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Knives for Whittling, Carving,
Chip Carving and Spoon Carving

There are lots of things that you can do with a knife and the selection that is presented below, is intended to cover most, if not all, of those possible uses - strictly within the decorative woodworking context, of course! 

Please act responsibly where these products are concerned: almost everything we supply is classed as dangerous by the zealots of the PC world but, in particular, we need to ask you to be cautious when supplying some of the more significant knives to minors.  These knives are supplied solely for use as woodcarving tools and are for sale to adults only.

A final thought: despite what governments might have us believe, a knife never killed anyone by its own volition: the crime is always perpetrated by the person that wields the knife.

The art of carving using only a knife is something that deserves admiration.  There are two main styles of carving using knives, as described, below.  If you harbour concerns over safety issues when using a carving knife, you may wish to review our 'cut-proof' gloves in the Protective Clothing section.  Always remember: "a dull knife is a dangerous knife".

When it comes to sharpening your knife, a variety of methods may be used, including the use of fine wet and dry abrasive held down onto a firm surface.  The one aspect of sharpening that is not so easily addressed is honing: that is now much simplified as we are able to offer a choice of economic honing products which you will find on our Honing Systems page.  Once you have used a correctly honed edge tool you will wonder how you ever managed without.

Whittling  was a recreational pastime very popular in days of yore when the possessor of a pocket knife was a proud and wealthy man indeed - and able to amuse himself creatively in what little free time life then afforded the working population.  It seems that street crime today is likely to outlaw the pocket knife but this peaceful recreation can still be followed using these fine knives.

Our range offers knives enabling almost any carving to be undertaken.  The knives are available individually or in sets, graded to suit different styles or complexities of carving as well as in a universal set, containing one each of our ten standard knife styles.  The full range of knives may be viewed in this photograph which also shows the contents of each of our sets.  The range is completed by a couple of more specialist and traditional designs.

All of our carving knives are fitted with polished hardwood handles and feature fine carbon steel blades which are sharpened and honed on delivery.  That is not to say that you can't get them sharper, but they are as ready to use as we can reasonably make them without sitting in your workshop!

Knife 312/1 - Click for larger imageThe basic whittling set includes five knives each with a different blade style.  The 312/1 is a straight bladed heavy duty knife able to take deep cuts for roughing out or, as it is also known, "bosting". The 312/2 has a curved blade with the cutting edge on the internal, concave, side of the blade: this provides a powerful cut to the knife whilst the point is very Knife 312/2 - Click for larger imageuseful for fine detail and for boring into the workpiece.  If a single knife was all that was required, then this could well be the best choice.  Next up is the 312/3 which features a rounded handle making it easier to rotate in the hand during the cut, as befits a detail knife.  The cutting edge in this knife is "skewed" across the width of the Knife 312/3 - Click for larger imageblade so that as well as presenting a point which can be finely controlled for serpentine cuts, the knife can also be used for pushing cuts into recesses and corners.  For fine detailing work, a further two knives are included in this set.  The 313/K has a slightly curved Knife 313/K - Click for larger imagecutting edge on a blade which is slimmer and lighter, or finer, than that of the heavy duty knife and the point of the blade is more slender.  Finally, the 8945 knife deserves special praise for a handle which is so beautifully sculpted that whatever detail task is approached, tKnife 8945 - Click for larger imagehe knife always sits perfectly in the hand whether the cut requires pushing or pulling.  Click on any of the thumbnail photos in this section to see a larger image of the products.  The set of all five of these knife styles is presented in a beautifully soft leather toolroll with ten pockets, giving plentiful room for expanding the collection as a later date.

Sometimes, even whittlers meet situations where the "conventional" knives just seem to be out of their depth.  For just those situations, we have obtained two unique and very speciaKnife 313/B - Click for larger imagel designs of knife.  The 313/B is a skew chisel knife which, as its name suggests, can be used to remove larger pieces of timber using a chiselling action, pushing the handle from behind.  It also has the strength and rigidity to be used to create deep stop cuts and to pare larger surfaces.  An unusual knife with lots of uses falling squarely, as does that which follows, into the "why didn't I think of that" class! Knife 313/C - Click for larger image The offset or cranked blade knife, reference 313/C has an immensely powerful cutting action: used with the heel of the blade against the thumb and the handle levered against the fulcrum thus created.  At the same time the action of rolling against the thumb allows the cutting action to be very precisely controlled.  Our seven-piece carving tool set includes both of these heavy duty cutting tools to create a combination of cutting power that is unmatched anywhere else.  The seven-piece set is delivered in our ten-pocket soft leather toolroll.

Chip carving has its roots in the tradition of "kerbschnitzen" found principally in Switzerland, Bavaria, Austria and other countries of that region.  Perhaps the man who does most to perpetuate the art today is Wayne Barton, whose books and videos on the subject may be found in our Book & Videos department.  (Look for the "Chip Carving" heading)

Chip Carver's Stab Knife 313/G - Click for larger imageFor chip carving we have selected a set of just three knives - a beauty of chip carving is that it is a simple art yet capable of creations of great beauty.  One might well opine that only two knives are really required for this activity and you'd be right - in principle.  However, the use of a heavy knife is essential when making larger cuts, yet such a knife can feel clumsy and the thickness of the blade can Large Chip Cutting Knife 313/D - Click for larger imagecause undue resistance when the same knife is used on more delicate work.  For this reason we have decided to include two sizes of chip carving cutting knives in our set of three chip carving knives. The set is completed by a Small Chip Cutting Knife 312/5 - Click for larger imagesuperbly soft and supple toolroll with five pockets - just in case you decide that three is just not enough knives, even for chip carving!  The knives are, of course, in common with all those listed here, available separately.

Finally, for those who need to have everything in one splendid package, we offer our ten pocket toolroll packed to the brim with all ten styles of knives listed above to create our comprehensive whittling and carving set .  For the dedicated knife carver, this has to be the zenith of ownership ambition.  But just remember that armed with this arsenal you'll never have the excuse that you have to turn down a commission because you don't have exactly the right equipment!  You have been warned.  But what a joy to own such a collection of fine knives.

 

Spoon Carving Knives:   also known as a "Twy Cam" or bowl knives.  This Toolpost 1300 right hand spoon carving knife - cutting edge to the foredesign of knife was created specifically for carving out the bowl of spoons, as seen to such wonderful effect in such craft masterpieces as Welsh Love Spoons.

We offer a choice of styles: single-edged in either right or left hand version or double edged for the ambitious and/or ambidextrous. 

The illustration to the right shows a right-handed spoon knife: when the tool is held, as shown, in the right hand, the cutting edge Toolpost 1300L left hand spoon carving knife - cutting edge to the foreis towards the user.

Conversely, when using a left hand spoon knife the cuttting edge is towards the user when the knife is gripped in the left hand - see second illustration in this section (left).

It is also possible to contrive a knife which combine both cutting edges in one blade, as shown in the photo of the 1302 style knife, below. We advise caution when using a double edged knife - one needs to be ever vigilant of the fact that pressing the thumb against the "back" of the knife is likely to have disastrous Toolpost 1302 double edged spoon carving knifeconsequences.

All of these tools are honed to a fine edge and are equipped with a hefty wood handle ensuring that your hands don't become cramped even after long working sessions.  This is the one knife purposely omitted from our comprehensive whittling and carving set - just so that there's always something left for "the man/woman who has everything"!

 

"Sloyd" Pattern Knives

The classic pattern of knife used in Scandinavia, not only for carving but for myriad other uses, has found increasing popularity in other regions of the world in recent years.  The almost totally enveloping sheath, providing for very secure storage and carrying whilst giving Sloyd pattern knife 1425 - Click for larger imageultimate protection to the edge is an excellent design feature.  Our versions of this fine design are supplied in fitted real leather sheaths, pre-formed to the profile of the handle.  The handles themselves, being of wood, as is traditional (white draik (channar) in this case) are immensely practical yet entirely appropriate to the design of these fine tools.  Our carbon steel blades take an excellent edge and are supplied ready honed.  Two sizes of knife are offered, differing only in their blade lengths, the model 1400 having a 4" blade and the 1425 a 3.1/2" blade. 

But please be cautious: these are not playthings but practical tools which need to be used responsibly.  Edge tools of all types can be dangerous in the wrong hands.

 

*NB: Prices quoted in pounds sterling. 
Value Added Tax will be added to invoices to EU residents unless
a valid VAT registration number is quoted when ordering.

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Flexcut Whittling & Carving Knives

In addition to their ranges of carving chisels and gouges, Flexcut also manufacture an excellent range of whittling knives made from the same type of spring steel. These knives also feature man-sized ergonomic handles permitting a good, comfortable grip to be maintained. In addition to the individual knives, there are also various knife sets listed below.

For the whittler on the move - and maybe that's the traditional definition of a whittler (carver on the move), Flexcut also produce a number of different folding knives in the form of Jack Knives. These feature various combinations of blades and gouges enabling a wide variety of carving techniques to be employed without the need to tote a toolbox around with you. And they're absolutely perfect for establishing "bragging rights" in the pub!

Flexcut KN11 whittling skew knife
Flexcut KN13 whittling detail knife
Flexcut KN15 chip carving knife
Flexcut KN19 whittling mini-pelican knife
Flexcut KN18 Mini draw knife
Flexcut KN16 5 inch draw knife

The accompanying photos show some of the key knives from the Flexcut range

Flexcut KN12 whittling cutting knife
Flexcut KN14 whittling roughing knife
Flexcut KN20 whittling mini-chip knife
Flexcut KN11 whittling pelican knife
Flexcut KN27 whittling mini-detail knife
Flexcut KN25 3 inch flexible straight draw knife
 
Flexcut KN100 whittling knife set in carrying case
Flexcut JKN91 Carving Jack - multi-blade whittling knife
 

*NB: Prices quoted in pounds sterling. 
Value Added Tax will be added to invoices to EU residents unless
a valid VAT registration number is quoted when ordering.

Review Current Basket Contents 

1997-2010 P. Hemsley.  The information on this website is the copyright property of Peter Hemsley. 
Coeur du Bois and The ToolPost are trading styles of Peter Hemsley.  Whilst reasonable efforts are made to ensure the accuracy of information presented, no liability can be accepted for errors in this information nor for contingencies arising therefrom.  If you are inexperienced in any aspect of woodworking, we would strongly counsel that you take a course of formal instruction before commencing to practice