Top 10 Best Whittling Knife: 2020 Reviews & Buying Guide

If you’re really keen on finding a knife that’s suitable for properly whittling a piece of wood, then you need more than a regular knife. In order to get the best carvings, you need a sharp and comfortable whittling knife. In this article, we will dissect the top products on the market and help you identify the best whittling knife.

Top 10 Best Whittling Knife

After careful examination of the several knives on the market and discussions with whittling experts, we have identified the top 10 whittling knives on the market. We will review them below:

1- Morakniv Wood Carving 120 Knife (Best Pick 🥇)

This tool is a woodcarving knife equipped with a thin, tapered 2.4-inch blade of laminated steel as well as an oiled birchwood handle. This Morakniv wood carving knife is also great for whittling. The blade’s laminated steel features elements of high-carbon steel as well as a core hardened to 59-60 HRC and surrounded by a soft alloyed steel layer. Also, this steel is hot-rolled, thus resulting in strong material. Not only that, but it is also very sharp and lasts a lifetime. 

With an ergonomically-designed handle, this knife is crafted to perform the hardest of woodcarving and whittling. Thanks to a knife length of 6.49 inches, blade thickness of 0.10 inch, and a blade length of 2.4 inches, this tool is quite easy to use without any discomfort. 

Furthermore, this knife can be cared for by hand washing it. Therefore, maintenance is a breeze.

Key features

  • Laminated steel blade
  • Oiled birchwood handle
  • Limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty

Pros

  • Blade is very strong
  • Blade stays sharp over a long period
  • Easy to handle
  • Manufacturer offers a limited lifetime warranty

Con

  • Rusts easily

2 – FLEXCUT Whittlin’ Jack, with 1-1/2-inch Detail Knife and 2-inch Roughing Knife

If you’re a woodcarver, this knife is crafted to serve you the best performance you can get. Accompanied by a 1½-inch detailing blade and 2-inch roughing blade, this tool is razor-sharp and serves any purpose of woodcarving or whittling. This product also features silver aluminum and an ergonomically-designed handle that ensures it stays comfortable in your hand. Hence, you can use it for long periods of whittling without hand fatigue. Also, these blades do not lock. 

Furthermore, each of these blades is precision-sharpened from high-carbon content steel to create a hard cutting edge with enough endurance to stay sharp. Not only that, but each blade is also hand-sharpened for optimum results. 

Made in the United States of America (USA), this 4.6-ounce knife has just the right length (4ÂĽ inches) to fit perfectly into your pocket or any pack. Therefore, you can easily carry this tool around as you desire without feeling burdened. 

Key features

  • Detail knife
  • Roughing knife
  • Carbon steel blade
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Pocket knife

Pros

  • Quite comfortable to use
  • Blade edges stay sharp over time
  • Pocket-friendly
  • Very sharp

Con

  • May be hard to open

3 – FLEXCUT Right-Handed Carvin’ Jack, Folding Multi-Tool 

With six built-in carving tools, this knife is specially made for right-handed carvers. The 6 tools – chisel, hook knife, carving knife, gouge scorp, v scorp, and straight gouge – are of high quality and can help you with the hardest whittling tasks. This product also includes a sharpening strop and polishing compound to help keep it sharp over a long period of time.  

This knife offers you easy and comfortable handling thanks to the black, ergonomically-designed aluminum handles with wood inlay. Hence, you don’t endure hand fatigue after using this tool. With the tan leather belt sheath, you have safe housing for your tool when not in use. 

Moreover, each of these blades is precision-sharpened from high-carbon content to deliver a hard cutting edge that allows it to stay sharp. Also, all of them are hand-sharpened and factory-tested before shipping. Apart from that, these blades can lock in a closed or open position. 

Key features

  • Chisel
  • Carving knife
  • Hook knife
  • V Scorp
  • Gouge Scorp
  • Straight Gouge
  • Carbon steel blades
  • Black aluminum handles
  • Leather belt sheath

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Maintains sharp blades
  • Comes with a safe storage space
  • Fatigue-free handling

Con

  • Difficult to open and close

4 – Opinel Carbon Steel Folding Pocket Knife

This folding knife sports a simple design and works efficiently for a variety of purposes including whittling. With stainless Virobloc safety ring, this tool locks securely, thus ensuring your safety. Divided into two sections – fixed and sliding – this ring delivers reliable lock. This product boasts of a nice size that makes it the ideal pocket knife. With a hard, durable Beechwood handle, you can perform tasks without feeling uncomfortable. 

In addition, the knife’s blade is made crafted from basic carbon steel that takes a good edge and stays fairly well. Apart from that, the blade can be easily resharpened if/when the need arises. Also, you can customize/tailor this tool to your preference without difficulty.

Meanwhile, this knife requires much maintenance, particularly after food prep. Using this tool to cut up acidic foods opens it up to rust. However, rust can be avoided with proper care. After each use, you should wipe clean or hand-wash your blade. You can also use mineral oil to wipe the blade. You should then store it in a dry place. 

Key features

  • Virobloc safety ring
  • Carbon steel blade
  • Beechwood handle
  • Sturdy

Pros

  • Easy to resharpen
  • Safe to use
  • Handle fits quite well in the hand
  • Cost-effective

Con

  • Requires two hands to open

5 – Morakniv Wood Carving 106 Knife

This wood carving knife, another whittling tool, equipped with a thin and tapered blade of laminated steel with a length of 3.2 inches for optimum performance. This blade is very sharp with an edge that stays sharp for a long time. This tool is ideal for several carving tasks including bowl making, spoon making, and general camp carving like skinning game. It does all these tasks efficiently. 

Thanks to the oiled birchwood handle, this tool is also quite comfortable to hold, thus giving no room for discomfort. Featuring a nice plastic sheath, this knife has a safe space to stay secure when not in use or being transported. 

Made in Sweden, this knife can rust rapidly if not properly maintained over time. You should clean the blade immediately after use and wax it with beeswax to keep it intact and performing for a long time. 

Key features 

  • Laminated steel blade
  • Oiled birchwood handle
  • Plastic sheath
  • Limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty

Pros

  • Very efficient
  • Delivers great grip
  • Efficient locking mechanism
  • Comes with a limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Rusts easily

6 – Flexcut Cutting Knife (KN12)

Are you a beginner looking for the best knife to start whittling? We have helped you identify the ideal knife to do this task. This cutting knife comes with a rounded point that is extremely durable and built for reliable performance. It is equipped with a high carbon steel blade that is razor-sharp and can whittle any wood you need to work on. Not only that, but the blade also features a mirror-polished edge. With this product, you get yourself an indispensable addition to your toolkit. 

Everyone loves to work with a knife that doesn’t inconvenient them or cause hand fatigue. This knife is equipped with an ergonomic ash hardwood handle to ensure prolonged periods of whittling and carving. Hence, it is quite comfortable to use and handle. You can also consider using a cutting glove to ensure maximum safety. 

Furthermore, this knife is quite easy to resharpen to its original level of sharpness. With Slipstrop from Flexcut, you can be able to resharpen your blade effectively. 

Key features

  • Carbon steel blade
  • Ergonomic ash handle
  • Straight edged

Pros

  • Durable
  • Very sharp and reliable
  • Handle is very comfortable to use
  • Easy to resharpen

Con

  • Blade doesn’t hold an edge well

7 – FLEXCUT Pocket Jack for Carvin’ Knife (JKN89)

Are you looking for a multi-tool knife? This knife gives you that with four tools including detail blade, straight gouge, v-scorp, and gouge scorp. These tools combine to deliver maximum whittling performance. This knife comes with flexible blade shafts as well as razor-sharp cutting edges to give you maximum control over cuts. Apart from that, each of these blades is also precision-machined from high carbon content steel to deliver a hard cutting edge. Also, each blade gets hand-sharpened at the factory and is tested before shipping. 

You want to feel comfortable when handling your tool and this knife doesn’t disappoint in this area. With ergonomically-designed handles, you can use this tool comfortably for long periods of whittling without experiencing hand fatigue. Therefore, it provides ease of use in the most difficult tasks. 

Not only that the blades are sharp, but they’re also easy to strop back to the former level of sharpness. Hence, this tool is able to cut well over a long period of time without setbacks. Meanwhile, the blades lock in a closed position. 

Key features

  • Detail blade
  • Straight Gouge
  • V-Scorp
  • Gouge Scorp
  • Black aluminum handles
  • Carbon steel blade

Pros

  • Blades are very sharp
  • Blades retard rust 
  • Fits in the hand nicely
  • Easy to resharpen

Con

  • Doesn’t come with a case or sheath

8 – BeaverCraft Wood Carving Hook Knife

This woodcarving knife is another effective tool to deploy for whittling, wood spoon carving, carving bowl, green woodworking, cup, or adding some detail to your woodcarving project. This tool is optimized for quick and accurate cuts so as to allow adequate hand clearance and effective edge engagement. It features a blade made of high-carbon steel and hardened to be firm. The blade keeps a sharp cutting edge that enables you to cut softwood. On top of that, its cuts are quite shiny and smooth. 

With an ergonomic handle made of hardwood oak and also processed with natural linseed oil, you are able to use this knife for a long period of time conveniently. By providing maximum comfort, you don’t get to experience hand fatigue. 

In addition, this knife, being razor-sharp, gives you the luxury to take it out of the box after delivery and start carving. In all, this tool delivers great performance and makes whittling easier for you. 

Key features

  • Carbon steel blade
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Polished

Pros

  • Stays sharp for a long time
  • Cuts wonderfully well
  • Delivers comfortable handling
  • Nice polish

Con

  • Some users consider it too small

9 – Flexcut Carving Knives, Set of 3 (KN500)

These knives are ideal for both beginner and professional woodcarvers. This set includes three popular knives including cutting knife, detail knife, and roughing knife.

The cutting knife (KN12), which features a more rounded point, possesses a 1ÂĽ-inch beveled blade and is extremely durable. While the detail knife (KN13), which features a fine point for narrow cuts, has a 1½-inch straight blade, the roughing knife (KN14) features a straighter, longer blade with a rounded point for removing stock. They all have high carbon blades that hold an edge very well and are ready for use right after delivery. 

Furthermore, these knives are equipped with ergonomic ash hardwood handles that fit conveniently in your palm. Hence, you can forget about experiencing hand fatigue with these tools. Not only are they easy to use, but they’re also easy to sharpen despite being made of carbon steel. As long as you keep them sharp, you can whittle as much as you want. 

Key features

  • Cutting knife
  • Detail knife
  • Roughing knife
  • Carbon steel blades
  • Ergonomic ash hardwood handles

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Easy to resharpen
  • Durable

Con

  • Doesn’t stay sharp enough

10 – BeaverCraft Sloyd Knife C4 

This sloyd knife is specially designed for wood carving, roughing wood out, and whittling. It features a thin pointed tip for delicate wood cutting and enables working in the tightest areas. On the other hand, the rounded part of the knife can be used to make slicing, rolled cut, and enables cutting in the hollow areas. This tool comes with a blade made of high-carbon steel with a cutting edge that is hardened to RC 58-60. Hence, you don’t need to worry yourself with polishing and sharpening the blade. 

To ensure your absolute comfort, this knife is equipped with an ergonomic, comfortable handle made of hardwood oak and also processed with natural linseed oil. Hence, you can use it for a long period of time without experiencing hand fatigue. 

With this 7.2-ounce knife, you have a high-performing tool that will make your tasks seamless thanks to its reliable blade that cuts well. 

Key features

  • Carbon steel blade
  • Oakwood handle
  • Pointed tip

Pros

  • Quite sharp and pointy
  • Comfortable to use
  • Very strong
  • Easy to resharpen

Con

  • Rusts

Buying Guide For Best Whittling Knife

There are several knives for whittling, making it quite difficult to choose the best whittling knife for the most important tasks. In order to make the process seamless for you and help you buy the right knife, we have prepared this comprehensive and easy-to-understand buying guide. With this guide, you have all the vital information to help you make the best choice when you’re buying a whittling knife. 

Type Of Blade

Surely, knives are nothing without blades because they perform the integral role of cutting. This is not different with a whittling knife. This type of knife is equipped with several types of blades to deliver good whittling results. The most popular blades are laminated steel, stainless steel, and high-carbon steel blades.

A stainless steel blade is a readily available option on the market due to its cheapness but it dulls quickly. On the other hand, the laminated steel blade keeps its sharpness over a reasonable period of time and is a little bit more expensive. The high-carbon steel blade is the most expensive and understandably so, because it is quite easy to sharpen and takes quite long to get dull. Not only that, but it also offers extreme cutting power and does well to resist rust and stain.

We recommend that you buy a whittling knife with a high-carbon steel blade. Thankfully, most of the whittling knives we reviewed have this type of blade and they keep an edge well. 

Handle 

This is another very vital feature in a whittling knife. Without a good handle, a knife is useless because it becomes almost unusable, thereby delivering mediocre results. Therefore, you should strongly consider a handle that is easy to grip with a bluster-free hand. It should also be strong enough to last you for a long period of time because your knife is as good as the handle. 

With a strong and comfortable handle, your whittling task is much easier to do. While some prefer rubber-made lightweight handles, some favor wooden handles. It then comes down to your preference but you should consider a high-quality and ergonomic option. Hence, you will get a knife that fits perfectly in your hand and help you do excellent whittling jobs. 

Number Of Blades

Everyone loves a versatile tool that can offer more than just a function. Innovative brands now create pocket knives with as many blades as possible to help through a variety of tasks. No doubt, this helps to cut down on buying extra tools to help with some tasks other than whittling. Also, you enjoy the benefit of having several tools in your pocket and they can also come in handy. These tools include detail work knife, v-scorp, hook knife, gouge scorp, and straight gouge,

However, while multi-tool knives provide multiple options, too many blades can weaken your carving power. Hence, we recommend that you buy a whittling knife with a maximum of three blades to ensure maximum performance. 

Locking Blades

When dealing with blades or knives, the number one rule is keeping yourself safe. You want to carry your whittling knife with you all times in case of an emergency but it’s important that it doesn’t hurt you. Hence, you should consider buying a knife with a locking feature that can keep it secured in place while you’re on the go. 

Cost

When looking to buy any product, the first consideration is always the cost and what your budget is. When buying a whittling knife, you should buy an option that offers great value for the money. It can be quite disappointing to find out about an inferior product after purchase. While it’s important to be financially prudent, you should ensure you don’t compromise on quality. It’s better to buy an expensive working knife than a cheap non-working knife. 

Advantages Of Whittling Knife

  • It can be used to carve wood
  • It can be used to create art
  • One with multi tools can be used for several cutting tasks

Disadvantages Of Whittling Knife

  • It can cause injury if not properly secured
  • It can be bulky

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between wood carving and whittling?

Most people tend to believe there’s no difference between “wood carving” and “whittling”, prompting them to sometimes use them interchangeably. But in reality, they are different arts. While carving employs the services of gouges, chisels, or mallets, whittling requires only the use of a knife. Hence, there’s a clear difference in how they’re performed.

Can you whittle with any knife?

You can whittle with most types of a knife but they must be quite sharp. With a dull knife, you can find it very difficult and uncomfortable to whittle. In fact, it’s not safe because you can go ahead to injure yourself. Therefore, it’s advisable that you buy a woodcarving or whittling knife to help you out. With either of them, you can whittle easily and enjoy the task.

What should I whittle with for beginners?

For a beginner, you should settle with a cutting or whittling knife. There are several options on the market to help you with your learning process. For instance, the Flexcut Cutting Knife (KN12) on our review list is an ideal option for beginners because it is quite easy to use and reliable. A beginner requires all the ease they can get so an easy-to-use knife is vital to help them develop.

How can I safely whittle?

You should learn how to hold your whittling knife properly. You should ensure your fingers are never on the path of the whittling surface to avoid accidents. When your knife gets stuck, you should not force it to come out but rather gently remove it to avoid cutting yourself. You don’t want to be a victim of your razor-sharp knife so you should handle it gently at all times.

How do I learn to whittle?

There are many steps for a successful whittling process.

Firstly, you need a whittling knife that is very sharp and reliable. The knife should also have enabling features like a great handle for a nice grip and an efficient locking mechanism.

Secondly, you need sharpening supplies to help you keep your knife sharp. As a learner, you’ll be putting your knife through a lot of work, thus allowing it to get dull over time. You can buy a sharpening strop or sharpening stones to help you resharpen your blade whenever the need arises. This ensures you have a reliable learning tool on your hands. 

Thirdly, once the issue of tools is settled, you definitely need something to carve and this is where the different kinds of wood come in. For a beginner, we recommend basswood because of its cheapness, availability, and relative softness. A beginner needs a softwood to start learning. And if you can’t get basswood, you can make do with any kind of wood you find but ensure that it is dry. 

Fourthly, you should learn how to hold the whittling knife correctly. When left handed, your left hand should hold the wood while your right hand holds the knife. You should have your right thumb on the back of the blade so it can provide the cutting force. Make sure you don’t push the blade with your left hand or else, you’ll be unable to move the blade around with precision. Also, when the blade gets stuck due to deep carving, you should stop. If you force the blade, it could end up slipping and cutting your finger. 
In addition, you don’t need to go fast as speed does not help to carve better. As a beginner, you should take your time until you feel much comfortable carving. 

Fifthly, you should carve more. As the popular saying goes, practice ensures perfection. Hence, you should do more whittling so you can understand the grain better. 

How do I make my child whittle?

You can have them join nature classes that encourage forest crafts for children. This is even very important as whittling with a knife uses their muscles and can help develop their gross and motor skills. Carving and whittling wood help to build their stamina and strength. So to help your child whittle, you’ll also have to buy a small, befitting knife and ensure they’re being supervised always for their safety.

Final Verdict

Whittling is an art and it’s important that it is done with the best of knives, hence the need for this article. In this article, we prepared a detailed buying guide to help you buy the best whittling knife available on the market. When buying a knife for whittling, ensure you go with a product that has a very sharp blade, comfortable handle, and lasts for a long period of time.