Wood whittling Starting guideline
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Wood whittling Starting guideline


Interested in learning how to whittle? You have definitely found the right place. Before starting wood whittling, it's important that, you'll need some basic tools and learn basic techniques to be a pro! First, we will start by discussing the most essential tools needed to start whittling; just like any other form of art.

The major tools required to start whittling is a knife as well as wood. As a beginner, it's advisable that you do not spend much of your time searching for the best knife since, what's the need to start using the best of all knives while then, you still don't know even how to use it thus, don't over strain yourself just start small.

  1. Whittling knife

There are various types of whittling knife some are non-folding while others are folding. However, the best whittling knife should have the following characteristics; Style type and tang. To add to it, the equipment care also contributes greatly to the performance of the knife.

A good whittling knife blade is made from carbon steel; it helps to hold great-edge retention thus, for both soft and hard woods.

Tang basically refers to the blade length inside the knife's handle; often partial tangs in most cases are unreliable hence, the best choices are those with a full-tang blade. It's a good practice to often sharpen as well as hone your knife not to mention, consistently manage knife maintenance.

  1. Wood

As a beginner, the right type of wood for you is softwood. Main reasons being; they are fine, even grain as well as wooden knots-free. Therefore, the best type of wood for beginners is basswood. Basswood is one of the most used woods by most-experienced wood-cavers thus, it's not only suitable for beginners only but experts in wood-carving also prefer and recommend it.

Now that you have known what tools are required to start wood-whittling the next thing would be, choosing the kind of projects you like working on. Try to choose those projects you like.

Safety precautions or preparations;

It's important to first, know how to properly use the tools when whittling. Hence, there are certain safety precautions that you need to acknowledge so as to protect yourself, the wood-carving equipment as well as the wood itself. these includes;

  1. Learn to sharpen the blade's edge to keep the blade sharp at all times
  2. Cut with the grains
  3. Create safe environment when whittling; away from people or animals to avoid distractions and accidents. It helps you concentrate in your working
  4. Wear protective gear such as thumb protection cover to help avoid unnecessary cuts or accidents.

Basic Techniques of Whittling Cuts

You now know how to handle your whittling tools. Therefore, before, you start your carving, you need to learn as well as understand the basic cuts needed to create a foundation of a-good whittler which include;

1. Push cut; often used in removing large portions of wood-materials. In addition, mostly used in the starting of a project especially when shaping an object. It entails holding the handle of your blade with the spine thus, facing your body while, angle the blade-toward the wood and then push along the object.

2. Pairing Cut; used to remove small amount wood to define edges as well as smoothing them out. All you need to do is to; position your whittling knife along your fingers as well as curl your fingers thus, along the spine as you brace the wood using your thumb. Pull the blade slowly towards the thumb that is, until the unwanted piece of wood is totally removed.

3. Thumb-Push cut; this cut basically demonstrate blade control in most important as well as delicate slices. It is used when carving small pieces, important features and faces in a project. You only need to support your whittling knife just in the same-position as the push-cut as you grab the object suing the other hand.

On the hand-holding your project, rest your thumb on the blade spine while use your other hand to push the knife blade along the wood.

Though, there are other types of cuts used in whittling, the most important ones required to complete a word-carving project for beginners are these explained above. All you need is patience, time and practice more to learn these cutting styles.


An Outdoor expert, I am Enrique B Pauly share a nice and most interesting topic wood whittling in odysseyonline. Interest is the main drive to start doing anything. Therefore, if you are indeed interested in wood whittling, the only required tools for a start is a wood and a knife; For beginners the most suitable wood are softwood but basswood is the most recommended one.

Though, there are many knifes you can used to whittle but the perfect whittling knifes are pocket knives or special whittling knives. Learn the basic techniques and cutting styles in whittling and with practice and patient; with time, you'll be a pro. However, before you start whittling, it is important to choice the projects you like.

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