If you’re going to spend hours working on a piece of wood – it’s worth making that time as enjoyable as possible. If you work with knives that slip, fail, and frustrate you, then it’s probably time for a change. This guide and review will take you through some of the best whittling knife options on the market. We want you to get more professional results, more effortlessly, and more consistently.
I can attest from experience that working with ineffective knives can put a dark cloud over what should be a wonderful artistic experience. Whether wood carving is your job, or your passion project, getting a knife that’s just right for your style and niche is essential. Let’s take a look!
Table of Contents
- Top 3 – Best Whittling Knifes
- Top 7 Best Whittling Knife Reviews in 2021
- Final Thoughts
Top 3 – Best Whittling Knifes
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Top 7 Best Whittling Knife Reviews in 2021
We’ve carefully selected 7 of the best whittling knife for their balance between price, ease of use, performance, and longevity. Our goal is to help you get a knife that meets you where you are currently at skills wise and helps you get where you want to go.
In this review and guide, you’ll find best whittling knife and carving sets that suit a wide range of users, while still offering you the consistency and performance you need to improve your skills and get better results. We’ll cover what stands out about each knife/set, show you why it’s worth paying attention to, and close off with what we did and didn’t like about each option.
By the end, you’ll have the information you need to make a fantastic buying decision, along with a couple of excellent value knives to help you on your path to improvement. Let’s get started!
Here’s a fantastic Sloyd knife for beginners. It’s super-affordable, easy to use, and looks amazing. You get a durable and sturdy sheath with the knife that will help further protect the steel from rust and corrosion. Sloyd knives are great for taking off larger chunks of wood without sacrificing control or accuracy.
The grind of this knife is at just the right angle to ensure you don’t take off more wood than you planned to by accident. You’re getting a broad-bellied handle that fits comfortably into your hand. Its symmetrical design means it can be used ambidextrously and without causing hand fatigue.
There’s a lanyard hole in the sheath that’s broader than most. It’ll let you string a thicker lanyard through to fasten it securely to a belt or bag. You’re also getting high-quality carbon steel with great edge retention and resistance. The steel isn’t too hard either, so the knives edge is rather easy to strop or sharpen.
At 3.14” long, the blade is at the perfect length for a mix of heavier duty carving work, and detailing. The tip is super-sharp, which allows you to be accurate and controlled while detailing and with other intricate carvings. Overall, you’re getting a top pick for the best knife for whittling, especially considering the price and ease of use!
- Great quality sheath that’s sturdy, durable, and lightweight
- Very sharp tip that’s well-suited to detailing work
- Versatile knife capable of heavier and more accurate wood carving
- Handle is ergonomic and can be used ambidextrously
- Blade doesn’t come very sharp out the box
- Not great for delicate carving (except for tip detailing)
If you want all your tools in an ultra-portable and compact design, here’s a wonderful wood carving pocket knife. You’re getting class-leading versatility in relatively lightweight and user-friendly builds. With 6-tools, you can cover almost all of your on-the-go wood carving needs.
If you’re a fan of working on smaller carvings while traveling or away from your setup, this pocket knife is a capable option. The 65Mn high-carbon steel gives you acceptable edge retention and excellent corrosion resistance. It’s not too hard either, so you’ll find touching up and sharpening the knives isn’t much of a hassle.
It’s also a very safe knife, with a durable heat-treated safety spring keeping each of the tools from accidentally slipping. Overall, this lightweight and ultra-portable workhorse is one of our favorite choices for the whittling pocket knife in this price range.
- Extremely versatile and functional
- Heat-treated safety springs are exceptionally safe and reliable
- Easy to sharpen and maintain
- Textured grip makes the tools easy to use and slip-resistant
- Opening and closing each of the tools could be a little easier and faster
- Not great for handling larger wood carving tasks
If you’re after a decent wood carving set, but don’t want all the bells and whistles of a carving pocket knife – here’s a set that keeps it simple. Other than their minimalistic design, these knives are also very easy to use. They’re suitable for beginners and have non-slip, ergonomic handles.
You’re getting a Sloyd knife, a hook knife, and a detailing knife to cover most small wood carving projects comfortably. With the right maintenance and care routine in place, you’ll get the performance that you’d only see with more expensive sets.
The higher-quality wood and steel bump up durability quite a bit and give you slightly enhanced edge retention. While these aren’t top-of-the-range wood carving knives, they offer excellent value for money. It’s a great set to learn and master your skills with.
- Simple and straightforward minimalistic design
- Handles are comfortable and non-slip
- Good edge retention considering the price
- Handles aren’t sealed
- Set doesn’t come with a protective case or sheath
The first thing you’ll notice about this knife is the gorgeous bamboo case that it comes in. There is a precise foam cutout inside that perfectly fits the knife and stops it from bouncing around while traveling. This way, you’re also getting extra protection against scuffing, scratching, and water damage.
What we love so much about this best whittling knife is the small but sturdy blade. Smaller blades are excellent for accurate carving and detailing, which is made even more prominent by the large and comfortable handle. You can choke right up to the front of the handle for more accurate carving and detailing, or slide back a little and change up your grip for deeper carving.
There’s plenty of space for both. The flat cutting edge is great for carving and rolling through your cuts. You’re getting slightly steeper grinds which are fantastic for tougher wood. It’s also great for durability and protecting the cutting edge from chipping and folding.
65MN steel has respectable edge retention and durability. It’s not too hard or too soft, so you’re hitting the sweet spot when it comes to balancing hardness with ease of sharpening and maintenance. Overall, you’re getting one of the best whittling knife options in this price range.
- Comes with a generous money-back guarantee
- Stunning protective case with a molded foam cutout
- Powerful blade with a durable cutting edge
- Ergonomic sealed handle
- Blade is quite short and not great for making larger cuts
- Blade hooks downward a little which can be a little off-putting at first
You’re getting a hook knife and a sloyd knife with this set. The hook knife in particular stands out and is exceptionally efficient at working on concave surfaces. You can quickly and evenly carve out a bowl or a spoon. There’s a sharpening stone included with the set so that you can quickly touch up the blades between uses.
This helps them cut more accurately and prevents your hand from slipping or fatiguing. You’ll love the smooth oak handles on each of the knives. Not only are they comfortable and ergonomic, but they’re also sealed and quite robust. You can use them with sweaty hands and not have to worry about lopping off a finger.
At 2.4”, the sloyd knife is quite long and therefore better suited to carving larger pieces of wood. It’s a fantastic knife for roughing and the sharp tip can be used for more detailed work. The blade’s shape is symmetrical and working with the tip is easy and intuitive.
You’ll find the wider-than-usual handle fits comfortably into your hand, still letting your choke the knife for accurate detailing. You’re getting resistant and durable steel that holds a decent edge, which is awesome considering the price point of this set.
- Hook knife is better than most competing sets’ hook knives
- Non-slip, sealed, sturdy, and ergonomic oak handles
- Sloyd knife is versatile and easy to use for detailing
- Comes with a sharpening block
- Knives don’t come very sharp out of the box
- Not the most versatile set when compared to what you’d get for a little extra cash
If value for money is important to you, then this set is worth paying attention to. You’re getting a hard-to-beat 5-in-1 selection, and this isn’t even a pocket knife. Of course, you’re sacrificing some portability for this extra value and versatility, but it’s worth the trade if you aren’t planning to take this kit with you everywhere.
What’s great about this set is that both professionals and beginners can use it. Beginners will learn how to sharpen and maintain the knives with the provided sharpeners, and professionals will benefit from the convenience they provide. The handles are all oil-sealed and slip-resistant, even if you’re using them with sweaty hands.
Their boxy shape might look a little awkward at first, but they fit comfortably into your hands and give you plenty of control over your knife. All the tools conveniently fit into and roll up in a leather roll bag. It’s great at protecting the knives against scratching and scuffing while you carry them around.
The bag is surprisingly lightweight and easy to carry, but it gets quite dirty rather quickly. Overall, this set is a fantastic gift idea for an enthusiast friend, and one of the top-rated best whittling knife sets for value for money and versatility.
- Excellent value for money and ease of use
- Oil treated handles are durable, slip-resistant, and ergonomic
- Excellent quality detailing knife
- All tools fit well into the roll-up leather pouch
- Not the most portable carving knife set
- Knives don’t come very sharp out the box
You’re getting pretty much everything you’d need for chipping and carving in one convenient and functional set. In terms of value for money, this is one of the best sets you’ll find at this price. You get a sloyd knife, a hook knife, a detailing knife, a set of gloves, and even a practice spoon for beginners to learn how to use the tools.
This all comes in a neatly packed and compact carry case. Each tool and fitting slots into an elastic holder and are kept firmly in place. The gloves are great quality for the money and give you plenty of cut protection and grip strength.
With ergonomic and non-slip handles, you don’t need to worry about slipping or losing control. This is a fantastic set for learning on, it’s affordable, easy to use, and well-designed. While it’s not top-of-the-line, you get everything a beginner would need to start down the right path.
- Great value for money
- Compact carrying case
- Good quality anti-cut gloves
- Comes with practice spoon blanks
- Not the most durable set for the money
- Knives don’t come sharp out the box
You should now have quite a good idea of what you’re looking for. You also have a clear understanding of the kind of value you can expect at different price points. Bear in mind that your tastes and requirements will evolve as you improve.
So take your time, write down what you’re looking for, and compare it all with some of the knives and sets we’ve looked at. With the best whittling knife or set by your side, you’ll be well on your way to getting the results you want from your wood carving! Good luck!