Best Wood Carving Chisel Set Overview 2021
Every wood carving master knows how essential it is to choose the best wood carving chisels to add to your toolkit. If you are a beginner in wood carving, you have yet to discover the very practical use of wood carving chisels and gouges and the endless smooth surfaces you can carve with them. We are talking about tools with a specifically shaped cutting edge of the blade, which are great for carving and cutting through hard material such as timber. Choosing the toolkit with the best wood carving gouges can make your entire wood carving project experience go a lot easier, so I will try to explain what these tools can do for you.
First of all, wood carving chisel gouges are essentially those chisels whose cutting edge is bent into a curve. A gouging knife is designed to carve grooves in such a way that the tool doesn’t dig into the wood. With this knife, you can remove a lot of wood quickly, and it works great when carving into the wood with a flat surface. In this article, I will cover the sets of carving chisels & gouges that I tried, and share my experience with the six best ones. If you are interested in wood carving and whittling knives, you can check out my other articles – What is the best whittling knife in 2020 and Top 7 Best Wood Carving Beginner Kits – Reviews and buying guide. In case you are looking for my reviews on something more specific, I have reviewed spoon carving tools – 5 Best Spoon Carving Tools, as well as power carving tools – Best Power Wood Carving Tools in 2020.
What Criteria to Look For?
When choosing wood carving chisels and gouges, there is always the question of whether to purchase a set of tools or buy each knife separately. There are also many aspects of each tool to consider, and it is hard to find a knife that satisfies your standards in every way. While I was testing these knives for my project, I measured different features.
The first thing you need to know is that, even though knives vary in shapes and sizes, there are two basic types: a U gauge and a V gouge carving tool. U gauges are essential tools for wood carving projects, and what defines them is 1) the width of their cutting edge, 2) the shaft shape, and 3) the sweep and curvature of the edge. An important thing to consider is whether you want the knife in a straight, spoon, bent, or back-bent shape. The V gouges are also useful carving tools, that differ in the angle of the bottom edge (the V edge), as well as in the space between top edge tips. Important criteria that I used for rating these toolsets is the number of tools in a set, the overall quality of the tool combination, whether the razors are sharp and the chisels hold the edge, how comfortable the handles of the tools are, if the chisel sets come with a warranty and, finally, whether they are worth the price they are being sold for.
WAYCOM 24PCS – Good chisels for small detailed carving projects
This set is quite good for working with softwood, and includes multiple size knives (small, medium, and large) in the 24 tools you get. It is a set used by professionals, but is neat for beginners too – the steel is of good quality, and the handles are comfortable when the knives are used for hand carving.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this toolkit, but the small pieces are working rather well for small-size projects, and they dig nicely into the pine. I’ve also noticed that the razors of the blades are quite sharp and hold an edge for a really long time. The handles are very short and thick, allowing good control over the pressure, and thus the knives are useful for all kinds of projects.
Mikisyo Power Grip 5 pcs – The essential starter-set for beginners
This is a basic set, which includes the five tools you need for any type of wood carving project. The handles fit the palm perfectly and work rather well for figure carving and relief carving. If you only began to learn how to use wood chisels for carving, this toolkit is a good starting point. This set includes 3 gouges, a V chisel wood carving tool, and a skew chisel, which are the types of wood carving chisels that you will always need in practice. The blades arrived already sharpened in the box and ready to use straight away, while the used carving chisels from this manufacturer are best sharpened with a wet stone rather than sandpaper, in my experience.
The issue with these Japanese carving chisels is that the blade cannot be replaced, which can be a challenge if your rounded gouges chip out of the blue, which can happen with softwood such as basswood. I had this problem before I actually got used to the handle and the blade itself, but after that, I had no additional issues with it, the round large wood carving chisels are still serving me rather nicely.
SCHAAF Tools 12 pcs – The fancy toolkit that lasts forever
This expensive wood carving chisels toolset presents a high quality set of tools that are very sharp and super useful in my workshop. It offers a good variety in terms of both shapes and sizes of the blades, meaning that it is handy for any wood carving project. I know what you are thinking – for that price it better be! It is a rather neat combination of tools, including 1) Straight Chisel 8mm, 2) Skew Chisel 8mm, 3) Gouge 8mm, 4) Gouge 20mm, 5) Gouge 6mm, 6) Gouge 14mm, 7) Heavy Bent Gouge 20mm, 8) Gouge 4mm, 9) Spoon Gouge 10mm, 10) Gouge 10mm, 11) Veiner 3mm, and 12) V Parting Tool 6mm.
Even though the blades are very sharp, you’ll need to get comfortable with sharpening wood carving chisels, since there will come the time when you will need to invest in a good blade tip. If you are used to sharpening carving chisels, this toolset can last forever, indeed.
Although some wood carving enthusiasts love power chisels for wood carving and will rather choose electric wood chisels for carving, I enjoy working with my hands and having a nice knife, that I can use to complete a project that can fit on the palm of my hand.