The Beginner’s Tool Kit

The Beginner’s Tool Kit

By L.S. Irish

Wood carving is one of the few hobbies that does not require a large investment of money into tools and supplies to get started. With a few basics you are ready to begin your first project. Below is a peek into a simple beginner’s tool kit. These are all items that you will be using over and over again in your wood working.

The most important tool to the relief carver is the bench knife. This will be used constantly during carving to create stop cuts and score lines. At the right the
top red handles tool and bottom white handled tools are bench knives. The center
tool is a large chip carving knife.

Choose a high quality bench knife as your first investment.


The second most important set of tools will be your sharpening stones and strop. No matter what quality a knife or gouge is, or how much you paid for it, it is only as good as the honed edge.

At the right you will see a honing strop, brown coarse sharpening stone, white fine sharpening stone, and rouging compound.


This is a sample of the many excellent beginner’s sets of carving tools available today. This six piece set includes a deep gouge, a shallow gouge, a v-gouge, a straight chisel, a bent chisel, and a skew chisel.

As your enjoyment of wood carving increases you may wish to add the following specialty tools to your kit. Shown here are a bent spoon, back bent spoon, a set of tools for use with a mallet, and two dog leg chisels.

The bent spoon is excellent for removing large amounts of background wood. The back bent spoon and dog leg chisels are made to reach underneath the joining edges of the design.

My tool kit also includes a set of twenty micro tools for extremely fine carving.

This is a sampling of the miscellaneous items that will eventually find their way into your tool kit. Included here are two depth gauges, an exacto knife for pattern cutting, a compass, a set of fine files and rasps, a brass wire brush, an old tooth brush, a triangle, fine sand paper, wood glue, and scissors.

You will also want to throw into the box some tracing paper, tape, onion skin paper, a bracing board jig, a ruler or measuring tape, and an old terry cloth towel for easy clean up.

Basic Carving Tools
Carving Tools Close-Up
The Beginner’s Tool Kit
Bracing Table for Relief Carving
Your First Carving
Basics to Landscape Relief Carving

1 thought on “The Beginner’s Tool Kit”

  1. Pingback: Wood Carving Kits for Beginners – Woodworking Ace

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