A whittling knife is a tool used to carve wood into shapes. It’s a traditional art form that dates back centuries.
Today, whittling knives are still being used to create beautiful works of art. They’re also useful tools for carving out small pieces of wood.
Whittling knives come in a variety of styles and sizes. Some are designed to be used with a block of wood while others are designed for use with a sharpening stone.
A good knife should be sharp enough to cut through wood but not so sharp that it will damage the wood or the person using it. A good knife should also be comfortable to hold and use.
A good whittling knife should be thin enough to cut through wood easily but thick enough to keep from bending when you’re cutting or carving. A good knife should also have a sharp edge; if it doesn’t, sharpen it.
Characteristics of a whittling knife
A whittling knife is typically used for wood carving and is characterized by a long, narrow blade. It is used by a wood carver to create intricate details in a pattern.
The blade should be broad at the base and taper to the sharpened edge and should be relatively thin. The cutting edge should be convex.
The tip should be pointed. The blade should be stiff, and the tang should extend the full length of the handle.
A whittling knife is generally used for carving wood. Therefore, its shape must allow easy access to all sides of the piece of wood. This means that the blade has no guard on one side.
Other factors to consider :
- Blade size
There are many different types of blades available. Blades can range anywhere between 1/4″ wide up to 3 inches. Most people prefer a 2-3 inch blade because they find this gives them more control over their work.
- Handle material
There are two main materials commonly used as handles: hardwoods such as maple, hickory, oak, ash, etc., and soft woods like pine, cedar, spruce, cypress, mahogany, etc. Hardwood handles tend to last longer than softwood ones.
However, both kinds of handles require maintenance. Softwood requires less care than hardwood. If your knife gets wet, wipe off any excess moisture before storing it.
Fixed or folding blades for whittling?
When we think of whittling, we usually think of a fixed-blade knife, and the common fixed-blade knife is the traditional style knife that is designed to hold the knife at an angle.
This type of knife has a blade that is nailed or screwed to a wooden handle, and this is why it is also called a nailing knife.
Folding whittling knives, on the other hand, have a blade that folds into a handle. They are super handy to carry in your pocket, and are great for whittling small, delicate pieces.
Therefore, these knives are often preferred by beginners who want something smaller and easier to store.
However, there’s nothing wrong with having a fixed-bladed knife. In fact, some experts recommend starting with a fixed-bladed whittler until you get better at handling a folding knife.
Once you feel confident about how to safely manipulate a folding knife, then switch to a folding model.
Types of Whittling Knives – Top favourite wood carving knives
- Morakniv wood carving 120
Morakniv Woodcarving 120 is an entry-level traditional Swedish knife designed to be easy to use, but still provide the quality and value of premium Morakniv knives.
It has a convex grind which is ideal for both carving tools and trimming, and a high-quality steel which resists corrosion and is easy to maintain. It has a simple, two-piece wooden handle with a removable safety cap.
It is available in a selection of attractive colors including brown, green, and black so you can match the color of your kitchen or other parts of your home.
- Flexcut carving jack wood carving knife –
Thanks to an aptly named company called flex carving knives, a new class of knife has emerged in the woodcarving world: the flexcut. The new knives are designed for the serious woodcarver who wants the performance of a carving knife but the weight of a kitchen knife.
The blades are forged from high carbon steel, giving them the hardness necessary to cut through the hardest woods, yet they are also lighter than their kitchen counterparts so they are easier to use.
- Flexcut whittling jack knife – Flexcut Detail Knife
The Flexcut Whittling Jack is a high-performance tool designed to take the average wood-carver or hobbyist and turn them into a cutting machine. Aside from being lightweight and effective, it’s also easy to use and assemble, making it a great choice for novice and professional users alike.
- Flexcut tri-jack pro whittling knife
Many people prefer the Flexcut Tri-Jack Pro “tri-point” system because it cuts an angle into the blade that allows you to more easily sharpen your knife. You don’t need any special tools to do this; just run a sharpening stone over the edge of the blade.
This means that if you accidentally damage the tip of your blade while using it, you won’t lose much material since the rest of the blade will remain intact.
- Morakniv wood carving 164
A Morakniv is a traditional Scandinavian knife that has been used for over a century. They are often used by woodcarvers and are an excellent multi-use tool for small jobs.
The model 164 is a “carving knife” – which means you can make decorative designs in wood. This knife is quite popular with artists, woodcarvers and also knife collectors. A excellent multi-purpose knife.
- Fury nobility raindrop razor edge
It’s been ten years since the release of the first Fury razor and it’s been a long ten years. Five years ago they reinvented the razor as the first mass produced razor that was truly ergonomic.
When you hold a Fury you feel like you’re holding a large block of wood, it doesn’t take up too much space and it’s quite a nice feeling. The blades are very well made and cut extremely close.
One of the favorite pocket woodcarving knife.
- Case cutlery 06246 black G-10 seahorse
Case Cutlery 06246 Black G-10 Seahorse Whittling Knife This whittling knife has smooth contours and is made from a stainless steel blade. This knife is made in the shape of a Seahorse with a double edge blade.
It measures 4.5″ when closed and 8″ in overall length. The blade is 1.75″ x 1.5″ when open and 1.25″ x 1.5″ when closed. The handle is made of G-10 material with a lanyard hole and a pocket clip.
The knife comes with the original box and instructions. The edge of the blade is extremely sharp and should only be used by an adult or with adult supervision.
Best fancy steels to use for your whittling knife
- Carbon steel blade
There are many different steels out there, but the one that I use most in my whittling is a carbon steel blade. The reason I use this is because of the great cutting properties and it’s easy to sharpen.
- Carbon steel folding blade
Carbon steel folding blade are one of the best because, unlike other types of knives, they have no hard edges on their blades so they are easier to work with. It takes less time to hone these blades than others.
I recommend getting some cheap ones at Walmart or Amazon before investing in something expensive. If you want to get really serious about learning how to carve then invest in a set of decent quality blades. And has many benefits of carbon steel.
- Laminated steel
Laminated steel are one of the common steel used to make whittling knife, especially those who are new to the hobby. These blades are usually harder than regular steel and therefore last longer. However, they tend to dull faster than normal steel.
If you plan on doing lots of carving then laminate steel might not be the right choice for you. But if you are looking to learn quickly then go ahead and buy them.
- Stainless steel blade
These blades are probably the hardest type of blade available. They will never rust and are more durable than any other kind of blade. You won’t need to worry about sharpening them either.
However, they do cost more money than other kinds of blades. So if you don’t mind spending extra cash then go ahead and purchase them. Otherwise stick with what works better for you.
- Case’s proprietary Tru-Sharp stainless steel
Case’s proprietary Tru-Sharp stainless steel is a special formula of stainless steel that is very well suited for whittling.
What is the best wood to use for whittling?
Here some piece of wood best for making whittling knives:
- Pine wood
There are 3 qualities of pine suitable for whittling; soft, medium and hard. Soft pine is ideal for whittling because the wood is soft, which means it can be carved more easily.
- Cedar wood
A cedar wood for whittling is the best kind of wood to use when you want to start whittling. It is a very soft wood that is easy to carve. It is used a lot in making totems and other carvings.
- Oak wood
Oak is a dense hardwood full of beautiful grains that makes it perfect for whittling. It is one of the most popular whittling woods with its beautiful grain and durability.
- Mahogany wood
Mahogany wood is quite similar to oak in its properties. For example, it makes a nice whittling knife handle.
Mahogany can be used to craft a variety of things including handles for tools and equipment. It is sometimes used in the making of furniture due to its high durability.
- Walnut wood
Walnut wood is an excellent choice for carving or whittling. Knives made from walnut are more durable than their hickory counterparts.
- Beech wood
Beech has a fine, straight grain and is an ideal wood for whittling. It is also a popular wood for making walking sticks. Therefore, this is another great option for beginners.