The steel used in woodworking tools is measured by the Rockwell scale (Rc). The higher the number, the harder the steel. The ideal number for quality carving tools is somewhere between Rc 59-62; anything softer will not hold an edge well, and anything harder will be more likely to chip. Our Dastra and Two Cherries carving tools are made of steel hardened to Rc61.
Carving Tool Steel
The characteristics of the steel directly affect the quality of a tool: too hard and it breaks, too soft and it won’t hold an edge. The trick is to use a steel that is easily sharpened, yet tough enough to resist chipping when encountering the occasional knot. A tool that sharpens too easily will also dull more quickly.
Our Dastra and Two Cherries carving tools are manufactured from high-carbon (.90%) steel. Steel with a high carbon content (.55% to .95%) holds a better edge and is more resistant to wear.