What is a good wood carving knife for beginners?

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Forum topic by josephmaynor posted 04-22-2019 07:36 PM 895 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 446 days

04-22-2019 07:36 PM

Topic tags/keywords: woodcarving whittling knives best knife best knives woodcarver question blade carving shaping sharpening arts and crafts

Hey Lumberjocks,

So I have been wood carving for some months now, using a not that good pocket knife – and I’ve really felt in love with wood carving, so I want to take it to the next level, and get myself a new and better knife made for wood carving.. So I was just wondering if any of you knew a good brand or a good model to go for?
I have checked this list of the best wood carving knives 2019 here..

But I thought I would just hear what your thoughts were, before buying one, what should I go for?

I hope you all have a great day

7 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile


8909 posts in 3353 days

#1 posted 04-22-2019 07:50 PM

How To Make A Carving Knife From An Old Drill Bit

How about making one?

And welcome to Lumberjocks josephmaynor!

View HokieKen's profile


14074 posts in 1915 days

#2 posted 04-22-2019 08:50 PM

I am fairly “green” when it comes to carving/whittling but I bought the Flexcut Whittlin’ Jack last year and it is probably my most used knife. It’s an excellent design and the steel takes and holds an edge really well. If I were to buy again, I’d probably go with the Tri Jack if it were going to be my only knife. The added detail blade would be handy.

That’s for a pocket solution. I went on vacation a couple of weeks ago and bought a Mora 106 for the trip. I ended up liking it so much that I went out and bought the Mora 120 while I was there. Both excellent knives with excellent handles.

I would recommend all 3 of those knives. If you want a single knife, I’d go with the Flexcut Jack. If you prefer individual fixed blades, go with the Mora 106 to begin with and if you like that, add the 120 or a smaller detail blade.

This is one of those questions you can get 100 different answers to but there’s my $.02

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View TravisH's profile


717 posts in 2712 days

#3 posted 04-22-2019 09:19 PM

I have used a variety of knives and outside of a few any of them would be fine. First you need to know what a sharp knife is. Once you know that a carving knife is going to boil down to what you find comfortable to use.

I have mainly went with the flex cut knives over the years. Cheap price, hold edge well, blade thickness and geometry seam good, and most importantly…. I find the handle very comfortable in use. The Flexcut KN12 is hard to beat in regards to overall beginner knife. Will handle many tasks good to well.

I have meant to buy a few of the Hock carving knife blades and make my own handles. If the blades are anything like the plane blades would be hard to beat.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5424 posts in 1359 days

#4 posted 04-22-2019 11:40 PM

I recommend the Mora 120 for beginners. The smaller blade, compared to the 106 means it’s a little easier to handle. Or the Woodcarving Basic, which has a plastic handle, but costs about half what the wooden-handled knives do. It still handles well, but it’s more indestructible.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View ClaudeF's profile


1147 posts in 2484 days

#5 posted 04-23-2019 12:32 AM

I’ll have to respectfully disagree with TravisH. I have the Flexcut KN12 and don’t like it at all. In my opinion, the blade is too thick and the bevel is too large. I mainly carve basswood, so that’s what I’m basing my opinion on. If you are carving cherry, maple, etc., then the KN12 may be the better knife for you, as it has the strength to stand up to the harder woods. I have a KN13 detail knife that I think is much better for beginners – most beginners don’t make large chips, so the strength of the KN12 is wasted on them. I modified my KN13 by changing it so that the bevel goes all the way from the cutting edge to the blade back – much better for carving, for me. I also have 6 Helvie knives.

The chart below shows digital caliper measurements of various blades. You can see that the Flexcut blades are quite a bit thicker than the others, and thicker blades are more difficult to push through the wood.



View MSquared's profile


1060 posts in 691 days

#6 posted 04-23-2019 12:51 AM

Where’s Phil ?!

-- Marty, Long Island, NY

View Don W's profile

Don W

19621 posts in 3344 days

#7 posted 04-28-2019 10:36 PM

Take a stroll through this thread

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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