Tutorials Series: Carving Play Food. Part 1: Carving knives I use

One of the things I love about woodcarving is you only need a sharp knife and a twig and you are set to begin a new project. I am usually a bargain-shopper, but I have delighted in having excellent knives to learn to carve with. It's a good thing to invest in. Hopefully you already have a good sharp knife, but if not, hopefully you'll feel more prepared to choose your carving knife after reading about the ones I work with. 

The knife on the top is handmade by Del Stubbs It's his "Regular Sloyd." I was drawn to carving via spoon carving, and my husband gave me Del's spoon carving kit for my birthday last year. The Regular Sloyd was a part of that kit and it is my main carving knife. It's a beautiful and functional tool. 

The 2 1/4" blade is perfect for spoons but it's also good for other greenwood carving. It is strong and easy to keep sharp with a strop (more on sharpening in another post). I lead a carving club for kids at our homeschool cooperative and the kids wait patiently for a turn to use it. They call it the "butter knife" because of how easily it carves. 

On Robin Wood's recommondation, I bought Brusletto Balder knives for my son and nephew for Christmas. We used them for the carving club too. They are great little knives and come with a leather sheath. The blade is much shorter than my knife and the handle smaller, so if you have large hands, it might not be the best choice. 

If you are not sure what kind of knife you'd like, I highly recommend Ragnar at Ragweed Forge as a resource for carving knife shopping, he has many excellent knives to choose from and provides superior service.

I also wanted to mention that my son and nephew also use Swiss Army style knives often. Author of one of our favorite carving books, The Little Book of Whittling, Chris Lubkemann carves with them exclusively, and they are easy to find locally. I prefer a fixed-blade knife though, it seems sturdier and safer to me.

So if you would like to follow along with us as we begin carving next week, choose a knife if you don't have one already.  If you already have a knife, what kind is it and what do you like about it?  Next week we'll get rolling with the carving, starting with a simple little green onion!  

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