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Best Wood For Carving

Are You Looking for the Best Wood for Carving?

Carving wood is a creative and rewarding craft that anyone can enjoy. It may seem intimidating at first, but it's easy to learn the basics of wood carving. With patience and practice, you'll soon be crafting beautiful sculptures out of wood!

We know it’s not always easy to decide on the best material, so we decided to take a deeper look and share with you some of our knowledge. So let's get into it! Throughout this article, we will discuss what makes a wood good for carving and our personal recommendations for woods to carve.

Best Wood for Carving

What Makes a Wood Good for Carving?

The characteristics that make up good wood for carving are key in determining where you should start your search. You want a wood that is durable, stable, slightly soft but strong enough to hold its shape while being carved. Some of the most important qualities include:

  • Texture: Look for woods that have an even texture with minimal warping or splitting.
  • Grain: You want a wood with a tight grain pattern so that it is easier to carve.
  • Weight: You want a wood that is lightweight enough to be easily manipulated but heavy enough to keep its shape when carved.

Now that you know what to look for...

What is the Best Wood for Carving?

There are many fantastic woods for carving! Several of our staff members are wood carvers so we picked their brains and narrowed down our top 4 choices: 


This very popular and versatile wood is perfect for carving because of its even texture and light weight. It’s also relatively soft, making it easy to cut into detailed shapes without too much effort.

Basswood for Carving


A beautiful and unique member of the Walnut family, Butternut has an attractive light brown color and grain pattern that is perfect for creating intricate carvings. It’s also lightweight, making it ideal for sculpting.

Butternut Wood for Carving


Known for its beautiful reddish-brown hue, Cherry wood has a tight grain pattern which makes it well-suited to detailed carving projects. It’s also strong enough to hold its shape while being carved.

Cherry Wood for Carving


Although this wood is denser than the previous options, it is very popular for more advanced woodcarvers. The grain can be spectacular and can be described as having striking chatoyance giving the illusion that the wood surface is moving.

Mahogany for Carving

What is an Easy Wood to Carve?

Now that you know some of the best woods for carving, here are a few easy options that you can start with if you’re just getting into wood carving. These woods tend to be softer and easier to carve than other varieties, making them great choices for beginners or those who are just starting out.

1) We recommend all new wood carvers begin their carving journey with Basswood. Depending on the style of the wood carving project, we offer thin boards for relief carving and thicker blocks for sculpture carving.

2) Our second favourite easy wood to carve would be Butternut. We offer a variety of Carving Wood blanks that are sure to be perfect for any project.

If you find yourself going through a lot of carving wood, our recommendation is to purchase boards in bulk. We are happy to offer our customers quantity discounts on our Rough Cut Lumber Packs.

Whether you’re an experienced carver or just getting into the craft, you’ll find that there are plenty of excellent options when it comes to choosing the right type of wood for your project. By taking into account the weight and grain pattern of different woods, you can find one that suits your needs perfectly. We hope this article has given you a better understanding of which woods are best suited for carving, as well as what types are easy to work with if you’re just getting started. Happy carving!

Order the Best Wood for Carving from KJP

Whether you're seeking the perfect piece of hardwood for intricate designs or sturdy timber for larger projects, KJP Select Hardwoods has you covered. With our extensive selection of species, we offer the best options for carving wood online. Each piece of wood is carefully sourced and hand-selected, ensuring the highest level of quality and beauty. When you buy carving wood from KJP Select Hardwoods, you can trust that you're investing in exceptional materials that will elevate your craftsmanship to new heights.


Buy Wood Carving Blanks

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