Wood carving has a long history. Over time, a number of different tools have developed for different stages and types of wood carving. Choosing the right knives for your wood carving project will result in quicker, more satisfying results. Using the right knife is also a safety issue. Trying to carve with the wrong knife, or dull knives, can result in a knife slip and a cut.
Roughout carvers are good, all-around wood carving knives designed to remove a lot of wood with each stroke. They are designed for initial roughing out of shapes and forms. The blades of roughout carvers are larger than other carving knives and generally have a straight cutting edge with a good point.
A number of knives are designed to carve details once the general shape has been roughed out. Detail blades are a little smaller than roughout blades. Detail carver blades can be either straight-edged or have a curve to the blade. Different shapes and angles allow for working with different types of details.
Spoon carvers feature a sweeping curve to the blade and are intended for carving out large areas in things like spoons or bowls. Spoon carvers can be used anytime large, smooth, curved surfaces are desired.
Bent knives are often used in conjunction with spoon carvers to create smooth, curved surfaces. Bent knives have a straight blade with a bend at the tip. The lower part of the blade can be used for straight carving, and the tip can be used to scoop out wood.
Keeping Knives Sharp
Part of safe wood carving is keeping your carving knives sharp. A number of sharpening tools can help keep a sharp edge that will be less prone to slipping and cutting your hand. Whetstones, leather sharpeners, and sharpeners that use sandpaper are good tools to keep carving knives in good condition.