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View Full Version : Who whittles and what's a good knife?



Point Man Chef
06-08-2011, 20:38
Over the past year I have collected some good pieces of wood of various types for the purpose to simply "whittle" some walking sticks just for fun and relaxation. So does anyone whittle and if so what is a good brand/style of knife to do such a thing? Remember, I'm going to whittle. I am not a wood carver by ANY means!!! Just want to pass the time with a worth while tool. Thanks!

RWBlue
06-08-2011, 21:02
I don't whittle, but I have a friend who is very handy. He carves, whittles, casts silver......

Stop by a wood working store. Depending on what you want to end up with depends on what tool you need. And remember if you are cutting down small trees, you will be working on green wood.

Woodturner
06-08-2011, 21:24
A good friend of mine whittled some fantastic things over the years using nothing but a pocket knife. The key is that no matter what you use, make sure it is SHARP!!
If you can sharpen without any special jigs you are lucky. For those like me that need a little mechanical help I recomend the Lansky system.

http://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/Lansky-C57.aspx

Point Man Chef
06-08-2011, 21:31
Yeah it seems like that is what I've always seen. A sharp pocket knife and patience. I will have to admit as well that to me it seems sharpening a knife is as much an art form as actually carving with one. It's like a mystery. So many methods, blades, metals, etc. that I have not really looked into it. I just want that simple knife with a fool proof way to sharpen it you know?




A good friend of mine whittled some fantastic things over the years using nothing but a pocket knife. The key is that no matter what you use, make sure it is SHARP!!
If you can sharpen without any special jigs you are lucky. For those like me that need a little mechanical help I recomend the Lansky system.

http://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/Lansky-C57.aspx

Slo-go'en
06-08-2011, 22:35
While a good pocket knife will do the trick for basic carving, getting some real tools makes it a lot easier.

Go to a hobby store (brick or on line) and get an Xacto wood carving set. They range from basic to deluxe. The basic set is enough to get you going (and not all that expensive). Since the blades are replaceable, no need to learn how to keep them sharp and a new blade is razor sharp.

ShaneP
06-08-2011, 23:23
Case Stockman

I whittle all the time. nervous habit. Also do woodcarving. they are different

Case metal sharpens easily and holds the edge for a long time. great whittling knife. I always have one on me.

RWBlue
06-08-2011, 23:52
If you can sharpen without any special jigs you are lucky. For those like me that need a little mechanical help I recomend the Lansky system.

http://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/Lansky-C57.aspx

I bought a smiths for going from dull to sharp.

For just a touch up, a diamond sharpening rod does the trick.

DBCFlash
06-09-2011, 20:05
I find sharpening pocketknives as relaxing as whittling with them. When I was a younger man I had a collection of old pocketknives that I kept razor sharp. Just get a nice flat whetstone and polish the edge. You'll get the hang of it, and it makes much less mess than whittling.

Woodturner
06-09-2011, 21:43
I find sharpening pocketknives as relaxing as whittling with them. When I was a younger man I had a collection of old pocketknives that I kept razor sharp. Just get a nice flat whetstone and polish the edge. You'll get the hang of it, and it makes much less mess than whittling.

You give me a reasonably sharp knife, a good sharpening stone, and about ten or twenty minutes, and I'll give you a knife you couldn't cut yourself with if you tried. Believe me, some people can do it freehand and some can't. That's why the folks who make jigs for sharpening various cutting tools sell enough of them to stay in business and prosper. Not to mention the people who make money using those jigs.

Toolshed
06-09-2011, 22:00
Bought my first Lansky system in 1991. Never bought another one. never Needed to.... Lansky is THAT good!!!! Works with every knife I have including what's in our kitchen drawer and scissors...

Point Man Chef
06-09-2011, 22:15
So I looked at my dad's and my grandfather's knives and they were Case style brands. Cool. I see the Stockman comes in different sizes. Medium or large, which is the better size to whittle? Thanks!

ShaneP
06-09-2011, 23:27
Not sure what size my stockman is. 3.25" closed, but it's got the blue bone handle. very nice.http://cdn1.iofferphoto.com/img3/item/208/643/344/case-medium-stockman-blue-bone-usa-3741e.jpg

oferithen
05-11-2018, 09:07
I apologize, guys, I know that this topic is very old, but maybe my answer will help someone in the future since I spent a lot of time to find the right information
I do think a fixed blade knife is best to start with...Mora makes a pretty good one for general whittling, but Flex-cut would be my choice for him...Keep in mind that no ONE knife will serve for ALL carving, but I would get him the smallest Flex-cut to start with. You can modify the fat handle to fit his hand.

It MUST be sharp enough to leave a polished edge on end-grain pine or basswood, and the Flex-cut will do that out of the box. The edge won't last forever, and he will need to know how to sharpen it or he will become discouraged and give up...Most people just give up because sharpening is beyond their capabilities {or so they think}. Some carvers never learn and have to pay others to sharpen their knives. Learning to sharpen is essential, IMO, but with proper instruction, determination and perseverance, anyone can learn...
If you use knives long enough, you can be SURE you will be cut.....If he can get past that fear {some people cannot} he can learn to carve. But keep band-aids handy...{I cut my thumb last week} Ten stitches in my thumb a few years ago.
I can recommend the Oar Carver https://mechanicguides.com/best-pocket-k...whittling/ provided you are able to modify the cutting angle a bit.It is a little too "steep" to suit me and needs to be lowered considerably IMO.The steel they use in that knife is super..it is d-2, which was formulated as a "punch and die" steel..It is almost completely rust proof and holds an edge like no other I know of. Because it is so hard, it is hard to sharpen and diamond is what I use for mine.On YouTube there are a lot of interesting videos on this topic, recently revised an interesting video, look, too, I hope this helps you

oferithen
05-11-2018, 09:08
I apologize, guys, I know that this topic is very old, but maybe my answer will help someone in the future since I spent a lot of time to find the right information
I do think a fixed blade knife is best to start with...Mora makes a pretty good one for general whittling, but Flex-cut would be my choice for him...Keep in mind that no ONE knife will serve for ALL carving, but I would get him the smallest Flex-cut to start with. You can modify the fat handle to fit his hand.

It MUST be sharp enough to leave a polished edge on end-grain pine or basswood, and the Flex-cut will do that out of the box. The edge won't last forever, and he will need to know how to sharpen it or he will become discouraged and give up...Most people just give up because sharpening is beyond their capabilities {or so they think}. Some carvers never learn and have to pay others to sharpen their knives. Learning to sharpen is essential, IMO, but with proper instruction, determination and perseverance, anyone can learn...
If you use knives long enough, you can be SURE you will be cut.....If he can get past that fear {some people cannot} he can learn to carve. But keep band-aids handy...{I cut my thumb last week} Ten stitches in my thumb a few years ago.
I can recommend the Oar Carver https://mechanicguides.com/best-pocket-knife-for-whittling/ provided you are able to modify the cutting angle a bit.It is a little too "steep" to suit me and needs to be lowered considerably IMO.The steel they use in that knife is super..it is d-2, which was formulated as a "punch and die" steel..It is almost completely rust proof and holds an edge like no other I know of. Because it is so hard, it is hard to sharpen and diamond is what I use for mine.On YouTube there are a lot of interesting videos on this topic, recently revised an interesting video, look, too, I hope this helps you

BuckeyeBill
05-11-2018, 20:22
Years ago I got into whittling and I used an old Barlow my dad had. It held its edge very well and work with any kind of wood.

Davem
06-11-2018, 19:21
I don’t whittle but I like Mora knives.

bikebum1975
06-15-2018, 13:45
I find sharpening pocketknives as relaxing as whittling with them. When I was a younger man I had a collection of old pocketknives that I kept razor sharp. Just get a nice flat whetstone and polish the edge. You'll get the hang of it, and it makes much less mess than whittling.

I'm with you knife and axe sharpening is relaxing to me. Never used a jig to sharpen before but never felt the need to I freehand sharpen with the stone in one hand.

I've done a lot of carving with my old swiss army knife but more times then not any old Mora works for me. Its more learning how to control the knife than the size of it.
I've used some larger knives some look at me you carve with that? !.

Sopretty much any good sharp blade will work fine. Oh if ya know them I've used old hickory knives to carve with. My type of carving though is spoons and such

orthofingers
06-15-2018, 14:22
I've done quite a bit of whittling as well as carving and general woodworking over the years and agree with those who said it's best and safest to have a sharp blade. For sharpening, I've got electric grinders, a Tormek water grinder, diamond plates, water stones, ceramic stones, Arkansas stones, synthetic Arkansas stones, wet or dry silicone carbide paper and leather strops. (Yeah, I get a kick out of sharpening things.)

i say, it depends on what you want to whittle. If you just want to make a large diameter branch into a smaller diameter branch, almost any knife will work if it's sharp. As much of a fan of Mora knives as I am, I find the blades a little too thick for the kind of delicate carving/whittling I like to do even with the Mora #1. A sharp Mora will make very nice feather sticks though. As mentioned earlier, Flex-Cut makes many nice edged tools. Their Whittlin' Jack and Carvin' Jack tools have several different edge profiles attached to the same handle, kind of like a jackknife with multiple blades. They're not cheap but have good steel that holds an edge well and aren't too difficult to resharpen.

Speaking of resharpening, I keep an eight inch section of a wooden paint stirrer in my pack. I've got 320 grit silicon carbide paper glued to one side and a piece of leather glued to the opposite side that's been charged with green compound. It weighs very little but will handle any sharpening while out in the woods unless the blade has been abused. Last point, your blade will stay sharp much longer if you only cut wood with it.

MuddyWaters
06-15-2018, 16:29
Bought my first Lansky system in 1991. Never bought another one. never Needed to.... Lansky is THAT good!!!! Works with every knife I have including what's in our kitchen drawer and scissors...

Bought my lansky about 1983
Rods rusted
Still works

pettas
06-20-2018, 11:24
For what it's worth, I've carved a lot of spoons using my folding Opinel knife. It's an older model and has a carbon steel blade. Easy to sharpen and the locking mechanism means it will never fold back on my fingers while I'm working with it.

That's all for now. Take care and until next time....be well.

snapper

PS - I keep the blade oiled by cutting lots of pepperoni!