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purchase carving tools

Is there a site, store, where I can buy tools less expensive than Pfeil, for example, but better than $35.00 for a set of 12?


Hi Bob,

I'm going to recommend Schaaf wood carving tools. Even though these tools are made in China they are made well and inspected by the importer before being put up for sale. You will to give them a final sharpening and honing but a full set of 12 with a canvas tool roll costs $95 on Amazon. I bought a set of these tools over a year ago when they were selling for around $75 and donated them to my woodcarving club for people who wanted to try working with full sized tools but didn't want to spend the money before trying. They have been well received. If you look in the "Carving Tools" part of this Forum  you can find two discussions about the Schaaf tools. I'd suggest at least check out the discussions and look at the Amazon reviews. They aren't Pfeil but they are pretty good.

Bob Strand has reacted to this post.
Bob Strand

Another option is MasterCarver brand sold by Woodcarvers Supply - https://www.woodcarverssupply.com/Mastercarver-Hand-Forged/departments/138/

They aren't pretty, are also made in China, are smaller in length than the Pfeil, will need to be sharpened before use, but a set of 10 is available for about $100.

Bob Strand has reacted to this post.
Bob Strand

The Schaaf tools are available through Amazon and while they do require a little more work than the Pfeil tools to get ready they are pretty darn good and have an excellent reputation for customer service. I don't know if they still do but they used to offer a discount if you go to their website and sign up on their mailing list. These are some of my best tools and the price can't be beat for traditional style tools. There are some review videos available on YouTube. Have fun.

Thanks to all for the comments.  I do have the Schaaf set of 12, my very first carving tools, and while I have no comparisons, I like how they feel and function.  I am, however, having fits sharpening the V-tool.  Keep getting a slight curves on the edges and the angle slopes back toward the shaft.  As I read and watch I'm aware that this tool is a bit challenging and I certainly can't deny that!

Each tool type presents unique sharpening challenges. Mary has an excellent video on sharpening v tools. One thing I have learned for the initial sharping of v tools is to square the end first and the resulting flat on the will give you good indication of the wing thickness and the quality of the internal grind. Then do whatever work is necessary on the internal surfaces (removal of grind marks, evening thickness, polishing, etc.) near the edges before working the bevels. Establish the bevels individually and slowly to prevent overworking and/or throwing off the desired geometry. Watch for the burr on the inside which can create a "false  edge" image. You can help prevent being thrown off by the burr by removing it through stropping before the final shaping. Use of a black magic marker on the bevel can help you track progress. Going slow and using fine stones helps you catch  issues before they get too bad. Work the keel after the bevels are established using fine stones feeling for the common "keel point" and testing on carving stock using a "s" shaped cut. Remember that most keels have to be worked at a lower angle than the wing bevels due to the thicker steel at the keel, resulting in a longer bevel at the keel than the wings. Doing other wise will keep the tool from tracking well through the cut due to interference and a high "angle of attack" Again, use the strop and/or folded fine abrasive paper on the internal keel to make sure that any burr is removed as the process progresses. After the desired shape is fully developed then simply strop all surfaces and test. At this stage there should be no flat left at the edge and no burrs. Evaluate the test cut and correct the tool as necessary. Once the tool has been commissioned it should normally only need frequent stropping unless damaged or if the edges become very rounded from improper stropping. If it does become necessary to return to stones, lightly use the finest stone you have, use the marker, and work slowly to maintain the desired geometry. Have fun