What do you need for wood carving

Carving Wooden Spoons: How To Start And What To Need (Basics)

Bushcraft is a craft.

And carving is part of the craft.

Since you will also cook in the wild, spoons are useful tools.

And what's better than a self-carved spoon?

Today I'll show you what you need to start carving.

The knife

You only need two types of knives to start with:

  • Carving knife
  • Paring knife

You can recognize a good carving knife by its handiness. You also need a special carving knife, because with this one the Point small and narrow is.

This makes it possible to be great Curves and notches to achieve. You won't be able to do this with a large knife.

If you want to carve spoons and bowls, you absolutely need a paring knife.

At the bottom of the picture you can see the carving knife and the paring knife:

But be careful: with the paring knives there are models where sharpened both sides are.

I recommend a paring knife with only one sharp side. Here you can apply pressure with your thumb on one side, which is always necessary.

ETEPON's entry-level kit is a good place to start. The price-performance ratio for both knives is excellent. Take a look at the reviews on Amazon - the knives speak for themselves.

ETEPON Carving Knife, Tool Chip Carving Knife Paring Knife with Knife Sleeve + Hook Knife, Wood Carving Kit for Spoon Bowl Cup Kuksa Woodworking ET013

  • WOOD CARVING SET ► You will receive a wood carving cutting knife with a protective cover, a hook knife (no sleeve). Best kit for all types of wood carving, from rough work to detailed carving on wooden spoon, bowl, cup.
  • QUALITY BLADE ► ETEPON wood carving tools with a sharpened and polished blade made of high carbon steel and hardened to the correct strength. High performance in terms of wear resistance and corrosion resistance.
  • ERGONOMIC HANDLE ► The wood carving knife handle is made of naturally oiled birch wood, ergonomically shaped to hold it comfortably and to work for a long time without symptoms of fatigue.
  • PROFESSIONAL DESIGN ► Ergonomic design that will help you handle all the carving jobs you are likely to do, both in shell and in detail.

If you are looking for more quality, I recommend the knives from Frost®. They are more expensive, but durable and incredibly hot.

The axe

First, you have to roughly machine your workpiece to make a blank.

You better do that with a compact ax. This will quickly get rid of unnecessary wood.

Therefore an ax is indispensable.

In the picture a blank that was formed with an ax.

It's much more strenuous if you don't have an ax and you chop off the unnecessary wood with a knife.

There is one for that compact and small ax at.

As you can see in the picture below, I am using the Fiskars X7 ax. It is an all-rounder and can also be used for carving work.

I described the ax in more detail in my other article, "The 3 Best Survival Axes". Stop by if you're basically looking for a good ax for bushcraft and survival.

The Fiskars X7 is approx. 36 cm long. For comparison: an adult's forearm is about that long.

For woodworking for carving, I don't recommend a longer ax. A longer and larger ax is too heavy in continuous operation.

So that I can also work on smaller pieces of wood quickly and effectively, I ordered the Fiskars X5. It's only 23 cm long and good for woodworking. In addition, there is the balanced price-performance ratio.

Fiskars leisure ax, including blade and transport protection, length 23 cm, non-stick coating, high-quality steel blade / glass fiber reinforced plastic handle, orange, X5-XXS, 1015617

  • Leisure hatchet (total length: 23 cm) for splitting small logs and kindling < 3="" cm="" für="" den="" kamin,="" ofen,="" grill="" oder="" das="" lagerfeuer,="" auch="" zum="" schnitzen="">
  • Extra sharp blade made of double hardened steel with high quality outer coating, perfect balance between ax head and handle for an efficient swing and energy-saving splitting
  • Durable handle made of weatherproof, fiberglass-reinforced plastic, high level of safety thanks to the permanent connection of ax head and handle, firm hold thanks to the innovative, hook-shaped handle end
  • Made in Finland, high durability, easy regrinding of the ax with the ax sharpener available separately (item no .: 1000601)

Beginner tip: Get yourself a pair of gloves because they will protect you when you chop with an ax. And if you are not yet practiced with the ax, chop more slowly and carefully. Also, position your legs and feet so that they are not in the trajectory if you slip.

The wood

In the beginning I didn't care what kind of wood I had. At least the carving could start.

But now I make sure that it is not a beech tree, for example. I still have an unfinished beechwood spoon here. The wood of the beech is damn hard and it is really exhausting.

Soft wood

Take it best:

  • Limewood (recommended for beginners)
  • Maple wood
  • Swiss stone pine
  • Chestnut wood
  • Poplar wood

These types of wood are all soft and easier to carve by hand.

You can recognize soft wood by the fact that the annual rings are far apart compared to hard wood. There the annual rings are close together.

Hard wood

Carving hard wood is more exhausting. It is also recommended for advanced users with calluses on their fingers.

The following is suitable for this:

  • Larch wood
  • Birch wood
  • Oak wood
  • Ash wood
  • Elm wood
  • Olive wood
  • Pear wood
  • Almond wood

At the bottom of the picture you can see birch wood that I found in the forest. The chance that there is birch or pine wood for free is quite high in our native forests.

But be careful: never cut down a tree or injure living trees. Nature lovers don't do that and it is punishable by law.

Young and fresh wood is better suited for carving. Therefore, make sure that you do not use 100 year old wood to start with, which has been dried for 20 years.

If you can't find a suitable wood, you can also order it.

It is even better if you know a forester or someone from a sawmill.

Then you will surely get good wood quickly and know in advance which trees will be felled.

More utensils

You still need the following materials:

a block of wood

This is ideal for working the piece of wood with an ax at the beginning.

You need a surface that the ax can hit without damaging the blade.


Get sandpaper from the hardware store or from Amazon, for example a hand sanding block or a sanding sponge.

You will need it to later get the wood structure of your carvings smooth.

This is the only way your carving will feel soft and supple.


When your spoon or carving is ready, you need to oil it well.

This will protect it from moisture.

I use for my spoons olive oil from the supermarket. This has the advantage that there are no problems when I prepare food with the spoons.

If your carvings do not come into contact with food, there is also the option of using special oil only for wood.

Carve a spoon

Carving a spoon is easy, start doing it as soon as you feel like it.

How it works?

A lot of good people show this on YouTube, so check out the video below.

The man in the video carves a spoon out of wood without many words. Perfect around the Study techniques closely.

Don't put any pressure on yourself that your first spoon looks exactly like in the video. Most of the time he won't.

Your stem can also be round. Or maybe your spoon bowl is smaller.

It is important that you start!

I started carving because I really wanted to. At the very beginning even without a carving knife and without a paring knife. Simple kitchen knives had to be used for this.

But don't do that, it's really exhausting and the knives are not suitable for carving.

Here you can see the current results with carving knives:

And? Do you feel like starting to carve now?

What will you do first? A spoon? A figure? A bowl?

Write it to other readers in the comments and let's share experiences!

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