Best Knives For Whittling In 2019: Carving Out Beautiful Sculptures

best knives for whittling

Our top recommended product for today is the Craftyfier 3-Piece Kit which will give you the only three whittling knives that you will ever need.

Whittling is one of those hobbies where once you get started, you will be addicted forever. Once the whittling bug has bitten you, you will begin exploring the internet for some of the best whittling tools and knives. If you are searching for carving knives, then I have got you covered.

I have written a review on five of the best whittling knives for carving beautiful wooden sculptures or ornaments. I have also written a beginner guide on the three main different types of knives and also what each one is used for.

Best Whittling Knives 2019

Below is a summary of the first three products that you can expect to find. I have included the Craftyfier 3-Piece Kit which was our top pick, the BeaverCraft Wood Chip which was for best budget and the Flexcut 6-Blade Multitool which is another excellent multitool for whittling.

Craftyfier 3-Piece Kit

  • Editors Rating: 10/10
  • Type: Kit

BeaverCraft Wood Chip

  • Editors Rating: 8/10
  • Type: Chipping Knife

Flexcut 6-Blade Multitool

  • Editors Rating: 9/10
  • Type: Multitool

#1 Craftyfier 3-Piece Kit (Top Pick)

Best for: The Craftyfier 3-Piece Kit is ideal for beginners that will give you everything you need to start whittling.

  • Editors Rating: 10/10
  • Type: Kit

Let’s start with the knives. This kit will give you three knives which include the larger whittling knife, smaller chipping knife, and a hook knife. You will get your larger whittling knife which is used to carve out all the form of the object that you are making from wood. The chip carver knife is used to further refine your piece, for instance, adding a nose or pointy ears to a small gremlin doll would do the job. The hook knife is used to hollow out the wood. Along with the three tools, you will also get a polishing compound which will help maintain the sharpness of the knives. The leather strop is used to take your sharp blades to the next level. Along with all the tools, you will get a tools roll in which to organize them and carry them with you wherever you go.

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#2 BeaverCraft Wood Chip (Budget Friendly)

Best for: If you are short on a budget and you need an essential tool for whittling.

  • Editors Rating: 8/10
  • Type: Chipping Knife

The majority of time whittling will involve the finer details and the more delicate elements that give your art true meaning. The blades length is around 2.35” long, and the sharp tip is used for tighter areas of detail. The blade is made from high carbon steel that is very tough and is also sharpened. This blade is made explicitly for softwood cutting and is hardened to RC 58-60. The handle is made from hardwood oak and has an ergonomic design. The handle is also processed with linseed oil to give it a shinier finish. If you are short on a budget, then you can skip most of the other tools while this one is mandatory and you cannot carve without it.

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#3 Flexcut 6-Blade Multitool

Best for: If you would like to put all of your whittling knives into one tool, then the Flexcut 6-Blade multitool is for you.

  • Editors Rating: 9/10
  • Type: Multitool

Some people like multitools while others don’t because it can be referred to as a personal preference for some. This tool has six blades which will equip you with everything you need to start whittling. This tool is also built explicitly for right-handed carvers which is excellent. The device includes a straight gouge, carving knife, hook knife, chisel, V-scorp, and a gouge scorp. The multitool also comes with extra accessories which will help you to maintain the sharpness of the blade. You will get a polishing compound along with a sharpening strop. You will also get a neat leather pouch to store the tool inside.

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#4 BeaverCraft Sloyd Knife

Best for: This BeaverCraft Sloyd Knife is best used in whittling for roughing wood out to you point where your art starts to take form.

  • Editors Rating: 8/10
  • Type: Carving Knife

This knife is best used to carve out the form of the object that you want to make out of a larger piece of wood. It can be used for chipping, but I would instead use the wood chip knife for that. The blade is 3.15” long which can make it harder to modify the tighter areas and is best suited for carving out the form of your piece. The blade is also made from high quality, high carbon steel which is very hard and will maintain an edge for a more extended period. The blade can cut through both soft and hardwood such as walnut and oak. The handle is made from hardwood along with linseed oil to make it more durable. The handle also has an ergonomic shape to make it more efficient.

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#5 BeaverCraft Hook Knife

Best for: If you want to carve out bowls, cups, and even spoons, then you will need this hook knife from BeaverCraft.

  • Editors Rating: 8/10
  • Type: Hook Knife

The BeaverCraft hook knife looks very different than all of the other knives listed in this review. It has the shape of a hook while the one has a sharp edge. This type of knife is best used to hollow out a wooden object. It can be used to make bowls, spoons, a kuksa or any other piece of art that needs to be hollowed out. You also have the option to choose between the left-handed or right-handed spoon depending on your orientation. The knife is made from high carbon steel which makes it hard and very durable. The displacement of the blade is 2.5”, while the diameter of the hook is around 1.2”. The knife has an ergonomic handle made from hardwood oak and linseed oil to be durable and efficient.

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Choosing The Best Whittling Knife (Beginners Guide)

What is whittling

Whittling is an art, and sometimes you can be just as good as the tools will allow you to be. It also does not mean that you need to buy all the different tools and knives that you get your hands on. You only need one good knife to get started. In this section, I will give you an overview of some of the different types of whittling knives that you can find.

There are three main types of whittling knives

If you want to carve a masterpiece out of wood effectively, then you at least need to be more familiar with some of the tools made available for you. There is a large variety of knives and tools that you can buy, but there remain three main types of tools that are the most important.

The three tools include the carving knife, a chipping knife and also the hook knife.

  • Carving knife. This type of knife has a longer blade that is usually more than 3” in length. The long and thick blade makes it easier to carve out the form or outline of the object that you want to make. It is more rugged, and the blade is longer because this tool will remove most of the wood from your art piece. The blade can be considered too long for the finer details which is why I recommend only using this knife to do the bulk of the work. A great example of a carving knife is the BeaverCraft Sloyd Knife.
  • Chipping knife. Now that the form of your art piece is done, it is now time to move onto the finer details. For example, if you are making small dolls or model cars, you should use this knife to make the carve out the nose, ears and the final details on the fingers, etc. You can also carve out the side mirrors or front grill of your model car with this knife. It is important to note that this knife is not used to do the heavy lifting because the blade is just over 2” long and is thinner. You will quickly waste this small blade if you decide to use it for the bulk of the work. The best knife for this is the BeaverCraft Wood Chip.
  • Hook knife. This knife looks very different than the previous two mentioned. Instead of a straight blade, it makes use of a curved one that resembles a hook. The one side of the hook will have a sharp edge. This type of knife is used to hollow out a wooden object. For instance, if you want to make cups, bowls, wooden spoons, a small boat or anything that needs to be hollowed out, this knife is for you. IF you want a hook knife, then I would recommend the BeaverCraft Hook Knife.

Should you go for a complete kit?

If you are new to whittling and do not have any tool in your arsenal toolbox, then I would highly recommend one of the kits or multitools that I have listed. These kits will include all of the knives and extra accessories needed to start your whittling journey.

The kit should at least include a carving knife, chipping knife and a hook knife. Some kits also contain a polishing stone or leather strop to keep your knives as sharp as they can be. Some kits also include a tools roll that can be used as an apron to carry your tools with you. I would go for the Craftyfier 3-Piece Kit or the Flexcut 6-Blade Multitool.

Whittling Tutorial

What is whittling?

Whittling is the art of carving our pieces of art such as sculptures out of wood with the help of carving knives. It takes a lot of patience and practice to perfect and can take years of trial and error to start producing fabulous pieces of art.

What type of wood should you use?

There are many types of wood to use. The two most common types of wood are softwood and hardwood. For beginners, I would recommend starting with softwood because it is easier to handle and the grain can be smoother to work with. The most common types are basswood and pinewood. Make sure to choose a wood that does not have dark growth rings and always make sure that the wood is dry.

Cutting with the grain

You can quickly identify the grain by the dark strands or rings that move along it. Once you have identified the direction of these rings and lines, you will know in which direction to cut. Cutting with the grain instead of against it is essential. The reason for this statement is that it is easier and will give you art piece a smoother appearance and feel. It is also much safer to cut with the grain.

Do not cut yourself

These knives might be small, but they can be as sharp as their larger counterparts. It is also effortless to cut yourself with these knives as you might think. You should also make sure your knives are sharp because you then do not need to apply that much pressure to get the work done. I have written an extensive guide on how to sharpen your knives. You also have the option to wear a cut resistant glove.

When cutting through wood with these knives, you should always try to cut away from your body instead of towards it. Let’s say you are holding the knife with your right hand and the wood with your left. Hold the wood in your left palm and keep your thumb behind the spine of the knife. The hand which is holding the wood should push the blade with its thumb. The hand that is holding the knife should always be the guide which will keep the angle at which you are cutting.

Be patient

One of the most notable differences between whittling and for let’s say drawing or painting is that it is harder to erase your mistakes. With pencil drawing, you can clear out your errors with a piece of rubber or paint over the mistake.

With whittling, you can cut out the mistake, but once you have cut out too much wood, you will need to start over with a new piece. Be patient and take one stroke at a time. Even a simple error might force you to start all over again.

Whittling Knives Comparison

Product Name TypeEditors Rating
1. Craftyfier 3-Piece Kit (Top Pick)Kit
10/10
2. BeaverCraft Wood Chip (Budget Friendly)Chipping Knife8/10
3. Flexcut 6-Blade MultitoolMultitool9/10
4. BeaverCraft Sloyd KnifeCarving Knife8/10
5. BeaverCraft Hook KnifeHook Knife8/10

Conclusion

I have written about five of the best whittling knives that you could find, and I have also given you a beginners guide to show you the ropes. If you still could not choose the best knife, then I would recommend taking a look at the comparison table above.

Now it is your turn. Which knife was your favorite and why?

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