Top 7 Best Electric Wood Carving Tools in 2022

Some wood carving enthusiasts believe that true artists should never use power tools when carving wood.

You can’t do without them if you have large-scale projects that have tight delivery windows, but don’t just settle for any odd device.

Our list of wood carving tools includes a buyer’s guide to making your job easier.

Our Top Picks

Best Electric Wood Carving Tools

1. WEN 2305 Rotary Tool Kit with Flex Shaft

WEN 2305 Rotary Tool Kit with Flex Shaft

In the beginning, Wen was viewed with skepticism, but since then their range of rotary tools has become a favorite among woodcarvers.

It has everything you need: it cuts, sands, shapes, drills, deburrs, polishes, and grinds wood all at once.

It comes with 80 accessories, which are essential for these tasks – making your job easier.

One of these features that you’ll appreciate is the detachable flex shaft, which allows you to make more precise cuts and engravings when working on large projects.

There were some negative reviews of this carving machine before testing it, but it actually goes from 8,000 to 30,000 RPM with the aid of an adjustable speed button, which many critics overlooked.

There is a major advantage to this electric wood carver, which is that some Dremel bits can be used with it.

It isn’t as solid as more popular brands, so it heats up faster. However, if you are a beginner and paying a fraction of the price, this is a good device to start out with.

What We Liked Most

  • Flex shaft extension
  • It comes with 80 accessories
  • Very affordable option
  • Adjustable speed control

What Could Be Improved

  • Some brands get hotter faster than this one

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2. Dremel 8220-1/28

Dremel 8220-1/28

A brand like Dremel requires little introduction. Electric carving tools for wood have become synonymous with Dremel products. 

With the Dremel 8220, you can cut, engrave, sand, polish, and sharpen. Even though it is battery-operated, it is sensitive enough to handle even the most demanding wood carving tasks.

The 12V lithium-ion battery can be charged in as little as one hour, and the rotary tool runs at 30,000 RPM, just as fast as corded competitors.

It is also lightweight, so handling it is not a hassle. However, you may choose to add a flexible shaft attachment to give yourself more control.

Although this rotary tool is only equipped with 28 accessories, you can use all Dremel bits with it, which makes it easier to complete complex tasks.

Dremel’s patented EZ twist nose cap makes changing bits easy, but it can be challenging for large jobs.

This rotary tool runs on batteries, so you won’t get the same results as corded alternatives. It’s best for working remotely or for short tasks.

What We Liked Most

  • It has a powerful motor
  • It is compatible with all Dremel accessories
  • The battery charges in just one hour
  • It comes with a two-year warranty

What Could Be Improved

  • The battery won’t work for large projects
  • You need to buy the flex shaft separately

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3. Foredom K.5240

Foredom K.5240

Foredorm SR series is the next product on our list of wood power carving tools, as it deserves to be in a class all its own. It has a 1/16 horsepower motor, 1.7 amps, and 115 volts, which means it can tackle large projects with ease.

This rotary tool uses a foot-controlled speed control to keep your hands free while you work, even though the top speed is only 18,000 RPM.

There’s no doubt that the build quality feels premium, which is not surprising given the price. The No.44T handpiece is easy to use, and you can attach a 14-inch bit if you need the process to go even faster.

When working on large projects, rotary tools tend to stall or overheat if they are used continuously for hours; however, the Foredom does not have this problem.

This is great for very strong hardwood floors, since the motor won’t burn out. You can alternate between forward and reverse movement, which is a great feature.

If you are left-handed, reverse movement can help produce smoother results, especially when polishing.

Although so much power must come with a downside: the amount of dust this rotary tool produces. Running in reverse can reduce the amount of dust flying into your face, but a dust collector is still necessary.

What We Liked Most

  • It has a very strong motor
  • Interchangeable handpiece
  • You can attach larger accessories
  • It works seamlessly on hardwoods

What Could Be Improved

  • It kicks up a lot of dust
  • It is pricey for beginners

Buy on Amazon

4. GOXAWEE rotary tool kit

GOXAWEE rotary tool kit

This power carver is great for beginners! To get the most out of your power tool, you can play with the Goxawee rotary tool kit.

There are 140 accessories included with this wooden carving kit, so it can do everything from polishing, grinding, engraving, sanding, cutting, deburring, drilling, and shaping.

The shaft is slim and flexible, with a light yet stable design. When it comes to power, the shaft is powerful with 8,000 to 30,000 RPM. The speed knob is adjustable, too.

It has a universal chuck that makes changing bits easy, and it accepts a wider variety of accessories than most rotary tools, beginning at 1/64″ down to 18″.

This electric wood carving kit may not be as versatile as some other carving tools, but it works wonderfully for small craftworks or beginner wood carving projects.

Using it for long periods of time may also cause it to overheat and wear out its bits. All in all, this is an excellent electric wood carving tool for beginners.

What We Liked Most

  • It comes with a lot of accessories
  • It has a flexible shaft
  • It is compatible with a wide range of shanks
  • They have excellent customer service

What Could Be Improved

  • It cannot handle strong woods
  • It may overheat with prolonged use

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5. Dremel Lite 7760

Dremel Lite 7760

Dremel electric carving tools for wood have a lot to love, but they often appear to be out of reach for beginners. The Dremel Lite 7760 certainly has changed that.

If you work primarily on basswood or any softwood, this electric power carving tool will be perfect for you.

It’s one of the lightest rotary tools you’ll find at 1.29 pounds, but with just a flick of your thumb you can deliver up to 25,000 RPM. This is the most power you’ll find from a tool this light.

It comes with only ten accessories, but all Dremel accessories and attachments are compatible.

A shank size of 18″ may not be as strong as some others, but it’s enough for beginners to handle carving, sanding, drilling, polishing, shaping, and engraving tasks.

The lithium-ion battery is rechargeable in under three hours. It has an LED light that appears when the battery is low. While wood carving enthusiasts may be disappointed by the short battery life, which can be disappointing, otherwise, this product is highly recommended.

What We Liked Most

  • Very lightweight
  • Works with all Dremel accessories
  • Small but powerful
  • Very portable

What Could Be Improved

  • Short battery life
  • It only comes with 10 accessories

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6. Dremel 4300-5/40

Dremel 4300-5/40

Dremel 4000 and Dremel 4300 were a toss-up for the last Dremel on our list. We ultimately went with the 4300, which is the more expensive upgrade, but worth every penny!

This version has five attachments, including a pivot light, which lets you see more clearly in tight corners.

A550 shield rotary attachment protects your face from flying debris, regardless of whether you strike metal accidentally or deliberately.

It gives you the kind of controlled cuts you can only get with a router. The sanding and grinding guides are also useful attachments that come with the kit.

The 4300 can also be used with all Dremel attachments and accessories. Although a larger tool kit includes 9 attachments and 64 accessories, this basic kit comes with 40 accessories that are sufficient for most tasks.

A few of the standard features include an EZ nose cap that makes changing accessories a breeze, variable speed up to 35,000 RPM, and an airflow system that eliminates heat build-up.

This product is great, but we wish it was a bit smaller to make it easier to hold.

What We Liked Most

  • It comes with useful attachments
  • Compatible with all Dremel accessories and attachments
  • It has replaceable motor brushes
  • Powerful motor

What Could Be Improved

  • It is a bit bulky
  • It comes with some accessories you may not need

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7. Kutzall Extreme Shaping Disc

Kutzall Extreme Shaping Disc

A Kutzall Extreme Shaping Dish is the tool you need for removing large chunks of wood and shaping it simultaneously. Rotary tools are great tools to carve wood, but they’re not the only ones.

The abrasive tungsten carbide attachment works wonders when it comes to trimming, contouring, and flattening even the toughest woods.

People who are interested in chainsaw carving but want something less risky can try an extreme shaping dish.

The other rotary tools on our list offer shaping accessories, but they lack the speed, power, and size of the Kutzall.

The only disadvantage is that it can’t be used on smaller projects because of its lack of precision.

You can clean this extreme shaping disc by blow torching it or using a soft wire brush to remove any wood debris stuck between the teeth.

What We Liked Most

  • It gives a smooth finish with or against the grain
  • Easy to mount
  • Easy to clean
  • Works with a range of angle grinders

What Could Be Improved

  • It can only work on large projects

Buy on Amazon

How to Choose the Best Power Carving Tools for Wood

There are so many great power wood carving tools to choose from that it can be hard to narrow the choices down. After all, your needs might be different from others.

Here are the four main factors you should consider when choosing the best electric wood carving tool.

Features/Accessories

To determine what you need the tool for, consider whether you are a beginner or a seasoned professional, and whether you are carving for pleasure, or for business.

Are you only looking for a tool to perform routine tasks such as sanding, shaping, and engraving, or do you require something that has the capability of cutting huge chunks of timber in half and creating a dazzling design for river tables?

When you’re not sure what it’s for, or you need it for a variety of carving techniques, get one with many attachments.

A powerful corded device will work best on hardwoods. A cordless rotary tool will work well on softwoods.

Ease of Use

This is an essential feature that both newbies and professionals need to look for when shopping for power carving tools. No matter how fantastic a tool is, it is useless if you cannot use it efficiently.

It is easy to use a variety of tools, but different people are attracted to different features, for instance, cordless rotary tools are great for remote areas.

Alternatively, some people might find that a corded device provides uninterrupted working time more convenient.

The size, weight, and position of the buttons also affect how maneuverable it is and whether you need a wrench to swap bits.

Motor

All rotary tool manufacturers emphasize the motor’s strength. Why? Because a motor acts as the engine of the device, much like the engine in a car. Hence, the best power carving tools have the best motors.

If the motor brushes are easy to replace, they will last longer and can handle a lot of strain. If the motor can handle a lot of strain, the motor may be able to handle it.

It is possible to misperceive motor performance by comparing the Foredom and the Wen by comparing their speed.

On paper, the Wen is faster, but the Foredom is faster at lower RPMs, and it can work on any wood type. If the motor cannot handle the heat, speed does not matter.

Durability

It is important to know that the motor, which is usually the most expensive component, will last at least several years when you spend hundreds of dollars.

The accessories for most rotary tools aren’t as durable, but they’re relatively inexpensive to replace. If there is some negative feedback about a Dremel that comes with bits that wear out, don’t let it deter you from getting one.

The type and length of the warranty is more important than the price. Most of the tools on this list come with two-year warranties.

Price

The cost of a Foredom is absolutely justified for a professional carving enthusiast making a decent monthly income.

A lower-end model like the Wen or Goxawee should suffice if you need to carve animals out of basswood for your crafts store.

Types of Power Wood Carving Tools

Our list includes only two of the literally dozens of available power tools and electric woodcarving tools. First, we would like to explain why only two are featured in our list.

Rotary tools

There are two types of rotary tools: the basic and the cut-out. Understanding these two types will help us choose the best rotary tool.

A rotary tool can be used for engraving, carving, sanding, shaping, polishing, cutting, drilling, and many other tasks. These tools are made for both DIYers and professionals. They are also less bulky and easier to operate.

A cut-out rotary tool, on the other hand, is designed to cut and shape a variety of construction materials, but cannot perform precision work like carving, shaping, or sanding. These tools have a motor which runs at 3 to 5 amps.

Router

You can use routers to cut patterns and carve designs on different types of wood. If you make furniture, they are a great tool to have.

The router is useful for carving wood, but its size lends it more to large projects.

Electric wood carving chisel

A wood carving chisel is a great tool that is often faster and more effective than a traditional chisel.

There are usually various sizes of chisels and gouges included in an electric wood carving chisel.

Shaping discs

In essence, a shaping disc is not a power carving tool, but it is attached to one. Traditional carving leaves boxy designs, and it can take a long time to complete a design.

Using an extreme shaping disc on an angle grinder can quickly remove large quantities of wood and carve into it, similar to using a gouge.

What Makes Basic Rotary Tools Perfect?

Besides power carving tools, there are also sanding and polishing systems, carving chainsaws, and wood burners.

They lack the simplicity and ease of use of a simple rotary tool, which is dexterous and easy to use.

You can also use basic rotary tools to accomplish most of what other tools can do by attaching the right accessories to them. For example, a chisel bit replaces an electric chisel, and a pair of bits can do the same job as a shaping disc.

You might not be able to carve as quickly with them, but they will still do the job.

As a result, it is crucial to consider what type of wood carving you are going to do when buying a power carving tool.

Types of Wood Carving Projects

Here are some wood carving ideas for beginners:

Carving in the round

An example of carving in the round would be to carve around a piece of wood to create a life-like design.

There is no flat back panel in relief carving, as this type of carving requires staining, painting, or even burning to achieve an aesthetic finish.

Carving in the round involves using more different tools than other carving techniques. All the tools you’ll need (besides finishing) will be found in a rotary tool.

For mainly this purpose, get a basic rotary device with all the attachments and accessories you need.

Whittling

A whittler mainly uses wood-whittling knives to carve objects out of wood. There are no other hand tools, such as chisels, gouges, or v-tools, and certainly, no power tools involved.

It’s also not a good idea to use sandpaper when whittling. You want to see the knife marks when you’re done carving.

You can get the whittled look on a rotary tool with a cutting accessory. Yes, it’s cheating, but some rules were meant to be broken.

If you’re interested in getting one of the best whittling sets for beginners, check out this post.

Chip carving

In this type of wood carving, the hand tools are named after the style in which it is done. Chip carving is achieved by making several cuts or chips of wood to create the desired pattern.

As with whittling, you shouldn’t use electric woodcarving tools when carving patterns. Shapes are usually geometric shapes like triangles, circles, rectangles, and squares.

It is argued, however, that rotary tools make neater, straighter cuts than chip carving knives.

Relief carving

Using this technique, you carve a shape out of a flat panel of wood, so it appears to float over the piece of wood. This allows you to create three-dimensional figures instead of carving around the wood.

The relief carving process is like chip carving on steroids. Instead of straight lines and gentle chips, there are deep gouges and lots of curves.

Wood carving that is called relief carving is classified according to the depth of the cut and can be done more easily, more quickly, and better with rotary tools than by freehand.

Pyrography

The art of pyrography is the drawing of designs on wood with fire. Another name for pyrography is wood burning.

There is no formal definition for Pyrography, and some people don’t even consider it to be one type of wood carving. Pyrography is usually done as the final stage of a completed project, so you will probably need power carving tools in order to complete it.

Chainsaw carving

It’s like pyrography except it’s a lot safer. Chainsaws are the primary tool needed, but a shaping disc might work as well.

A rotary tool is not necessary for this type of wood carving.

Other Types of Wood Carving Tools

Power carving tools are great, but they aren’t the best tool for every situation. There are circumstances where traditional wood carving tools are more effective.

The four most common types are listed below.

Wood Carving knives

The purpose of knives is to whittle, chip, and carve in the round. The most common types of knives are:

  • Chip carving knife 
  • Sloyd knife 
  • Bench knife
  • Hook knife
  • Skew knife

With the right knife, you’ll be able to remove large chunks of wood faster than you can with a power carving tool.

Wood Carving Chisels

A chisel is an extremely efficient tool and is great for large wood carvings. They can lop off large chunks of wood with one blow, therefore speeding up what can be a long process.

You probably already own a carpenter’s chisel (also known as a #1 sweep chisel). A skew chisel (also known as a #1S sweep chisel) is used for carving wood as well.

Even with chisel accessories for your rotary, it’s worth having both types.

Wood Carving Gouges

Wood carving tools such as gouges are simply as important as knives, especially if you are carving reliefs.

The advantage of gouges over chisels is that you can use them on flat surfaces, and some gouges are capable of handling some of the tasks that chisels are capable of.

Again, it is worthwhile to have the full range of sweeps from #2 to #11. Gouges are defined by their depth of curve.

V-tools

There is also a v-tool in the same category as chisels and gouges. A v-tool is a v-shaped cutting tool used for making stop cuts, sharpening definitions, and adding texture.

Power carving can be complemented with V-tools as parting tools.

Safety Tips and Reminders When Using a Power Carving Tool

For your safety and that of passersby, here are some very important things to keep in mind when carving wood, especially when using a rotary tool.

  1. The use of a shaping disc or any accessory that produces wood chips should always be done with a face shield or goggles.
  2. Always wear a face mask when sanding. Wood dust can cause respiratory infections, so you should take precautions. A dust collector can be useful as well.
  3. As a precautionary measure, always work in a ventilated area. This will help prevent you from inhaling smoke or wood dust.
  4. Safety gloves should be worn when drilling or cutting with a rotary tool, as well as when using carving tools like knives and chisels.
  5. If you have long hair, tie it up or cover it if it is loose or can get caught in the bits.
  6. You should never abuse rotary tools. Use them for the purpose they are intended for, as stated by the manufacturer. Make sure the rotary tool is on before you place it on the wood.
  7. Be sure to turn off your tools before leaving the workshop when you aren’t using them.
  8. Electrical overloads are dangerous because power tools consume a lot of power, so you don’t want to connect a lot of them to the same outlet.
  9. The use of power carving tools generates a lot of heat, and wood is flammable, so accidents happen. Bring a fire extinguisher and a bowl of water with you at all times.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Dremel tools good for wood carving?

It is true that Dremel tools are excellent for wood carving. Dremel tools are considered the gold standard when it comes to power carving tools. What makes Dremel tools great is their solid build and the wide range of accessories they have.

Which Dremel is best for carving?

The best Dremel for carving depends on what kind of carving you’re doing and whether you are carving for fun or for business. The Dremel 4000 is a powerful tool that’s ideal for professionals.

What wood carving tools should a beginner use?

Beginners will need a rotary tool, carving knives, chisels, and gouges in order to carve wood. With these tools, you can carve any type of wood you want as a beginner. For example, you can use a Lloyd knife to carve in the round or a chip carving knife to carve chips.

How difficult is wood carving?

A variety of templates, tutorials, and tools are available online for beginners to learn wood carving. You are able to complete your first project quickly with a decent result.

What are the best power carving tools for wood carving?

Generally, a basic rotary tool is the best power carving tool for wood carving. A Dremel is the most popular rotary tool. All rotary tools come with attachments and accessories that let you carry out a variety of carving techniques. The Foredom SR might be the best power carving tool for professionals.

Nothing Makes Wood Carving Easier

A power carving tool is the best thing that has ever happened to modern woodcarvers. They make the craft more accessible, especially to people who don’t have the time to practice knife skills for hours at a time.

There are some wood carving tools that are better than others. One of the best electric wood carving tools is the Dremel 4300-5/40. It comes with everything you need, making it a great choice for beginners and experts alike.

In spite of how much we love Foredom, only professionals should consider it.

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