The most important tool to achieve consistent result is a sharp and comfortable carving knife. Like many wood carvers I started using the Mora 120 carving knife and had good results. I don’t think you can beat the Mora 120 to get you carving for not a lot of money down. I might still be carving with that knife if it were not for the fact that I live next door to a part-time knifemaker. He said he would collaborate on a custom design for me and I and very happy with what we have achieved. It took three prototypes before we settled on the followingo
- 1095 steel for its superior hardening and edge-holding characteristics of the high-carbon blade. 0.125 thickness
- Just in the sweet spot for blade length, 2.40 inches long
- Ricasso area allows for sharpening of the full length of the blade unlike a Mora
- Easy-to-sharpen Scandinavian grind
- A softened octagonal handle profile is provides easy grip and control over the blade when carving curved sections of wood
- Fish-shaped handle provides a swell for the palm and little finger that really assists in making power cuts or when working on seasoned and denser woods
- Handle 4.85 long, 1.00 thick, 1.10 deep
- Rock-maple handle for durability and also to keep withe the ethos of using locally available materials
Bidawee Bushcraft sells this knife for $59–a steal in my opinion–and will upgrade or adjust the specs to your suiting. Some upgrades include
- 01 tool steel for improved stain resistance, a must if you carve in outdoors or in wet environments (+$10)
- Decorative spacers to personalize the look and color accent to your knife. (+$4)
- Your choice of available harwoods including Cocobolo, Kingwood, Birdseye Maple, Olivewood, Zebrawood, and Ebony ($ varies)
Each knife is custom made. A full-grain basic leather sheath is available for an additional $20.
Links to Bidawee’s webpage will be added shortly – he’s working on his site now.