Unlike other types of knives, hook knives for spoon carving are quite general. What works for some people is quite likely to work for others as well. The more positive reviews and recommendations it has, the more appropriate it will be. Be also mindful of whether they have a version suitable for your dominant hand.
However, no matter where you stand in this venture, you still need to do your homework. So, what are the best options we can find while hunting for the best hook knife for spoon carving? What kind of features make them stand out in the crowd?
If you are looking for general wood carving/whittling knives and what type of wood to choose from, check our buyer’s guide: 2020’s Best Wood Carving Knife
2020’s 3 Best Hook Knives for Spoon Carving
BeaverCraft Wood Carving Hook Knife SK1
Design – BeaverCraft is an upcoming European manufacturer that produces value for money tools for wood carving. Its best hook knife for spoon carving can also be used for other operations that require round and smooth carving. The design is simple, straightforward, and safe – lots of hand clearance to prevent accidents and injuries.
High-quality blade – The blade is built to last and take all the stress associated with wood carving. It is based on high carbon steel – not as durable as stainless steel, but can become way sharper. However, to overcome for the slight minus, BeaverCraft has hardened it to a higher firmness. The unit is super sharp out of the box.
Edge and durability – The edge is sharp and can cut through softwood with no issues at all. Cuts are clean, shiny, and smooth – there will be no rough edges left behind. The edge is so durable that you can also use it for more intense uses, such as dealing with hardwoods. Whether it is walnut, oak, or other type of hardwood, the blade will face no issues.
Handle – The handle must take some stress too. You will hold it for hours, so it must feel comfortable. Your hand will sweat a little too, so it should not slip out of your hand. This unit is made of oak, but it is also processed with natural linseed oil. You can use it for hours with no pains in your palm.
Maintenance and sizing – This knife will deal with hard materials, so it will need sharpening every now and then. Other than that, it requires no maintenance. If you have to clean it, do it with a soft clean cloth – no dishwasher cleaning. As for the size, it measures 6.5×1.2×0.8 inches. It is lightweight and comfy to hold.
- Can take both softwood and hardwood
- Made from ultra-sharp steel
- Comfortable and ergonomic handle
- Leaves smooth and shiny cuts behind
- Great customer support
- Available for both right-handed and left-handed persons.
- Dulls faster
Morakniv Wood Carving Hook Knife 164
Variety and package – Morakniv is one of the most reputable names out there when it comes to wood carving knives. You can buy it in a few different options. First, it makes no difference whether you are left or right-handed. Just choose the right orientation. Second, you can buy the knife by itself or you can get it in a package that also includes a leather sheath – mostly designed to protect the edge.
Curve and uses – Whether you get the right or the left-handed orientation, the knife is identical in features. It comes with a decent 0.5-inch radius curve, which will leave clear cuts behind. The blade is single-edged and allows pull cuts with one hand, as well as push cuts with the other hand. It is all about developing the right technique.
Versatility – While initially designed as a hook knife for spoon carving, you can use this tool for a plethora of other applications. It is great for cups and bowls, as well as any type of detailed relief work. Its design allows different types of movements as well, including both pushing and pulling cuts.
Blade quality – The blade is based on top-grade Swedish 12C27 stainless steel. It will resist corrosion and rust and it will maintain its edge sharpness for ages. The knife is razor sharp out of the box, so be careful when you take it out. Since it deals with hard materials, it will obviously require sharpening every now and then.
Handle and sizing – The handle is ergonomic and comfortable to use. It is made of oiled birch. It is well balanced and will not cause any discomfort or pains. The blade is 2.2 inches in length and 0.08 inches in thickness. Overall, the knife measures 6.7 inches and barely weighs a couple of ounces. It is lightweight and puts no strain on your hands.
- Both right and left-handed version available
- Top-notch Swedish steel used for the blade
- Comfortable oiled birch handle
- Great for various round cuts and applications
- Great edge retention
Elemental Tools Wood Spoon Carving Knife
Versatility – Whether you are new or experienced in wood carving, this knife will definitely add to your experience. While initially designed for spoon carving, it is just as handy for other round things, whether you are into cups, tools, bowls, and so on. It comes super sharp, so it can be used out of the box.
Package – Unlike other similar tools or sets, this one does not come with a sharpening element. However, you can do it yourself with a specialized tool to use for all your carving knives. Instead, you get a nice bamboo case to store your knife safely. It has a cushioned interior and a knife-shaped foam for safe storage.
Blade – The blade is made of high-quality carbon steel – 65MN. This type of steel is excellent at achieving an impressive sharpness. It will also retain it for a long time, especially considering the rough action they go through. It is not as rust and corrosion resistant as stainless steel, but a little maintenance will overcome this minus.
Handle – The handle is ergonomic and feels comfortable. You will put lots of pressure on it with the palm of your hand, but you can still go on for hours. Furthermore, the black walnut handle is also good looking and its round edges will fit perfectly in your hand. The whole knife is well put together and feels sturdy.
Maintenance – The bamboo case coming with this knife will certainly keep it in great condition. However, if you have a large set of wood carving knives, you can also store this one along. Just like you may know already, it could use a few strokes every 15 to 30 minutes as you carve. As for cleaning it, never do it in a dishwasher.
- Good looking design
- Comes with a bamboo case for protection and storage
- Excellent handle
- Suitable for right-handed people only
2020’s Best Spoon Carving Tools Sets
Dugato Wood Carving Tools Set for Spoon Carving
Quality standards – Dugato has managed to come up with one of the most complete sets of knives for spoon carving out there. While you can buy the hook knife for spoon carving individually as well, the set is more cost-efficient and brings in the same quality standards for all pieces.
Full package – There are five different pieces in this set. First, you got three knives – a detail knife, a roughing knife, and a cutting knife. Second, you have a tools roll, which works like a pouch – it can store your entire set. Finally, you have a leather and polishing compound for care and maintenance.
Build and design – Each knife comes with the same high-quality standards. The manufacturer has relied on top-grade stainless steel. Not only can it resist corrosion and rust, but knives are also razor-sharp and will retain their edges for a long time. Sharpening the tools, later on, is just as easy.
Handles – All knives come with ergonomic handles. They are easy to use and comfortable on your palms. After all, holding them for hours could cause discomfort – not anymore. All handles are based on hardwood oak. They are not just good looking, but they can also resist overtime. They are processed with natural linseed oil too.
Convenience and maintenance – The set is easy to use and chances are you will get used to each knife from day one. Knives are built with professional standards in mind, so they are suitable for both beginners and professionals. When it comes to maintenance, make sure you sharpen them accordingly. They do not need washing unless they get soiled – never in a dishwasher.
- Full package with everything you need for spoon carving
- All knives are made from durable stainless steel
- Ergonomic and comfortable handles
- Big range of wood carving activities covered
- Cheap spoon carving tools set
- Poor customer support
- Dulls faster
- Suitable for only right handed people
BeaverCraft S13 Spoon Carving Tools Set
Full package – BeaverCraft has specialized in full sets for wood carving and this one is among the top-rated options on the market. Just like you have probably guessed already, the hook knife for spoon carving is the main element. Other than that, you have a chip carving knife and a sloyd knife, not to mention the leather strop and the polishing compound. A bunch of free ebooks also come with the purchase.
Versatile – It is excellent for spoons, but you can also use it to carve bowls, cups, and other rounded edges. The cut is incredibly smooth and shiny. There will be no square or sharp edges left behind whatsoever.
Build – All blades are made of high carbon steel. High carbon steel is not as durable as stainless steel in terms of edge retention. However, when working on such hard materials, the edge will require regular sharpening anyway. What really matters here is the sharpness and carbon steel can reach incredibly sharp edges.
Handles – Handles are made of hardwood. Not only do they look good altogether, but they are also thick enough to feel comfortable. There will be no pressure on your palms, so you can go on for hours without feeling any pains. While not textured, the wood is less likely to slip out of your hands if they get sweaty.
Maintenance – There is a sharpening kit to be used for the blades. When it comes to wood carving, you might need a few strokes every half an hour – more or less, depending on what you carve. Other than that, knives will not require cleaning, unless they get soiled. Do it manually and never in a dishwasher.
- Comes with a full set and extra accessories
- Large and comfortable handles
- Made to be durable
- Great customer support
- Edge retention is average
- Suitable only for right-handed persons.
There is a deluxe version of the S13 spoon carving set at around 50% higher price point. The handles are made of black walnut. It comes with a high-quality genuine leather pouch as well. Unfortunately, just like the s13 set, it is built for only right-handed people.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you use a hook knife?
You need to start on a piece of wood and come up with a cavity. From that point on, it is common sense. Deepen the cavity and enlarge it, but try to maintain everything symmetrical. You can pull the knife towards you, but you can also push it out for finer refinements.
Here is a good tutorial by Kevin Zorn
How do you sharpen a hook knife?
You will need to do each side at a time. Most commonly, these knives have one sharp edge. Once you are done sharpening it, make sure you give it a nice polish. It will help you keep your cuts clean and shiny. You can use multiple tools to sharpen a hook knife – whatever you have around will do. It does, indeed, take more time than a classic straight knife.
We cover this topic in our guide: How to Sharpen Wood Carving Knives
Do I have to sharpen my hook knife while carving?
It depends on your project, as well as how much time you spend on it. Some professional carvers give their knives a few strokes every 15 minutes or half an hour, only to keep their edges sharp throughout the carving process. Keep in mind that you are dealing with hard materials, so edges are more likely to go dull fast.
What kind of curvature do I need?
Generally speaking, the curvature varies from one hook knife to another. Choosing the right hook knife for spoon carving depends on your level of experience. A tight curve will usually come with a short blade. This type of design is more suitable for beginners. They are easy to use, but the final result is a bit plowed. You can use sandpaper to sort the issue out. The above-mentioned knives are somewhere in the middle range – suitable to both beginners and experienced carvers except the dugato set. If you are serious Mora 164 is what we recommend.
What can I do with a spoon carving knife?
The obvious answer is spoons. Such knives are designed to help you work on wood though. They have a round – more or less tight – curvature, which means your cuts will be round and smooth. You can use such a knife to carve bowls and pretty much anything else that is round. When creating spoons, you will obviously need other tools for the handles as well.
There are more options out there, as well as lots of different brands. Stick to a reputable name and a product with lots of positive reviews and recommendations. Pay attention to your personal needs as well, especially your hand preference. What kind of projects do you have in mind? Some blades are more suitable for tight cuts, while others provide wide and smooth results – ideal for large projects. A gradually tightening blade might make a good all in one option too.
If you are still confused, we recommend choosing from Mora 164 or Beavercraft SK1 based on your budget.