Whittling is an age old practice. It dates back to the prehistoric age when man started looking for ways and means to survive. It is through practices like whittling that technology came into being; the ability to carve and sharpen wood gave Man the idea of using sharp wood as a weapon to hunt, protect themselves from prey and also to gather food. Well, did you know that?
Back to the main discussion. So you want to become a whittler? That’s good, but do you know what whittling is? It is simply a practice that involves shaping wood or cutting small bits from a wooden piece using a knife.
But before you can become a whittler, you need to know how to choose a good knife, beware of the best brands and qualities in the market, have the basic whittling techniques as well as have a little bit of knowledge on the safety and maintenance of a whittling knife.
Last update on 2017-08-15 PST - Details
Things to consider when buying a whittling knife
It is worth noting that there is a very wide variety of whittling knives in the market currently. The diversity in this availability can make any beginner whittler get confused and unless you are a seasoned whittler, choosing a particular knife for a particular type of wood can be a real challenge.
Regardless, here are a few things you can consider to help you choose a good quality knife;
for whittling or any woodworking needs, you must always strive to get an appropriately sized knife that you can work with comfortably. Most whittlers prefer buying a small sized knife that can fit in the palm of their hands perfectly as this is easier to work with and for portability reasons.
a good knife should have an ergonomic handle that is easy on the hands. You need a knife that provides you with a secure grip and proper control over your work. You know that whittling can take some time. Therefore a comfortable handle will allow you to go on and on with your knife without feeling hand fatigue. It also allows for precision control in the case of working for extended periods of time.
Mostly, whittlers prefer rubber handles or wooden handle as these are more comfortable to handle and have better grip.
the blade is the most important part of a whittling knife, basically any knife. It is the part that determines how good you can cut. When considering the blade, you should look out or a material that is hard and durable. A good quality steel blade that is easy to sharpen and that can retain a sharp edge for long. You should look for a blade that will provide you with unlimited reliability and efficiency at all times.
in this regard knives with blades that are thin from the tip make for better whittling knives. The thin tips are mostly preferred because they provide for easy maneuverability especially in more concave areas of the material you are working on.Still,on shape, the shape of the handle is something you might also want to consider. A curved handle is easier to hold and provide better grip and control.
cost is of the essence. When choosing a whittling knife, you might want to consider how much you are willing to part with for a particular knife. Whittling knives costas low as $10 and as high as $50. It all depends on how much you can spend and the kind of quality you are looking for. If you want an excellent quality, you should be ready to spend a considerable amount of money. Otherwise, a lower cost knife can also make for an excellent beginner whittling tool.
Top 5 Whittling Knives On The Market
Morakniv is a leading manufacturer of high quality wood carving tools that are a letdown to carpenters and woodworkers.
The Morakniv 120 knife offers legendary sharpness and quality and is a truly excellent knife for whittling. Its length of 230mm and blade thickness of 2.7 mm make it able to create desirable wood carvings.
Its oiled birch wooden handle increases comfort when handling it, and the stainless steel material provides it with the essential hardiness. This Mora knife also arrives when it is already sharp so that you can use it directly from the package.
- Its blade has a relatively flat Scandi-grind; this means that the knife has no micro-beveled edge that gives it a sharper and easy to maintain blade.
- It has a nice, wide rounded wooden handle that provides an excellent grip and precision control; when working.
- It is available at a seemingly affordable price given the quality and features that it has. This means that you will ultimately get value for your money
- Most users complain about the sheath being quite cheap
If you are in need of a fabulous carving knife, trust me you will never go wrong with the Morakniv 120. It is an ideal all round whittling knife.
The Xacto X5175 is an excellent tool for cutting different types of materials for DIY purposes. This item comes with a complete set of knives with different shapes, sizes, and edges for various whittling applications.
This Xacto X5175 Deluxe has a magnetic store that places all knives intact in their respective grooves. It also has a pouch that clasps refills which are also essential. Additionally, it comes with a wooden chest creatively designed for facilitating storage and ease of movement.
- It includes different types and sizes of knives thus giving you an easy time when it comes to selecting the particular one to use for the specific task.
- The tools are made of high quality materials which mean that they will be able to offer the best to the woodworker in regards to durability.
- It is relatively difficult for the blades to wear out given that the wooden chest they are stored in after use have a magnetic element that ensures the blades stay intact.
- Blades need sharpening upon arrival before use and thus may not favor beginners who are unaware of how to go about it.
With its price and all the blades in the set, this knife is a worthy investment to have in your toolbox.
This Morakniv 164 hook knife is made of carbon steel which shows why it is sturdy and can be used in carving even the hardest wood around. It has an oily birched wooden handle that makes it comfortable for the user when holding during the carving process.
This hook knife is very sharp right from the box which also implies that your attention level should be high when using it to get required curves. It also holds wedge as needed and gives the best to the user when used well.
- Its blade is made of carbon steel material which is strong thus giving it the essential sturdiness to carve any wood regardless of whether it is hard or not.
- It is sharp and thus provides accurate carving when used correctly and also cuts through the wood relatively fast.
- It is easy to use, and wooden oily birched handle allows the user to navigate the wood carving they are making without difficulty efficiently.
- The carbon steel material may get rusty when stored in a humid place.
You get the best results when using this Morakniv 164 only when you understand how to use it. It is a fitting addition to having in your woodwork kit.
It is arguably the best pocket whittling knife in the market at the moment. The knife weighs 3.0 oz. and has length of about 4 inches only. The handle design is ergonomic and feels quite good on the hand. The blades are made of carbon steel materials that guarantee relatively long durability. What are more are that Flexcuts’ blades come are readily sharpened from the company.
Although the knife is small in size, it is relatively easy to carry around and use whenever need arises.
- It comes with a pre-sharpened razor edge that saves you the hassle of sharpening the blade before using it.
- The ergonomic handle is comfortable to hold and provides easy control when working
- The blade comes very sharp and can carve wooden materials right from the box without additional sharpening
- The unfolding part of the blade is relatively small thus making it difficult to unfold the blades as fast as possible.
The size and efficiency that this Flexcut whittling knife offers is reason enough to want to have in your tool box.
The Mora 164 knife is a top recommendation for beginner whittlers looking for a pocket friendly and effective cutting tool. With its most notable feature being the ability to hold an edge for long, the knife is simply an investment that would always come in handy for any woodworking project.
It is also worth noting that the knife is small in size and has an oily birched wooden handle. It also has a finger protection guard and is lightweight which makes for an excellent woodworking hand tool.
- The knife is very easy to use thus suitable for any budding woodworker as in it does not require any special skills when using it.
- This Mora knife feels really good on the hand. The wooden handle grips firmly to not slip from your hands when carving.
- The blade is made of hardy carbon steel material that easily pares various types of wood including hardwood
- The finger protection guard fixed on the knife helps to prevent accidental cutting of the user’s fingers in the event of a slip.
- The knife is relatively expensive compared to other knives with the same features.
In general, the quality and efficiency of this is well worth its price if you ask. If you can part with more money to get top quality, then this knife is your best bet.
Any sharp object needs proper maintenance and adherence to certain precautions when using it. A whittling knife is no exception. Here are tips to maintain your knife in top shape and to remain safe when using it.
- For all your whittling needs, always use a comfortable knife. If the knife you have is not comfortable to grip or to properly control then don’t use it as this can be dangerous.
- In the same light, extremely sharp knives can be very dangerous; you can easily cut yourself when using it if you are not careful. It is therefore imperative that you wear cut protective gear i.e. gloves when using a whittling knife
- Always use the right type knife for the right kind of wood. The wrong knife for the wrong application can mess up your entire project.
- When whittling, always ensure that you hold and stroke the knife away from your body to avoid accidents.
- Most importantly, you have to store your knives in a safe place and most especially away from the reach of children. If your knife has a case then the better, if they don’t just put them away but ensure that the edge is also protected
The best whittling knife to fit your needs comes down to your love and skills for the craft and the kind of projects you will be engaging in. In as much as cost is a factor that must be taken into account when choosing this kind of knives, ensure that you buy a knife that will work for you whenever and however you need it too.