Q&A: Need pointers on tools

Hi folks! My name is Doug (although it says Ronnie). I am a noob to all this save for whittling when I was in boy scouts (yes, I got my eagle scout badge). Anyway, I’m looking for advice on chisel and carvers. I also want a rotary tool. I am under the impression that dremel is an ideal tool, but I want to know what people think of “the most realistic opinion” since I heard that dremel statement many years ago. I know that I am a beginner of all beginners! So if I say something stupid, chalk it up to a crazy vet and his cute noobness hahaha. Thanks in advance for the consideration of my query.

Ronnie D. Farmer


All tools have their place but for me the dremel is at the bottom of the list. Sharp knives and gouges are my preferred tools.
Depending on the project, rough out with a chainsaw, angle grinder (flap discs and/or carvers) then gouges and knives. But it really depends on what you cut you are looking to make. The rotary cutters are great for getting in to small or awkward areas but the cut can be quite rough


Hi Doug,
I know some people like Dremel’s but I’ve had one for over 25 years and perhaps have used it a half dozen times, I like the versatility of the flexible shaft Fordeom it’s more expensive but it’s more powerful and can go in reverse when needed, it gives you the capability of just changing hand pieces for quick changing of bits. as far as hand carving and carving gouges I suggest the list Mary May has, she also has a free basic courses for free. https://www.marymaycarving.com/carvingschool/category/tools/

woodworking classes, custom furniture maker

I, too, have had a Foredom for years. One of its claims to fame is the ability to run quarter inch shafts, as well as smaller ones. I’ve hogged off a lot of material with carbide bits.