The best wood carving tools should be functional and provide the best value for your hard-earned money. I’ve put together a list of our very favorite tools that I reach for consistently. Specifically looking for the best wood carving knives? I've got a full page of great knives here!
I took a class with caricaturist Chris Hammack and he recommended these Stubai gouges from the Whittling Shack.
They are wonderful tools that cut cleanly and have not let me down!
I got the 8-piece "Marv's Set" that is pictured here. They are great for caricature carving.
This soft V-tool from Drake is wonderful for carving hair, beards, and other designs. It cuts like butter!
I got mine from Greg Dorance Co.
This Ramelson fishtail gouge is great for splitting legs or roughing out. Helps save a little wear and tear on your knives and hands.
All links below are Amazon affiliate links. We receive a small commission if you buy them, which helps support our website (without any cost to you). Thanks!
Getting a Canvas lamp was one of my best wood carving decisions.
Not only does it provide light wherever I need it, but it also holds my phone, which makes it super easy to take pictures and videos of my wood carvings.
I love how flexible it is. I bought mine without the base because I prefer to clamp it to the mobile side table I mention below. It will save you a few pennies, too.
I‘ve gone through several lamps and this one is a keeper. I can also vouch for their amazing customer service as well.
You can buy the Canvas lamp here (affiliate link). It has become one of my best wood carving tools.
If you want a rolling table to store your everyday wood carving kit, you will love this HOSTACK side sofa mobile table (affiliate link) with 2 drawers and 3 open storage shelves.
It doubles as an end table for my sofa that I can easily pull out from the wall when it’s time to do some wood carving.
I‘ve also attached my Canvas lamp (affiliate link) with a clamp that I use to hold my iPhone for taking pictures and videos of my carvings. I added small pieces of cardboard on each side of the clamp to protect the table (see picture below).
The 2 shelves on the side are perfect to keep my wood favorite wood carving books—and some wood blocks—within reach. The two drawers are deep enough to hold extra tools and more wood blocks.
It’s a really sturdy, streamlined, and stylish solution!
I own this Husky tool chest (affiliate link) as well as a smaller one from Waterloo.
Each serves its purpose, but the Husky tool chest is definitely made with much higher quality. It’s a very sturdy piece. I use it to store my best wood carving tools.
The bottom drawers are super deep to hold all kinds of tools and vises.
Plus, the Husky tool chest cost me close to $100 less!
I keep mine in our dining room—because I don’t want to run to the basement every time I need a tool—and simply cover it with a tablecloth when guests come for dinner. It makes a great side buffet table!
I upgraded my inexpensive wood burning pen to the Colwood detailer kit and what a huge difference! With the cheaper pen I could never get an even burn line. And it just didn’t have much fire power. The Colwood wood burner gets so hot so fast I have to keep it on a lower setting.
It comes with 3 nibs and they are so much fun to use. I also bought a few more nibs for curves and lettering.
If you want to elevate your wood burning, this kit is well worth it. Plus, the bundle package pictured comes with an awesome book about wood burning.
You can get your kit here with this Amazon affiliate link.
I looked at a number of vises before settling on this Panavise (affiliate link). It is quite sturdy and can be bolted down to a work bench.
What’s great is the ability to turn it any which way in a circle, or up and down.
It gives you lots options to help you carve at the perfect angle.
It is a must for safety if you use gouges.
If you’re looking for a much smaller vise that can be placed inside a wooden box for lap carving (like I do most often) you will love this inexpensive wood vise (affiliate link).
It’s easy to move around and also makes it safer to carve since you are not directing your knife toward your non-carving hand.
You could also use it on a table top against a wall or secured with other pieces of wood or a clamp.
I’ve gone through several types of magnifying glasses (including store-bought readers) and this Vision Aid (affiliate link) is truly worth buying.
There is so much customization you can do. It comes with 5 different lenses and a rechargeable light. I got the kit where you can recharge the light with a USB cable (it also has a battery-operated version). It features 2 light options—and best of all—the light can be moved up and down.
You have the option of wearing the glasses with or without a headband. It fits over my prescription glasses, and you can move the lens up and down, which comes in handy when you need to read something or grab your water bottle.
It all comes in a beautiful case that protects everything. I’m super careful when handling the lenses, which focus really nicely.
Tip: Click on the QR code in your kit to link to a number of YouTube videos that provide user tips and tricks for customizing your glasses.
Check out my honest reviews of wood carving books so you can get the most bang from your buck!
Share page on: