My favorite avocation is carving, and I’ve built up a modest collection of tools to turn wood blocks into sculpture. The first tools I used when I started carving were standard ¾- and ½-inch Stanley bench chisels. I then added a set of seven carving tools from Power Grip: â…›-inch #10 gouge, ¼-inch #8 gouge, â…œ” #5 gouge, â…œ” #3 gouge, 5/16″ straight chisel, 5/16″ skew chisel and 1/4″ V-parting tool. These are smaller than the Stanley chisels, better suited for the small pieces that I carve. The gouges are very good at removing a large amount of wood quickly and are essential for carving out hollows. However, they don’t suffer abuse as well as the Stanley chisels. I also have a basic whittling knife that’s good for removing large amounts of wood and allows me to use a grip different from the one I use with the chisels. Switching between different grips helps me minimize the development of carpal tunnel syndrome.
The Carvin’ Jack fills yet a different niche in my work. The first is the addition of some new tools to my collection. In total the Carvin’ Jack includes six blades. Three of them, the gouge-scorp, the V-scorp and the hook knife are new to me and very useful. The gouge-scorp and the V-scorp both allow me to gouge or part using a whittling grip and motion. For some work this provides more control. The hook knife can be used to remove a lot of wood quickly or to carve wide shallow hollows.
The other three Carvin’ Jack tools are a standard whittling knife, a straight gouge and a chisel. Of these I use the whittling knife most often.
One of my favorite attributes of the Carvin’ Jack is that it’s much more portable than my chisels and Power Grip tools, and therefore the perfect tool to carry on the road. Everything’s in one place, and there are enough tools that I can do most of what I’d want. The Carvin’ Jack is also surprisingly light. This was a little disappointing at first but I grew to appreciate this feature. The tool isn’t an annoying weight in my pocket when I take it places. The tools on the Carvin’ Jack sit between the Stanley and Power Grip tools in terms of robustness.
I’m not aware of another tool like the Carvin’ Jack. I have other multitools, but nothing designed specifically for carving.