What kind of saw do I need to carve?

This article will not be based entirely on chainsaws, and that’s because we won’t be talking about cutting down trees, or even turning those trees into timber. Instead we’ll be talking about what happens next to the timber. What must happen to turn a pile of wood into a cupboard, or a table, or a chair, or a sculpture? The answer is that it has to be carved.

Within this article, we’ll be discussing what carving is, as well as the best tools that you can use to be able to get the job done of efficiently as possible, with possible recommendations.

What is carving?

Carving with chainsaw

Carving is the process of turning something (something, solid that is) into something else. Whilst this article will be focused on wood carving, there are plenty of other materials that can be carved. When you look at the marble sculptures of Michaelangelo, you can see how much skill and dedication it takes to turn a lump from nature into something beautiful. You have to have a full understanding of all of the curves and details of the image you want to produce, and be able to use whatever tools you have to turn it into said image.

But even everyday things such as chairs and tables need to be carved.

Table Saw

The first tool that you can use to carve is a table saw. This is, believe it or not, a type of saw that sits on a table. You can find them in any environment where woodwork takes places. Unlike other types of saws, the blades of a table saw are round, this means they are able to spin at incredibly high speeds, which can enable you to cut slabs of wood with absolute smoothness. However, whilst table saws are great at making general cuts, they aren’t too good at the intricate details.

Rockwell BladeRunner X2 Portable Tabletop Saw

What kind of saw do I need to carve

The table saw I’m going to recommend to you is the Rockwell BladeRunner X2. It’s an easy to use, and very easy to set up saw, that isn’t confined to one place, so you can take it with you wherever you go. It has an incredibly fast blade that can turns at 3000 revs per minute. It also comes with a blade cover, and an emergency off switch for added safety. And on top of all that, it comes with a 3 year manufacturer’s warranty.

It has a super sleek and appealing design as well.

Jig Saw

Some carvers however, will want something for the intricate details. Perhaps you want the lines to be wavy. Or perhaps you want to carve out some letters. Or maybe you want to cut out a specific shape. To do this, a good tool to use would be the jig saw. And I’m not talking about the puzzle or the 2017 horror movie.

A jig saw is a bit like a chainsaw in the sense that it’s a portable, motor powered saw. However, the blade is only an inch or so long, and instead of spinning round a bar, it just moves up and down.



The Jig Saw that I will be recommending is this beauty from Black and Decker. Not only does it cut with ease, it’s also very easy to operate. The blade can be changed without the need for any tools. The dust blower (which is built in) will prevent saw dust from clogging it up, and getting in the way of your work.

All you need to do to operate it is to hold down the on button and get to work. It’s very light weight at only 5 pounds, so anybody will be able to operate it.


Another tool that many people like to use when it comes to carving is the chainsaw. The chainsaw is actually the ideal tool for those who wish to create statue like sculptures out of wood. It’s not very easy at all, and it will take years of training. But once you’ve got the hang of it, you can create some of the most amazing sculptures. You can create animals, people, and even furniture using nothing but a chainsaw.

You can see chainsaw carvers in action at many fairs and fetes across the world. If you have the skill you may as well show it off.

Whilst in theory someone who is skilled enough could pick up any chainsaw and create artwork with it, in reality, there are certain criteria that a chainsaw needs to meet to be able to be used for carving.

Firstly, it needs to have low kickback. This means when you use it, it won’t bounce off the wood. Not only will this improve your personal safety, but it will also ensure that you can get the exact lines you’re after.

It also needs to be powerful to ensure the smoothness of the cuts. You don’t want a lovely piece ruined by being covered in splinters.

MS 192 C-E Carving chainsaw

MS 192 C-E Carving chainsaw

One such saw would be this one from Stihl.

Stihl are a well established company with a reputation for creating brilliant chainsaws, which are ideal for anyone who needs to cut down a tree.

However, this one is not for cutting down trees but for turning them into art. It’s very light, which makes it easy to pick up and use. It has low vibration and low kickback for ultimate control. The small teeth means that you can get all of the details that you need to.
But that’s not to day you need a special carving chainsaw to carve with a chainsaw.


There is no magic want or wizard when it comes to turning a fallen tree into a table. There is only skilled people with the right equipment. What type of tool you need will depend on what sort of carving you wish to do. If you want to cut straight lines, you’ll be needing a table saw. If you want to cut shapes or patterns, you’ll need a jigsaw. And if you want to create a sculpture, then you’ll be needing a chainsaw.

But all of them require time to learn them, and even more time to master them.

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