If you’re new to woodworking, finding the best wood for carving can be an overwhelming and potentially expensive journey. There are so many different types of wood to choose from, depending on your skill level and budget! We did the research for you, and found several options that are both budget friendly and high-quality pieces to get you started! Before we get into the carving wood reviews, here are a few things to consider when choosing a wood for carving.
Wood Type: The type of wood you choose depends on your project. Balsa is very soft and perfect for modeling. Basswood is the most common because it’s softer and less expensive, which is perfect for beginners. We also found a few other fun options to try!
Pieces: We found some great individual slabs and blocks for large projects, or to cut down to size. There are also some great sets that come with blocks in a variety of sizes, so you can experiment with new carving skills!
Stainable: Whether you want to change the wood color, or just preserve your hard work, look for a wood that’s stainable. Softer woods like balsa are better for painting, while harder woods like oak work well with both painting and staining.
Made in: The country your wood is sourced from depends on where it grows best. Most woods we reviewed are grown and processed in the United States. However, some woods grow best in different places like Brazil, Ukraine, or even New Zealand!
Size: Make note of the block size – especially if you are working on a specific project with a template! You can always glue smaller blocks together if you need to, but having the right size can make things much easier.
Weight: The weight of the wood will differ depending on the wood type. Heavier wood is best for detailed carving but isn’t easy to carry. Lighter woods are great for taking with you to work on anywhere you want to go.
Now that you know what carving wood you’re looking for, let’s get into the reviews! We found 10 great options for beginner or advanced carvers alike. They are all easy to use, budget-friendly, and come in a variety of sizes to suit your needs. Some are even made by small, family-owned businesses that use sustainable practices, too! If you’re short on time, no problem – check out our Top Pick and Budget Pick, then come back when you have more time!