The hobby that’s a cut above the rest

April 24, 2017 Off By ProAdventure

The term whittling can refer to the art of carving shapes from wood using a knife, or the time-occupying, non-artistic process of repeatedly shaving slivers from a piece of wood. (We know which one we’re better at.)

The terms ‘whittling’ and ‘carving’ are used interchangeably, but they are different arts. Carving employs the use of chisels, gouges and a mallet, while whittling involves only the use of a knife, and is the pastime mostly followed by those looking to while away the hours by a campfire. Best of all, whittling is one of the cheapest and most accessible of hobbies – all you need is a knife and some wood.

Basic whittling is usually performed with a light, small-bladed knife like an Opinel No. 6, but specialised whittling and carving knives are used when sculpting artistic work. The thick handles are much easier to grip for extended periods giving you more precise control and pressure. Locking and fixed blades make things safer and easier.

At ProAdventure we stock a wide range of whittling knives made by Flexcut, Frosts of Mora and Casstrom including starter sets, spoon knives and fine detail knives. But they’re no good if you don’t know what to do with them; so we also offer two of the best books on the subject.

The Little Book of Whittling by Chris Lubkemann is written in an easy to read, home lesson styled manner, and provides readers with the skills required to whittle away the hours.

Great for both beginners and more advanced carvers, this manual provides 20 projects, including cutlery, animals and various plants. Chapters include lists for whittling tools and materials, including what woods are best to carve and how to start projects by selecting and safely sharpening the best knife for each project.

The Whittling Handbook by Peter Benson is the perfect introduction to the craft. This delightful book guides the reader through the basics, starting with straightforward projects such as a garden hand tool and paper knife, then progresses to more complex and intricate items such as a linked chain and whistle.

The tools you’ll need, plus the basic techniques and how to perform them safely are all covered in a clear and straightforward way…just what you need when out camping…late at night…with no signal.

Regarding the sale of knives, ProAdventure will age verify all UK purchasers – so do not place an order if you are under 18.