7 Best Wood Carving Tools – Knifes, Chisels, Mallet & More

Best Wood Carving Tools

Wood carving is a very fulfilling and fun profession or hobby as it allows you to create some beautiful items from a simple block of timber. But to work on your carving projects, you need to invest in a good set of wood carving tools. A set that comprises of different types of knives and chisels makes a broad range of projects possible.

The variety of gouges, chisels, and knives in the market can be overwhelming. However, with the right information on what to look for and understanding what you need for different projects, it should be easy for you to find the right wood carving set.

ImageProduct NameWeightRatingCurrent Price
Xacto X5179 Wood Carving Tool Set1. Xacto X5179 Wood Carving Tool Set8.0 ounces4.4
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Deluxe Wood Carving Palm Tools and Knife Set
2. Deluxe Wood Carving Palm Tools and Knife Set 1.8 pounds4.8
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Power Grip Wood Carving Tools3. Power Grip Wood Carving Tools 7.2 ounces4.5
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Stanley 16-793 750-Series Socket Chisel4. Kreg K4MS Jig Master System 3.8 pounds4.4
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SE 7712WC Professional Wood Carving Set5. SE 7712WC Professional Wood Carving Set 1.9 pounds4.0
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StarSide 12-Piece Woodworking Professional Gouges and Wood Carving Hand Chisel Set
6. StarSide 12-Piece Woodworking Professional Gouges and Wood Carving Hand Chisel Set
2.0 pounds4.0
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Narex 300 gram Beech Wood Mallet
7. Narex 300 gram Beech Wood Mallet
1.0 pound4.8
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Manual Tools for Wood Carving

As you are buying your first wood carving tools, the best idea is to start with the manual ones as they are affordable and easier to master. Also, if you prefer the good old hands on approach to wood carving these are the tools for you. Although there are various kinds of these wood carving tools, the following are the most common and probably also the handiest.

#1. Chip-Carving Knife

Chip-Carving Knife

The chip-carving knife is the tool that most wood carvers will start with as it is widely available and also very versatile. In most instances, sculptors will use it for either chip carving or whittling. Chip carving knives come with a blade that is 1-1/2 inches long and a handle that is just the ideal size for the hand. High carbon steel ones are the best since they will keep a sharp edge for long.

#2. U-Gouges and V-Gauges

U-Gouges and V-Gauges

U-Gouges are one of the most valuable tools when it comes to carving. They are defined by the width of their cutting edge in millimeters or inches, shaft shape, the sweep and curvature of the edge. You can get them in widths that range between 2 mm and 60 mm and in sweeps that range from #2 to #11. You also get to choose from straight, spoon, bent and back-bent shapes.

The V-gouges are also handy carving tools, and they are defined by the angle of the bottom edge (vee edge) and the space between top edge tips. You can get v-gouges between 2 mm and 30 mm and in #12 and #13 sweeps.

#3. Carpenter’s Chisels

Carpenter’s Chisels

Carpenter's chisels feature a flat edge or #1 sweep. However, these are not ideal for use when sculpting because their edge has a tendency of digging into the wood and also plunges the tool deeper or further on one side than the carver's desire.

#4. Palm Tools

Palm Tools

If you are hunting for a wood carving set to help you with small projects involving soft woods like basswoods you should go for palm tools. Everything from the carpenter's chisels to chip-carving knives comes in small sizes, and you can get them as an affordable set that also includes palm gauges.

#5. Mallet


Mallet is an essential wood carving tool, and you will need it for almost all your projects. The traditional one features a cylindrical shape and a weighty and dense wood construction. However, others come with a rubber construction, and many carvers prefer them as they are less noisy and gentle on the chisel's handle, but they still deliver sufficient force.

Things to Consider When Buying Wood Carving Tools

Things to Consider When Buying Wood Carving Tools

If you are into carving as a profession or like many others carvers you are a hobbyist, it is important to ensure that you always get the best tools. Regardless of your level of skills or experience, tools will always determine the outcome of your carvings. Our wood carving tool reviews below will help you decide what to buy, but it is also vital to keep the following elements in mind when shopping.

#1. Multiple Tool Set

Purchasing a set that comes with multiple tools is always the best idea for both beginner and experienced carvers. A complete set not only saves you money but it opens up more possibilities of the things that you can create. Wood carving tool sets ensure that you have the right chisel head for any project.

#2. Construction

Carbon steel makes the best wood carving tools as it makes it possible for carvers to get a hard material that they can use for any wood type. Apart from carbon steel, you can also go for other high-quality metals that you can use for both soft and hard wood.

#3. Sharp Heads

Chisel heads that are already pre-sharpened are the best because they mean that you can use the tools immediately. Some sets will also include a sharpener which makes them even better since you can restore any dull chisels to the right sharpness quickly.

#4. Quality Assurance

When buying any wood carving tool set, it is important to make sure that every piece is checked and inspected to ensure that it is high quality. These quality inspections also ensure that there is a strong bond between the head and handle.

#5. Price

Price is something that you should keep in mind when shopping for any tool. Wood carving tools might not be the priciest wood tool, but you still need to make sure that you go for a set that offers you the best value for your cash. But, it is also vital for wood carvers to ensure that they do not compromise the tool quality to save a few dollars.

7 Best Wood Carving Tools - Reviews

1. Xacto X5179 Wood Carving Tool Set

Editor's Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Xacto X5179 Wood Carving Tool Set Review

The Xacto X5179 is a 3-dimensional carving set that consists of 6 tools. Each of the carving tools includes a forged steel head that can handle almost any type of wood and a durable hardwood handle that makes them comfortable to hold.

You can use the carving tools to shape wood, the groove cut and for deep relief cutting hence making them very handy. The design, shape, and size of these blades make it possible to make precise and detailed cuts and do it consistently. Also, the blades will maintain their sharpness for long, and so you will not have to keep resharpening them.

Despite the high-quality construction and choice of heavy duty blade material these carving tools are still very lightweight and hence easy to handle and with minimum hand fatigue.

2. Deluxe Wood Carving Palm Tools and Knife Set

Editor's Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Deluxe Wood Carving Palm Tools and Knife Set

Flexcut Tool creates their Deluxe wood carving set by combing palm tools with a knife set. And this ensures that both professional and hobbyist carvers get a set for a variety of applications. This carving set has a total of 9 pieces which are 5 palm tools to handle your small carving projects and 4 knives for chip carving and various other applications.

Both the knives and palm tools come with different head types to make this an even more versatile carving set. For the knives, you get 2 for detailing, 1 pelican knife and 1 standard cutting knife. On the other hand, the palm tool set consists of 3 different size gouges, 1 V tool, and 1 skew.

This set comes in a beautiful wood tool box, and it is the second priciest among our wood carving tool reviews. Each of the items in this carving set comes with a razor sharp blade, and it is ready to use straight from the box.

3. Power Grip Wood Carving Tools

Editor's Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Power Grip Wood Carving Tools

The Power Grip wood carving tools by Shinwa feature a unique short blade length design that makes the perfect tool to fill the gap between palm carving tools and the full-size ones. The blades are 1-1/4 inches and with some lamination for extra durability.

Apart from the blade the handles also have a unique design, and the company makes them for holding like a pencil. These handles are 4-1/2 inches and with a glossy finish.

This set consists of 7 carving tools that include a 3 mm #9 and 6 mm #8 gouges, 4.5 mm v-parting tool, 7.5 mm skew and straight chisel and some 9 mm #5 and #3 gouges. When you buy this affordable wood carving tool set, you also get a free storage box.

4. Stanley 16-793 750-Series Socket Chisel

Editor's Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Stanley 16-793 750-Series Socket Chisel

Stanley makes some of the best wood carving tools, and their classic 750 series is their most successful set to date. The Stanley 16-793 is an 8-piece set from this model that features tools with a long and thin blade that is a perfect choice for woodworkers.

The blades on these carving tools are high carbon steel, and they sharpen fast with little effort. However, it will be some time before you need to sharpen them because they maintain their razor-sharp edge for long. The blades have some tapered bevel sides that are also extra narrow to make it easy to work in tight areas.

Stanley gives these tools a hornbeam handle that is not only comfortable and durable on the hand but also helps in the efficient transfer of energy when you strike it with a mallet. This set is the priciest item on our list, but it is worth the price.

5. SE 7712WC Professional Wood Carving Set

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

SE 7712WC Professional Wood Carving Set

SE 7712WC is a professional wood carving set that consists of 12 chisels in assorted sizes and with different tip designs. They have a high carbon steel blade that makes them very durable but also ensures that they maintain a sharp edge for long. Each of the chisels has a total length of 7-3/4 inches.

The assorted sizes and tips mean that you can use these tools for everything from detailing wood projects to carving. And to make them comfortable to use they come with wooden handles that are soft and comfortable for the hand.

These chisels also come with tip protectors that help to maintain their sharpness, and they are in an organized PVC pouch when you get them. The SE 7712WC is the cheapest set of wood carving tools on our list which makes it perfect for a beginner and other carvers that are looking for an affordable carving set.

6. StarSide 12-Piece Woodworking Professional Gouges and Wood Carving Hand Chisel Set

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

StarSide 12-Piece Woodworking Professional Gouges and Wood Carving Hand Chisel Set

StarSide makes this 12-piece set for both carvers and woodworkers. The high number of chisels and gouges means that with this set you can tackle almost any project regardless of the scale. StarSide makes the blades with hardened carbon steel that makes them very durable and helps to maintain their sharpness.

The handles on these tools are quality polished wood that feels comfortable enough for the hand for extended use. Each of the carving tools has a total length of 203 mm, and the handle is about 93 mm which is a perfect size for your hand. These carving tools come in a plastic roll-up case that protects and makes them easy to store.

Some of the tools that you get in this set include the 3 straight gouges, 1 bent chisel, 1 pointed chisel, a round nose chisel and a few others. This broad variety makes this set ideal for carvers, artists, carpenters and any other profession that involves shaping or carving wood.

7. Narex 300 gram Beech Wood Mallet

Editor's Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Narex 300 gram Beech Wood Mallet

A good mallet is vital for any carving project, and this 300 gram one from Narex will work well for small and medium size projects that require precision. Both the head and handle are unfinished European beech, and so you can be confident of high performance and outstanding durability.

The overall length of this mallet is 12 inches, and the head has a diameter of 2-1/4 inches, and it is 4-3/4 inches long. This wood carving mallet is the cheapest tool on our list, and the price is also quite reasonable if you compare it with others in the market.


Although there are many modern power tools and machinery that can make carving easy, nothing beats chisels and knives when it comes to giving projects an authentic and detailed look. Whether you are just learning the trade or you are a professional, you need to have the right wood carving tools for your projects to turn out well.

With our tool carving tool reviews above and guide, you will not have a hard time finding a good set. However, with these tools, the right one for you will always depend on the projects that you want to do and also on your skills and experience.

Last Updated on

Tom Bradly

My entrepreneurial journey started in 2006, when I dropped out of university. I wanted to work with my hands, to build things. Now I mix my background with computers with my first-hand experience with woodworking to provide insights into the tools I like best. I love everything about woodworking and have been building stuff for over 20 years of my life. I hope to pass some knowledge and expertise.