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Chip carving set recommendation & comparison

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Forum topic by Spacehog posted 02-11-2017 08:37 PM 2155 views 1 time favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Spacehog

87 posts in 2298 days


02-11-2017 08:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: chip chip carving carving flexcut pfeil

Ahoy chip carvers! I am not a chip carver, so forgive me if this topic has come up a thousand times already. I was hoping to get some insight about what set of chip carving knives/chisels to go with as I get started. I know and like both Flexcut and Pfeil carving tools for general carving, and I am sure that they both have good chip carving tools as well. But since I don’t know very much about chip carving, I thought I would ask if anyone has an opinion about Flexcut chip carving set vs. Pfeil’s chip carving set. I’m not looking to get a large array of tools just yet, because I want to get used to the basic tools first. So I will show below the two sets I am considering. If you have a thought, I would really appreciate your opinions and guidance. I would describe myself as being a much better sharpener than a woodworker, so I don’t mind doing my own sharpening for them. I am more interested in the tools performance and ease of use. the difference in money is not really a big concern to me, because both sets cost about the same at the store near my house. So if you feel like one of these two sets really works better than the other, please let me know. Or, if you prefer a completely different set or brand, I would be happy to consider that as well. I am not interested in a really low grade bargain set though. I want something nice. Thanks in advance!

The first set I saw is the 3 knife Flexcut Chip Carving Set here I’ve already got some Flexcut stuff, including their little strop thing for carving tools.

The second set I am considering is the Pfeil set which has 2 knives and can be seen here I also own several Pfeil chisels/knives and I have always liked their stuff.

So if there any of you really like one of these over the other, please let me know. Or if you prefer a different set entirely, then let me know. Thanks!

-- Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might...


14 replies so far

View ScottDuncan's profile

ScottDuncan

1 post in 1242 days


#1 posted 02-11-2017 09:25 PM

I own the Flexcut set and the Pfeil as well- Personally the Flexcut had to be modified out of the box as the “ergonomic” handle is not that ergonomic.

On the smaller of the carving knives in the 3-blade set (lg cutter sm cutter and a stab knife) the handles are TOO BIG near the base of the blade to accommodate the proper grip with knuckle/thumb. Your mileage may vary…

The second thing about the flexcut I did not appreciate was that the blades are epoxied in- so after you shape the handles to fit your grip- it is very thin around the base of the blade. No cracking yet for me- but a riveted blade is safer than a glued in blade anyday.

With the Pfeil I have better control but be careful with the blades. Seems like the Pfeil are harder- but more brittle.(Snapped one- it was replaced no issues with the company) not complaining just stating that if you are a bit rougher on your knives you will probably break it.

I have enjoyed BOTH sets- but the Flexcut is cheaper to get you started just have to work the handles- the Pfeil work out of the box- but require more care in handling…

View Slemi's profile

Slemi

118 posts in 2314 days


#2 posted 02-12-2017 12:31 AM

I use the two Pfeil knives from your second set. I have done a few chip carvings myself and never needed more than these two. Actually I would not miss the bottom one if I didn’t have it. One thing You need to do from the beginning is to sharpen the knife different that is the original. Original it has double bevel, but that doesn’t work for chip carving as the knife can’t go deep into wood because it is too thick. I hope you understand. Below is one of my carvings. If you need ideas for desing check Tatiana Baldina’s designs: https://www.etsy.com/shop/FancyChip

View Spacehog's profile

Spacehog

87 posts in 2298 days


#3 posted 02-12-2017 06:08 AM

Oh wow, those are fantastic looking Slemi! I am grateful to both you and Scott for your advice. I absolutely know what you mean about the double bevel grind, and I completely agree with you. Double bevel may be alright for a kitchen knife, or every day carry knife, but I’ve never found it to be useful for carving wood.

Well thanks so much! I feel like I’ve got a much better grasp after reading these.

-- Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might...

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

14358 posts in 4870 days


#4 posted 02-12-2017 09:48 AM

Marty has a bunch of info related to chip carving. You may want to check out his “profile”: http://lumberjocks.com/MyChipCarving .

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View ClaudeF's profile

ClaudeF

1145 posts in 2480 days


#5 posted 02-12-2017 03:50 PM

Here’s a drawing to show what Slemi mentioned about the bevel angle.

Claude

Also, Laura Irish has a ton of info about chip carving, as well as a lot of patterns (quite a few are free).

http://www.lsirish.com/tutorials/woodcarving-tutorials/

-- https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudesWoodcarving

View Spacehog's profile

Spacehog

87 posts in 2298 days


#6 posted 02-12-2017 09:28 PM

Oh yeah, that’s a really useful diagram ClaudeF, I may have to steal it from you, haha. Convex bevel is another one that’s good for kitchen use but not carving.

-- Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might...

View mpounders's profile

mpounders

965 posts in 3668 days


#7 posted 02-15-2017 04:38 AM



Marty has a bunch of info related to chip carving. You may want to check out his “profile”: http://lumberjocks.com/MyChipCarving .

- WayneC


Marty sells some really great knives for chip carving! I think they are better than Flexcut or Pfeil chip carving knives.

-- Mike P., Arkansas, http://mikepounders.weebly.com

View Robert's profile

Robert

3742 posts in 2253 days


#8 posted 02-19-2017 12:45 PM

I passed on Flex cut because I didn’t like the handle or the blades.

So far I’ve tried 3: Hock, Pfeil, Barton.

The Hock blade is entirely to thick and the handle does not fit well. I have so say of the 3 it is the worst.

The Pfiell blade looks to be the same blade as Bartons, but is quite light but also less expensive.

The Wayne Barton knife is my primary knife. The blade is excellent, the handle is well balanced and fits well. The steel holds and edge extremely well. IMO the design of the Pfeil/Barton blade is optimal for 90% of chip carving.

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

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

5411 posts in 2160 days


#9 posted 02-19-2017 01:45 PM

Woodcraft has all Flexcut tools 30% off right now if that is a consideration.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View wood2woodknot's profile

wood2woodknot

108 posts in 2746 days


#10 posted 03-07-2017 03:00 AM

Devil’s Advocate here….............I have both Flexcut and Pfeil knives for both carving and chip carving, but I always go back to my two basic Wayne Barton knives for chip carving. They outperform all the others.

-- ajh

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wood2woodknot

108 posts in 2746 days


#11 posted 03-07-2017 03:02 AM

Devil’s Advocate here….............and a little late to the dance. However …

I have both Flexcut and Pfeil knives for both carving and chip carving, but I always go back to my two basic Wayne Barton knives for chip carving. They outperform all the others.

-- ajh

View Robert's profile

Robert

3742 posts in 2253 days


#12 posted 03-07-2017 02:27 PM

Stay away from Flexcut :-)

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

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

32122 posts in 3639 days


#13 posted 03-07-2017 10:08 PM

I like Flexcut carving tools and also Pfeil carving tools for general carving. However, I don’t like them for chip carving. I like Wayne Barton knives for chip carving. I think the Wayne Barton knives are made by another company but I have forgotten the name. I do know that I couldn’t tell any difference and they look just alike and perform the same.

I also am very fond of Henry Taylor carving tools.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- helluvawreck aka Charles, http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

View rustynails's profile

rustynails

890 posts in 3302 days


#14 posted 03-08-2017 03:29 AM

Wayne Barton knives for me….

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