Often, beginners start off with a few basic wood carving knives and typically find that they have to order more wood carving tools as their project progresses. But this set by R Murphy includes all of the essential knives the whittler relies on during a project, from start to finish.
This seven-piece set is the total package. While other wood carving knife sets contain a knife or two for each type of wood carving art form, this set is targeted toward the whittler. Each knife features a smooth, thick handle for improved grip-ability, offering a nice heft that makes them easy to hold and use for hours on end. The overall quality of the knives will please whittlers of all skill levels.
Our Verdict: This seven-piece set comes with essential wood carving knives designed for the avid whittler. The knives themselves feature a sturdy design, a comfortable grip, and a nice edge that offers a cleaner cut. We wouldn’t recommend this set to the woodcarver who prefers fine detail work, relief carving, or carving in the round, but the whittler will love what this set has to offer.
Keep reading to learn more about this top-selling whittling set.
Overview and Features
These days, there are hundreds of specialty wood carving knives on the market. But unlike a pocket knife that some whittlers prefer, these are fixed knives. Because the blades are fixed, they offer a sturdier design than what you’ll get from a foldable pocket knife.
Additionally, the curved handles fit more comfortably in the hand, which helps to minimize user fatigue during a longer whittling session.
These knives are perfect for whittling, however, if you’re looking for a wood carving set for chip carving or relief carving, then the Flexcut Deluxe ten piece chisel and gouge set is a much better option.
To learn more about leading wood carving tools, click here to read our buyer’s guide.
A Sharper Edge
One of the most important whittling rules is to make sure your knives are sharp before you start working for the day. A sharper knife means a more relaxing, enjoyable experience. Using a dull blade can potentially wreck any project. But a dull knife can also be dangerous, causing the knife to skip and slip during use.
Fortunately, the blades in this R Murphy set hold a nice, sharper edge, with minimal sharpening needed. Of course, after you finish for the day it’s still important to inspect all of the edges of the knives to ensure they still have a sharp edge, but for the most part, we noticed the knives don’t require the same type of frequent sharpening that competing sets do.
Inside the Box
This set comes with the following whittling knives:
- Chip: This is your standard chipping knife that’s used for most types of wood carving projects. It features a tough, thick blade and the well-balanced oval handle.
- Caricature: This knife is perfect for chip carving and comes equipped with a 2 ¾ inch blade.
- Plaster: The plaster knife can be used for detail work on larger projects. It features a very small steel hook blade and is often used for work that a straight bladed knife can’t handle.
- Stencil: This lighter knife features a large oval-shaped handle that has been lightly balanced. The long blade features a narrower tip that makes it perfect for detail work.
- Shoe: This knife comes with a 2 1/8 inch 1.5-millimeter blade and the balanced oval handle. This knife is designed for cobbler work, which makes it an interesting addition to this whittling set, however, many whittlers will use it to cut away at larger portions of wood, so it can come in handy at the start of a project.
- Lab: A lab knife is an essential tool for beginners. This multi-tasking knife can handle both wood and plaster, holds a nice edge, and is basically the knife you’ll go to for most whittling tasks.
- Mckay Sticher Boot Knife: This is a cobbling, leatherworking knife that’s designed to handle heavier materials, easily. It retains a nice edge and has a heavier handle for improved grip during use.
What are the Knife Blades Made Out of?
The blades are made out of a heavy-duty, commercial grade steel. The blades are designed to last and can easily withstand heavy use.
Are These Knives Easy to Sharpen?
This depends. If you normally sharpen your knife after a big project and properly take care of the blades then sharpening the blades is a fairly simple, straightforward process. However, if you fail to sharpen the blades as often as necessary, you risk damaging the blades. As we mentioned earlier, a dull blade can not only ruin a project, it can also cause a serious injury since a dull blade will often slip.
Are the Handles Comfortable?
Yes, both the weight and shape of the handles promote user comfort. However, if you spend hours a day working on a project, you may want to wrap the handles with tape in order to improve both grip and comfort.
- Comfortable, balanced handles
- Set consists of essential whittling knives
- Easy to sharpen
- Retains a nice edge
- Knives are designed for whittling, leatherwork, and cobbling
- Does not contain carving knives designed for very fine wood carving projects
Conclusion and Rating
This R Murphy wood carving knife set comes with seven knives that are mainly designed for whittling, leatherwork, and cobbling, however, some tools will also come in handy for relief carving as well. This is a very versatile set, however, it doesn’t contain knives that are typically used for other styles of wood carving such as carving in the round or other very fine detailed work. Overall, this set is a great option for wood carving for beginners or skilled carvers in search of a durable knife set that’s designed to withstand heavy-duty use. We gave this set a rating of four and a half stars out of five.