September 17, 2020

Best Wood for Carving Wooden Spoons [5 Ideal Choices for your Utensils]

Are you looking for the best wood for carving wooden spoons? Carving spoons is easy enough if you have the right tools and suitable material. Since everyone has different tastes, there are many kinds of wood for carving wooden spoons. Choosing the perfect wood for carving wooden spoons comes down to what you want to carve and the handle to look like. If you are looking for a great, comfortable handle, you should choose a wood that has a very smooth texture. If you want to make a wooden spoon that is very durable and will last longer, you should choose a wood that is harder and more durable.

Not all wood is suitable for all projects. The project’s purpose is what has the most significant influence on the type of wood that is needed. A spoon, for example, will be in contact with water and with food. So, it needs to have characteristics consistent with these conditions if you want it to be effective. We will take a look at it in this post. 

  • Pecan Wood
  • Osage Orange
  • Olive wood
  • Basswood
  • Black Cherry

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Do you need a quick guide to getting the best wood stock to make spoons? There are specific characteristics that you will need to keep in mind. Hardwood is a common and appropriate choice for making spoons. You want to look for a hardwood that has refined and very few pores. The fewer they are, the better. 

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Hardwood is a favorite because it is durable, a trait you want in a kitchen spoon. However, it is hard to work on. If you’re a beginner, you may want to practice your technique on softer wood like pine. You also want to look for wood that you can bend and manipulate to shape well.

Pecan Wood for spoons
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Round Up the Best Wood for Carving Wooden Spoons

Pecan Wood for spoons

Pecan Wood for spoons

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Pecan wood is a good choice for spoon carving because it’s hardwood with high bending strength. The grain is usually straight, although the occasional wave isn’t uncommon. It is highly durable, which means that it can withstand the everyday hustle and bustle of the kitchen. Pecan has a light to medium brown color and occasional red hues, making for beautiful spoon colors. 

Like most wood, it needs to be protected from rot. This means that it needs to be finished off properly. When done correctly, the finish brings out the natural design very nicely. Pecan wood is also suitable for spoon carving because it is lightweight enough for a cooking utensil that shouldn’t be too heavy.


  • It is durable
  • Has medium texture
  • Has a straight grain
  • It is lightweight
  • It has a high shock resistance.


  • It quickly rots, and so it needs to be finished properly.
  • Depending on where you are located, it can be hard to get.

Osage Orange

This is one of the lighter wood species. It is golden yellow and has a straight grain and medium texture. One of the reasons it is considered a good wood for kitchen utensils is its high rot resistance. It is one of the more rot-resistant woods and is very durable.

The durability and the fact that this is hardwood make it an ideal wood type for spoon carving. At the same time, it means that it is harder to carve. You may find it difficult to work with if you’re a beginner. This wood easily holds color, meaning that you can change it to a color of your choice. This can be a downside in that it soaks in moisture. Also, it’s a great wood type for spoon carving because it’s easy to turn.


  • It’s durable
  • It’s easy to turn
  • It has a high resistance to decay
  • It takes color well


  • The wood is hard and can be difficult to carve if you’re a beginner
  • It’s not easy to find

Olive wood

Olive wood blanks

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Olive wood is one of the suitable looking types of wood. This is perfect, especially if you use the spoon for decorative purposes. You will not need to do a lot to pimp it out to have a decent-looking spoon. The surface can easily be polished, giving the spoon a glossy finish as you desire. 

A rare trait that olivewood has is the sweet scent that emanates from the wood as you cut it. You will continue to smell it even as the spoon ages. Also, you will find it easy to carve and shape. The other feature that makes olive wood a good wood for spoon carving is that it is an easy wood to turn. This high-end wood can be more costly than other types of wood, making it a rare commodity.


  • It looks good
  • It smells nice
  • It’s easy to mold
  • It’s an easy wood to turn, making it the right candidate for spoon carving.


  • It can be challenging to carve
  • It doesn’t repel insects or decay, meaning that you have to take extra care to seal the spoon and avoid it getting damaged by water or other elements.
  • It’s hard to dry


Basswood Spoon Blanks

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Basswood is a good wood for spoon carving because it is hardwood, but at the same time, it is soft. This makes it a good wood for beginners because it is easy to manage. It has a fine texture. It is soft and light-textured and looks good. It has a uniform surface. It is a good wood for turning, making it a good wood for spoon carving. 

It is an easy wood to work on and looks good too. Its light brown color, which can lean towards cream, looks good in any kitchen. It also holds carving detail very well and will not warp with use.


  • Light textured
  • It’s suitable for turning
  • It’s for good hand carving
  • It has a straight grain
  • It is soft and comfortable to work with


  • It is non-resistant to decay
  • You need to coat it properly to ensure it is protected.

Black Cherry

Thanks to the pink heartwood, the famous wood from the black cherry tree make a nice-looking spoon, contrasting nicely with the sapwood. The texture of the sapwood is almost elastic and can feel like you are carving plastic. After some time, the color changes to a deep red. 

However, it is not easy to carve through, especially by hand. This may lead you to grab your power tools. The problem is that power tools burn cherry. While it shrinks a lot during the drying process, it’s a very stable wood in the long run. You are safer using hand tools from start to finish.


  • It is visually appealing
  • It holds detail well
  • It has a rich color
  • It is stable in the long run.


  • It’s challenging to carve
  • You cant use power tools on the wood
  • It is pricey

Buyer’s Guide

Getting the best wood for spoon carving is essential to getting the desired product. Some certain comforts and features come with a suitable type of wood, including how well it turns and how easy it is to carve. As a general rule of thumb, the best woods for spoons need to be hardwoods and shouldn’t be too porous. 

These features mean that the wood is durable and can hold its own against the elements that it will face in the kitchen.

What’s the best wood for a beginner?

A woodcarver should be able to use any wood. But you don’t start on that high horse. You first need to get the hang of things, and some wood types do not allow for that. You can start off using wood such as white pine. Spoon wood carving requires wood that you can quickly turn and work with. 

The best wood for spoons is hard, but if it is also hard to handle, it makes it a wrong candidate for beginners. You don’t want a wood type that cracks under pressure. Some wood may be easy to carve, but the spoon won’t be durable.

If you are carving to learn how to carve, one of the best ways is to get cutting. You will learn valuable lessons that the wood itself can only teach. 

Should I use green wood or seasoned wood as a beginner?

The type of wood you use is usually primarily influenced by where you are located and where you get your wood from. Most professional carvers use freshly cut wood. It’s easier to handle in most cases as it will still have a decent amount of moisture in it. You can easily carve freshly cut wood with hand tools.

However, the downside with this type of wood is that it is not always readily available, as is the case with more seasoned or dried-out wood. It may be harder to carve, but it also finishes better. 

Final Thoughts

Wooden spoons are still an all-time favorite kitchen utensil. No matter how old they get, wooden spoons always seem to have the best feel for whatever you are cooking. The wood that you use to carve the spoon impacts how great a utensil is going to be in the long run. I still prefer basswood because it offers me the best of both worlds; it is a hardwood easy to work with. 

David D. Hughes

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