november 2,2021

👋 Wood can provide you with a beautiful piece of art. However, most of the lumber that you purchase is straight. If you wish to create amazing projects for your home, you’ll need to learn how to shape wood. When learning how to shape wood, it’s critical that you have the proper wood-shaping tools at your disposal.

Unfortunately, many people interested in woodworking are unaware of which tools they need

Check our article below with a complete list of the wood-shaping tools you’ll need to begin creating beautiful pieces.


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  • " Wood Carving Is More Than Just a Hobby - It’s a Form of Creative Expression." 

" Wood Carving Is More Than Just a Hobby - It’s a Form of Creative Expression." 


Wood carving has many different types and styles, all of which can be categorized as either power carvings or hand carvings (whittling). The difference between hand carving and power carving is primarily in the tools used to carve the wood. When electro powered rotary tools such as rotary hand tools are used, it is categorized as power carving. On the other side, when traditional, non-electric tools such as knives, chisels, gouges, and mallets are used, such carvings are considered to be hand-carved. 

While both can be done simultaneously, most carvers specialize and stick to one of the two types of carvings. In this article, we will be covering the tools that are used for hand carving and power carving.    


One of the greatest things about hand-carving is the diversification and different styles that are present in the art. For example, chip carving is very different from whittling, and relief is totally different from spoon carving. The learning curve never stops, and the potential of things to can carve is very large. Let’s see below the basic tools used for hand carving.  

Hand Saws

When it comes to cutting and shaping wood, one of the first wood-shaping tools you’ll need is a hand saw. There are numerous different types of hand saws available. For instance, carpenter hand saws are entirely one piece. They allow users to cut large pieces of wood easily, relying on both “push” and “pull” strokes. When you mount the wood in a vice, moving a carpenter saw back and forth should allow you to cut through it in no time. If you’re looking to shape wood in more intricate patterns, you’re going to want to check out a coping saw. Coping saws have a bowed shape with a thin blade on the bottom. You can adjust the tension of the blade depending on the softness of the wood with which you’re working. Coping saws are excellent for maneuvering while cutting.


Once you’ve acquired your saws, the next tool you’re going to need is a chisel. The best chisels have a high-quality wooden handle that makes it easy for you to grip the tool. Chisels are useful because they allow you to shave away tiny slivers of wood. If you need to fit two pieces of wood together, a chisel could help ensure a seamless fit. Many woodworkers find that a mallet can help streamline the chiseling process. Instead of scraping away at the wood by hand, you can put the chisel up against a wood at an angle. Then, bang the back of the handle with the mallet. The force will drive the blade into the wood. The steepness of the angle determines how much wood you remove during this process.

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Knives are used to smooth out bumpy surfaces from your project and shave off small slivers of wood. Make sure to test out the handles or you may have trouble guiding the knife into place against the grain of the wood. 


There are a few different types of gouges out there, but they all pretty much do the same thing – gouge. Just like it sounds, this tool digs into the wood and removes little clumps of wood. There are spoon gouges, V gouges and U gouges. Spoon gouges shovel out spoonfuls of wood while V gouges make more precisioned and angled cuts. 


If you need to shave small amounts from the edge of a piece of wood, a plane is by far the best hand tool for the job. A plane helps you smooth out rough surfaces. Using a plane allows you to move from tough, grainy lumber to a smooth product over which you can run your hand. Planes have a thin blade that is incredibly sharp. When you move your wood over the planer, it removes the tiniest of imperfections, creating an incredibly smooth surface. However, it is essential that the plane is set up correctly and that the blade is very sharp if you want the best results.

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Power carving offers a great way to introduce some contoured surfaces into your projects. It can even open a world of projects that are not readily available to you with your traditional shop tools. If you haven’t used a power carving tool before, get comfortable using one before setting out to refine your wood-carving project. If you have experience using power tools, you might find this to be a great way to add a little flare to your standard wood-carving technique. Power carving tools can add detail and depth to projects. Most power carving tools are fairly inexpensive and easy to find! 

Rotary Hand Tool

The rotary hand tool is probably the most widely used of all the power carving tools. With a plethora of accessories, such as cutting bits, burrs, sanding wheels and engraving tips, these efficient hand tools can be used at each level of the carving process, from initially roughing out the carving to cutting its fine finishing details. They are light and easy to hold and operate. For production carving, the weekend carver or beginner, nothing beats a rotary tool for carving any style or design in hardwood or softwood.  

Wood Carving Disc

One of the biggest pros that power carving disc has is that the tools allow the carver to carve much faster and with less effort. You will come across many wood carving discs in the market with differents umber of teeth, teeth shapes, disc diameter etc... A wood carving disc is very easy to use. It gives you enough control to carve away easily. Installing it onto an angle grinder is also an effortless task. Most discs will fit any angle grinders. 


After you’ve begun to shape your wood, you may be interested in rounding some of the edges. The best way to do that is with a router. Routers are often used to carve wooden signs and designs into wood, or to remove wood for the first phase of a relief carving. They can cut deep and fast, but for detailed carvings, they don't offer enough options and typically can only be used to carve on panels or flat pieces of wood. Routers equipped with flute bits can remove wood up to about 3/4 inches deep faster than almost any other type of power tool. 

Ball Gouge

A ball gouge is a spherical shaped grinder attachment for angle grinders. It is used for carving smooth cavities hollows in wooden spoons, small bowls and is useful for small to medium sculpting.

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One of the biggest challenges people face when getting into this hobby is finding the best wood carving tools. Given the wide selection of carving tools for wood that are available, it can be easy to get lost and overwhelmed.

Woodworkers need tools that are durable, easy to handle and maneuver, and that won’t break the bank. With that said It’s hard to say that power carving is better than hand carving or vice versa as both are very different in almost everything.

Try them both for your next project and let us know what is the best for you!

Josh J. Gur - CEO

CEO of Sanrico


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