Pfeil Chip Carving Knife Review: I Expected Better

Pfeil is a pretty big name when it comes to wood carving. I have used their gouges and chisels before to great success, and when I saw they had their own set of knives I had to try them out.

I’m not going to beat around the bush here, Pfeils has high quality steel but the edges they put on their knives are terrible! If you have the time to sharpen and reshape the blade, they may be worth it to you but there are better choices for the same price.

Quick Stats

SteelSpecial Alloy Steel
Rockwell Hardness (RC)57 – 60
Comes SharpNo
Sharp Edge After 30 MinYes
Average Price$19 – $36
Recommended for BeginnersNo

Video Review

Click the link below to see my favorite knives and full overview on all of my knives:

What I Liked

There are a few things that I liked about these knives, and if you can get over the negatives you may have a great whittling and chip carving knife on your hands.

Thin Blade

Pfeil chip carving knives have a decently thin and strong blade when compared to other knives in its price range. It may not be as thin as the FlexCut or OCC knives, but it is pretty close.

This allows for easy removal of wood and the with little force behind the blade. If you use them for chip carving, they easily sink into the wood and produce nice, clean cuts.

Perfect Blade Length

I have both the #1 and #2 chip carving knives. The #1 is more ideal for general whittling and wood removal while the #2 is designed for chip carving.

Both knives are just the right length for optimal use. Neither one is too long or too short in and is easy to control.

Good Edge Retention

Pfeil uses high quality steel in all of their tools, and these knives are no exception.

Once sharpened and honed, they retain their edge for a long period of time and aren’t too difficult to maintain the edge. But on that note, lets move on to the next section.

What I Didn’t Like

Now to the part that I’m sure some of you are curios about. Like I said at the beginning, I like Pheil’s chisels but not their knives. I had issues with their knives from tip to tip and felt that I just paid way too much for mine.

Not “Pre-Sharpened for Immediate Use”

Despite that these knives are advertised to be sharp and ready for immediate use, the edge they put on these knives are terrible. Not only was it an uneven grind, but it was super rough and wouldn’t even slice through a piece of paper.

Thankfully I had the foresight to take pictures of the #1 knife to show you, but the picture above is straight out of the packaging. What I want you to look at is the beveled edge on the knife. See how it’s uneven?!

This took a while to even out properly and will be covered below why it was such a pain to sharpen.

Handle Felt Too Simplistic

The handles on both the #1 and #2 were very simple and uncomfortable after long periods of use. They just didn’t fit the palm nicely and aggravated the hand that I broke when I was younger very quickly.

I can whittle with knives like FlexCut all day long, but I literally couldn’t do it with these knives. I had to stop and finish the wood carving another day using a more comfortable knife.

Uneven Blade Grind

This is where I was the most frustrated with my knife. The #1 knife had a terrible grind on the edge that actually prevented me from putting on an acceptable bevel on the edge!

Check out the picture above, the dark spot in the middle is where metal was actually being removed on my 400 grit stone. The lighter spots on the left and right are untouched and not sharpening.

My knife had dips in the knifes edge that actually made the straight cutting edge dip near the tip. If you look at the picture, you will see a noticeable dip in the edge right by the tip of the knife. It took me about an hour to shape and correct this issue so that I could actually use the knife.


These knives can get a little expensive for some versions. I see the #1 knife range between $23 to $27 depending on where you get it and this one gave me the most problems! I can buy other knives for the same price that are perfect and ready to go right out of the box.

The #2 chip carving knife was less than $20 and is actually ok for the price that I paid for it. I just wish it came sharp like originally advertised.

What to Buy Instead

I have nearly a dozen different brands of knives from my testing and can tell you that you can get a lot more knife for the same price through other manufactures.

If you want a chisel, yes pick up a Pfeil but stay away from their knives! Here are my suggestions for knives in the same price range.

Butz Carving Knife

For $ a $20 knife, the Butz Carving Knife is hard to beat. It comes with a comfortable handle, high quality steel, perfect blade length and it just slices right through wood like it’s nothing.

There is one thing you need to know, this knife does need to be sharpened before use and they tell you this in the item description. Sharpening mine took very little time (especially compared to what I had to do for the Pheil knife) and you end up with an amazing blade for whittling.

Check out my full review by clicking the link below:

FlexCut Whittling Knives

If you are looking for a full range of wood carving tools, look no further than FlexCut. These are truly out of the box sharp and ready to use, unlike Pfeil.

Flexcut offers a ton of different knife styles, gouges, scoops, and even some folding variants for whittling while you are traveling or camping. Their tools are in the same price range as Pfeil and provide a much better user experience overall.

Check out my full review on FlexCut Knives by clicking the link below:

More Knife Reviews

If you want to see more knives I reviewed, click the link below and find what whittling knife is best for you!

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!

Recent Posts