Best Carving Knife: Buyer’s Guide For The Best Carving Knives

Best carving knife

Experienced Wood Carvers or those who are interested in getting started with the craft often want to know what the best carving knife is for their projects. To find the right tool for the job, you need to gather as much information about wood carving knives as you can.


Enhancing your knowledge on the subject will help you make a well-informed decision and allow you to choose the best carving knife to use for your favorite hobby.


The art of woodcarving is much simpler when you have the right tools to work with. That is why you can’t expect to create a masterpiece using just any type of knife. But do you know what to look for when buying a carving knife?


While personal preference can influence your decision a lot, there are some advantages and disadvantages to consider when browsing the current selection of wood carving knives available to you.

Is The Best Carving Knife A Folding Or Fixed Blade?

Like many other categories of knives, wood carving knives come in either folding or fixed-blade varieties. You need to decide which one will work best for you based on factors such as portability and ease of use.

Folding Wood Carving Knives

Best carving knife

Folding knives are easy to carry around your work area. You just slip them in your pocket and use them as needed. They are always within your reach and you don’t have to search around to find them.


There is also the added benefit that most folding knives are allowed in public places. So, if you need to carve while on the job or want to work on your skills in a public area, you shouldn’t have any issue with carrying around your folding wood carving knife.


While they are compact and easy to carry, some wood carving jobs call for a blade that is much bigger than any folding knife available. That is one of the drawbacks to only using a folding wood carving knife. And since the knife folds, it will obviously have a weak area that a fixed blade would not have.


If there is a large amount of pressure on the bevel of a folding knife, it could become damaged over time. Plus, knives that fold will often get loose materials inside the handle such as dust or grit. This debris may block the locking mechanism and make the folding knife unsafe to use.


The Pros And Cons Of Using A Folding Wood Carving Knife

Pros

  • A folding knife is easier to carry around by placing it in your pocket.
  • Folding knives are more discreet
  • They are legal to use in most areas

Cons

  • Folding knives tend to be weaker than fixed-blades
  • They are more difficult to clean and maintain
  • If the locking mechanism is damaged, the knife can become dangerous to use

Fixed Blade Wood Carving Knives

Fixed blade wood carving knife

A fixed blade knife may cause alarm when used in public, and in many parts of the world, using them in public areas is illegal. However, when you use a fixed-blade for wood carving purposes, it can be more resourceful than a folding knife

.

Since a fixed-blade doesn’t fold, there is no folding mechanism to become damaged. Fixed blade knives are strong and sturdy allowing them to be used for tough wood carving projects.


Another benefit is that fixed blade knives can have a larger blade, which can be useful when carving. The best wood carving knives in the industry often have a long blade, which can help in creating long, flat edges in your design.


This style of knife is also easier to clean and care for with very little maintenance required.

The Pros And Cons Of Using A Fixed Blade Wood Carving Knife

Pros

  • It is easy to care for and clean
  • Can be more useful in various wood carving projects
  • The blade is less likely to break or become damaged

Cons

  • Using a fixed blade wood carving knife in public could be illegal in some areas
  • It is less portable than a folding knife and you will need a sheath to transport it

What To Consider When Buying A Wood Carving Knife

Once you understand the benefits of both the folding and fixed blade knives for wood carving, there are several other things to consider that will help you with the buying process. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind when browsing your options for a wood carving knife.


The best type of blade that you can get for wood carving is a long and thin blade. A thick blade will often get in the way of your design techniques.


Shorter blades can hinder some cuts in the wood and put a limit on what you are capable of carving. Try to find a good balance for your blade to maintain strength and stability. While it may seem like a bad decision to purchase a thin blade, if you choose one made by a well-known manufacturer, and one made from premium materials, you shouldn’t have any problems.


Remember that carbon steel is stronger than stainless steel. While there are many quality knives that have blades made from stainless steel, when you are carving wood, you want the strongest and most durable blade you can find. Carbon steel is often used to create survival knives and machetes, so you know that a blade made from this type of steel can withstand plenty of use.


The only drawback to carbon steel is that it corrodes easily, so you will need to keep it away from moisture and make sure that it is cleaned frequently.


If you decide to buy a fixed blade wood carving knife, be sure that it doesn’t have a blade guard or a hilt. This will limit the blade’s function and it may get in the way with your wood carving design.

Our Choices For The Best Carving Knife

Wood carving knives come in all sizes and styles. To choose which one is the best for your specific needs, check out our list of the best carving knives in the industry.

Morakniv Wood Carving 120 Knife with Laminated Steel Blade, 2.4-Inch
  • Product length: 230 mm(9-Inch),Product width:34 mm(1.3-Inch), Knife length:165 mm(6.49-Inch), Blade thickness:2.7...
  • Oiled birch wood handle
  • Limited lifetime manufacturer's warranty

This carving knife has become a common tool for most woodworkers, mainly because of its simplistic yet functional design. The steel all-laminated blade is ultra-strong and capable of taking on the most strenuous carving tasks. The large, easy to hold handle allows for sharp and precise cuts for new or expert woodworkers.


It is lightweight and compact, allowing for easy portability even though it is a fixed blade. This knife is easy to maintain and is also very cost-effective. The only downside to this knife is that the blade will rust without proper maintenance and the thin point requires the user to be very cautious.

Opinel No 08 Stainless Steel Folding Everyday Carry Locking Pocket...
  • Simple, sturdy, efficient and easy to use, this essential tool remains unchanged since 1890 but is unmatched in its...
  • Opinel's stainless steel blades are made of Sandvik 12C27 modified stainless steel. It is anti-corrosive thanks to the...
  • Beech is the most commonly used wood for the manufacture of Opinel handles. Beech is hard, durable and easy to work...

The Opinel brand has manufactured wood carving knives for more than a century. You can have peace of mind when buying a knife from this brand because of their years of experience and wealth of knowledge.


The Opinel No. 8 has a small and lightweight design which makes it easy to use for some applications. Although it is a fixed blade knife, the small size makes it as portable as a pocket knife.


The carbon steel blade is 3.25” and is made from industrial strength materials. It is ideal for use with a wide range of carving activities. Since it is made from carbon steel, the blade is prone to corrosion if not cleaned properly.

Flexcut Whittlin' Jack, with 1-1/2 inch Detail Knife and 2 inch...
  • Jackknife with two whittling specific blades
  • 1 1-1/2 inch detail knife and 1 2 inch roughing knife
  • At just over 4 inches long it fits nicely into your pocket or pack

The Flexcut Whittling Jack Wood Carving Knife comes from a quality brand that has earned a good reputation over the years. This knife weighs just 3 oz. and is enclosed in a durable aluminum frame. It can withstand the most grueling woodcarving tasks.


The Flexcut knife features two blades, one that is 1.5” and ideal for detailing while the other is 2” and the perfect choice for roughing. Each blade is made from high carbon steel which is known for strength and durability.

Flexcut Whittlin' Jack, with 1-1/2 inch Detail Knife and 2 inch...
  • Jackknife with two whittling specific blades
  • 1 1-1/2 inch detail knife and 1 2 inch roughing knife
  • At just over 4 inches long it fits nicely into your pocket or pack

Another Morakniv tool that is essential for professional woodcarvers is the 164. It features the same sturdy handle that is ergonomic and comfortable to hold. This hook knife allows you to create a large variety of details in your wood carving projects. It is a great tool for handymen, carpenters, and wood carvers to use daily.

Morakniv Wood Carving 106 Knife with Laminated Steel Blade, 3.2-Inch
  • Wood carving knife with a durable laminated steel blade
  • Oiled birch wood handle
  • Limited lifetime manufacturer's warranty.

This product may share many features with the Morakniv 120, but it is slightly larger. It features a tapering blade that measures 3.2”, yet it is still lightweight for easy portability.


The compact design of this knife allows for hassle-free use. And it weighs only 1.6 oz. This is a cost-effective tool that you are sure to get plenty of use out of. It comes with an out of the box sharpness that allows you to carve effortlessly. The Morakniv 106 is a great choice for beginners.

Companion Black Blade
  • MORAKNIV MORAKNIV COMPANION NAVY

The Mora Companion MG is another Morakniv knife that is very different from the others listed here. This fixed blade knife offers a smooth performance and is able to keep its edge and sharpness throughout multiple uses.


The knife is easy to use and cost effective. It has a razor-sharp blade and robust construction to ensure longevity. This wood carving knife requires ongoing maintenance to maintain its pristine carving capabilities.


While it is strong, the application of excessive force could cause the Mora Companion’s blade to break.

Flexcut Tri-Jack Pro, with Roughing Knife, Detail Knife and...
  • Carving specific jackknife with three different blades
  • Roughing Knife - Detail Knife - and Mini-Cutting Knife
  • The go to tool for carvers on the go

Flexcut is a quality brand that has several other knives on the list. This carving knife features a razor-sharp blades that allow you to effortlessly carve various designs. The Flexcut Tri-Jack Pro is a light and compact knife that is easy to carry in your pocket.


It features three useful wood carving blades for roughing, detailing and cutting, helping you save time by not needing to switch from one tool to another. This knife has a blade locking feature that ensures safety. It comes with a unique pistol grip for comfort during prolonged use.

The Flexcut Carvin’ Jack is a versatile and flexible wood carving knife that comes with six blades. This allows you to carry around a variety of tools for all your carving needs. The razor-sharp blades lock into place perfectly for safety during use.


The knife is small and lightweight, with an overall length of 4.5”. This folding knife is very cost effective allowing you to buy six different knives in one. Make large cuts into wood or small detailed designs using this six-blade set.


The only disadvantage to this wood carving knife is that some of the blades are difficult to open.

Fury Nobility Raindrop Razor Edge Blade Folding Knife with Rose Pakka...
  • RosePakka Hardwood Handle with Stainless Pins
  • 440 Stainless Steel Blades and Bolster
  • Razor Blade Edge

The Fury Nobility Raindrop wood carving knife from Joy Enterprises is small, effective and highly functional. It is one of the most aesthetic wood carving knives thanks to the smooth Pakka handle.


This knife has a stainless-steel blade ideal for carving various types of wood with ease. It features a lightweight and compact design that makes it easy to carry. And it is ideal for use with a wide range of carving projects.


The disadvantages of this wood carving knife are the lack of a locking mechanism and the quick loss of sharpness.

Flexcut Tool KN500 Flexcut 3-Piece Knife Starter Set
  • Ergonomic ash hardwood handles fit comfortably in your palm
  • Razor-sharp high carbon steel blade is ready to use right out of the package
  • Set includes Cutting knife, Detail Knife, and Roughing Knife

Unlike the Flexcut Whittling Jack, this knife features one of the sharpest factory installed blades in the industry. It is an affordable wood carving knife that comes with a highly versatile blade made from strong and durable high carbon steel.


The Flexcut knife has an ergonomic design for ease of use and comfort. While it is a great knife to own, there have been some reports that the blades come loose when under strong use.

Comparison Table

Using This Guide To Help You Find The Best Carving Knife

This valuable information can help you make a good decision on the best wood carving knife. Whether you just want to know what options are currently out there or are buying a wood carving knife for the first time, be sure that you do enough research so that you find the right tool for the job.


While it may come down to personal preference, there are some carving knives that are designed better for specific jobs. Choosing the one that you will gain the most benefit from over time is a good way to guarantee that you have found the best wood carving knife.

 

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