July 28, 2020

Best Power Carving Tool: 5 Amazing Options

If you are just starting out as a woodworker, there are many things you can do to make carving safer, easier, and more fun. Wearing a carving glove is one such thing. It is not uncommon for even advanced woodworkers to slip here and there. 

When carving wood, you are applying force with a sharp object into a medium that will chip or carve away at some point. Until you are familiar with our tools and the type of wood we are using, we often don’t know exactly how much force will be required before the wood gives.

ImageName & Key FeaturesLink
Arbortech Mini Carver
Arbortech Mini Carver
Proxxon 38644 Power Carver MSG
Proxxon 38644 Power Carver MSG
King Arthur's Tools 10005 Merlin 2 Mini Grinder Carving Kit
King Arthur's Tools 10005 Merlin 2 Mini Grinder Carving Kit
AUTOMACH Power Carver
AUTOMACH Power Carver
Foredom K.5240 Woodcarving Kit
Foredom K.5240 Woodcarving Kit

Placing a carving glove on the hand holding the piece can save yourself from needless injury. This way, even if you do slip, you won’t wind up cutting your hand. Another option is to use a vice to hold your wood. 

If you choose to go with this method, placing a pad or small cloth between the vice and the wood can help prevent any damage to the wood’s surface. Today we are going to be looking at some of the best power carving tools out there.

Our Top Pick for Best Power Carving Tool 

If you are here then you are obviously in a hurry and lucky for you we have just the guide for you to show you some of the best wood carving tools out there. 

Our Winner!

The All-new SR operates in forward and reverses rotation for added versatility. This foot operated speed control has solid-state electronics and comes in a heavy-duty plastic housing with an extra-wide design. 

This collet style handpiece is popular among woodcarvers since it accommodates larger accessories with shank diameters up to 1/4″. It comes with 3/32″, 1/8″ and 1/4″ collets. The tapered design allows for close and safe work. The No. 44T is a member of the Foredom system of interchangeable handpieces. Check it out and you’ll understand why we rank it as the best.

 Foredom K.5240 Woodcarving Kit

Arbortech Mini Carver 

Arbortech Mini Carver

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The Arbortech Mini Carver is the ideal solution for wood sculptors and carvers alike who desire the versatility to accomplish all stages of the carving process with a single tool.

With additional features and functionality, the Mini Carver is now even better at taking users seamlessly through the rough sculpting, shaping, and sanding stages of any woodworking project.

It comes with a Tungsten carbide tipped blade that provides unparalleled durability. Variable speeds allow you to quickly adjust RPM for optimal carving and sanding performance. Dust collection accessory will help control wood dust when sanding, minimizing clean up

Sanding disc system increases the life of the sanding disc and molds to timber for better sanding performance.


  • Designed to handle multiple material types.
  • Can carve even places that are hard to reach 
  • Is easy to use.
  • Great for carving and sand dicing


  • It is not fire resistant

Proxxon 38644 Power Carver MSG

Proxxon 38644 Power Carver MSG

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This tool takes the work out of your carving projects and can be used for numerous applications. The special, balanced, low-noise DC motor has extreme high-life expectancy. 

The gear head is made of die-cast aluminum and the main housing is of fiberglass reinforced Polyamide. Technical Data: Speed 10,000 cuts/minute; Maximum Power is 1/10 horsepower; Volts 110 – 120 Volt AC and weight of the tool is 1.5 pounds. 

The Power Carver MSG comes in a high-grade polypropylene storage case with a carrying handle. It is extremely stable and sufficiently large to enable the Power Carver to be replaced in it after completion of the work without difficulty refitting.


  • Has a silent motor
  • Is very easy to use and master
  • Designed for all-purpose use
  • Is strong and durable


  • May be heavy to carry around 
  • Uses up a lot of power

King Arthur’s Tools 10005 Merlin 2 Mini Grinder Carving Kit 

King Arthur's Tools 10005 Merlin 2 Mini Grinder Carving Kit

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With this power-driven tool the blades are made with laminated steel, allowing for better cuts and carving while also increasing the tools’ collective strengths. Merlin2 utilizes spiral gears to work harder, operate more quietly, and produce less vibration than the previous model. 

The interior includes a new motor that powers effortlessly between 0 – 13,000RPM’s with improved efficiency and can be powered by an automobiles AC/DC power converter. 

It comes with a new high-capacity fan and extra air vents on both the neck and bottom allow the new model to stay cooler and work longer. The new motor that it has powers effortlessly between 0 – 13,000RPM with 110 Volt Variable Speed.


  • Versatile medium-sized designs.
  • High-quality laminated steel cutting blades.
  • Comes with a dedicated storage box.
  • Includes both straight and skew chisels.
  • Works well for beginners.


  • May not work too well for beginners
  • Blades may harm the user

AUTOMACH Power Carver 

AUTOMACH Power Carver

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Model HCT 30A. The newest advancement in woodcarving technology! The Handcraft Carver is rugged and reliable. The aluminum die-cast body is light and vibration-free. 

The special reciprocating action of the cutter head carves through the toughest woods with just a simple hand direction. Greater pressure causes a deeper cut. For safety, free-floating action keeps blades motionless until pressed against the wood. 

The laminated blades move at 10,000 vibrations per minute, leaving a smooth cut surface. Carvers appreciate the versatility in portability and movement, as well as accuracy and speed.

A powerful 80-watt ball bearing motor delivers 10,000 vibrations per minute for 1mm cutting strokes. Includes 6′ grounded cord, rear on/off switch, hanger, five blades, two spanner wrenches, and complete instructions for use.


  • Made with high-quality and reliable materials.
  • Includes twelve unique, useful tools.
  • Tools can be sharpened at any time.
  • Specially-designed flat-sided handles to prevent rolling.
  • Protective canvas carrying the roll


  • May result in splinters if handled unwell
  • They are not resistant to fire

Foredom K.5240 Woodcarving Kit 

Foredom K.5240 Woodcarving Kit

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This is among Foredom’s Complete Tool Kits that was upgraded with a new, more powerful motor and more comprehensive and versatile rotary accessory selection. Tool Kits contain everything you need to get to work. 

They take the guesswork out of product selection, offer the best value, and feature smart tool combinations for specific applications. 

The motor and control carry a two-year warranty. The kit contains these main components: All new SR Motor Foredom’s new 1/6 hp, ball bearing, hang-up style motor with speed up to 18,000 rpm.

This motor offers substantially more power than any of Foredom’s other universal motors – 66% more than Series CC and 33% more than Series S and old SR motors.


  • Made with durable materials.
  • Perfect for whittling and carving varied wood types.
  • Easy to work with.
  • Designed to be small and sharp.
  • Multi-functional and simple.


  • Is quite expensive to buy 
  • May harm the user if not handled well

Buyer’s Guide

What are the Best Wood Carving Tools for Beginners?

Beginners will generally want to use the simplest carvers possible and in many cases, these are chisels. Chisels have the same cut style as a knife when used properly, and can work well for most woodworking tasks, but don’t have the same level of physical risk associated with them: it’s almost impossible to cut your hand accidentally. 

Even better, you can buy them in a set to save time, which can be the best way to get a variety of useful chisels without having to hunt down, price, and researches all of the chisels individually.

What are the Different Types of Wood Carving Tools?

Aside from chisels, there are dozens of wood carving tools available, either as part of a set or individually. These range from knives, spoons, gouges, chip carving chisels, and even entirely unique tools that are made for very specific purposes, like V separators.

This isn’t even counting the wood carving tools made by companies that are designed to sharpen, finish, or care for completely wooden designs, too.

Who Makes the Best Wood Carving Knives?

The best wood carving set when it comes to knives will be whichever wood carving set contains the most useful options for a good price. It’s as simple as that – price dictates whether a set of tools is worth the cost, so a wood carving set with one or two good knives for a relatively low price can be extremely useful.


Woodworking tools come in three basic types: chip carving knives, gouges, and chisels, each of which serves a very different purpose. Chip carving knives are used to shape the wood by removing small chips and are the most basic of carving tools. 

They consist of a blade, usually less than two inches long, and a long handle designed to fit comfortably in the hand. Chip carving knives come in straight and slightly curved varieties. 

Higher quality models will be made from lightweight, yet durable carbon steel, while lower-cost models may be made from other forms of steel, which are just as durable, but heavier.

Buying wood carving tools isn’t just like buying a regular knife: even if you’re just a beginner, you’ll want to have a proper understanding of what makes the biggest difference while you’re carving through the wood, especially if you’re hoping for high-quality results that you can sell as a finished product.

What Tool Types Do You Need? 

There isn’t just a single type of wood carving tool on the market, and not all of them do the same thing. Each tool can have different uses, some more specific than others.

A big example is gouges. Gouges are designed to scoop out wood through the curved chisel blade they use, which is often used to create bowls, cups, and other intended or curved objects. On the other hand, a straight chisel is meant more for creating direct bashes and holes in a surface, or for cracking it in half.

There are also carving knives which are exactly what you expect: carving knives, which can be used to slice up and carve into thicker pieces of wood or create detailing on a surface. A spoon is another useful tool, but they’re often purely meant for creating bowls and other curved surfaces by scooping out wood.

Choosing the right product for the job is always important even if a carving knife can do the same thing a chisel or spoon can, it won’t do them as effectively.

For example, a detailing knife can make accurate details on a surface, whereas a regular wood carving knife is more useful for slicing up the wood instead. However, a smaller wood carving knife might only be meant for thinner surfaces, which means that it can still be used for detailing on thicker types of wood.

The same goes for a spoon or a chisel. Not only are they designed for different things, but chisels specifically are meant for a lot of brute force work directly into the surface, while a chisel spoon goes at an angle instead. Using chisels in the wrong way can actually damage them quite dramatically if you aren’t careful with how you use the product.

Some carving jobs are harder than others, but you don’t always need specific tools for them. For example, spoon carving generally always needs a spoon. However, chip carving can be a lot easier, and might only require a regular chisel.

Quality and Price of tools

A good product is one that pays for itself in the long run, and there are two major things that influence this. The first is the price of the product: remember, many of these carving tools are coming as part of kits or sets, so a customer will purchase more than one at once – the price is technically split between each item.

Final Thoughts

Remember that when it comes to these tools, quality can also affect the quality of whatever you create with your tools. If you’re planning on selling your creations for real money, the initial investment might be worth a slightly higher price.

David D. Hughes
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