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Carving Knife Blade Shapes

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  • Carving Knife Blade Shapes

    And now for something completely different. I have made a bunch of carving knives recently and took a few to my carving club to show why I didn't have any carvings to show. I was told by a very experienced and talented carver that real carving knives ALWAYS have a straight, flat edge on the bottom. Up-curved blades are frowned upon as too dangerous: you might pick up the wrong knife and place your thumb on the sharp edge. Any comments on this opinion? The way I see it, if you aren't paying enough attention to which tool you pick up, maybe you need a cut thumb to learn the lesson!

  • #2


    • #3
      Re: Carving Knife Blade Shapes

      Cap'n, never say never and never say always, huh? Almost all of my blades are straight on the cutting edge, but there are a some exceptions. Maybe that's a fundamental difference between carving and whittling; carving knives are usually straight and whittling knives are anything that makes a wood chip.


      • #4
        Re: Carving Knife Blade Shapes

        Well, I agree that a straight, flat edge is the most useful but I too use a lot of different shapes and lengths depending on the need. Never thought about the difference between whittling and carving knives, though. You might have a point! :


        • #5
          Re: Carving Knife Blade Shapes

          Although my main knife is a straight blade there are certainly times when a curved edge fits the need of the moment. you can get a very controlled cut by rocking the blade from heel to point on a soft grained wood and in essence get a skewed cutting action. Also, it can be easier to judge the depth of cut on a long shallow slice when you can see the tip of the blade. I would say your friend is limiting his options. My two pennies worth.



          • #6
            Re: Carving Knife Blade Shapes

            Hi Captain,
            I have 5 knives that I use, and all are flat edged. However all the backs of the blades are shaped differently for different proposes. Short and pointed for small detail work, long and blunt for heavy removal of wood. I would think that the straight edge would be easy to control than a curved edge, and a lot easier to keep sharp. Sounds like you are having a lot of fun making these knifes. Can you postsome photos for us to see?
            Visit Easton, Md's Waterfowl Festival November 8th 9th and 10th.


            • #7
              Re: Carving Knife Blade Shapes

              I took some digital photos last weekend and hope to find a 'free' host for a website soon. I may even get some pictures of me working at the forge or even a photographic tutorial. Who knows....


              • #8
                Re: Carving Knife Blade Shapes

                I got my second commision for a Mohogany sign for a boat yesterday. Looks like I'm in business. Maybe thats where your heading! I love custom hand made tools and will be interested in seeing yours, may even buy one! I need a 1/2 bent neck straight chisel.
                Visit Easton, Md's Waterfowl Festival November 8th 9th and 10th.


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