September 17, 2020

Best Wood for Carving Wooden Spoons

Are you looking for the best wood for carving wooden spoons? Spoon carving is simple enough when you have the right tools and also the right stock. Since each person has different tastes, there are many different wood choices for carving best wooden spoons. Choosing the perfect wood for carving wooden spoons comes down to what you want to carve and what you want the handle to look like. If you are looking for a great, comfortable handle, you should choose a wood that is very smooth in texture. But, if you are looking to make a wooden spoon that is very durable and lasts longer, you should choose a wood that is harder and more durable.

Not all wood is suitable for all projects. The purpose of the project 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. All of which we will take a look at in this article. 

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

Our Top Pick  

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. 

Our Winner!

Hardwood is a favorite because it is durable, which is 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

Round Up of 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 a hardwood that has high bending strength. 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 which make for beautiful spoon colors. The grain is usually straight although the occasional wave isn’t uncommon. 

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 colored types of wood. It can be described as a golden yellow. It has a straight grain and a medium texture. One of the reasons why this is considered to be a good wood for kitchen utensils is the fact that it has a high resistance to decay. It is one of the more rot-resistant woods, and it is very durable. 

The durability and fact that this is a hardwood make it a great wood type for spoon carving. At the same time, it means that it is harder to carve. If you’re a beginner you may find it difficult to work with. 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 woods. You will not need to do a lot to pimp it our so that you have a decent looking spoon. This is perfect, especially if you will be using the spoon for decorative purposes. 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, and this makes it a rare commodity.


  • It looks good
  • It smells nice
  • It’s easy to mold
  • It’s an easy wood to turn, making it a 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 a 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 and this makes it a good wood for spoon carving. 

It is an easy wood to work and looks good too. Its light brown color, which can lean towards cream looks good in just about 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

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

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


  • 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 if you are to get the desired product. Some certain comforts and features come with a suitable type of wood, and this includes 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 they shouldn’t be too porous. 

These features mean that the wood is durable and that it 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. Spoon wood carving requires wood that you can quickly turn and work with. You can start off using wood such as white pine. 

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 to do that is to get cutting. There are valuable lessons that you will learn along the way, that can only be taught by the wood itself. 

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

The type of wood that 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 of whatever you are cooking. The wood that you use to carve the spoon has an impact on how great a utensil it 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 that is easy to work with. 

David D. Hughes
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