Carving knife, chisel set for woodblock/woodcut printing, mokuhanga, eraser stamp, seal engraving, noh-mask and buddha sculpture

Carving knife, chisel set for woodblock/woodcut printing, mokuhanga, eraser stamp, seal engraving, noh-mask and buddha sculpture

How to choose a carving knife

Michihamono > How to choose a carving knife

How to choose a carving knife

There are many different types of carving knives. Here we will showcase carving knives and chisels used for carving Buddhist statues, an occupation pursued by many Japanese people. We hope this helps you to choose your own carving knives.

Basic carving knives and chisels

1. Flat chisel

Chisels used in rough carving are struck with a mallet or hammer, so if a normal chisel were used, the handle could crack. Therefore, these chisels come with a metal ring firmly attached to the end. These chisels are used for the initial rough carving and then mid carving when producing a Buddhist statue, when much of the wood is carved off to give it the general shape.

2. Flat chisel knife

This knife is used to shave the wood surface or smooth out grooves made after carving with a different type of carving knife. A special feature of the knife is that both the front and back of the blade can be used, so you can change the orientation of the blade depending on your purpose.

3. Skew angled chisel

This is one of the more-frequently-used types of carving knife. It can be adapted for many purposes, from rough carving to finishing. The overall blade can be used to make large cuts, while the sharp edge can be used for detail work. A left-handed model is also available. The chisel's thinner blades make it possible to carry out more detailed work.

4. U gouge chisel

These chisels can be used to cut grooves of various depths and sizes because their blades have a u-shaped cross section. They are used in many ways, from rough carving to finishing, and are ideal for producing smooth surfaces, for example when creating the folds in a statue's clothing or the smooth indentations of the face.

5. Shallow U gouge chisel

This chisel features a shallower U shape than the standard U gouge, making it possible to make large cuts to a wider area. We also offer an extremely shallow U gouge model.

6. V gouge parting chisel

The blade has a V-shaped cross section, allowing it to cut sharp gouges. It is used to accentuate the borders of relief carving.

We recommend starting out with the abovementioned carving knives and chisels. As you get more used to working with them, you will eventually be able to picture what types of knives might be especially useful to you. You should wait until that happens before purchasing knives of different shapes and sizes so as to avoid choosing the wrong knives.