March 24, 2021

Where to buy whittling wood | Getting The Right Quality at The Right Price

Where to buy whittling wood

Wondering where to get whittling wood? Finding suitable wood for your new carving project is essential to get your desired product. Using poor quality wood can result in poor carvings or even injury and can be very frustrating. Look for a supplier that sells high quality wood. This will depend on your geographic location. But it is helpful to read reviews from locals.

Online stores like Amazon can help you buy the right whittling wood for your carving

Buying whittling wood in bulk

Buying whittling wood is the easiest to do online, where you can find several reliable sellers. We recommend searching for “whittling wood” on eBay and Amazon. Both sites offer a wide selection of materials at a variety of prices. For instance, on eBay, you might buy starter blocks in packs of five for under $10 or high-quality, kiln-dried hardwood billets by the foot (typically one inch thick) for $5-$25.

Buying whittling wood in packets

Whittling wood from a local supplier may offer you a wider selection, but do some research online first. For instance, if your local supplier offers maple only, then you could go to Amazon and search for “whittling wood” or “whittling supplies,” where you’ll find several different species of wood in both dried and kiln-dried forms.

Where to buy whittling wood

If you look at a local supplier, you’ll want to make sure they offer a variety of different species. You may also wish to ask them what they recommend for you as a beginner and let them know that you’re interested in carving.

Whittling wood or whittling wood products

The term “whittling wood” generally refers to any wood you use to carve. As a beginner, you’ll likely start with whittling blocks and then move on to carving sticks. If you like carving, many more types of whittling wood are also available to you.

Which whittling wood to get

Whittling wood is best when it is soft enough for you to cut through with your knife. That may mean that certain whittling blocks are better for you than others. Depending on how much detail they have, some may also be better suited for carving than others. The more detailed a block is, the harder it will be to carve.

Buying the right wood

Several different types of whittling wood are available to you, all with their advantages and disadvantages:

  • Oak
  • Birch
  • Hornbeam (also called Rock Maple, but not as hard)
  • Walnut
  • Sassafras
  • Hard Maple (also called Rock Maple, but not as hard)
  • Red Oak (also called Rock Elm or Elm)
  • White Oak (also called Rock Elm or Elm)

Whittling wood is best when it is soft enough for you to cut.

See our article on the best wood for carving.

Buying from a reliable vendor

Whittling wood may be shipped to you in bulk, usually one or two logs at a time, from a local supplier. Buying logs is only ideal if you have the right tools to cut the wood into usable sizes. Please ensure that You may find it best to buy your supplies in bulk if there are several different types of whittling wood that you like the best or several different types of whittling boards that you want the best. Wood is inexpensive, and buying a large supply will give you flexibility and reduce costs.

Buying wood from a cheap vendor 

When buying wood from a cheap vendor, some critical checks must be made before you part with your hard-earned money. Limit your buying to reputable suppliers offering a wide selection of woods and various products. Look for the best value, and choose only those kiln-dried products. Check the thickness of whittling wood, and make sure it is suitable for you or anyone looking to learn how to carve.

What are the best woods for whittling?

The type of wood that you choose is important to your whittling. It needs to be soft enough to cut through with little resistance. As such, you should be able to cut through the wood without trouble and carve out the shapes you need. Different types of wood can be used. 

However, sometimes availability can be hampered by geographical location. What counts is the features that it has. This way, you can look for the features rather than focus on the wood type and find a suitable substitute.


Basswood is often used for whittling because of its soft nature. Also, it isn’t too hard to find, and you can easily find it in many hardware shops. The other advantage of basswood is that it has little grain for you to deal with, so cutting through it will be easy whether you are a beginner or not. The grain is also straight, which helps you carve detail easily. Resistance makes it difficult to cut through the wood smoothly. 

Basswood is great for beginners and professionals alike because it is easy to handle, and you can easily slice through it with a simple knife. It has a Janka Hardness rating of 410lbf. This wood is native to North America and will be common there. You can buy the wood by the block or get it as it comes from the forest. You can either whittle basswood wet or dry. 

Balsa wood

This is another great option for whittling because it is soft and easy to manage. It has a Janka hardness rating of 70lbf, which is the amount of resistance the wood has. It is versatile and easy to carve by hand. Also, it is very lightweight, so it is excellent for small carvings and pieces that you need delicate and intricate details carved into them. 

It has a light color which takes stain and paints well. However, Balsa wood is native to Southern Mexico, Brazil, and Bolivia. It may be challenging to get to different places, and this lack of availability may drive the price up. If you don’t mind importing, this would be a good option. 

Butternut wood

This wood is also known as white walnut. You don’t need to be a pro to handle this wood, which is one reason why it has made it onto our list. White walnut may look like black walnut in that the grain looks similar, but it is softer. Its texture allows you to carve by hand easier. 

It has a light brown color, meaning it takes in color well if you want to stain or color it. The other advantage of using butternut wood over others is that it is more affordable than black walnut, yet they have a similar look. It has a Janka hardness rating of 490lbf.

White Pine. 

This is another common choice for whittling wood. It has a Janka Hardness rating of 380lbf. It is versatile and soft, hence easy enough to manage for whittling. In terms of appearance, white pine is very fair in color and almost looks white. However, it is not the easiest to work with and is better suited for intermediate whittlers. 

It is important to ensure you do not try to whittle wet pine. The downside of pine is that it has quite a lot of knots, making your life difficult. It also tends to have a considerable amount of sap, so you will find it gets in the way often, slowing down your progress. As a beginner, knots can be a significant impediment, but a more experienced whittler will find a way to work around them and even incorporate them into the design. 

For the best outcome, make sure you use dry pine, which is softer and easier to use. 

Is whittling easy?

Anything is as easy as your tools and available materials. This is a question best answered by comparison. Whittling is the easiest form of wood carving. As such, a lot of beginners start with it. The great thing about whittling is that it doesn’t need a large space or a large woodblock. It is also low cost, so if you want to try out a new hobby, you don’t want to spend too much. 

What are the best wood carving tools for beginners

A saying goes that a poor carpenter will always blame his tools. However, there are two sides to every story, and the other side would be that the wrong tools can make you seem like a lousy woodworker. The best tools for a beginner have certain features. 

A good whittling knife should be easy to handle, and an ergonomic handle is best, as it allows you to hold the knife safely and comfortably. This will also help you be more flexible and encourage longer whittling hours. 

Also, a good whittling tool for a beginner must be sharp. This doesn’t only make your job easier, but it also keeps you safe. A blunt knife can cause you to exert excess pressure on the knife to go through the wood. Get a good whittling knife. Also, make sure that you use the knife safely. Knife safety includes holding it the right way as you whittle. 

One last thing

Now we have covered where to buy wood for whittling and other things. You can buy whittling wood in hardware stores. But You can also buy it from online stores. What counts is knowing what you ought to be looking for. You may also like our article on Things to whittle out of a stick.

David D. Hughes

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