Whittling is a great craft you can start with no room or specialty tools. All you need to start whittling is a sharp knife and wood. Choosing the right whittling knife or tools can be a hassle for a beginner.
If you’re looking to start, a whittling kit is the best bet to start on the right foot. In this post, we review the best whittling kits for beginners.
What is a Whittling Kit?
A whittling kit is a set of handpicked tools designed to help beginners start whittling. Whittling kits include the basic tools to get you started on your first whittling project. In a whittling kit, you’ll get a set of wood carving knives and sharpening tools. The other will also include wood carving gloves and a set of basswood to get you started.
Best Whittling Kits
Comfortable to handle. Super sharp, and hold an edge well; I would recommend these to anyone starting in wood carving. Just remember to get a piece of the leather strop to keep them going.
From woodcarving knives, sharpening accessories, woodcarving tools, bushcraft, and a whole lot of wood carving products, Flexcut has been around since the 80s. The FLEXCUT KN500 is a 3-piece knife starter set well suited for beginners and professionals alike.
The KN500 Starter set is a straightforward, no-frills beginner whittling kit. All you get from this kit are the KN12 cutting knife, KN13 detail knife, and KN14 roughing knife. Apart from the knives, included in the package is a polishing compound to keep your knives looking good.
The knives fit comfortably with their thick wooden handles out of the box. This is good and reduces the fatigue caused by carving during long sessions.
The knives are also of great quality and come razor sharp. They hold their edge well and using the polishing compound included and a leather strop (not included), their sharp edges can be maintained easily with little effort.
If you're looking to get into whittling as a hobby, I recommend this set. You get all the basic tools you would need to start whittling for the price point. Not included in this set is a pair of safety gloves, which would come in handy, especially for beginners.
BeaverCraft is one of the top companies that specialize in wood carving tools. Their products range from carving knives, tools sets, chisels, wood, and other wood carving accessories.
The BeaverCraft S15 whittling wood carving kit is one of the best kits you can buy for or as a beginner. This whittling kit comes with three sets of whittling knives, a leather strop and polishing compound, and, lastly, a tools pouch for keeping the knives safe and secure.
The knives are well built, and the handles are comfortable to hold even during long whittling sessions. The knives also cut smooth and hold their edge. The strop that comes along with BeaverCraft S15 is also convenient. You can use it every time you finish using the knives to keep them cutting smooth longer.
Best Whittling Kits for Beginners
As a beginner, you will love this kit. You have everything to get you started. From the whittling knives down to the safety gloves, you've got all areas covered in this whittling kit.
Unlike BeaverCraft, Cor Cordium is not a well-known brand in wood carving, and that is clearly shown in the number of products included in this cheap yet quality whittling kit.
The Cor Cordium Wood Whittling Kit comes with several products that any beginner whittler will appreciate. First, you get three types of whittling knives, eight basswood woodblocks, safety cutting gloves, and a polishing compound and leather strap.
Starting off, the knives are of good quality. The thickness of the handles and overall ergonomics is good. Although, if you have smaller hands, they might pose a little challenge. The anti-cut resistant gloves included are a very thoughtful recommendation. Though they are a little bigger, they are great to help cut back on accidents.
The eight basswoods pieces included a great starting point for beginners to practice the different types of whittling cuts and horn their skills. These wood blocks can be used to carve small projects from gnomes to small animal pieces. The safety gloves provided are perfect for carving small projects.
What’s Included in a Whittling Kit
Most whittling kits include a set of whittling knives and sharpening tools. However, you’ll also get some like the Cor Cordium and elemental tools whittling kits that also have wood carving gloves and several basswoods to help you easily get started. Here are some of the tools and accessories you should get in a whittling kit.
1. Whittling Knives
A whittling knife is one of the main tools if you’re into whittling. The knife should always be kept sharp to help you easily cut through wood and keep you safe while using it. Different knives are included in whittling kits that serve different functions. Some of the types of knives in whittling kits include, hook knives, sloyd knives, and detail knives among others.
A hook knife is a type of knife that is used for making deepenings in the wood. Hook knives are great for spoon and bowl carving. The blade is curved in a circular direction. Apart from spoon and bowl carving, a hooked knife can be used for making larger dishes, eg. plates, cups, or even decorating other projects and surfaces.
Sloyd knives are traditionally designed Swedish knives used for wood carving and whittling. A sloyd knife has a thicker blade making it quite versatile in removing larger sections in wood. It is also very comfortable to hold for extensive whittling periods. Sloyd knives can also be used to make details in wood using their sharp pointed tip.
A detail knife is a type of knife used to carve intricate designs easily in tight places. Detail knives can also be used to add finishing touches to your project or add a bit of elegance to your project. Detail knives are also great for chip carving.
2. Sharpening Tools
In a whittling kit, you will most likely get a polishing compound and a strop to help keep your knives sharp at all times.
A strop can be made of leather (suede or smooth), and it is mounted on a rigid base or it can be flexible. The strop is used in the final stage of sharpening a wood carving knife to polish the edge of the knife and remove any burr left after using sharpening stones.
The polishing compound is used with a strop which helps remove any burr on the edge of the knife and leaves your knife looking crisp and sharp. The polishing compound, which is mostly green in color, makes it faster and quicker to remove burr than using only the strop.
3. Wood Carving Gloves
For begineers and professionals alike, safety is very important in wood carving. A small slip of the knife can cause an accident that can be prevented by protecting yourself. Wood carving gloves can stop a slicing cut, but they will not stop all injuries or punctures.
Apart from wood carving gloves, some whittling kits will include thumb guards or plasticized tape to protect the thumb. Thumb protections are great when making cuts, such as, a paring cut where you draw the knife through the wood towards your thumb.
4. Wood for Whittling
Apart from knives, sharpening tools, and safety equipment, some whittling kits will also include several Basswood blocks to get you started as soon as possible. This way you can avoid the hustle of looking for wood to carve. With the wood provided, you can practice different types of whittling cuts or start your first whittling project.
Happy Whittling Time
With the right whittling kit, you’ll find that learning and starting to whittle is very easy. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional looking to get started, a whittling kit is an easy way of venturing into this art. Whittling kits also offer an inexpensive way as opposed to buying every single tool when starting.