November 29, 2021

What is a hook carving knife?

A hook knife is a wood carving tool with a hollow cavity, like spoons and bowls. When it comes to carving utensils, it might be the best tool. It takes a few steps to use a carving knife to make items. It looks like a spoon carving knife, although the two have some differences.
A hook carving knife is ideal for:

  • Spoon carving
  • Green woodworking
  • Carving bowls, and detailing your wood carving project.

It is ideal for quick carving and accurate cuts. It allows effective edge cutting and hand clearance
It comes with a strong handle made of hardwood oak and is finished with natural linseed oil. Its ergonomic style gives you a long period of comfortable wood carving. It has a carbon blade made of high-carbon steel.

High-carbon steel is tough. The knife is sharpened and polished before packaging, so you can use it right away. The hook knife cuts both soft and hardwood and has a U-shaped tool for detailed cuts. Be sure to see our Best wood carving knives Review.

Morakniv Wood Carving Hook Knife 163

Types of hook carving knives

Frosts/mora hook

It is a straight knife that comes at an affordable price with high performance. Yet, it is not the ideal hook carving knife for curves. It does not come out of the box sharp. That means you should sharpen it well before use, to avoid poor cuts. Sharpen it with the right tool and everything you wish to use it. Use coarse sandpaper for the best results.

Svante Djarve

These have a distinctive ridged texture to the handles. Svante Djarve have a small hook. This makes it easy for beginners to use, but its tight curvature leaves a series of grooves across the work. To remove these, open a hook or use sandpaper.

A hook carving knife is for:

  • Carving.
  • Cutting.
  • Shaping.

Hook carving knives shapes and sizes

Choosing a carving knife is a personal choice. What works for one person may not work for another. Users consider the handle style, the blade style, shape, and size. Different blade styles work best for different cuts. Experiment and see what works best for you.
There are many names given to the knife, but they all come down to the standard shapes explained below. They are either longer or shorter, thinner or wider. Some manufacturers measure the whole blade from where it comes out of the handle to the tip. Measure the cutting edge of the blade. Bear in mind that when buying a carving knife, look for a specific length.

Straight Top with a Curved Cutting Edge

It is for slicing and concave cuts. The curve prevents your blade from biting into the wood when making a tight curve. A tight, concave cut with a straight, bottom knife will jump or skitter across the wood.

Straight Top with a Curved Cutting Edge and a Clipped Off Point

What differentiates this knife from the above is the clipped-off tip. The end of the hook knife allows you to use it for getting small detail cuts. It gives you a gentle concave cut.

Curved Top with a Straight Cutting Edge

This knife has a style of a standard carving knife. What makes it a versatile tool is that it runs a variety of carving. Using a longer blade in this style allows the removal of a lot of wood fast. A shorter blade in this style is for your details. It is also for chip carving.

Round Ended Blade

It comes with a cutting edge on the end, and a bottom that makes deep cuts. The tip does not bite into the cut. It is also for scoring feathers.

Tapered Blade with a Straight Cutting Edge

It performs better on corners and curves, fine detail work, or general carving. There are higher chances of making precise cuts.

Straight Cutting Edge with a Clipped Tip

It comes with a longer blade that removes wood fast. The clipped tip makes detail work possible. The end of the hook blade works as another knife. It comes with a narrow blade that gets in tight curves where a wide hook blade cannot.

Bent Blade

The Bent blade comes in a variety of styles. Sometimes only one edge is sharp, and others have both edges sharp. It makes better spoons, bowls, violins, cups. Yet, you have to hollow out a surface.

Curved Blade

It is also known as a spoon knife because it works well for carving out spoons. It also makes bowls. It makes aggressive, deeper cuts. Sometimes only one edge is sharp, and others have both edges sharp. It allows a clean-cut surface but takes more time to learn to use.

Straight shape

The straight-shaped hook carving knife is a standard knife for straight cuts. But, it is difficult to use for carving curved spaces.

Tight curve

The tight curve chisel is for detailed carving relief. It reaches tricky and small places. Shaping at the final stage becomes easy and bearable. The chances of making precise cuts are high. Tight curves and short blades are easy for beginners to use.

Benefits of using a hook carving knife

  • It is sharp
  • It carves both directions
  • It makes detailed cuts
  • Less energy
  • It makes clean and straight cuts
  • The cutting edge is very sharp
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Affordable.

How to use a hook carving knife

There are techniques to follow when using a hook carving knife. These are peel grip, twist cut, and pivot grip.

Peel grip

As the knife lays flat on the wood surface, turn the blade across the grain. Make peeling movements toward you and keep your thumb away from the knife. Tuck the knife on the side of the wooden board.

Twist cut

The action of this grip comes from your hand. Wrap your fingers around the handle of your knife, whilst the other hand guides the twisting.

Pivot grip

This grip style is for hook knives with longer handles. Use a left hand to make a pivot point. Make sure your fingers are not close to the knife. As it pivots from these fingers, it cleans the edges of your bowl or spoon.

How to sharpen a hook carving knife

  • Hold the handle with your palm up.
  • Tip the blade forward to the edge, hold the angle, and sharpen it until the tip of the blade in one sweep.
  • Repeat this movement fifteen to twenty times.
  • Check if you removed some metal by dragging your finger away from the cutting edge. Feel the blade. If it feels a little rough, you have shaved off some metal.
David D. Hughes
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