High Speed Tools for Wood Carving

The art of woodcarving is a slow and steady process, but with the use of some high-speed tools, wood carvers can wield their masterpieces with greater ease and flexibility. Some of the most useful tools for a wood carver are found in a carpenter's workshop, along with a few specialty tools that every woodcarving enthusiast will want to own.

Rotary Tool With Attachments

The rotary tool is a multipurpose tool that woodworking artists will be compelled to add to their hand tool collection. With numerous attachment heads available in purchase kits, a rotary tool can tackle many small-scale woodcarving tasks, from carving to sanding, and has the added benefit of being able to tackle some do-it-yourself home repair projects. A wood carver will find a flexible shaft attachment (usually sold separately) useful, allowing for more artistic movement and freedom.

Power Drills and Drill Presses

A power drill, or a more sophisticated drill press, is a necessity for creating holes in wood. A power drill can create holes up to about 6 inches in diameter using any of various hole saw attachments, while a drill press can create more perfectly aligned holes up to greater depths.

Grinders and Sanders

Grinders are useful in sharpening, shaping and resizing objects, while sanders help to create smooth edges and a smooth finish. Both are practical on wood and for sharpening other woodworking tools. They are also useful for removing rust, paint and other undesirable exteriors.

Wood Burning Tool

Wood burning tools can enhance the carving process by offering the ability to burn relief designs into wood sculptures and plaques. The burning process can also be used for artful shading and texturing, adding further dimension to artistic works.

Air Compressor and Pneumatic Air Gun

Air compressors suited with a pneumatic air gun function to blow sawdust off woodworking pieces, making it easier to see your work details in progress. They also help facilitate a clean working area in the same way.

Band Saw

A band saw is a stationary piece of equipment good for cutting shapes, especially curves. The band saw is also able to cut through other materials, like metals, glass, PVC, foam, etc. by switching and tuning the blade.


A jigsaw can cut similar shapes and materials as a band saw, but it is not stationary. Its freeform nature allows for a hole or shape to be cut from the center of a piece of wood. It does have more limitations than a band saw as to the thickness of the material being cut.


A lathe works by rotating your wood and allowing various operations, like cutting and shaping, to be done with symmetry around an axis of rotation. Some models have additional locks and indexing to allow for fluting, or running decorative grooves lengthwise.

Computerized Woodworking Machines

Computerized woodworking machines offer advantages to entrepreneurs without all the power tools. With a little computer programming, a machine can carve three dimensionally by ripping, cross cutting, mitering, contouring, jointing and routing, but likely will cost more all by itself than a shop full of tools.

Keywords: woodworking tools, power tools, wood carving

About this Author

Gretchen Martin was first published in 1994. She is author of the play “A Funeral Waiting” and contributes to Suite101 and Thom McFadden’s “Acting for Real.” Martin holds a Bachelor of Arts in theater. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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