Is Wood Carving an Expensive Hobby?

By Kevin Kessinger •  Updated: 10/11/23 • 

Starting to carve wood calls for the exercise of both your manual and artistic knowledge. For most wood carvers, like me, starting wood carving was easy to learn with slower progression and cheap with only a pocket knife needed. However, is wood carving expensive for a new wood carver looking to start?

Is Wood Carving an Expensive Hobby?

Wood carving is one of the cheapest hobbies to start. For a beginner looking to start cheaply, a pocket knife is all you need to get started. As you grow your skills in wood carving, you can start investing in better knives and other wood carving tools, such as chisels and power tools.

There are different types of wood carving techniques you start. Wood carving can be divided into whittling, relief carving, chip carving, carving in the round, spoon carving, and chainsaw carving. For a beginner looking to start wood carving, I’d recommend you start whittling.

Whittling is cheaper, and it is what most of us pro wood carvers started with before advancing our skills and tools. You only require a good pocket knife and wood branches to learn different cuts and start carving.

The Different Types of Wood Carving

Wood Carving Tools to Start

If you’re looking to start wood carving, there are different tools you can check out. To start cheaply, a pocket knife is your perfect pick. However, there are other tools you’ll need as you grow in this hobby.

Those are the basic tools and products you’ll need to start wood carving. To save while getting all these products check out wood carving or whittling kits. They are cheaper and will include the basic products needed to get started.

Cheap Ways to Obtain Wood for Carving

Wood is around us, most of which can make good wood for carving. Old barn timber, discarded telephone poles, old cedar lantern poles, and old furniture are among the sources that can yield a higher amount of seasoned wood.

For a wood carver, you’ll also have friends offering you wood. For example, a friend recently cut down some overgrown birch trees that had overgrown and presented me with some branches and a truck. When freshly cut, it made good wood for carving spoons and was very much appreciated.

You can also check with wood carving clubs in your area. Most clubs hold wood auctions where members can give their surplus wood to other wood carvers for the benefit of the club.

Kevin Kessinger

Kev is the founder of Pro Wood Carving and has been carving spoons, small pieces, and whittling since his teenage years. He has continued to level up his wood carving skills and wanted to share his journey and knowledge with other wood carvers. He launched Pro Wood Carving in 2021 to make wood carving more approachable for everyone looking to improve their skills.