Spoon carving is an awesome entry project for beginner woodworkers, as well as a favorite pastime hobby for experienced craftspeople.
When it comes to creating a smooth bowl shape out of a piece of wood, the hook knife is arguably the best tool for the job. While you can use whittling knives for that purpose, the process will be incredibly difficult plus you risk making rough cuts.
Hook knives are excellent at spoon carving since they were designed for that specific reason. Their design allows them to scoop out wood with incredible ease. Therefore, if you are looking to carve your own spoons and bowls, this is the tool to use.
Nonetheless, despite being similar in appearance, hook knives can differ significantly in quality and practicality. As such, it is important to do your homework first before you buy one. This will involve evaluating the attributes of different hook knives to determine the best one for you.
To save you the effort, we have compared the best hook knives for spoon carving on the market today. The following are reviews that you must read.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Elemental Tools Wood Spoon Carving Knife||
|Best Value||BeaverCraft Wood Carving Hook Knife||
|Premium Choice||Flexcut KN52 Bevel Sloyd Hook Knife||
|Gaxcoo Wood Carving Tools Kit||
|Craftyfier Wood Carving Tools Set||
The 8 Best Hook Knives for Spoon Carving – Reviews 2020
1. Elemental Tools Wood Spoon Carving Knife – Best Overall
Whether you are a beginner or an expert, this cost-friendly hook knife by Elemental Tools will prove to be effective at meeting your needs.
To achieve its objectives, it comes with a 65Mn (manganese) high carbon steel blade to ensure that it is hard enough to carve out the toughest of woods. The blade comes sharp right out of the box to allow you to get to gouging without any preparations. What’s more, it maintains its sharp edge for a long time, even with constant use.
It is also quite comfortable to use thanks to its handle’s ergonomic design. Its edges are rounded off to give you a softer and firmer grip, thus allowing you to work for longer without fatigue. You will also love the black walnut finish that makes this knife a true piece of art.
Left-handers might have a problem using this knife due to its design. Fortunately, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee in case it does not suit your liking.
2. BeaverCraft Wood Carving Hook Knife – Best Value
If you are on a budget, the BeaverCraft SK1 hook knife should be among your top considerations.
Despite its affordability, it features a high-quality oak handle that has been treated with organic linseed oil. Additionally, this hardwood handle features an ergonomic design that includes rounded, tapering edges for ease of use and comfort. This allows you to work for longer before you start to tire. You will also appreciate the enhanced grip that results from this design.
The blade, on the other hand, boasts a full tang high carbon steel construction for next level toughness. As a result, this blade can handle hardwoods without its structural integrity being compromised. In simple words, you will be having this knife for a long knife.
Moreover, since the BeaverCraft SK1’s blade is a single bevel, it retains its sharp edges for much longer. This will free you from doing a lot of maintenance work.
When you compare the SK1’s cost with its performance and durability, it is not hard to see why it is one of the best hook knives for spoon carving for the money.
3. Flexcut KN52 Bevel Sloyd Hook Knife – Premium Choice
The Flexcut FlexKN52 is one of the costliest hook knives on the market today. Nonetheless, professional woodworkers or full-time spoon carvers understand its high price point thanks to the tremendous value it offers them.
For starters, it features one of the highest quality handles of any hook knife on the market today. Made out of cherry, this handle is extremely pleasing to the eye. Even to the untrained eye, it will be clear that there is a great difference between it and cheaper models.
Additionally, it comes with a full tang high carbon steel blade to ensure durability. The blade’s design makes it quite versatile, as it is able to carve spoons and hollow bowls with equal effectiveness. Moreover, it also has a brass ferrule that not only enhances its aesthetics but also gives it corrosion-resisting properties.
While its hefty nature allows you more control over your work, it might feel a tad too heavy for some, especially beginners. However, that should not be an issue, as the FlexKN52 seems to be designed for professional use. In fact, it might be a little too much for a beginner.
Nonetheless, it would make for an incredible gift.
4. Gaxcoo Wood Carving Tools Kit
Instead of a simple hook knife, this tool kit by Gaxcoo consists of a set of 4 different carving tools to ensure that you are well equipped to begin your woodworking journey. The kit consists of a hook knife for carving out spoons, bowls, and cups, a sloyd knife that you can use for whittling, a detailed knife for precision work, and a sharpening stone.
All of the items in this kit come with a hardwood handle and a premium carbon steel blade for enhanced durability. The hook knife, however, only has one side sharpened. Due to that design, it might give left-handed people problems with usage. Nonetheless, it is the perfect design for those who prefer the push-cut style when it comes to carving spoons out of wood. This is because you can utilize the blunt side as a stabilization point.
You will also appreciate the special sharpening stone, as it helps you to keep these tools sharp without causing damage. If you have never used a sharpening stone, make sure that you learn how to use one since this tool kit does not come with a manual.
The Gaxcoo wood carving kit comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee in case you have any issues with the product. Keep in mind that this blade tends to dull quickly.
5. Craftyfier Wood Carving Tools Set
This woodcarving set by Craftyfier is yet another kit that is ideal for beginners. It comes with 3 knives, including a hook knife, a small chipping knife, and a larger whittling knife. You will also get a polishing compound for keeping your edges sharp, as well as a leather strop. You will also appreciate the tool roll they come with for easy storage.
Thanks to ergonomic finger grips, using these tools should not be difficult. The large whittling knife will help you to carve out the form of the object (spoon). The chipping knife allows you to refine the piece further, while your hook knife hollows out the wood. It does, however, suffer from a poor handle design.
This ensures that you got everything you need to get started as a beginner.
6. American Crafters Wood Carving Tools
This woodcarving set by American Crafters also consists of a hook knife, sloyd knife, chip carving knife, polishing compound, leather strop, and a tool roll case. This ensures that you have everything you need to get started.
All the handles on these tools feature an ergonomic design to enhance comfort and ease of use. Additionally, the handles are made from hardwood oak and are treated in natural linseed oil to enhance their durability. The blades, on the other hand, are made from premium carbon steel for exceptional durability.
Despite their sturdy construction, however, the blades on these tools are susceptible to breaking while working on hardwoods.
7. VistosoHome Hook Knife
This hook knife by Vistoso might not be as glamorous as the others on this list are, but it is cheap enough to justify its shortcomings.
The forged carbon steel construction of its blade allows this hook knife to stay sharp for longer. This ensures that you do not have to sharpen the knife each time you have to use it.
The Vistoso hook knife features a slightly curved oak handle that works to enhance the knife’s comfort, as well as usability.
You will also appreciate the blade cover this knife comes with, as it not only ensures your safety but also helps keep the blade in good condition.
This product, however, is of average quality and would not be ideal for serious projects. It comes with a lifetime warranty.
8. Narex 822101 Spoon Carving Hook Knife
To ensure that the “lefties” do not feel left out (pun intended), we have included this hook knife that is designed to cater to left-handed people. Since its blade is positioned on the opposite side, it is ideal for people who prefer to push with their left hands while pulling out with their right hands.
It comes with a 61hrc (Hardness on Rockwell scale C) manganese alloy blade to allow you to take on dense woods. Unfortunately, this alloy does not have the corrosion-resisting property of stainless steel.
It features a small and compact design that makes it ideal for making smaller spoons. However, it might feel inadequate for some people.
Before you buy a hook knife, it is important to ensure that it has what it takes to do a good job. The following are some of the most important factors to consider when evaluating hook knives.
This refers to the comfort and ease of use of a tool. Considering that a hook knife is a handheld tool, it is important to make sure that it sports a design that not only enhances your comfort but also your safety.
As such, the most crucial thing to check out for is a non-slip handle. This means that the knife’s handle should have an enhanced grip so that it does not slip out when you sweat. Even though handles with a shiny finish look great, they can be difficult to work with. Consider going for a knife with a textured handle.
When it comes to comfort, always opt for a knife with a slightly longer and wider handle. This is because short and narrow handles can strain your palm.
Length of Blade
The internal radius of a hook knife’s carving angle typically determines the quality of its work. Smaller, less curved blades tend to yield finer carvings than longer blades with a significant curve. Nonetheless, this does not mean that the short blade design is suitable for all applications.
When working on larger projects, you want a blade that can make bigger carvings in one scoop. In such a case, therefore, you would want a longer blade. Moreover, shorter blades tend to be more tedious to work with.
All in all, the nature of your project is what will determine the appropriate blade size.
Hook knives are some of the best tools you can use for carving spoons. As mentioned, these knives are designed for this specific purpose. As a result, you will have a much easier time using hook knives as compared to other tools, such as whittling knives.
As such, they make for great beginner tools for woodworking noobs.
Whether you are looking to buy one for yourself or as a gift to someone else, make sure that the knife is of superior quality. Start by considering the products in our reviews. If you are yet to make up your mind, we highly recommend the wood spoon carving knife by Elemental Tools. It offers great performance, looks good, and comes at a friendly price point.
If you are on a budget, you could never go wrong with the BeaverCraft SK1 wood carving hook knife.
Pete has been working in the trades since high school, where he first developed a passion for woodworking. Over the years, he has developed a keen interest in a wide variety of DIY projects around the home. Fascinated by all sort of tools, Pete loves reading and writing about all the latest gadgets and accessories that hit the market. His other interests include astronomy, hiking, and fishing.
As the founder of House Grail, David’s primary goal is to help consumers make educated decisions about DIY projects at home, in the garage, and in the garden.
- 1 A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- 2 The 8 Best Hook Knives for Spoon Carving – Reviews 2020
- 2.1 1. Elemental Tools Wood Spoon Carving Knife – Best Overall
- 2.2 2. BeaverCraft Wood Carving Hook Knife – Best Value
- 2.3 3. Flexcut KN52 Bevel Sloyd Hook Knife – Premium Choice
- 2.4 4. Gaxcoo Wood Carving Tools Kit
- 2.5 5. Craftyfier Wood Carving Tools Set
- 2.6 6. American Crafters Wood Carving Tools
- 2.7 7. VistosoHome Hook Knife
- 2.8 8. Narex 822101 Spoon Carving Hook Knife
- 3 Buyer’s Guide
- 4 Conclusion