6 Best Chip Carving Knives for the Most Intricate Designs

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Last updatedLast updated: March 14, 2021
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Chip carving, unlike many other forms of wood carving, requires maximum attention. You need to be patient and focused on the intricate details when making every small cut. There is no way you can achieve optimum results with tools that are not quite up to scratch. You need the best chip carving knife for clean, professional woodworking results. If you think you know the kind of chip carving knife to look for, you are in for the rudest shock of your life. The market is saturated with different brands and models, that choosing one can be a tad confusing.

Lucky for you, we came up with a list of the best-rated chip carving knives to lessen the burden of going through all the options. We considered some essential features in our reviews, including blade length and material, weight, handle length, and material. They determine the knives’ durability, efficiency, and convenience. The handle length, material, and weight of the knife affect its ease of use.

Top 6 Chip Carving Knives Review 2021

1.

BeaverCraft C2 Cutting KnifeEditor's Choice

Features
  • Blade length: 1.6″
  • Blade material: carbon steel
  • Handle length: 4.75″
  • Handle material: hardwood oak
  • Weight: 0.02 lbs.

Other features: plain blade edge, ergonomic handle

BeaverCraft is a world-famous brand that rose to fame steadily and quickly because of their top-quality products at affordable prices. The C2 isn’t an exception. It holds the edge quite well and will remain sharp after long hours or even weeks of use.

The knife boasts a rugged and super comfortable build. Its blade is made of carbon steel and is adequately hardened to firmness, so you can cut just about any type of wood with it. It comes sharpened and ready to use straight out of the box.

As for the handle, you wouldn’t need to take as many breaks, thanks to its comfortable ergonomic wooden construction. It is made of oak wood and processed with linseed oil to give you a firm grip without blistering your hands or giving you fatigue.

The knife’s overall length is 6.3 inches, which is enough to help you maneuver tight spots or do delicate carving.

What we liked: The BeaverCraft C2 is a fantastic entry-level choice for anyone who just got their hand at wood carving. It is pocket-friendly and superbly easy to use. Plus, it comes with a wealth of information on how to take care of and maintain the knife.

What could be better: Some carvers find the handle a little bit big such that even kids cannot be able to use the knife comfortably.

2.

Flexcut KN115 Carving KnivesPremium Pick

Features
  • Blade length: 1″, 5/8″ (chip knives)
  • Blade material: high carbon steel
  • Handle length: n/a
  • Handle material: wood
  • Weight: 6.8 oz. (total)

Other features: includes a mini-chip carving knife, chip carving knife, and a skew knife

No chip carving knife set comes close to this KN115 by Flexcut in terms of convenience, efficiency, versatility, durability, ease of use, and aesthetics.

The set features 3 different blades; a chip carving knife, a mini-chip carving knife, and a skew knife. The Flexcut original standard chip carving knife is such a joy to work with, especially when doing general chip cuts. It is ergonomically designed with an ash handle that reduces strain on the hand.

What’s more, its carbon steel blade comes sharpened and ready to use straight out of the box. It can take on virtually any type of wood, including mahogany, to create intricate designs that you would be proud of.

The mini-chip carving knife is the go-to tool for extremely intricate chips cuts that need top precision. Its carbon steel blade is sharp enough to make the most intricate patterns and cuts of wood. Its handle is also designed to relieve hand stress.

The skew knife is perfect for making vertical cuts, especially when you have a limited workspace. Its pointed edge and razor-sharp blade are well angled to help you make vertical cuts easily. Its handle is also sanded to a smooth finish and has a comfortable ergonomic build.

What we liked: The set offers great versatility with the 3 knives. With the set, you can achieve great patterns and designs that any skilled woodworker can be proud of. Plus, Flexcut includes a gold polishing compound that you can use to keep your blades honed.

What could be better: it possibly couldn’t get better with this knife set.

3.

BeaverCraft C6 Chip Carving KnifeBest for Kids

Features
  • Blade length: 1″ (cutting edge)
  • Blade material: high carbon steel
  • Handle length: 4.72″
  • Handle material: ashwood
  • Weight: 1.58 oz.

Other features: plain blade edge, ergonomic design, razor-sharp blade

We couldn’t get enough of BeaverCraft. The C6 is another one of their gems. The knife is very friendly to use, so much that it is even recommended for children. It is a perfect choice for sculptors and carvers who would like to add finer details to their work.

The knife is not only built for the job but also for the eye. Its attractive handle has an ergonomic shape that fits very comfortably in the hand. It is also durably made with ashwood and polished with linseed oil for a fine finish and a comfortable grip. Even more, it is lightweight, so you won’t feel fatigued or weighed down when you work for extended periods.

The knife’s blade is small and sharp enough to cut intricate details in tight spaces on any type of wood. The carbon-steel blade comes pre-sharpened and ready to use straight from the box.

What we liked: the C6 is one of the best carving knives you can get for your little one if you want them to learn how to whittle. This is because it is comfortable and easy to use, thanks to its lightweight and ergonomic build.

What could be better: the knife doesn’t come with a cover for its blade.

Features
  • Blade length: 1 1/4″
  • Blade material: carbon steel
  • Handle length: 4 7/8″
  • Handle material: ashwood
  • Weight: 1.44 oz.

Other features: 1/16″ blade thickness, razor-sharp blade

If you recently just had your hands-on chip carving, this is your best bet. It is super easy to use, and offers premium quality at a very attractive price point.

The knife features an ergonomically designed handle made of ashwood. It is incredibly lightweight and fits right in the hand, allowing you to work for longer hours without feeling fatigued. Even kids can use it comfortably.

Its razor-sharp blade is made to last with carbon steel. It will serve you years of chipping wood, and it comes ready to use straight from the box. It measures a cool 1 ¼-inches, thus can maneuver tight spaces on the piece of wood you will be carving.

What we liked: the knife offers nearly everything other high-end models offer at a reasonable price.

What could be better: there aren’t any bad reviews about this chip carving knife so far.

5.

UJ Ramelson Standard Chip Carving KnifeBest High-Carbon Steel

Features
  • Blade length: n/a
  • Blade material: 1095 high-carbon steel
  • Handle length: n/a
  • Handle material: hardwood
  • Weight: 1.44 oz.

Other features: long skew edge blade, round neck handle

This is another fantastic beginner option. Hobbyists or DIYers who only need to do basic whittling and chip carving can make the most out of this knife from UJ Ramelson.

The knife sets itself apart with its unique design. Unlike most chip carving knives, it features a round neck handle and a long skew edge blade. The handle is ergonomically designed and made to stand the test of time with hardwood and metal pins.

The long skew edge blade is made with high-grade 1095 carbon steel. This not only guarantees you long-lasting performance but also gives you the liberty of cutting and chipping any type of wood with ease.

What we liked: the knife is designed to handle basic whittling and chip carving pretty well. It is easy to use and comes at a pocket-friendly price.

What could be better: the blade doesn’t keep its edge for long, and even after unboxing it, you would still have to sharpen it for optimum chipping results.

6.

PFEIL Chip Carving Knife #2Most Versatile Knife

Features
  • Blade length: n/a
  • Blade material: special alloy steel
  • Handle length: n/a
  • Handle material: hardwood
  • Weight: 0.96 oz.

Other features: Swiss Made, Rockwell 57-60 hardness, pre-sharpened

Pfeil is a bigwig brand in the wood carving world. They are famous for high-quality steel on most of their blades. The #2 standard chip carving knife is not different. It has a decently thin but sturdy blade that is way better than most knives within its price range.

The thin blade allows you to chip and cut as well as add intricate details to your project effortlessly. It easily sinks into any kind of wood to produce perfectly clean cuts. Its length is also perfect for optimal use and contributes largely to its general ease of use.

Pfeil prioritizes blade quality on their knives, but they seem to ignore making them ready-to-use straight from the box. You can solve this by sharpening and honing the knife before use, and you’ll be surprised how long it retains its edge. In fact, Pfeil knives are a famous go-to for most carvers because they retain their edge for a long period of time.

What we liked: Pfeil takes edge retention to another level with this knife. The high-quality steel blade makes it a reliable option for both beginners and seasoned carvers.

What could be better: the knife’s handle feels a little flimsy and can be uncomfortable if used for long periods. It also doesn’t come pre-sharpened for immediate use after unboxing.

Things to Consider

Choosing the best chip carving knife from all the endless options available is not a walk in the park. Plus, there’s a lot more to consider other than the multiple brands and models. This section has quick tips that can come in handy when picking out a chip carving knife. You will get to know the critical features a chip carving knife must have and how to sharpen it when it loses its edge.

Features to consider when choosing the best chip carving knife

6 Best Chip Carving Knives for the Most Intricate Designs

These are the aspects and parameters you must consider to make the best buy for the best chip carving experience.

Blade material

The blade material determines the knife’s cutting potential and overall durability. The most common materials used are carbon steel and stainless steel. Carbon steel is highly preferred because it is sturdier and can cut hardwoods with much ease. However, it is more prone to rusting because of its high carbon content. Stainless steel won’t rust, but its durability won’t be quite up to scratch.

Handle material

The ability to cut is the most vital aspect to consider on a knife, but we all know the handle’s equal vitality. The handle usually affects the balance and overall weight of the knife. It is also the main determinant of the knife’s ease of use and durability. The 3 main materials used to make knife handles include wood, plastic, and stainless steel.

Wood offers the best aesthetic appeal and a super comfortable grip. However, it’s not the easiest to clean and maintain because of its porous surface.

When choosing a wood handle, go for hardwoods with a straight grain like beech and ash because they are dense and less likely to crack or splits.

Plastic is incredibly easy to clean, fairly durable, and affordable. Nylon and resin are the most common variations.

Stainless steel, on the other hand, is the most durable and easiest to clean and maintain. It also adds perfect weight balance to the knife more than plastic and wood. On the flip side, it is very uncomfortable to hold and can slip off your hands when wet.

Ergonomics

Ergonomics is a key consideration as your comfort is just as important as the cutting your knife will be doing. Choose a knife with a handle that perfectly fits your hands to avoid fatigue or discomfort when you use it for longer periods. It should also be lightweight enough for you to handle for extended periods of time.

Tool readiness

If you are new to chip carving or using specialty knives, be sure to choose a knife that is ready to use straight out of the box, like the BeaverCraft C6 Chip Carving Knife. Otherwise, you will be forced to sharpen the knife for a seamless chip carving experience.

Dimensions and weight

The length of the blade and handle will determine the knife’s overall ease of use. A thin and long blade is perfect for detailed and delicate chip carving, especially in tight spaces. The handle should be averagely sized to fit in various hand sizes. As for the weight, the lighter, the better because you wouldn’t want to be weighed down and eventually get fatigued for chip carving for long periods.

6 Best Chip Carving Knives for the Most Intricate Designs

Knife Count

You can choose to buy a knife set with different knives if you want versatility. There are so many variations to choose from, from 3-pieces sets to 10-piece sets. Just keep in mind that the more the knives, the more the upfront cost.

How to sharpen your chip carving knife

It’s important to know how to sharpen a chip carving knife because yours will lose its edge sooner or later. Some manufacturers include such information in their product packages, and some don’t. In case you buy from a brand that isn’t that generous, here are some pro tips on sharpening a chip carving knife.

Sharpening with a stone

Lay the blade in a near-flat position at a slight angle on the stone, then push the knife away from you as if you are trying to cut off a very thin layer of the stone. Lay it down in a near-flat position at a slight angle from the stone again, then drag it on your side. Repeat this until you achieve your desired sharp edge.

Sharpening with a sandpaper

Mount the sandpaper on a flat, smooth surface. Flatten and polish the blade’s back first, then hone the cutting edge or bevel by dragging it away from the sandpaper.

Polishing with leather strops

Clean your leather strop, then apply the stropping compound. Hold your knife at your desired angle, then draw it in a backward motion from heel to tip. Flip the blade on the other side and repeat the same when maintaining the same angle. Complete 7 passes on each side of the knife.

FAQ

It is a style of wood carving that involves removing small chips from the surface of a single piece of wood.

Any wood that can easily be cut without using much effort is good for chip carving. Butternut and mahogany are great examples, but high-density woods like white oak can be a bit difficult to work with.

Our Verdict

There is no shortcut to getting chip carving right without buying the best quality chip carving knife. Choosing one out of the many options available can be hard, but with all the pro tips and hints on the guide, you should be able to make a quick and great decision. You can as well easily choose any of the top-quality products we have reviewed in great detail. Our top pick, the BeaverCraft C2 Cutting Knife, is the best chip carving knife out there that balances ease of use and durability perfectly. You also won’t need to spend a fortune on it.

Our premium choice, the Flexcut KN115 Carving Knives, stood out because of its 3 knives’ versatility. It is a perfect choice for both hobbyists and skilled carvers looking to achieve detailed designs and patterns in their projects. All the knives have an exceptionally durable and ergonomic build.

Our third pick, the BeaverCraft C6 Chip Carving Knife, is the best chip carving knife you can get for your youngins who have suddenly developed an interest in chip carving and whittling. Its ergonomic handle fits right in the hands, and its plain blade edge delivers nice clean cuts. Its super-lightweight yet durable build sets it apart as one of the best chip carving knives on the market.

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