I am often asked by people who wish to enter the world of carving ''Where can I buy some inexpensive tools for the job'' ?
Lets see if I can help.

I use very simple tools for my spoon carving and Kuksa carving.
I carve with Mac knives, they are of my own design.

machris bushcraft knife+bushcraft knife+makemethischris
Mac bushcraft carver

If you are looking for something more basic
The Eric Frost 106 will serve you well.

Frost also make very useable hook knives.

You'll find them at

For a high quality hook knife, I wouldn't bother shopping around. Go and find Nic Westermann.
You can find his web page at...
Nic Westermann
Nic makes the best hook I've come across, not really worth messing with anything cheaper if you get serious about your spoon carving.
He also make fine straight carving blades.
He'll post out to the U.S.A.

Nic Westermann hook knife+spooncarving+spoon carving+sloyd
Nic Westermann hook knife.

As for an axe, for a sound starter I'd head on over to Axminster Power Tools and pick up one of their Bahco axes.

The Bahco has come recommended by folk on my FaceBook page.
The helve is a little slim, however, if that's a problem then use the axe to make a new helve. An ideal solution. 

If you want to spend a bit of hard earned on an axe that will last and hold an edge then go and have a chat with my friend Tim at 
He can find you a nice Gransfors Bruk carver.

Gransfors Bruk carving axe+spoon carving+sloyd
Gransfors Bruk carving axe.

Well thats your starter kit sorted.
Now you'll need something to sharpen it all with.
I personally recommend King waterstones.
The stone pictured is a 1200/8000 grit combination.
This will get the job done


The little white stone is a Nagura, for producing a fine slurry...
See my sharpening tips and movies.
You'll also need an old leather belt and a lump of polishing compound for stropping.
Workshop heaven. EUROPE


Wood craft. USA

Now you are sorted for carving and sharpening you'll need some oil to coat the finished product.


I personally prefer Tung oil.

Raw linseed is fine as well

There are other oils on the market you may wish to use.
Including Lemon oil and Orange oil if you have a concern about nut allergy.
I hope this short list will help you on your way.
If you have any further ideas you wish to share you can email it to me along with the appropriate links.


  1. Hi, just wondering if you have any suggestions where to find beginners tools in Australia?

    1. Sorry, no. I have no information for you I'm afraid. I admit to knowing little of the native woods found on your continent, and would be nervous suggesting what or where to buy.
      Best wishes.
      Jon Mac.

  2. Hi, I live in Bristol and am an occupational therapy student. I've been set a project whereby I need to learn a new skill, which can then be used as a therapeutic intervention. I've always been keen on the idea of spoon carving so it seems like the ideal opportunity to get into it finally. Do you know of somewhere I can visit to have an introduction to the craft? And where I can get some cheap but decent tools?
    Hope you can help, thanks,

  3. You'd be welcome to sit with me at our new venue here on Dartmoor.
    Drop me a line at (

  4. Some excellent information here. As a UK resident, is there anywhere you can recommend sourcing green wood from, or is it something that is collected when out and about in the countryside?

    1. Hi John.
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      As a first step I would contact my local arboriculturist and see if they could do something to help in sourcing green wood suitable for carving.
      Best wishes from sleepy Dartmoor.
      Jon Mac.

  5. Jon I am removing an old apple tree from an orchard in a few days. What are your thoughts on this type of wood for carving? It's a Granny Smith heirloom to be exact :)


    1. Apple is fine. It can be a bit fibrous, but I'm sure you'll manage... J

  6. What is the best wood for carving and for cooking purposes? And what would be a good sealer for food purpose? I am just getting started and I have been trying to watch all the videos to get help in what to start off with.
    Thank you and have a Blessed day-
    C Brown

    1. A piece of green Birch or Sycamore would be fine. As for sealer. I use Tung oil. All the information is available from one of the click throughs on the right hand side of the page.

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  8. Thanks for the useful tip above

  9. Hi Jon, is alder any good for carving?

    1. Hi Mark.
      Yes, it has similarities to Birch under the blade.... J

  10. You have shared some excellent products here jon. Really loved to read this whole post very much. I really like your writing style and how you express your ideas. Thank you.

    1. Hi Matthew.
      Good of you to pop in.
      Perhaps we can add a few of our edge tools into the mix sometime soon ?
      Good to hear from you, all the best...

  11. You have shared excellent products here Jon. Thanks for wonderful article.


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