The Best Wood Carving Knives in 2024- A Definitive Guide

I’ve spent well over $2,000 in my search for the best whittling and wood carving knives, and I believe that I have found the absolute best options on the market today!

All of these knives listed below have been tediously researched and tested by me to ensure that I am providing you the best possible options regardless if you are an absolute beginner or have years of wood carving experience.

Every knife on the list was picked for you to ensure that you are getting a quality knife that comes sharp from the manufacture, has the proper steel hardness, can maintain a sharp cutting edge while whittling, and are properly designed for carving wood.

There will also be a mixture of both quality and value on this list, so beginners can also find something really nice without spending too much money.

Quick Table of Contents:
Key Aspects to A Good Wood Carving Knife
Best Whittling and Wood Carving Knives on the Market
Best Budget Friendly Whittling Knives for Beginners
Best Sloyd Wood Carving Knives
Best Folding Pocket Knives for Whittling

Key Aspects to A Good Wood Carving Knife

Before we start, there are 3 very important things to consider when buying a good wood carving knife; blade length, blade shape, and steel hardness. These factors alone can actually make or break your entire carving experience.

– Blade Length

The ideal whittling and wood carving knife blade length is between 1-1/4 to 2 inches in length (30 to 50mm) with most people desiring a 1-3/4 inch blade (45mm). This is important as if the blade is too long it is harder to add fine details with, if it is too short, it cant remove a lot of wood.

The exception is a sloyd style knife, which is typically longer and curved to remove larger pieces of wood at a time. These are typically between 2 inches and 3-1/2 inches in length (50 to 90mm).

– Blade Style

Then there is the blade style itself, you will see primarily 2 styles of knives; upswept blades and straight blades.

The straight blades basically have a flat cutting edge, and this is where I generally point beginners to first as the edge is easy to maintain and you know where the point is at any given time for detail work.

Upswept blades, or just curved cutting edges in general, have a wonderful benefit of naturally slicing through the wood when using them and making it easier to cut through the wood. However, the curved edge requires some technique for maintaining and the tip may be a little harder to use for detail work.

– Steel Hardness

While you can use most any knife for whittling, steel hardness plays a key factor in maintaining a super sharp cutting edge while using your wood carving tools.

For reference, I will be using Rockwell Hardness (HRC) to judge the steel hardness. Ideally, you want a HRC between 58 and 62. Any less than 58 and the cutting edge will wear out quickly, but any more than 62 and the edge becomes too brittle and may chip during use. For more information, check out my page on whittling knife hardness here:

Best Whittling and Wood Carving Knives on the Market

The first several knives on this list are what I believe are the absolute best whittling and wood carving knives currently on the market. These are considered by experienced whittlers and wood carvers alike to be premium whittling knives that are hand made with meticulous attention to detail and decades of experience.

However, as of 2024 there are some on here with long wait times due to popularity, being made by hand, and life disruptions. I will make notes of these so you are made aware.

But still, you will be hard pressed to find better knives than these anywhere. Seriously, if you want the best, this is it. I have bought knives from about 20 other companies that didn’t make it to this list, nobody is paying me to say anything, and I don’t get a commission from anyone not on Amazon (which is the entirety of this section).

– Deepwoods Ventures

First on my list is Deepwoods Ventures! These knives not only look great, but are made with amazing quality control. I can always find exactly the type of knife I need from them at any time and am always satisfied with the result.

These knives come in a wide variety of different blade styles to fit almost any wood carving need, including tools for spoon carvers. So, if you need a good thin detail knife or you like your knives to have some strength to them and look good, Deepwoods Ventures is the way to go!

Steel W1 Tool Steel
Rockwell Hardness (RC)60 – 62
Comes SharpYes
Sharp After 30 MinYes
Average Price$45 – $80+
Deepwoods Ventures Knife details

Many beginners and experienced carvers alike may get nervous when using a super thin blade like Helvie or Drake knives, but Deepwoods Ventures provides options for both thin details and tough roughing knives for a one stop shop!

Not only that, you can upgrade the handles on most any knife for a little more money to a more premium wood handle for extra beauty and uniqueness to may anyone jealous of your knife collection.

Some people may find that the flatter handles on their regular wood carving knaves to be a little uncomfortable or awkward if swapping back and forth between different knife sets. You will eventually find that they naturally fit into the palm of your hand and are easy to curl your fingers around after some use. So stick to Deepwoods for your entire toolbox and you will be a happy camper!

To pick up your Deepwoods Ventures knife, check out their website below:
If you want a good beginner kit, complete with leather strop, I highly recommend their Level 2 Beginning Carving Set.

– Silvern Works

A relatively new option that is just as good as the others on this list are the knives from Silvern Works. These knives have a well shaped blade and a selection of comfortable handles to choose from!

Since they are just starting out, they only have a few varieties of blade and handle options available but all of them are the right sizes and shapes for just about anyone looking to have a great whittling knife available.

Steel O1 Tool Steel
Rockwell Hardness (RC)60 – 62
Comes SharpYes
Sharp After 30 MinYes
Average Price$45 – $55+
Silvern Works Knife details

The blade size, shape, edge, and thickness are all ideal for working with basswood and even work great when carving cherry and walnut. Everything from the blade to the handles are well thought out and are perfect for anyone looking for a quality made whittling knife!

Silvern Works is still relatively new to the scene and have plans for future growth with different blade shapes and tool options in the future.

This is definitely a brand to keep an eye on and will be a great addition to the other hand crafted knives on this list. I highly recommend their tools and have had nothing but great experiences using the knives.

You can pick yours up from their website:

– Lee Ferguson Knives

If you are looking for a classy and well made whittling knife, Lee Ferguson will be the perfect fit for you!

Steel High Carbon Tool Steel
Rockwell Hardness (RC)60
Comes SharpYes
Sharp After 30 MinYes
Average Price$30 – $40
Lee Ferguson Knife details

Lee Ferguson makes some excellent knives and has a few beautifully crafted wood carving knives available for purchase.

From tip of the blade to the end of the handle, Lee Ferguson wood carving knives are quality knives for an amazing price! The nice and thin blade allow you to make super precise cuts and the smooth rosewood handles are very comfortable to hold for hours on end.

If you are looking for an elegant and effective hand crafted whittling knife, you won’t be able to beat the Lee Ferguson knife prices for what you are getting.

The only thing you may want to be aware of is the handles are on the slender side, so users with bigger hands may find them to be a little small.

You can pick up your knives directly from his website at

– Helvie Knives

If you are looking for what many consider to be the pinnacle of premium whittling and wood carving knives, Helvie is the way to go.

I did move this one down on the list due to availability and an 18 month+ waitlist. Plus, at this time, one of the people running the company is experiencing serious health issues and are currently halting new orders. You can see updates on their home page here:

Still, if you have one of these, you have my absolute favorite knives out there!

Steel High Carbon Steel
Rockwell Hardness (RC)59 – 61
Comes SharpYes
Sharp After 30 MinYes
Average Price$40 – $55+
Helvie Knives details

I personally love my Helvie knives and believe that they are, without a doubt in my mind, the best wood carving tools that I own. They come right to you with a professionally honed, razor sharp, blade and just hold their edge for a long time.

The only issue you may run across is that because the are so sought after there is a hefty wait list and, as of today, is over 18 months. If you are willing to be patient, they are absolutely worth it.

To pick up your Helvie knife, check out their website below:

– Drake Knives

For the price, Drake knives are very hard to beat. They are exceptionally well made tools that are beautifully crafted from tip to handle.

I did move this one down on the list due to availability and an 8 month+ waitlist. Also, the main person running the company recently passed away and his family is stepping in to continue his work.

Regardless, if you want a classy whittling knife designed to last, Drake knives are hard to beat!

Steel O1 Tool Steel
Rockwell Hardness (RC)58
Comes SharpYes
Sharp After 30 MinYes
Average Price$40 – $50+
Drake Knives details

Without a doubt, these knives just ooze “premium” when you hold them in your hands. They are smooth, comfortable to hold, and easily cut through woods like basswood.

These knives are some of my favorite tools on the market to day and all knives are made to order. You also get different types of wood handles with each knife, making every one of your tools a unique work of art on its own!

Since these knives are all made to order, there may be a 2-3 week wait time, depending upon how busy they are and how complex the knife is to make. Still, they are very much worth the wait and are perfect for experienced carvers.

The only things you may want to keep an eye on is the fine tip on the detail knives as they can be damaged if improperly handled. If you are going to do roughouts, I highly suggest the Gil Special for any major cuts and only use the detail knives for fine detail work.

Also, the original maker of the knives has recently passed away but his family is keeping the company going. There is a long wait time on the tools as they are made by hand, which is about 6 to 8 months as of today, so if you are patient these are wonderful knives to have in your toolbox!

To pick up your Drake Knife, check out their website below:

Best Budget Friendly Whittling Knives for Beginners

– Schaaf Tools 5 Piece Carving Set

This is a new addition to the wood carving market, but I absolutely love this set. I love it so much I bought 2 of them!

Steel High Carbon Steel
Rockwell Hardness (RC)58 – 61
Comes SharpYes
Sharp After 30 MinYes
Average Price (for the set)$80 – $90
Schaaf Tools Knife details

Schaaf Tools decided to shake up the whole market with this one. You get really nice steel quality, good and super sharp cutting edges, comfortable handles, an ideal spread of tools for beginners, and a nice tool wrap to put them in.

I’m telling you now, you will not find a better value beginner set for wood carving and spoon carving than this set from Schaaf Tools. End of story, go buy it, just do it. Here’s the link to pick one up for yourself:

– Flexcut Carving Knives

Quite a few of you coming to this page are beginners who are looking for a nice set of knives to star your whittling hobby off right, so these next few knives are going to be your best options for a cost effective price that will last you for many many years to come.

The best and easiest whittling knives to find on the market right now are Flexcut wood carving knives!

Steel High Carbon Spring Steel
Rockwell Hardness (RC)59 – 61
Comes SharpYes
Sharp After 30 MinYes
Average Price$20 – $30
Flexcut Knife details

If you look up whittling knives on the internet, Flexcut will be one of the most prolific brands available and can be purchased at many different retail outlets that sell wood carving tools.

Flexcut offers a wide variety of different tools to fit just about any wood carving need at a great price. That combined with their excellent steel quality and handle finish, makes it a hard tool to pass up.

These knives are quality made, mass produced wood carving tools that are sharp and ready to use right when from the beginning. Not only that, they sell knife sets and kits to get beginners started off right with properly balanced tools that complement each other. If you want to see my full review, click the link below:

For the price of the Flexcut tools, they are really hard to beat and are good enough to be the only knives you will need for whittling! If you want to pick up a great starter kit, check out the Flexcut Beginner Knife and Palm set on Amazon:

But if you just need a single knife for an all purpose whittling knife, the Flexcut Roughing Knife will satisfy almost all of your whittling needs:

– OCC Tools

For a whittling knife with that hand crafted feel at an affordable price, look no further than OCC Tools!

Steel O1 Tool Steel
Rockwell Hardness (RC)59 – 61
Comes SharpYes
Sharp After 30 MinYes
Average Price$23 – $30
OCC Tools Knife details

OCC Tools makes some very well crafted whittling and wood carving knives to fit just about any occasion. Each tool comes with a super sharp and well made blade that is perfectly suited for beginners to experts.

Each OCC tool is hand crafted and made specifically for wood carving. You can find a wide variety of different blade shapes and lengths matched with a wide variety of different handles to fit just about any carvers needs.

The only real complaint that I hear from people is the slightly blocky shape to the handle. Because of the affordable cost of the hand crafted knife, the handle isn’t as refined as many other hand crafted knives but they are still comfortable enough to use for hours at a time. For my full review, click the link below:

These knives are primarily sold at smaller and more specialized wood carving stores, here are a list of my favorite places to buy them:

If you live in Canada, check out

If you want to get into whittling and wood carving but don’t have the budget for some of the more expensive knives, there are a few great options that perform really well at a great price!

– BeaverCraft Wood Carving Tools

When it comes to the bare basics for what you need for a decent whittling knife, Beavercraft has you covered.

Steel 30MnB5 Steel
Rockwell Hardness (RC)58 – 62
Comes SharpYes
Sharp After 30 MinYes
Average Price$12 – $20
BeaverCraft Knife details

These knives may be on the cheaper end of the spectrum, but they shouldn’t be overlooked if you need a decent whittling knife at a good price.

BeaverCraft wood carving tools are a great stepping stone into whittling and wood carving. They have a large selection of different tools to choose from and sell complete wood carving kits that provide you with the tools you need, a way to maintain those tools, plus a way to store them for under $45.

These tools are more on the simple side with a basic wood handle, slightly thicker blade, and no frills design. Even then, they come razor sharp right out of the box and allow you to get started carving right then and there.

One of the only things that I wasn’t fond of with the BeaverCraft knives are the blade thicknesses on most of their tools. They are a little thicker than your standard knives like Flexcut, but even then this makes them ideal for beginners as they are less likely to be damaged from misuse.

If you want to get started whittling with everything you need (minus carving gloves) check out BeaverCraft’s Whittling and Woodcarving kit on Amazon at an amazing price:

Best Sloyd Wood Carving Knives

Some of you may just need a tool that can easily remove large sections of wood quickly, and that’s where sloyd knives come in to play. These are typically longer bladed knives with thicker blades and a full tang so you can put some power behind your cuts. These are exceptionally handy for roughing out wood to carve.

– Flexcut Sloyd Knives

My overall favorite sloyd knives on the market are hands down the Flexcut variants. They are more expensive but have excellent edge retention and feel great in the hands.

Steel High Carbon Spring Steel
Rockwell Hardness (RC)59 – 61
Comes SharpYes
Sharp After 30 MinYes
Average Price$45 – $55
Flexcut Sloyd Knife details

If you are looking for an absolute workhorse of a sloyd knife made with quality steel, the Flexcut knives are a great option.

The Flexcut Sloyd Knife (KN50) and Stub Sloyd (KN53) are exceptional quality knives that are made to last a lifetime! The edge retention is superb and overall design is top notch. If you are looking for that one and only sloyd knife that will last, grab a Flexcut Sloyd knife.

Like I mentioned, these are slightly more expensive knives than some other variants on the market, but for me they are worth every penny.

Possibly, the only real complaint that I have is the Stub Sloyd does not currently come with a sheath, which Flexcut sells separately for $17 to $20. However the regular sloyd knife does come with a sheath, but costs a little more than the stub sloyd by itself.

If you want to pick up your own Flexcut Sloyd knife, check out Amazon for some great prices:
Stub Sloyd –
Regular Sloyd –

– Mora Carving Knives

For a quality sloyd knife at a much more affordable price, look no further than Morakaniv (Mora) Knives!

Steel Laminated Carbon Steel
Rockwell Hardness (RC)59 – 60
Comes SharpYes
Sharp After 30 MinYes
Average Price$25 – $35
Mora Sloyd Knife details

Mora knives come at a very affordable price and come with a basic sheath to protect the knife for storage and make them easy to carry with you.

Without a doubt, Mora Knives are the the best choice for an affordable yet quality wood carving knife on the market. With its laminated high carbon steel blade, full tang blade, and comfortable handle, you will have all of your sloyd knife needs fulfilled with a Mora Knife.

My only real complaint about these knives are the laminated steel itself. The core of the blade is made of high carbon steel, but the thin outer laminated layer is made of a slightly softer steel lamination. This can sometimes lead to the edge dulling out with heavy use. Even then, it is easy to sharpen back to a nice razor edge in no time at all.

To pick up your Mora knives, check out Amazon for the best prices:
Mora 106 (longer) –
Mora 120 (shorter) –
Mora 122 (flat edge) –

Best Folding Pocket Knives for Whittling

For many of you, the whittling knife will have to be portable as you will primarily whittle while camping or just on the go in general. This is where a dedicated and quality folding knife that you can just put in your pocket and whittle wherever you want will be ideal.

– Great Eastern Cutlery (Farm and Field)

One of my favorite whittling pocket knives currently on the market is the Great Eastern Cutlery #62 Pocket Carver (Farm and Field variant). This knife is a little on the pricey end and can be hard to find, but is an amazing pocket knife for what you are getting!

Steel 1095 Carbon Steel
Rockwell Hardness (RC)57 – 59
Comes SharpYes
Sharp After 30 MinYes
Average Price$85 – $90
GEC Knife details

Great Eastern Cutlery (GEC) is known for making quality, hand crafted knives, and with their Field and Stream varieties, you get their quality blades at a more affordable price!

The GEC #62 Pocket Carver is an exceptional whittling pocket knife that is pretty well thought out in design. You get three blades in total with two of them being identical so if one starts going dull on you, just switch to the other identical blade and keep carving!

Even in its simplified version with the Farm and Field logo, you are getting a quality knife that will last you a lifetime. Compared to the collectable, more expensive versions, these were definitely designed to be used every day without any remorse.

If you do get the #62 Pocket Carver, I do recommended grinding back the bevel on the cutting edge for a smaller edge angel. This will make the knife cut through wood just a little bit easier and improve your overall experience.

To pick up your GEC, check out Ebay for the best prices by clicking here.

– Flexcut Detail Jack

If you want what I consider to be the best and most easiest to find dedicated whittling pocket knife available today, it will be The Flexcut Detail Jack. This knife has a permanent home in my traveling wood carving kit

Steel High Carbon Spring Steel
Rockwell Hardness (RC)59 – 61
Comes SharpYes
Sharp After 30 MinYes
Average Price$45 – $55
Flexcut Detail Jack Knife details

The Flexcut pocket knives use the same quality steel as their regular pocket knives and put them in a compact and portable pocket knife.

If you are looking for a versatile, quality made, whittling pocket knife look no further than the Flexcut Detail Jack. With this excellent folding whittling knife, you get a locking blade and a wonderful knife to both shape the wood and add small details with!

Flexcut makes great knives that are purpose built for whittling and wood carving. These tools are affordable and are most likely exactly what you are looking for!

If you want to pickup your own Flexcut Detail Jack, check out Amazon for the best prices:

– Mastercarver

If you are looking for a more traditional, single blade pocket knife with a locking blade, Give the MasterCarver Pocket Whittler 2 a shot!

Steel 440C Steel
Rockwell Hardness (RC)61
Comes SharpYes
Sharp After 30 MinYes
Average Price$40
MasterCarver Knife details

The MasterCarver Pocket Whittler 2 has that classic look, beautiful curves, and purpose built blade to make any experienced whittler jealous.

For those of you who need a locking blade for their carving knife, the MasterCarver Pocket Whittler 2 will be one of the best options on the market today! With its properly hardened 440C steel blade combined with its classy good looks, this will be a hard knife to beat for the price!

Just holding this knife in your hands is impressive on its own as it is finished smooth to fit in your hands without any strange or sharp points bumping into your hands. This is indeed a fine tool that is designed to last.

To buy yours, check out Amazon for the best price here:

More Woodcarving Tips

If you are new to whittling and are looking for a place to get started, check out my one stop resource for whittling and woodcarving at

Brian Carver

A long time carving enthusiast that enjoys carving wood and stone. The main person behind the Carving is Fun website and YouTube channel. Always has way to many carving tools and is willing to try new and exciting carving projects!

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