A stack of small wood blanks for carving

Top 6 Best Wood for Hand Carving in 2020

Hand carving is a really fun activity. It ranges from DIY projects to even industrial and construction projects. There are various species of wood that are considered the best for hand carving. Some of these wood species include types of Basswood, Aspen, Butternut, Black nut, Oak, and more.

Although all these are quite easy to use for hand carving, Basswood is considered the best. It is highly recommended for beginners and is also soft, lightweight, and easy to handle using both hand carving tools and power tools.

Best Wood for Hand Carving: Reviews

In this carving wood product review, I am going to recommend the 6 best wood brands suitable for hand carving. All these wood types from different manufacturers have been reviewed and recommended by woodworking professionals and they are all sure to guarantee you a hundred percent satisfaction for the purpose they are purchased from.

1. ARTEZA Basswood Carving Blocks for Carving, Crafting, and Whittling- 5 piece set

This 5 piece wood block is perfect for various applications such as DIY projects and professional jobs. It is designed with Basswood, which is considered the best wood for hand carving.

It has a super smooth surface and has been industrially prepared for carving, whittling, and crafting. It is easy to use and handle by kids who need softwood for their art and crafts projects.

It is lightweight and can easily be penetrated using simple hand carving tools. This product is sure to guarantee you a hundred percent satisfaction for whatever project you need it for. Here are the features included in this product.

Standard Features 

  • Dimension: 4.6*4.4*2.4 inches
  • Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Wood specie: Basswood
  • Number in set: 5 pieces
  • Size of blocks: 10.3*5.1*5.1 cm and 10.3*2.55*2.55 cm blocks


  • It is affordable and budget-friendly.
  • It is made from natural Basswood, which is considered the best wood species for hand carving.
  • It comes in dynamic size ranges to accommodate every requirement.
  • It is easy to handle and use.
  • It is versatile. It can be used for art projects and professional jobs.
  • It has an industrially smoothened and prepared surface suitable for carving, whittling, and crafting.
  • It is lightweight and can easily be carried around.
  • It is suitable for beginners.


  • It might be too small if it’s needed for a large scale project.

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2. ARTEZA Wood Slices (45 pieces) with Bark Natural Unfinished Pine

This wood is highly recommended if you want to add some antique décor to your living space. It is great for arts and crafts vases, wedding picture hangers, and other ornamental applications. It provides a rustic aesthetic design when placed in a room with its natural, unfinished tree bark finish.

It is blended with 50’ natural twine for making ornaments and garlands. It is lightweight and easy to use. Due to the natural and untouched bark, it is perfect for painting and writing.

If you have a project for a home interior décor, you should use this wood to add a country style ambiance to the living space.

Standard Features 

  • Dimension: 10.7*7.04*3.66 inches
  • Weight: 2.95 pounds
  • Wood specie: Pine with Natural Twine
  • Number in set: 45 slices
  • The diameter of slices: 6-7 cm


  • The natural and unfinished surface is easy to use and handle.
  • It is great for outdoor and indoor country-style décor.
  • It’s suitable for kids DIY crafts and projects.
  • The surface is well suited for painting and writing.
  • It is versatile and maneuverable.
  • It makes a great impact on the ambiance of your living space.


  • It might not be suitable for industrial jobs.

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3. CANUSA Best Value Premium Smooth Wisconsin Basswood for Carving and Whittling

This is a 10 piece Basswood kit that is suitable for beginners and expert carvers. Since it is made from natural Basswood, it is easy to handle, soft, and lightweight. This is considered the most suitable wood for hand carving.

It is much bigger compared to other Basswood blocks from other manufacturers. It has a smooth finish and an inconspicuous color which makes it easy to work on and to paint.

As said, it is lightweight at just 1.68 pounds. This option is highly recommended for beginners who need a soft and fine wood to carry out basic projects.

Standard Features 

  • Dimension: 6.1*8.5*2.1 inches
  • Weight: 1.68 pounds
  • Wood specie: Basswood
  • Number in set: 10 blocks
  • Length of blocks: 8 blocks of 1”*1” square and 6 inches long, 2 blocks of 2”*2” and 6 inches long


  • It is made from natural Basswood wood.
  • It is recommended for versatility. It can be used for carving, whittling, and crafting.
  • It has a super fine and smooth texture, which makes it easy to work on.
  • The wood is easy to paint and color due to its inconspicuous finish.
  • The set comes with kiln-dried wood to avoid cracking.
  • The wood is extremely lightweight.
  • It is also very affordable.
  • Its very soft and smooth surface ensures you get a neat finish.


  • Some wood blocks may be too dense.

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4. Lulu Home Basswood for Carving, Basswood Carving Whittling Blocks Kit for Beginners and Professionals

This is high quality and natural Basswood with uniform texture and smoothness. This woodblock is easy to paint and glue. In a set, it consists of 8 pieces of wood carving blocks that are of various sizes, including options that fit large and small projects.

The wood is pure and does not scratch easily. It is good and easy to use by beginners or professionals. It is relatively lightweight and affordable compared to other woodblocks from other manufacturers.

Each of these woodblocks has been professionally kiln-dried to prevent cracking during usage. It is a versatile wood and is highly recommended for carving and whittling, hence the name.

Standard Features 

  • Dimension: 11.9*8*0.4 inches
  • Weight: 8 ounces
  • Wood specie: Basswood
  • Number in set: 8 blocks
  • Size of blocks: comes in 3 sizes: 2 large: 2*2*6 inches, 2 medium: 2*2*4 inches and 4 small: 1*1*4 inches


  • It is made from natural Basswood without a single trace of add-on chemicals.
  • It is professionally kiln-dried to prevent cracking during handling.
  • The surface is super smooth and it does not scratch.
  • It has a natural woody smell that is non-toxic.
  • It’s suitable for both carving practices and professional usage.
  • It comes in a variety of sizes to pick from based on the requirements of the projects at hand.
  • It is also easy to paint and glue together.
  • It is portable and compact in size.


  • It is heavier than most Basswood carving blocks.

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5. Walnut Hollow Basswood Whittler’s Carving Blocks

This set consists of 10 pieces of wood blocks that are sanded smoothly for crafts, art, and hardware devices. It is a very simple wood to carve into to create different shapes and sizes.

This wood is also professionally kiln dried to ensure that it does not break apart when carving tools are used on it. The lightweight, soft, and creamy white color makes it suitable for painting and coloring.

Each of the blocks weighs just 0.5 pounds. All vary in size and length, giving you options.

Standard Features 

  • Dimension: 0.7*6.6*6.6 inches
  • Weight: 8 ounces
  • Wood specie: Basswood
  • Number in set: 10 pieces
  • Size of blocks: 2 pieces (1”*2”*75”), 2 pieces (1.5”*2”*75”), 3 pieces (1.5”*2”*75*), and 3 pieces (1.5”*4”*75”)


  • Each of the pieces are lightweight and portable.
  • Generally, the product is quite affordable.
  • Variable sizes give you a wider range of options to pick from when using.
  • It’s made from Basswood, which is the best wood for hand carving.
  • It is kiln dried to avoid breaking or cracking when carved.
  • It is great for beginners as well as industry professionals.
  • It is very easy to glue.
  • The wood surface is industrially smoothened to ensure no knots are left on it.
  • It comes in neat and nice packaging.


  • It has a very woody smell that prevents it from being used in contact with food (as utensils or cutting boards).
  • The pieces may be too small for large scale projects or professional use.

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6. Wilson Enterprises Basswood Round Un-sanded, Pack of 4, 7-9 inch Diameter *1 inch Thick

This product from the Wilson Enterprise is un-sanded Basswood that is cut into slices that are suitable for country and rustic themed décor. It is often known for its aesthetic value and used to display vases, candles, centerpieces, and much more.

Each slice of wood is cut, kiln-dried, and left un-sanded for a natural look. With the integrity of the bark left untouched, it wicks away moisture easily.

The slices also come in different dimensions and diameters. Some are round and the others are not perfectly rounded.

Standard Features 

  • Dimension: 8.1*7.9*3.9 inches
  • Weight: 3.04 pounds
  • Wood specie: Basswood
  • Number in set: 4 slices
  • The diameter of slices: 7-9 inches
  • The thickness of slices: 1 inch thick


  • It’s made from natural and unsanded basswood.
  • It wards off moisture easily due to its un-sanded surface.
  • It is also kiln dried to avoid breakage and to ensure that all water content is removed from it.
  • Each of the slices has varying diameters.
  • It’s great for a rustic and antique décor.
  • It’s most effectively used in arts and crafts.


  • It may not be easy to handle by beginners.
  • It cannot be easily painted.
  • Gluing slices together is not easy.

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How to Choose Wood for Hand Carving

If you have no idea how to go about choosing from the products listed above, this section is going to assist you.

New woodworkers find picking a good wood for hand carving quite overwhelming. This is because various woodblocks possess similar features and this can make one confused.

Various factors can affect your decision as a buyer. Some of these factors include the type of wood available, your skill level, what you need the wood for, your budget, and some other non-prominent factors.

Here are things to take note of when purchasing.

Wood type

There are various types of wood available on the market. Some are suitable for carving while others are not. Wood for carving is meant to be softer, lighter, and less expensive. This is just what Basswood feels like.

Basswood, which is the most common, is considered the best for hand carving. It is soft and light. It is also easy to handle by people of different skill levels.


The weight of the wood will vary depending on the type of wood it is. Lighter woods are best for hand carving because they can easily be carried around and can also be cut using simple hand tools.

Heavier woods are not easy to handle and are best for detailed or advanced carving.


The size of the woodblocks in the package will determine the scale of the project. If you want to work on a large scale project, which will require larger blocks or slices, purchase wood blocks with large dimensions.

Although the wood blocks can also be glued together, it is best to get ones of appropriate sizes.

Buyer’s Guide

In this section, we are going to make recommendations to guide you towards making the right decision for your needs.

The Most Pocket-Friendly Wood for Hand Carving

The most affordable on this list is the Walnut Hollow Basswood Whittler’s Carving Blocks. It comes in a set of 10 blocks in the package. But a setback for this product is that the blocks come in really small sizes, which may not accommodate heavy duty projects.

The Best Carving Wood on the Go

This is the lightest set and the easiest to carry around. When it comes to this property, the CANUSA Best Value Premium Smooth Wisconsin Basswood for Carving and Whittling is best as iIt weighs just 1.68 pounds.

The Carving Wood with Many Pieces

The ARTEZA Wood Slices with Bark Natural Unfinished Pine is the product with the highest number of pieces. It consists of 45 slices of pinewood with 50″ natural twine included.

Bottom Line

The bottom line of this review is that getting the best hand carving wood is not as overwhelming as it might seem if you have gotten the basic idea of what and what not to look at.

Now, you should be able to walk away from this post with the general knowledge and also a product you have chosen in mind. Good luck with making the right investment!