Tools of the Trade
The common bench knife.
Here is an example of the most basic wood carving tool. There are hundreds of different models and makes to choose from. The one shown here is very plain. Others come with handles of various shapes and multiple colors. Each carver chooses their own style of knife, but every knife has to have a sharp cutting edge that takes off wood.
Useless carving tools:
To the left is an example of a useless carving tool. Note the little weight handle on the tool. Check the quality of the wood used in the handle. It must be sturdy to withstand hours of pressing and pushing. Next, not the collar which holds the bland on to the handle. It is a simple, cheap piece of light metal which will not stand up to the heavy work of removing wood. And finally, the worst problem of all, the blade itself. One can not see it in the picture, but the metal of the blade in such a tool is of the lowest quality. It may be possible to sharpen such a tool, but even if it does sharpen the edge will never hold for very long. Sharpening such a tool is a waste of time. Using this tool on any solid wood will immediately dull the blade resulting in poor cutting, damaged carvings, and great dissatisfaction for the carver.