Quality Chip Carving Tools?

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Forum topic by natdobs posted 03-28-2016 02:08 AM 2331 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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19 posts in 1621 days

03-28-2016 02:08 AM

I’ve seen some pretty poor reviews for the most part on chip carving knives and I’m a little hesitant to buy any before I know what I’m getting.
So I’m just curious what primary knife are you rocking for chip carving?

Just recently read this guide
which they suggested the Wayne Barton Chip Carving Knives.
Is this better than flexcut?

What are some better options out there?

7 replies so far

View David Taylor's profile

David Taylor

326 posts in 1886 days

#1 posted 03-28-2016 02:50 AM

I like Cape Forge tools, myself. Hand forged, great customer service, awesome handles, reasonably priced, and can have custom made knives.

Wayne Barton, and really almost anything, is much better than Flexcut, IMHO.

-- Learn Relentlessly

View Robert's profile


3781 posts in 2280 days

#2 posted 03-28-2016 11:25 AM

I have 3: WB, Pfeil and Hock. I have no experience with Flexcut.

The WB and Pfeil are practically identical as to blade shape. Can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think the steel in the WB knife is superior to the Pfiel. The Pfeil handle is too light for my taste while the WB has denser wood and feels better in my hand. The Hock is practically useless IMO. The blade is way, way too thick for chip carving.

I don’t think you can go wrong with the Barton.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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967 posts in 3694 days

#3 posted 03-28-2016 07:50 PM

I have heard good things about Cape Forge, but you can learn to use any knife if it is sharp. I don’t care much for Flexcut knives though. You might check with Marty at
He makes some good knives also.

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

View jimbop's profile


5 posts in 1668 days

#4 posted 03-28-2016 11:36 PM

I have Wayne Barton and a set from chipping away in Canada. They are both good…if you have them sharp.
I use the Barton ones almost all of the time. They are what I am most used to and they feel comfortable.

View darinS's profile


719 posts in 3666 days

#5 posted 06-02-2016 09:58 PM

Not to take anything away from any of the above listed, but I have the Flexcut and enjoy using them. They seem to be pretty easy to keep sharp (although that is something I need to become better at). Are the others better? Possibly, I’ve never tried them. I was able to get into a 3 piece set of Flexcut and try out chip carving to see if I would like it without breaking the bank. Found out I do enjoy it, now just need to find the time to get better.

-- Rule 7 - Always be specific when you lie

View Nikki's profile


80 posts in 1571 days

#6 posted 06-14-2016 02:19 PM

I haven’t been carving for long so can’t really add anything of significant value when it comes to what brands to get, but I do turn so use plenty of chisels.
What I’ve discovered is that it’s not so much what brand of knife or chisel you get as much as how YOU personally like it?
Everyone has different size hands and a different style of carving. What might be ideal for one may very well be horrible for another.
When I first went out and got a lathe I purchased the top of the line chisels from Ashley Iles and Sobeys. While these are great chisels, my favourite chisels are ones that were made from large hexagon shaped L shaped tools. The name escapes me right now BUT these work great. Handles are currently being made for them.
Alan keys. That’s it. Big Alan keys would great for making sharp chisels and if they would good for turning they’ll hold up to manual carving for sure.

Another similarity is sharpening. You are basically only as good as your sharpest tools. Both carving and turning rely on sharp knives and chisels so learning to sharpen is essential.
A good investment I made a while ago to sharpen my tools is a belt sander jig from Lee Valley.
You have to buy a motor but it’s a great set up and works fabulously with the sanding belts that come with it and has made a world of difference to my woodworking and turning of acrylic.
I should try and add a picture of it.

View BassBully's profile


261 posts in 4896 days

#7 posted 06-27-2016 12:38 PM

Probably late to the party here but I have used several chip carving knives because I like collecting them. Helvie Chip carving knives came ready to carve out of the box as they were sharp and shaped very well. For me, a good shape to a chip carving knife will look like a long thin triangle with a very small 10 degree bevel at the cutting edge but the blade won’t be too thin as I don’t like a lot of flex in my blades.

Flexcut knives were good but I had to shape them a little thinner at the point. I like the handles on them as they fit comfortably in my hand.

I have the Wayne Barton knife and really like this one but had to hone the blade prior to using but it’s a great knife.

I have the MyChipCarving platinum knives and they come ultra sharp but the ridge where the 10 degree bevel exists at the point is long and it is a “sharp” transition to the rest of the blade. This made it difficult for me to use so I ground down this “sharp” transition and it has worked great ever since. I love composition of the blade as it stays sharp and is easy to sharpen.

This weekend I just purchased the OCC Tools chip knife. I tested it on a new board I purchased but the chips kept breaking on me although the knife is really sharp. I don’t have a full review on it yet because I think the issue is that the blade needs thinned as it’s too wide and prying apart the fiber of the wood but I could’ve gotten a soft loosely tightened grained board as well.

-- There are three types of people in the world, those who can count and those who can't!

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