Here are Tools Needed for Spoon Carving

By Kevin Kessinger •  Updated: 11/17/22 • 

Having the right tools for spoon carving is essential. If you’re looking to start spoon carving, the basic tools you’ll require are an axe, a straight knife, and a curved or hook knife. These are the ones you’ll use for most of your projects and are great for anyone getting started. Apart from these basic tools, there are other spoon carving tools, like power tools, that would make your work easier and faster.

In this post, I’ll review some of the tools you’ll require when starting out and some upgrades and power tools you can get along your spoon-carving journey. Enjoy.

1. Carving Axe/Hatchet

An axe in spoon carving is used to do the heavy duty of shaping the spoon and removing most of the extra wood that is not spoon-shaped. When starting, it might be hard, but with practice, you can get very close to the final spoon shape. When starting, use a pencil to draw the shape of the spoon and use a carving axe to remove most of the wood.

Although there are other tools for roughing out a spoon blank from wood, the axe is the best tool. It carries a weight of momentum and works very efficiently. One of the best axes to start spoon carving is the Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet. It is well-balanced, has a good weight, and the edge geometry is good for carving.

Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet

Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet

There are a number of different types of axes used for different tasks. If you choose them for the right purpose, it becomes easy to work and potentially dangerous. A carving axe is different from a wood-splitting or kindling axe. Most axes you’ll see around have a rounded edge rather than a flat one, which is used for carving. Several manufacturers out there make good spoon-carving axes; check out our list of the best axe for spoon-carving.

2. Straight Knife

A straight knife is one of the most important knives for wood carvers. It can be used for many jobs, from roughing out to detail. A straight knife has a wide and slicing bevel. Pocket and kitchen knives don’t have this type of bevel, making them a poor substitute.

Morakniv 106

Morakniv 106

If you’re looking for the best knife, the Morakniv 106 Wood Carving Knife is one of the best. It has a long blade allows for powerful sweeping cuts, while its thin tip helps carve into tight corners. It holds an edge very well and is very inexpensive to buy.

3. Spoon/Hook Knife

The hook knife or spoon carving knife is most useful when carving when you are carving the bowl of the spoon. A hook knife for spoon carving should be strong enough not to vibrate or flex as you slice through the wood. Polishing the back of a hook knife will make it slice through wood smoothly and naturally.

The curvature of the hook knife blade is also important to look after. A tight curve and shorter blade are easy for a beginner to use but will leave a plowed surface effect that will need to be sanded later. An open curve leaves a clean surface cut, but it might take time to learn to use.

Mora 164 Hook Knife

Mora 164 Hook Knife

For a good spoon carving knife, The Morakniv 164 and Morakniv 162 are some of the best hook knives you’ll find around. They are easy to find and quite cheap to buy. These two are the best regarding availability, affordability, and quality. When choosing, be sure to get right or left-handed as needed.

Other Spoon Carving Tools

Apart from having an axe, straight knife, and hook knife, other tools can make the process faster, easier, and new things possible. You can invest in some of these tools if you have a workshop. Below are other important spoon-carving tools.

Happy Spoon Carving

That’s just about all the tools you’ll need for spoon carving. Apart from the different hand tools, there are also power carving tools that can make spoon carving easier and faster. However, great tools don’t make a skilled spoon carver. Spending time using the tools and, most importantly, learning to sharpen them correctly will make the biggest difference.

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.