The information you send us when you place an order is encrypted and sent to secure, password protected servers.  Here it is safely stored until we download your order for processing (usually the same day.) 

Access to your personal information is strictly limited to our staff. We never enter or store customer credit card information on any of our computers and address and contact information are protected by a redundant firewall system.

Lastly, we do not share any customer information with anyone. Your address, phone number and email are used only to ensure that your order is shipped to you promptly and accurately, and to contact you if a problem should occur.  That’s it!

The best way to determine which tools are right for you is to take a look at our tool comparison page.

It comes down to cost. If we could all afford the best all of the time, there would be no need for choices. Our Buck Brothers Brand are USA-made, serviceable, quality tools capable of holding a good edge but without the detailing and refinement of the European brands. We recommend Buck Brothers for beginning carvers, students and those who are trying out carving as a hobby.

Our European brands are top of the line, world class tools. They are finely made with a lot of attention to detail and quality. If you are a professional or a very serious amateur carver, (or a beginner who just likes owning the best!) we recommend either the Two Cherries or Dastra brand.

The information in the comparison chart applies to all tools manufactured by these companies.

Each of our tool manufacturers offers basic sets designed for the novice carver. The aim of these sets is to offer a good selection of the most used tools for general wood carving. We recommend starting with a beginning set and building your tool collection as you expand your carving skills and determine which tools are most useful to your style of work. Here is a look at our various carving sets.

Here are definitions of the most common carving tool terms.

Term Definition
Gouge Carving tool with a curved cutting edge.  The most used category of carving tools.
Sweep The curvature of the cutting edge of a gouge.  A lower number (like #3) indicates a shallow, flat sweep while a high number (like #10) is used for a deeply curved gouge. See our sweep comparison chart.
Veiner A deep gouge with a U shaped cutting edge.  Usually #11 sweep.
Chisel A carving tool with a straight cutting edge (usually termed #1 sweep) at right angles (or square to) the sides of the blade.
Skew Chisel A chisel with the edge at a “skew” or angle relative the sides of the blade. Often termed #2 sweep.
V Tool or Parting Tool A carving tool with a V shaped cutting edge.  Used for outlining and decorative cuts.
Long Bent A gouge, chisel or V tool where the blade is curved along it’s entire length.  Handy for deep work.
Short Bent or Spoon A gouge, chisel or V tool where the blade is straight with a curve at the end, like a spoon.  Use for work in deep or inaccessible areas.
Fishtail A gouge or chisel with a straight, narrow shank that flares out at the end to form a “fishtail” shaped tool.  The narrow shaft of the tool allows for clearance in tight areas.
Back Bent A spoon gouge with a reverse bent end.  Used for undercuts and reeding work.
Palm Tools Short (5″), stubby tools used with one hand while the work is held in the other. Great for detail and small carving.
Full-size Tools 10″ to 11″ tools used with two hands.
Tang The tapered part of the blade that is driven into the handle.
Bolster A flared section of the blade near the tang that keeps the blade from being driven further into the handle.
Ferrule A metal collar on the handle that keeps the wood from splitting when the tool is used with a mallet.  Some tools have an external, visible ferrule while others have an internal ferrule.
Rc / Rockwell A scale that indicates the hardness of steel.  A Rockwell range of 58 to 61 is considered optimum for fine woodworking edge tools.

Western style backsaws are generally heavier and have thicker blades. This is because they cut on the push stroke putting the blade in compression, which would buckle a thinner, less stiff blade. The advantage of this type of saw is ruggedness and durability. A sharp, well-made back saw will cut evenly and accurately.

The Japanese dozuki saw cuts on the pull stroke. This allows the maker to use a much thinner blade (the pull cut puts the blade in tension) with very little “set” to the teeth. The results are effortless, smooth cuts with a very thin kerf. These tools are more fragile than their Western counterparts and demand a lighter touch from the user. Here is a link to our saw page.

“Firmer” applies to mid-weight, all-purpose bench chisels. A firmer chisel falls between the light paring chisel, used for delicate paring and trimming, and the heavy mortising chisel, built to withstand heavy and continuous use.

The difference is how the blade attaches to the handle. In a tang chisel the blade has a tapered shank (the tang) that fits into a hole in the handle. The base of the tapered shank has a swollen section called the bolster which prevents the blade from being driven into the handle when struck with a mallet. In a socket chisel the blade has a extended section at the top with tapered hole. A matching tapered portion of the handle fits into this hole. Hitting the handle with a mallet drives the two parts together more firmly.

We’ll try. Take a visit to our sharpening information page. We hope this helps!

Well, if I could appear in your shop one day and walk you through the steps, you could learn the techniques in an afternoon. For some basic information on sharpening, check out our sharpening tips page. Also, Leonard Lee’s The Complete Guide to Sharpening is the next best thing to a personal guide. It is quite possible for anyone to achieve sharpening success by studying and practicing the principles clearly explained in this book.

This is a common question. The key word here is “one”. If you want to start out with just one plane we recommend the low angle block plane. This tool is very handy, and with it the user can edge plane, surface plane (small boards), end grain plane and do small trimming and fitting jobs. As we state in our description of this tool, it is probably the single most useful item in the woodshop. Learn more here.