One of the appealing aspects of whittling is that it’s doable almost everywhere. This implies your knife should be portable, and there’s nothing like the ease of tucking a folded knife into your pocket.
Many brands create whittling folding knives with blades that mimic traditional carving knives. These specialty knives can be pricey, but they’re worth it if you do a lot of whittling. However, you don’t need one to whittle. A whittling pocket knife should be fine.
Many whittlers will have a separate pocket knife for other uses, so they don’t get to open cardboard boxes with their whittling pocket knife. There are a few things to consider while shopping for the best whittling knife. We will go over them so you can know when shopping for your pocket knife.
But before that our best whittling pocket knife
Our top picks – Best Whittling Pocket knives
This is our top pick as the best whittling pocket knife overall and it’s for good reason.
This type of whittling knife has three blades:
- Roughing Knife-ideal for large chunks of wood
- Detail Knife– ideal for carving complex and very detailed
- Mini-Cutting Knife– ideal for whittling a very weak wood and making fine cuts.
All these blades are made of High Carbon Spring Steel which ensures your blades are less bendable and harder.
The blades are safe since all the blades lock when you open them to ensure that it does not close on your fingers. Another good feature that I liked about this whittling pocket knife is the sharp blades that come when they have already been sharpened from the factory. You will not be required to sharpen the blades again.
The handle is made of aluminum and cherry inlay pistol grip for comfortability grip. The only issue that you will encounter is the difficulty in opening the blades and the little play when the blade is in the open position. However, you should not focus too much on the flaws because the overall performance is excellent, particularly when used for whittling.
Advantages of flex cut tri jack
- The blades are made of High Carbon Spring Steel which ensures your blades are less bendable and harder
- The liner lock design ensures the blades stay in an open position to protect your fingers while whittling
- The knife comes ready to use as the blades are already sharpened from the factory
- The handle has a comfortable grip
- Opening and closing are difficult for blades
- There is a little play when using the blade in the open position
This is one of the best affordable whittling pocket knives you will get on the market. It is made of a very simple design that ensures that it becomes easy to carry in your pocket.
Unlike the tri jack, this has two blades; (a Detail knife that is 1-1/2 inch and the 2-inch Roughing Knife) which are made using carbon spring steel for better edge retention. The blades are well sharpened before they are packed to save you the time you would use in sharpening.
The two blades are made in such a way that it is easy to fold them into a well-designed handle that is slightly bowed. They have ensured that the handle is made comfortable by covering the frame of the handle which is made from aluminum with wood veneer inlay. The bow-like shape and the making of the handle ensure that comfortability is sustained for a long time when whittling.
The common problem we noted from the flex cut knives is the difficulty we experienced in opening and closing the blades.
Advantage of Flexcut Whittlin’ Jack
- The knife is affordable
- The blades are made of High Carbon Spring Steel
- the blades are well sharpened
- The handle is bow-shaped for comfortability in long whittling work
The disadvantage of Flexcut Whittlin’ Jack
- Opening and closing are difficult for blades
Look no further for a single-bladed folding pocket knife for whittling/carving. The Master carver Pocket Whittler II Folding Knife is the best you can get at a reasonable price. It is designed in such a way that it folds up small enough to fit in a pocket.
It has a very attractive handle with well-grounded screws for added comfort and smoothness. In addition, the handle is longer to improve hand grip. The four fingers fit comfortably on the handle. The blade is of good size and made of High Carbon Stainless Steel, which means it will stay sharper for longer and will be less prone to wear.
The blade is V-grind for easy re-sharpening, but it is well-sharpened, and the lock mechanism works flawlessly with no wiggling while the blade is open. However, if you require a razor-sharp edge, the blade should be lightly honed before use.
Advantages of MasterCarver Pocket Whittler 2
- The knife has a nice appearance and a mild textured feel to it.
- It folds up small enough to fit in a pocket.
- It has a comfortable and smooth grip.
- The blade’s lock mechanism ensures that it doesn’t wobble and isn’t excessively tight.
The disadvantage of MasterCarver Pocket Whittler 2
- Even though the blade is pre-honed before the sale, it requires a slight sharpening
- The blade is only sharpened on one side
This is one of the oldest single-bladed knives made by Opinel in french that has proved over the years to be very strong and simple to use as a whittling pocket knife. It is also very light to carry.
The blade is made of carbon steel which ensures that It’s robust enough to withstand wood carving and perform a variety of modest to medium jobs. It is also easy to sharpen the blade. The lock mechanism works well which ensures that the blade stays locked when opened as if it is a fixed blade.
The handle is quite pleasant to hold and fits well in the hand. This handle is composed of solid, long-lasting beechwood from France, which is robust and tough, allowing it to survive wear. However, the wooden handle is prone to swell when in contact with much humidity. Therefore if the wood swell it becomes difficult for the blade to open.
Advantages of Opinel No.8 Carbon Steel Folding Knife
- It is light to carry
- The blade is easy to sharpen
- The lock mechanism ensures that the blade does not close on your fingers
- The handle is comfortable and fits well into the hand
The disadvantage of Opinel No.8 Carbon Steel Folding Knife
- The wooden handle can swell when exposed to humidity which would cause difficulty in opening the blade
- Materials made of carbon steel are more susceptible to rust and corrosion than other types of steel when exposed to moisture for a long time.
6 Things to Consider When Buying a Pocket Knife for Whittling
One of the most rewarding hobbies out there is whittling, and that’s because it can be practiced by anyone, regardless of skill level or location.
All you need to practice this art form is a whittling pocket knife and some wood, so if you have both of those things on hand, you’re good to go!
However, before you go out and buy the best whittling pocket knife, make sure you consider these five things in order to find the right tool for your needs.
1) Blade Size
The first thing you’ll want to decide is how big of a blade you want. Pocket knives with smaller blades are easier to use but may not last as long, while bigger blades will last longer but require more skill and strength.
If you’re new to whittling, it might be better to start with something on the smaller side.
Blade Style: A pocket knife that comes in handy when carving small items also tends to come in handy when chopping up food. Find a model with built-in scissors and you’ll be able to eat your creation right off of your whittled piece—or cut your fingernails when you need them trimmed! (Just remember not to clip anyone else’s nails.)
2) Blade Thickness
Most pocket knives fall into one of two categories: folding and fixed blades. Folding blades are typically more common, as they are less likely to be damaged in daily use.
Most whittlers prefer fixed blades, as they tend to have thicker blades that will hold up better over time. Regardless of which type you prefer, make sure it is thick enough that it won’t bend or break while you are carving your masterpiece. A good thickness range is 3-4mm.
Length/Width Ratio: There’s no set rule on what size knife you should get; every woodcarver has its own preferences. The best way to find out what works best for you is to go and talk with other carvers. A good balance of length and width tends to be 2-3 inches long by 1 inch wide. This ratio gives you plenty of room to carve without feeling like you’re working with an undersized tool.
3) Blade Quality
If you’re planning on whittling, think about what kind of material you’ll be carving. The blade of your knife will have to stand up against hard and softwoods alike.
The best pocket knives are made from high-carbon steel; look for X50CrMoV15 stainless steel or better if possible. Avoid easy sharpen blades—they sacrifice edge quality in favor of ease of sharpening—and make sure any serrations aren’t just eye candy: If they don’t serve a purpose, there may not be much point in having them.
Finally, skip ball bearings and ratcheting openers. While they do open faster than non-assisted knives, that speed comes at a cost: both types of knives tend to lose their edge more quickly than non-assisted options because of how often they open and close.
4) Handle Comfort
It’s no secret that knives come in all different shapes and sizes, but it may not be so obvious that most of them also have completely different handles. When you’re choosing your new whittling tool, you should make sure it has a handle that feels good in your hand.
Whether you prefer an ergonomic grip or something more simplistic like classic wooden handles, there are tons of options out there to choose from. You should try each knife before making a purchase to find one that fits your personal style—but once you’ve found a knife that works well with your hands, stick with it!
The right pocket knife will fit your hand as comfortably as gloves do; when looking at prospective blades, think about how secure they feel in your hands.
5) Blade Shape
The first thing you’ll want to think about is what shape of blade you’re most comfortable with. Blade shapes are just as varied as pocket knives themselves, but your preferred shape will be influenced by your experience and skill level. Some blades like chip carving knives are unique to their particular technique.
If you have never whittled before, or don’t know much about it, consider starting with a standard drop-point blade —this is the easiest shape to use, especially for beginners. For more advanced work and detail work, look into different shapes like scalpel blades, bird’s beak blades (aka chisel blade), spear points (like an ice pick), or even something unique like a spoon knife.
Whatever you choose, make sure that whatever pocket knife you buy has plenty of positive reviews from other whittlers—experience is invaluable when choosing gear!
Whittling pocket knife: A summary
While you can certainly buy a whittling pocket knife at your local general store, investing in one from a reputable company is often better. Keep in mind that getting a high-quality blade will save you money down the road since you won’t have to replace it after only one or two uses. Follow these steps, and get ready to sharpen those pocket knives!
Check our new article on The Best Whittling Kits for Beginners