8 Best Whittling Knives for Woodworking Projects
We're here to help you choose the best whittling knife for your budget, project needs and experience level.
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Whittling knives are specifically designed for whittling, the art of carving raw wood into shapes and objects. Although technically any knife with a sharp edge can be used to achieve the technique, the best whittling knife will have a short blade for maximum control and an ergonomic handle, typically made of wood, to provide a comfortable grip. This design makes these specific knives ideal for performing both rough and detailed cuts, essential for creating figurines, animals and spoons.
What to Consider When Choosing a Whittling Knife
All whittling knives are not created equal, so DIYers should consider these factors to ensure the right pick ends up in their cart.
- Experience Level: If you’re just starting out, consider a knife kit that includes a blank wood block. This allows you to get started right away, and will eliminate the need to hunt around the backyard for a suitable branch. Beginners would also benefit from a kit that includes several types of knives, so they can experiment and figure out what type of whittling they prefer.
- Portability: If you plan on whittling out in the woods on a camping or hiking trip, or during the weekends at a remote cabin, your whittling knives will need to be easy to carry. In that case, choose an option that comes with some kind of storage pouch. This keeps knives organized in one place, the sharp edges from getting damaged and fingers safe while during transportation.
- Blade Variety: Just getting started and want to keep things simple for now? Go for a single detail knife or two-piece set. If you know you’ll be working on intricate and detailed objects, choose one with enough variety to create those ultra-detailed textures, as well as rough cuts for starting templates.
Best All-Around Whittling Knife Set for Beginners
Cor Cordium Wood Whittling Kit
By including eight blank wood blocks, cut-resistant gloves and a range of knife types, this Wood Whittling Kit is a quality choice for first-time woodworkers who want to get to work right away. Plus, a roll-up storage bag makes it easy to keep all your tools organized and in one place. One Amazon reviewer, Lilith Bellflower, praised the low price. “If you’re new to the craft like me and want to dip your toes in before spending hundreds on good knives and such, please get this!” they wrote.
- Includes everything a beginner needs to get started
- Thick handles made from walnut wood
- Comes with wax block and leather strop for maintenance
- May not be durable enough for everyday use
Most Splurge-Worthy Whittling Knife
Flexcut Whittlin’ Jack
The high-end Flexcut Whittlin’ Jack would be a slam dunk holiday gift for a dedicated woodworker—or yourself if you’d appreciate the compact functionality. It’s not cheap, but the money is worth it, thanks to the ultra-durable razor-sharp carbon steel blades and steel and wood handle. It’s just over 4 inches long when folded up, making it handy for slipping into a pocket and having on hand when spare whittling time comes about.
- Durable, high-quality construction
- Lightweight and compact
- Includes two whittling-specific blades
- Slightly more expensive than comparable models
Best Whittling Knives for Spoon Carving
BeaverCraft S13 Spoon Carving Kit
The S13 Spoon Carving Kit from BeaverCraft includes a hook knife for scooping and sloyd knife for details, making it fitting for those interested in creating wooden spoons. The large whittling knife removes big sections of wood when starting your creation, and can be used to create small details in the handle. These knives are also suitable for use on hardwoods, as Amazon reviewer, Tucker, stated, and easily cut through the maple spoon he used them on.
- Knives specific for scooping and shaping curves
- Storage pouch protects sharp edges
- Also suitable for making small bowls
- Lacks a gouge for creating large spoons
Best Folding Whittling Knife
Old Timer 24OT Folding Whittling Knife
The Old Timer 24OT Folding Whittling Knife features six blades, but has a foldable design for safety and convenient transportation. Its 6-inch handle is long enough to maneuver comfortably, and combined with the textured surface, provides a sturdy grip as you whittle. Weighing just 3.9 ounces, this could be the best whittling knife for a hike or camping excursion.
- All six blades fold down
- Made with carbon steel blades
- Blades are relatively small
Most Comprehensive Whittling Knife Set
Flexcut KN250 Deluxe Knife Set
If money’s no object and you want to be prepared for a wide variety of whittling or carving projects, consider the Flexcut KN250 Deluxe Knife Set. It includes 18 different blade types, allowing you to handle everything from rough carving to extremely detailed cuts. According to one Amazon user, Andrew, the extra-sharp blades are ready to use right out of the box. “Blades come razor sharp; no sharpening or stropping required before you start carving,” he wrote.
- Includes 18 knives and wooden tool box
- Ergonomic handles
- Made by a well-respected brand
- On the expensive side
- Doesn’t include a leather strop
Best Bare-Bones Whittling Knife Kit
Flexcut Whittler’s Kit
Whether you’re a first-timer interested in sculpting and detail work or an experienced whittler who wants a spare set, the Whittler’s Kit from Flexcut is a dependable option. Its two knives—a detail and a mini-detail blade—are all you need to begin creating figurines or intricate carvings. The handles are made of durable ash wood and designed to fit comfortably in the hand.
- No extra blades you don’t need
- Includes sharpening compound
- Made in the U.S.
- No storage pouch
Best Whittling Knife Set for Chip Carving
BeaverCraft S15 Whittling Wood Carving Kit
In addition to whittling and roughing knives, BeaverCraft’s S15 Whittling Wood Carving Kit includes a dedicated chip carving knife. It provides the opportunity to make those detailed chip carvings on the surface of wood, which is a must for tasks like letter engraving and creating textures, like animal fur, feathers and tree branches. This three-piece knife set stores conveniently in a fabric roll-up pouch and includes a sharpening compound to keep your blades sharp and safe.
- Brand provides instructional chip-carving videos
- Suitable for left- or right-handed users
- Ergonomic handles designed to prevent work fatigue
- Doesn’t include gloves
Best Single Whittling Knife
BeaverCraft Detail Whittling Knife
If you don’t have the budget or need for multiple pieces (or just want to replace your primary blade), this Detail Whittling Knife could be the best whittling knife for you. This single detail knife can easily fit in a drawer or on a workbench, and is still versatile enough to tackle a wide range of whittling projects. It doesn’t include any kind of storage, but that can be solved with a wine cork or a wall-mounted magnet on your workbench.
- Doesn’t take up much room
- Suitable for narrow cuts and detailing
- No storage