Best Whittling Knife for Carving Wood (Oct. 2018) – Buyer’s Guide

Whittling is a time-honored art. All whittling hobbyists know that the best pieces are achieved with the best whittling knife. Knowing your ultimate choice is not always a walk in the park, not unless you are seasoned and have the key considerations at your fingertips.

With the bewildering number of knives, we’ve managed to narrow down to the 10 Best Whittling Knives.

Morakniv Companion MG Fixed Blade Knife Blades To

The Morakniv Companion MG is high-quality, versatile knife. Every woodcarver will appreciate a blade fashioned from carbon steel for slicing through every type of wood. It is the first choice when you need a knife a to do the heavy whittling work.

Top Pick's By Expert Review

Product Name Materials Handle Design Weight Buy
Morakniv 11863 Companion MG
Carbon Steel with Scandinavian Grind
Rubber handle with a friction grip
4.0 ounces
Opinel Carbon Steel Folding Knife
Carbon Steel
Large and round
2.08 ounces
Morakniv Wood Carving Knife 164
Stainless steel (single-edge blade)
Oiled birch wood
1.76 ounces
Morakniv Wood Carving 120 Knife
Laminated Steel
Oiled birch wood
2.4 ounces
FlexCut Right-Handed Knife
Carbon steel
Curved wooden handle
10.2 ounces
Fury Nobility Raindrop Folding Knife
Stainless Steel
RosePakka hardwood
1.6 ounces
Flexcut JKN88 Whitling Jack
Carbon steel
with wood inlay
4.8 ounces
Flexcut KN12 Cutting Knife
Carbon Steel
Ash hardwood
2.0 ounces
Morakniv Wood Carving Junior
Carbon Steel
Oiled birch wood
2.08 ounces
Boker Carver’s Whittler Knife
Carbon steel
Rosewood
8.0 ounces

1st Recomendation: Morakniv Companion MG

Featuring a ¾ tang, the Morakniv 11863 Companion MG is every whittler’s dream. It exhibits the toughness you can only get from a well-thought-out knife. Being a fixed blade, you will love that it does not have a weak joint which means it is not going to fall apart any time soon.

Functionality

Morakniv uses a carbon-steel blade to achieve durability in a knife made for the hardest whittling jobs. If you are dealing with hardwood, it gets even easier since the difficult startup jobs are always the trickiest. It holds up well against any other wood meaning you can cut clean pieces of wood into ribbons.

You will like that this model comes with a Scandinavian grind which makes it pretty easy to re-sharpen. The high friction grip exhibits incredible performance as you will be able to make the finest cuts and also carve into hooks and crannies with no hassle at all.

Performance

A blade that is only 4.1 inches long means it will not restrict you through many whittling jobs. It is even more critical when perfecting the art if you are just starting. With the rubber handle and small weight, it is remarkably easy to manipulate through technical jobs. You will love that it does not have any handling difficulty thanks to the rubber that absorbs the shock on the handle.

However, this might not be your ultimate knife if you use it around salt water. You will need to take extra care of your blade to prevent rust and corrosion.

Pros

  • Easy to handle using the patterned high-friction grip
  • Scandinavian grind sharpens fast and easy
  • Durable crafting from carbon-steel
  • Useful for any type of wood
  • Versatile usage from carving to making tinder
  • It includes the sheath

Cons

  • It is not water-friendly

Overall
Morakniv strives to be a great whittling knife. From the crafting of a ¾ tang to constructing it from carbon steel. This knife is your best if you are looking for an all-around knife that is both durable and functional.

2nd Recommendation: Carbon Steel Folding

Here’s a knife that is nearly as old as whittling itself. The Opinel Carbon Steel Folding Knife is not your average every day carry knife. It is a classic design that folds which means you can access it anywhere from the comfort of your pocket.

Functionality

Like its Morakniv counterpart, this knife also features a carbon steel blade. It can retain its sharpness for quite a long time meaning that it won’t need much care and maintenance and you can get busy at your best hobby.

The pointy tip is an excellent feature as it ensures you can use this knife for rounding, making deep cuts, and cuts that need pushing the blade over a long path. What’s more, it has a straight edge which makes it super helpful when you want to work on a carving that needs removing lots of material.

Performance

For those looking for a knife that will last years in good condition and of course with proper maintenance, this is the knife for you. Opinel ensures that it can handle the most tasking jobs when working on hard pieces. With a carbon steel blade, you can expect top performance from a knife of its caliber.

The safety mechanism is what makes this knife special especially if you are a novice. Don’t worry that the knife may close on your fingers or open when it’s in your pocket. The Vibroloc Safety ring, got you covered. But you should always be careful when working with a sharp knife.

Pros

  • Clip point design is fit for rounding jobs
  • Features a Vibroloc safety ring
  • The handle can be held in either saber grip of hammer grip
  • Carbon steel blade is durable and fast to sharpen
  • It is built to be shock resistant

Cons

  • It is a bit bulkier than other whittling knives that fold

The Morakniv Wood Carving Hook Knife is the perfect pick if you are into carving crisp, clean spoons. It is an ambidextrous design that allows using with the left hand for push cuts and with the right hand for pull cuts.

Functionality

This model expresses its versatility through the crafting using a single-edged blade. It gives you superb control so that you can always be on top of your game. A full-tang construction is your cue for the best hook knife on the market for whittling. This is a sure pick when you want to achieve the cleanest carves into bowls and cups alike

Looking at the blade, you have a sustainable stainless steel blade. It speaks of durability and reliability seeing that it can resist corrosion and rust quite well. We like that it can maintain its razor sharpness for a decent time which we believe it will be of great service. 

Performance

This knife gives you the most memorable whittling experience. It has no match for its quality in the hook design category. It guarantees longevity and reliability through tricky curving jobs like making a deep round spoon that oozes perfection. The steel blade remains reasonably sharp to perform all your whittling tasks with excellence.

What’s more, it has a birch wood handle that is ergonomically designed to achieve top comfort in wet conditions.

Pros

  • Lightweight design for easy handling
  • Stainless steel blade is exceptionally durable
  • Oil birched wood handle is ergonomic
  • It uses a single-edged blade for both right-handed and left-handed users
  • Hook design is ideal for carving round usable items like spoons and bowls

Cons

  • It may take time getting used to how it works

Value For Money: Morakniv Wood Carving Knife

It’s without a doubt that Moraknive has made a name for itself in the whittling world. The Morakniv 120 knife presents a knife loved for making highly accurate cuts.

Functionality

Every whittler will fall for a narrow edge that is small and narrow. Apart from making close cuts effortless, this knife enhances every cut to make your work easier. It uses a laminated steel blade that is only 34mm thick. It can retain its sharp grind which saves you from constant re-sharpening. 

A large wooden handle graces your grip. It is rounded with a construction from birch wood. It offers the ideal handling control since if you need a large grip, its size will feel comfortable in your hands. If you have small hands, this knife also provides a little bit of customizing to fit in your hands just the way you love it.

Performance

Morakniv meets our expectations in the handling and durability. You get a knife that can easily be fashioned to suit your needs when it comes to the handle. You will also be working with a narrow blade that qualifies for precision whittling jobs. For the money, we are sure you are investing in the ideal carving knife.

This knife is made with your safety in mind. There’s a helpful finger guard that guides your finger out of the way of the sharp blade. 

Pros

  • It uses a laminated steel handle to improve its longevity
  • It uses a laminated steel handle to improve its longevity
  • It runs a full length
  • It can cut through any wood
  • It has a narrow, pointed edge for enhanced accuracy

Cons

  • The sheath is longer than the knife

Best whittling Pocket Knife: FlexCut Jack Folding

The Flex-Cut Right-Handed Carvin’Jack comes to you in a small package that folds nicely for use anywhere. It is a multi-tool with six carving elements to fulfill all your whittling jobs. With this knife, you are not only a whittler but an expert wood carver

Functionality

If you are a right-handed whittler, then you will fall for this particular model. It is not one of those that gives you a hard time when operating since it balances out the six cutting edges on both sides of the knife. From the carving knife to the chisel, v-scorp, gouge scoop, hook knife, and straight edge, Flex-Cut has arranged them so that you can achieve maximum utility from the design.

All the six blades boast a construction from carbon steel. It is easy to see why many whittlers prefer it as it is not only sturdy but also practical. You will also like that the blades come sharpened and ready to use straight out of the box.

Performance

Flex-Cut is excellent to use with both soft and hardwoods. Never worry about the longevity of the blades as they are dependable. Getting used to using this knife is a breeze since the blades are balanced on both ends. Its folding design makes it an outstanding choice for the convenience of being able to use it anywhere; be it at your wood carving bench at home or for whittling sticks to gather tinder.

Best for Small Hands: Fury Nobility Raindriop

If you have small hands and looking to get the best value out of a whittling knife, the Fury Nobility Raindrop is a great fit. It features a RosePakka handle which makes it a beautiful knife that is attractive if you love appealing aesthetics.

Functionality

With 440 stainless steel blade, this tool is ideal for dealing with most types of woods. The small size is unique in that it is great for finishing touches especially when you want to include minute details in your carvings. It falls into the category where you don’t just carve wood, but you can actually make something that is usable from your pieces.

We find that since this knife is folded, you can keep it in your pocket and use it whenever you want. The wood handle is thoughtfully curved to provide a solid grip which aids in control. This way, you won’t end up missing a cut or working overly had to achieve a specific cut.

Performance

This knife can sustain its edges for a while, but it’s not your best bet for everyday use. As many users indicated, it is quite small to perform big tasks. If you want to make precise cuts to a nearly finished piece, this model will give you crisp details.

Pros

  • RosePakka handle has some intricate details
  • Stainless steel blade can work on most types of wood
  • Great for small hands
  • Unique shape to perform minute details
  • Small size fits in your pocket

Cons

  • It is hard to re-sharpen when it gets blunt

The Flexcut Whittlin Jack continues to be a favorite thanks to its cutting power. It is weightless and portable to enable its use wherever whittling takes you.

Functionality

With two carbon steel blades, this knife gives you more functionality instead of sticking with just one blade for all your cutting jobs. It provides you with a detail blade and a roughing knife so you can take on more tasks. It allows you to make thin cuttings using the short blades as they provide you with more control for precise cuts.

The aluminum handle has an inlay of wood veneer. It is a classy tool that gives you more value for being firm and sturdy. With the razor-sharp blades, this knife is the only tool you will need from start to finish of a whittling job.

Performance

Flexcut cares about your comfort in terms of the handling and the longevity. We see a knife made for long-term use owing to the carbon steel blades. The curved handle offers you a firm grip that you can use comfortably whether your hands are dry or wet. And because of the two-blade design, this knife is excellent for veterans

Pros

  • Blades open and close effortlessly
  • Short blades provide excellent control
  • It’s only 44 inches long to fit into your pocket
  • The blades come sharpened and ready for use
  • Two whittling blades offer detailing and roughing cuts

Cons

  • Blades do not lock when open but are firm enough to remain open while whittling

If you are have just discovered you love whittling and have no idea which knife to grab, Flexcut Cutting knife is an easy solution. With a rounded point, this knife is easy to handle as you master the whittling art.

Functionality

The carbon steel blade is appealing because it is sharp and works right out of its box. You will note that it takes a while before you ever need to sharpen this knife. With its rounded point, taking out lots of materials or shavings becomes a breeze as it does not require honing of any skills to use it in its best way possible.

The ash hardwood handle has been ergonomically designed to fit in most people’s hands. It is comfortable, but it is more susceptible to the weather. This means it may expand or contract with time which may affect its grip.

Performance

This knife is flexible to meet your various needs thanks to the drop point design of the blade. It can get through a variety of tasks from the beginning to finish with some jobs. This indicates it goes a long way to eliminate the need for using different knives on the same piece.

Pros

  • It arrives pre-sharpened
  • Handcrafted to meet high-quality demands
  • Rounded tip gets through different carving jobs
  • Provides flexible usage for beginners

Cons

  • Ash hardwood is not the most durable handle for such a robust knife

Finally, we have a knife built with kids in mind. If you are teaching your kids how to carve, you will need a knife specified for small kids’ hands like the Morakniv Wood Carving Junior.

Functionality

This knife features a small handle that is super comfortable for kids. It has single-finger protection which comes in handy to protect naïve hands. It gets even more comfortable since the knife is also ultralight to provide simple management when your children are using it. The carbon steel blade arrives sharpened so you will still need to watch your kids. Nevertheless, it provides them with a long time use without becoming blunt.

The fixed handle is made of oiled birch wood. It is complemented by a tapering edge that provides it with even more usefulness for slicing and cutting. You will like it more for the edge area as it offers quick cuts when cutting through tough wood.

Performance

Morakniv proves its usefulness by bearing expert craftsmanship for kids to use it safely. It is ideal for kids who desire to be experts since it maintains its functionality yet the handle is small. It allows the ultimate control in the hands of a child whether it is slicing or carving.

Pros

  • Ergonomic grip for small palms
  • Clip style offers more edge area
  • Oiled birch wood handle gives long-lasting comfort
  • Comes with a storage sheath
  • It has a single finger protection

Cons

  • It is only designed for use with small hands

Best All-around Whittling Knife

Sometimes all you need is one knife that can start and complete a job. But it’s pretty difficult to find a knife with more blades without any handling issues. The Boker 115465 Carver’s Congress Whittler Pocket Knife is your all-time favorite when you need a successful whittling job with only a single knife.

Functionality

The four blades provide you with a slicing sheepfoot blade, a scooping spey blade, a coping blade, and a penknife for scooping out wood. You can slash of large chunks of wood shavings as well as curve your way into the most intricate pieces using minute details.

This knife carries a set of strong back springs that keep the blades in the open position once they are open. They are relatively firm considering it carries four carbon steel blades. With the Rosewood handle, this knife manages to achieve comfortable handling which its ergonomic grip that eliminates fatigue when used for hours.

Performance

Theirs is no doubt that the Boker 115465 is a practical and durable whittling tool. It combines four blades with durable construction to help every whittler achieve their dream piece in a heartbeat. You can count on the sharpness to last you a remarkable period without stropping.

Pros

  • Four different blades accomplish a successful whittling job
  • Carbon steel blades can retain their edges
  • It has a small portable length
  • Rosewood handle is ergonomic for a sturdy grip
  • It has a single finger protection

Cons

  • It is a bit difficult to open it when its new because of the robust back springs

Best Whittling Knife: Making the Cut for the Best

Searching the internet seems like a good idea to start your search for a whittling knife. But a single search can give you hundreds of results leaving you at a crossroad on which model is better than the other.

Here are the features to look for when searching for the ultimate Whittling tool

Construction Material

Many whittling knives are made of carbon steel. This material is durable, and it provides an easy sharpening process. It also retains its sharp edge over a longer period than stainless steel. However, carbon steel is more susceptible to corrosion. If you store your blade when wet, you can expect to find marks that indicate corrosion from rust.

Stainless steel is the other material that makes whittling knives. Although rust-resistant, they are slow to sharpen which can be a pain if you find it challenging to sharpen knives.

Safety Mechanism

There’s no humor in a sharp knife closing in on your fingers. You will need to look for a locking mechanism to keep the blades in place when whittling. This feature is more important if you are investing in a folding whittling knife than in a fixed blade knife. You will want your knife to have a safety ring, finger guard, or springs for maximum safety.

Size of the Knife

When working on small nooks and crannies, it will be difficult to achieve fine detail with a large blade. But if you are clearing large wood materials when creating a new carving, you will need a big knife. As such, it is crucial that the size you desire befits the task at hand.

Number of Blades

When dealing with different pieces, you may find yourself in need of a few blades. Getting the ideal number of blades in one knife is crucial as it dictates how comfortable the knife will be in your hands. A knife with four blades has all of them easily accessible, but one with ten blades is not easily manageable since some of the blades you will need are not at center where it is easily manageable.

Ergonomic Handle

Here, you are looking for control and comfort. It is essential that your hand feels comfortable to eliminate fatigue since you might find yourself whittling for extended hours. And, remember to pick a model with a sturdy grip for use when your hands are wet.

Conclusion

After researching the features in each of these whittling knives, we have chosen Morakniv Companion MG Fixed Blade Knife as our Best Pick. It is a fixed blade knife that exhibits control, durability, and functionality for tough jobs.

If you desire to carve spoons, cups, bowls, and other curved objects, we highly recommend the Morakniv Wood Carving Hook Knife 164. And, for the best pocket knife for whittling, FlexCut Right-Handed Carvin’ Jack Folding Multi-Tool has your back.

Create your best art with one of 10 Best Whittling Knives.

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