive. Prices can range from around 50 dollars to more than a thousand, depending upon the tool. While many carvers consider a small band saw or scroll saw indispensable for cutting out blanks, these are often the most expensive. Shopping around and comparing prices can keep the investment for these or other electric tools kept to a reasonable amount.
Electric carving tools do not eliminate the need to do hand work on the final piece. Often, intricate carving, sanding and other minor details must be done by hand to complete the project. Also, for the inexperienced, the use of some electric carving tools, such as saws and chisels, may remove more wood from the piece than was intended making it necessary for the carver to start fresh with a new block of wood.
By there vary nature, electric wood carving tools are sharp and must be handled carefully to prevent injury. Safety glasses and leather or other carving gloves are recommended anytime a tool is powered up and used. Before using any new tool, the operator is advised to read the manual for proper use and any safety tips recommended by the manufacturer.