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What carving knives for newbie

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  • #16
    CCKW, Thanks for the comment. A lot of carvers on this site use cardstock, or cereal box cardboard for their strop. It makes me wonder if brown shopping bags would have the same affect as your paper towels. I guess I will have to try it.

    If I took the time to fix all my mistakes, I wouldn,t have time to make new ones.


    • #17
      Originally posted by Bob K. View Post
      Not sure what your price range is but here are a few with excellent reputations for good quality knives: 1) Murphy knife...great beginner knife (my very first knife) for about $15...probably your best bet. 2) Flexcut knives...popular and good quality for $20 - $25. 3) OCC excellent knife for under $20 and 4) Helvie Knives (my favorite - I have several) a superior knife with a sparkling reputation...beautiful handles in a multitude of handle designs...these sell for around $39. All of these knives can be purchased through Smoky Mountain Woodcarvers ( The Helvie knives are couple bucks cheaper if you buy them direct from Helvie. I hope this helps!
      I agree with Bob. I teach a beginners class and buy Murphy knives directly from the factory. Very affordable when buying a dozen or so at a time. I do, however, have to re-shape and sharpen them a bit before I hand them out. In my personal stash, I have a dozen+ knives of various brands (Drake, OCC, Helvie, Ron Wells, and some unknowns) and use all of them for various types of carving, but the Murphy (I've had it for 30+ years) is still my "go to" knife. I use it for carving 80-90 percent of my roses.

      In a store environment, Flex cut is very popular as they come in blister-packs and can hang in public areas. Other knives need to be displayed is some sort of case to keep them from small and/or inexperienced hands. (common sense stuff) Blister-packs can also be a pain to experienced carvers who like to try-it before you buy-it.

      If you do not offer sharpening services for the carving knives you sell (I know I would), I would suggest buying ones that arrive carving sharp. I don't think you'd want to sell a less-than-carving-sharp knife to a beginner.
      Old carvers never die... they just whittle away.