When you need wood for whittling, you need softwoods as they are generally easy to cut and work on, especially if you are a beginner. One you are an expert, you can switch to hardwoods.
Whatever kind of wood you settle on, you need a straight grain and, if possible, wood that does not have knots.
Once you choose the right whittling wood, then your project is bound to be a success. As much as much emphasis is given to skill, the tools you use are equally important.
In this buying guide, we cover the six-best wood for whittling. They are made of the right material with uniform texture and no surface knots to make it easy to work. Here is what we have for you today.
1. Prometis Best Value 10 Pack Basswood Carving/Whittling Blocks
When you purchase the package, you get ten wood blocks that are unfinished and suitable for beginners. They are 25% more usable when you compare it to competitors.
They are not only unfinished, but they are also kiln dried whittling blocks, making them suitable for any user.
They are of premium quality with a fine, soft, and even texture that makes it easy to work with. A pale and inconspicuous color gives it character.
The ten blocks come in two main sizes, 8-pieces in 6 x 1 x 1 inch and two pieces in large blocks of 6 x 2 x 2 inches that are easy to grip and use.
Basswood is fantastic for wood carving as it is smooth hence ideal for beginners.
The woodblocks are multipurpose and can be used for any occasion. They are easy to work with for any task such as carving, whittling, and shaping different wood projects.
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 4.3 x 4.3 inches
- Product Weight: 2.42 pounds
- They are unfinished, and kiln-dried giving them a high quality.
- They are suitable for users of different skill levels.
- They have a great texture that is easy to work with.
- It comes as a 10-piece package of blocks that are of two different sizes.
- They are multipurpose.
- Some users did not like the quality of the wood.
2. Lulu Home Basswood for Carving
It is blocks made of premium basswood with a soft and uniform texture but without any crack or dark spots. That makes it easy to color, glue, or customize. It does not have any knots, which makes it smooth for carving.
They are eight blocks that come in three different sizes. It has two large 2 x 2 x 6, two medium 2 x 2 x 4, and four small 1 x 1 x 4 inches.
The Lulu blocks are made of pure Basswood with no chemical additives hence a woody smell. Every block is professionally cut and kiln-dried. That gives it a smooth surface with no scratches.
The basswood blocks are great for carving and can be used by both beginners and experts.
- Package Dimensions: 8.3 x 6.2 x 2.3 inches
- Product Weight: 2.35 pounds
- It is soft with a uniform texture.
- It is smooth with no knots.
- It is easy to carve and color.
- It is made with pure Basswood with no chemical additives.
- It is professionally cut and kiln-dried.
- It is smooth no scratches.
- It comes in three different sizes.
- Some users found one block covered in mold.
3. KINGCRAFT 12 Pack Basswood Carving Blocks
It is characterized by 100% basswood material that makes it smooth with a straight grain and no knots. That makes it easy to work on.
It is a set of twelve with three different sizes: 6 of the 6 x 1 x 1, 4 of the 4 x1 x 1, and 2 of the 4 x 2 x 2 inches. They are the right size that is easy to grip and use even for small hands.
Since they are natural unfinished blocks, they are easy to work with and do any whittling projects. They are a perfect match for beginners.
- Package Dimensions: 7.4 x 6.38 x 2.2 inches
- Product Weight: 1.63 pounds
- It is 100% basswood.
- It is smooth with no knots making it easy to work on.
- It comes in three different sizes.
- They are perfect for beginners for any whittling project.
- Some users found that the quality varies from block to block.
4. Basswood – Large Carving Blocks Kit
They come as a set of six blocks that are of two different sizes to suit different needs. They are ideal for users of any skill level as they have a large surface to work on.
The Basswood is also known as Tilia Americana or Linden wood, is ideal for any carving work. It is soft, with uniform density and texture. This makes it easy to carve as it can hold fine lines well.
Its original creamy white color is easy to color and can still show you every sufficient pattern detail.
It is a 100% Basswood made in America and comes with a 100% refund policy.
- Product Dimensions: 5.98 x 5.98 x 2.01 inches
- Product Weight: 14.1 ounces
- It is soft with a uniform density and texture hence easy to carve.
- It is lightweight and smooth.
- It has a creamy white color which makes it easy to customize to any color.
- It comes with a 100% refund policy.
- Some users complained of surface knots.
5. ARTEZA Basswood Carving Blocks
This is a five-piece set of blocks that can be used for carving, crafting, and whittling. It comes in two different sizes; one 4 x 2 x 2 and four 4×1 x1 inches. The sizes are measured with accuracy, with every block inspected to ensure it meets the standards.
They are 100% natural Basswood that will give you a smooth surface for any project.
The block is lightweight, making it ideal for different woodworks.
The blocks come with a satisfaction guarantee.
- Package Dimensions: 4.6 x 4.4 x 2.4 inches
- Product Weight: 11.2 ounces
- It has a smooth surface that is easy to work on.
- It is lightweight.
- It comes in two different sizes that are measured to standards.
- It comes with a satisfaction guarantee.
- It is great for beginners.
- Some users complained that the sizes were smaller than anticipated.
6. JoePaul’s Craft Basswood – Extra Large Carving Blocks
It comes in the form of two extra-large blocks that can be used for different carving projects.
It is soft with uniform density and texture to make it easy to work on. It is not only a great surface to work on, but it can hold fine lines well.
It comes in a creamy white color that makes it easy to color or customize without losing the patterns.
It is 100% authentic and even made in the USA.
It comes with a satisfaction guarantee and 100% refund policy.
- Product Dimensions: 4 x 2 x 12 inches
- Product Weight:1.46 pounds
- It comes in the form of two extra-large blocks to give you enough surface for working on.
- It is soft with uniform density and texture that is easy to work on.
- It can hold fine lines well.
- It is in a creamy white color that is easy to color and customizes.
- It is 100% authentic and comes with a satisfaction guarantee.
- It is two pieces, which are too few for some people.
All six are excellent picks if you need wood for whittling. If you are trying to choose one, then this section is for you as we deal with the specifics that differentiate them. Here is a quick guide.
The biggest piece of wood: If you are looking for the largest pieces of wood, then the JoePaul’s Craft Basswood – Extra Large Carving Blocks are the best choice for you as they are extra-large and 2 x 2 x 12 inches. They are great if you want to carve on a large surface area.
The highest number of wood pieces: If you are looking for more value and hence want a pack that has many pieces of blocks, then the KINGCRAFT 12 Pack Basswood Carving Blocks is ideal as a pack has twelve blocks of wood.
The most affordable wood: In terms of affordability, the cheapest set is the KINGCRAFT 12 Pack Basswood Carving Blocks that comes at only $12.49.
Our overall recommendation: When we compare the six, our best judgment is the KINGCRAFT 12 Pack Basswood Carving Blocks as it has many blocks in a pack that are of different sizes. They are an excellent choice for beginners. If you need more surface area to work on, we recommend the JoePaul’s Craft Basswood – Extra Large Carving Blocks.
All the woods we have reviewed are the basswood type because they are the type most commonly used today. Their main advantage is that they are soft with less grain and hence suitable to work on. That is why they are the most preferred by German sculptors.
Other kinds of wood that are also used for whittling include:
Pine: It is an excellent choice for whiting as it is a softwood that is easy to work on and is readily available. Its disadvantage is that you may not be able to get all your details well if you are looking for it. When pine is not very dry, it has a sticky sap that may inconvenience you by sticking onto the knife when you are working.
Balsa: It is an excellent wood for beginners as it is soft, lightweight, and affordable.
Random twigs and branches: You can use any twig or branch from any tree for whittling, especially if it is a softwood. All you will need is the appropriate knife, such as a wooden knife.
Safety Precautions When it Comes to Whittling
If you do not take the right precautions when you are whittling, accidents are bound to happen. Some of the rules you have to keep in mind include:
Sharpen Your Knife
It is only with a sharp knife that you will have an excellent whittling experience. When working with a blunt knife, the wood will be hard to cut, which may hurt your hands and cause you to blister.
Dull blades may make the knife to slide off the wood, which may cause you a cut.
Slow But Sure
When you are whittling, especially if you are a beginner, there is no pressure to do it in a rush. When you do something you are not sure of in a hurry; then, an accident is bound to happen.
Wear Your Gloves
Although it is not a must to wear gloves, they help a great deal, especially if you are a beginner. Once you have mastered the different strokes, then you can do without gloves. It is recommended that you use leather gloves for whittling.
Get a Thumb Pad
If you feel your gloves are cumbersome, you can opt for a thumb pad to protect your hands from nicks and glances. Even though they tend to wear out quickly, they are relatively cheap. You can also secure them in place with duct tape if you feel they are not staying in place.
Choose the Right Wood Grain.
The kind of grain you settle on will determine how safe you will be. If you cut against the grain, you will get more resistance and cause the wood to split. This is a safety hazard. The resistance makes it hard for you to do whittling.
On the other hand, the right grain will cut smoothly and safely.
Learn the Skill
The only way you can be sure of your safety is by learning and mastering the skill.