The Best Wood Carving Gouges

The Best Wood Carving Gouges: Guide and Review

As soon as you start your woodcarving journey you will realise that you require a wide set of tools, as one tool doesn’t do everything that you may need. For example: gouges, they are designed to scoop out wood with a curved blade. With gouges, you will be able to great bowls, cups, and other curved objects.

Best Wood Carving Gouges: Reviews

A great quality product may be expensive but over time it will pay for itself. Price and quality are two major factors that buyers should keep in mind.

So let’s have a look at a few gouge kits!

1. The SCHAAF Full Size Wood Carving Set

Whether you are just starting out you would like to add to your collection, this set is a great option to consider. You will receive 12 gouges, different blade sizes and shapes, all of which enables you to carve a wide variety of wood designs. The canvas case will keep all the tools in place and protect them against damage.

With this purchase, you will also receive an eBook with all the necessary tips and guidelines you need to use this kit to its full potential. It will also show you how you can take care of these tools. You will learn how to sharpen these tools, about different carving techniques, and about the best wood for carving.

The tools are manufactured from alloy chromium vanadium steel that has been hardened to Rockwell C60. This allows the blades to stay sharp for a very long time and keep their edge. The handle is made from ash hardwood with a European octagonal design, which prevents the tools from rolling off your work space.

Specifications

  • Weight — 2.5 pounds
  • Material — Alloy chromium vanadium steel and ash hardwood handles
  • Quantity — Set of 12 with a canvas case

Pros

Pros
  • Great value for money
  • Perfect for a beginner

Cons

Cons
  • Tools needs to be sharpened and honed
  • Tools could be a bit heavier

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2. The FLEXCUT Mallet-Carving Tools and Chisels

If you require a carving tool set that is ready to be used immediately, this might just be what you need. Being a little on the larger side, but not the largest chisels, they are great to handle. They come in handy for larger projects and the wood handles are on the harder side.

The blades are manufactured from carbon steel, resulting in the blades being very hard and durable. These blades are super sharp and they don’t dull easily, although honing the blades often is recommended.

The handles are sturdy and durable enough to handle the pounding of a mallet. This will prevent the handles from spreading, but they normally handle the blows very well.

Also included in this purchase are some band aids (no joke!), so be careful as these chisels are very sharp.

Specifications

  • Weight — 7 ounces
  • Material — Carbon steel blade with ash wood handles
  • Quantity — Set of 4 with a wooden toolbox

Pros

Pros
  • Ideal for carving hardwood
  • Ideal for large projects
  • Able to withstand mullet work
  • Tools are very sharp

Cons

Cons
  • Wooden handles might be out of line
  • Wooden toolbox doesn’t close properly
  • MIght be larger than you would expected

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3. The FLEXCUT Carving Tools Beginners Palm Set

Proudly made in the USA, this small wood carving set is the perfect addition to your collection or if you are just starting out. The design makes it perfect to fit in the palm of your hand and also allows for more control for precise carving.

The tools are super sharp and ready to use as soon as you receive them. The edges of the blades are hand honed, polished, and sharpened. These tools are perfect to use for relief carving as well as round carving.

These tools come quite in handy if you are working on small pieces of wood, as you have more control over the chisel. You are able to be very precise with your carving skills.

Should this be your first carving set, you will have the basics to get started.

Specifications

  • Weight — 7 ounces
  • Material — Carbon steel blade with ash wood handles
  • Quantity — Set of 5 with a wooden toolbox

Pros

Pros
  • Tools are very sharp
  • Fits comfortably in your hand
  • Great for beginner and experienced carpenters
  • Value for money

Cons

Cons
  • Blade edges might be poorly ground
  • Blades edges might needs reshaping
  • No instruction or techniques included

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4. The Alikeke Wood Carving Set

This tool set will be a great addition to your current collection, or if you are new to carpentry, a perfect starting tool set. With this set of 8 wood carving and chiseling tools, you will be able to create almost anything.

The steel that is used to make these blades is manganese steel. This steel is very hardy and durable, stays sharp for quite some time, and doesn’t rust easily. After a while sharpening and honing will be necessary, but that is true of every wood carving kit.

The wooden handles are made from good quality wood and the design makes for a very comfortable grip. To prevent the wooden handles from splitting under all the pressure they have chrome plated ferrules. The handles are also designed as such so that they offer you the best stability and control.

Specifications

  • Weight — 1.15pounds
  • Material — Manganese steel and a high quality wood handle
  • Quantity — Set of 8

Pros

Pros
  • Affordable set of tools
  • Perfect for a not to serious wood carver
  • Ready to use straight out of the box

Cons

Cons
  • Not the best quality product
  • Steel might be a bit brittle

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5. The FLEXCUT Carving Tool Deluxe Palm Gouges

These are small gouges that fit comfortably in your hand so handling them is very easy and comfortable. You will be able to be very precise with your carving, as the carving tools are so easy to manage.

They are also super sharp, so take care when you are handling these tools. You will be able to start using these blades as soon as you receive them. The blades are made from carbon steel that is strong and durable. You are also able to hone and sharpen the blades should it become necessary.

The ash hardwood handles are designed to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand. The shape and design of these handles gives you optimum control while you are carving.

These gouges are packed in a wooden toolbox, that not only keeps the tools protected but makes for a great gift.

Specifications

  • Weight — 1.65 pounds
  • Material — Carbon steel blade with ash wood handles
  • Quantity — Set of 9 with a wooden toolbox

Pros

Pros
  • Great value for money
  • Very sharp and ready to use straight out of the box
  • Can hone them yourself
  • Very comfortable in your hand

Cons

Cons
  • Extremely top heavy
  • Not intended for adults

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6. The CYD Professional Gouges

These beautiful gouges will be a great addition to your gouge collection. If you are a newbie this will also be a great option to consider.

The wooden handle makes for easy handling and gives you more control when you are carving so you will be able to get more detail into your carving piece. The handles are very comfortable to hold so your hands won’t tire quickly.

The blade is made from steel that is very sharp and you will be able to sharpen and re-shape that blade as it suits you.

These gouges don’t break the bank so if you are just starting out and not sure if you are going to like carving, this might just be what you were looking for. You will receive 8 pieces so you have quite a variety to choose from. You will be able to make quite a few creations with this set.

Specifications

  • Weight — 1.16 pounds
  • Material — Iron with wood handles
  • Quantity — Set of 8

Pros

Pros
  • Great for basic and detailed carving
  • Perfect to be used for wood, clay, and wax
  • Ideal for working on soft wood

Cons

Cons
  • Blades may chip when using on hardwood
  • Blades needs to be re-sharpened often
  • Steel is not of very good quality

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Buyer’s Guide

As an experienced carpenter you know exactly what you are looking for when you are choosing your gouges. But if you are only just starting out, things can be a bit overwhelming to learn all the tools, tips and techniques that are available to you.

But let us have one final look at these gouges.

The Top Choice

SCHAAF’s full size wood carving tool set: You have 12 gouges to choose from, thus allowing you to practice quite a few techniques. A great addition to this purchase is the eBook that you will receive with it. You will learn even more techniques and how to take care of your gouges.

The Best Palm Gouges

Here we have two sets from FLEXCUT, they have a 5 piece and 9 piece set. These are great if you are carving smaller pieces. They fit very comfortably in your hand and provide you with the best control possible while carving so you can add even the finest details to your creation.

These blades are razor sharp and the company will send you a complementary band aid should you cut yourself. (So do take care when you are using them.)

They are ready to use straight out of the box.

The box that the tools comes in makes an ideal gift for someone and you have a perfect storage space for the gouges.

The Best Gouges to Use with a Mallet

The FLEXCUT Mallet Chisels will be the top choice here. The wooden handles are designed to handle the impact of the mallet, without splitting. The blades are razor sharp so you can use them straight from the tool box. They are perfect to use on larger carving pieces.

The Best Gouge Sets for Beginners

The last two sets have eight gouges each, the CYD Woodworking set and the Alikeke Woodworking Tool set. You will be able to practice a few techniques and both of these sets are very budget friendly. They are perfect to use on softer woods.

At first glance, these sets seem basically the same. Both have ferrules that prevent the handles from splitting. They are ready to use straight out of the box.

You will be able to add very small details to any carving piece.

Final Thoughts

Wood carving is definitely an art form that takes lots of practice, but when you have the right tools it is made so much easier. Razor sharp tools are very important as blunt tools can ruin the piece.

Most gouges that you purchase will already be razor sharp but you should be able to hone them when the time comes. Some carpenters might even like to reshape the tool a bit to fit their unique style of carpeting and carving.

So whether you are just starting out or if you are experienced, it is wise to invest in a proper gouging set.

If a set is cheap and you are having trouble carving, it might just discourage you in your new hobby. If you spend a little more at first and buy good quality products, you may actually save more in the long run as yoo won’t have to buy a second set so soon after the first.

Happy carving and chiseling and do have a few band aids close by as you might just need them!

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