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What are the best carving tools

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  • What are the best carving tools


  • #2
    Re: What are the best carving tools

    I use Flexcut tools pretty much exclusively. That isn't because they're the 'best', but they were the first I tried when I got serious about carving...and like they say, if it isn't broken, why fix it?

    Both my Flexcut power and hand tools hold their edge very nicely, in spite of what I do to them.

    Teri
    "Santas for the Soul" &&Original Carvings by Teri Embrey&&http://www.teriembrey.com&&[email protected]

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    • #3
      http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/AlbumList?u=4055528

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      • #4
        Re: What are the best carving tools

        My wife says I'm nuts when it comes to tools (any kind wood, carving, mechanics, electronic, you name it) and she's probably right. I buy everything in sight.

        Here's what I've got:
        Stubai
        Pfiel
        Ramelson
        Warren (with home made handles)
        Dastra
        Lamp
        Flexcut
        The only thing that I'll jump out on a limb and say is best is the Stubai Veiners. Only because of their design, They are EXTRA deep. Plus something I hadn't noticed but Rick-in-Seattle pointed out they have a special grind and tapered shank that allows you to actually drill a full lenght hole with them. Anyway the Stubai vieners get my only vote for best.
        The worst finished are the Warren tools that I made up from a travel set I bought at a flea market with no handles. I made up a set of handles and the tools seem fine except for the finish. They do take a nice shine with a lot of effort. But functionally they are fine.

        The Pfiel tools are great as long as you stay with the softer woods and stay away from knots. If you get in a fight with a hard piece of wood you can chip the edges rather easilly. Could probably be solved by redoing the bevels, but then you wouldn't have that really sharp edge they are famous for.

        The Flexcut palm tools I really didn't like. Two of the selling points are the ability to flex the tool and the comfort of the handle. Those are the two things I didn't like. They tend to flex out of a cut at inopportuen moments and the handle is uncomfortable when the tool is turned over to use the backside of the gouges to round off an edge or cut a bead (I guess anything convex would be the appropriate way to say it). I've only had the palm tools so have no idea if any of this applies to the other configurations.

        That being said, I don't really see a dimes worth of difference between the rest of them functionally. Am saving my pennies for some Henry Taylors and Two Cherries to see how they are. Suspect they'll be about the same.

        If I had to do this on a strict budget I would probably go with the Ramelsons and be happy. I'm speaking strictly palm and some mid sized tools here as I haven't used the full sized enought yet to have an opinion.

        Tools are probably like girlfriends and wives (boyfriends and husbands) you like what you like for whatever reason.

        Knives: I've got a pretty good selection of knives and the only thoughts I've got there is I have yet to find a handle I like, including the ones I make myself and be very careful with Flexcuts as they have a very fragile edge; sharp, but fragile.

        I quit!

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        • #5
          Re: What are the best carving tools

          Ah, the proverbial 'chicken or the egg' question. I used to be very attached to my Two Cherries tools, and would scoff at the thought of another brand. Then I tried Pfeil. I still prefer Two Cherries for 90% of my work, but When I am carving Jelutong or basswood, I will pretty much grab the pfeil. If you have flexcut and Pfeil, you have two varieties of tools with a low profile bevel, so you dont have the option to choose a chisel with a higher bevel. it may not matter to you enough to invest in more tools, but I love being able to switch.
          I Cut It Six Times And It's Still Too Short!!!

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          • #6
            Re: What are the best carving tools

            ahhh tools, a favorite subject of mine.

            I'm mostly a full sized tool user but have a fair selection of palm tools as well. I love my Pfiel tools (both palm and full-size) and would not hesitate to recomend them to anyone. I have been adding to my collection Henry Taylor tools lately and expect to get more in the future. They need some work before use but once they're tuned up they are fine tools (Woodcraft is buying their HT's polished and honed but it raises the price to the consumer). I have an old set of AMT tools that took some major regrinding and I had to relieve the edge along the length of the blade for comfort but now that I have personalized them they are holding up fine. Stubai, yup I like them too, especially the vieners for the reasons already stated (although there are times I would like the wings leading the cut... perhaps another set of them in the future will get 'personalized'). Knives: my Helvie roughout is my 'goto'. Love the blade and the handle is great. I have a nice Denny detail knife but the handle is a bit small. I recently aquired a custom Seatle Detailer and it's a sweet tool. If your ever feeling cash heavy treat yourself to a Diobsud Forge or two... hands down my favorite palm tools.

            OK that's enough for now :-X

            Dave

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            • #7
              Re: What are the best carving tools

              You go Dave !! There's nothing like Diobsud. I just wish they made more sizes and shapes.
              My favorite knives are still my old Knotts.

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              • #8
                Re: What are the best carving tools

                I have to agree with Callynne. I love my Lyons knives. I started with Helvie knives because someone suggested it. I needed a small blade so I tried the 5/8' Lyons knife and I thought it was so good I got the 1' knife also.

                As for gouges I use Flexcut. I don't have any complaints with them. The main reason I got them is they have the travel set. I have very limited space so that works best for me.

                I think tools are like cars. They all do their function it is just a matter of personal preferece as to which one is the best.

                Thats my 2 cents.

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                • #9
                  Re: What are the best carving tools

                  thanks guys you realize that you are probably going to cost me a whole bunch of money I have never heard of most of these tools. That is why I love this message board you sure learn a lot when you ask a question what did we ever do before computers? The advantage you have from being from the US is that you have so many more suppliers there. We are very limited to the different types of gouges and knife's in Canada but it is sure helpful to know that they are out there. Now before I get blasted by my Canadian counterparts maybe they are available in Canada I just have never heard of them let alone seen them. You can bet that I will be on the internet right after this looking up such names as Dave Lyons,Diobsud, Two Cherries etc. By the next time I talk to you I will probably own a bunch more tools again thanks for the information I am sure this question will help a lot of the carvers starting out and get them off on the right foot.

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                  • #10
                    Re: What are the best carving tools

                    The best tools? That's easy; them that's MINE!!!

                    Al

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                    • #11
                      Re: What are the best carving tools

                      I have a large assortment of the Pfiel,Stubai and Flexcut. Lately I have been purchasing Auriou brand tools, these are made in France and are very high quality. The handles are a little thicker than the Swiss which I also like. I plan on buying a good bit more in the near future. It sure is tough choosing a favorite brand they all have something special about them.

                      Take Care
                      Dale

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                      • #12
                        Re: What are the best carving tools

                        Well, I wanna just use Al's!!!

                        Teri
                        "Santas for the Soul" &&Original Carvings by Teri Embrey&&http://www.teriembrey.com&&[email protected]

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                        • #13

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                          • #14
                            Re: What are the best carving tools

                            You might want to find a carvers club in your area, carvers are the friendliest people around and will be more than happy to talk about their tools and show them to you, that way you get first hand knowledge about how they look and feel to you...wish I had done that! would have saved me a lot of money! : :-/

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                            • #15
                              Re: What are the best carving tools

                              hi ho - you miss the point. It's not to save money, it's to aquire the most tools.

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