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If you could only choose three tools, what would they be?

Hi all,


My name is David and I am totally new to woodcarving. I stumble across Mary May's School of Woodcarving and am very grateful for the wealth of knowledge available on this website. As a young person, I'm looking to not spend too much as I embark on this hobby, and only acquire tools as they become absolutely necessary. And so, I wanted to ask this community - if you could only choose three tools for carving, what would they be? I know Mary recommends a set of five carving tools for those starting out, but I would like to know whether a beginner can get by with just three, and, if so, what those would be.


Thanks everyone!


Hi David,

Welcome! That's a great question about what are the 3 best tools to start with. I've always wanted to teach a highly complex class where we only have 3 tools becuase it will teach how a very limited number of tools can achieve amazing results.

So here goes (and my thinking on these 3 tools change often, but the following are a really good start)

#1 tool - 6mm v-chisel (60 degree angle)

#2 tool - #1, 14mm flat chisel, single-bevel (for doing any rounding over or convex shapes) A #3, 14mm can also be used for tool #2

#3 tool - #7, 6mm (for doing concave shapes)

Have fun!