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Opinion on 2 Whittling Knives

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by CJBLUEBUCK, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. CJBLUEBUCK

    CJBLUEBUCK

    29
    May 6, 2015
    Hi, I am stuck between two knives the flex cut (single or set) or helvie (single or set). One problem with the helvie is I don't know which handle to choose also the helvie "set" is my max budget as where the flex cut "set" is half the price. I don't do much Whittling or carving and what I would do will be beginner to intermediate and may try once in a while some really difficult stuff. How well will each hold up to time?Are helvies really all the are cracked up to be? I am opened to suggestions on other brands like mora...ect

    Thank you in advanced
     
  2. BitingSarcasm

    BitingSarcasm

    Feb 25, 2014
    Flexcut knives are just fine. They take a sharp edge, hold it well, and it's easy to bring them back with some stropping. My oldest Flexcut is about 20 years old, and it still works well. Helvies have fancier handles, but I am usually looking at the blade. I don't use them, so I can't say anything about their quality in hand. What I can say is that I have never been carving something and said to myself, "I wish I had the more expensive knife." I haven't hit the limit of what I can do with my Flexcuts, but maybe someone more experienced will weigh in too.

    Blade shapes make a huge difference in the end result, particularly in the amount of finagling it takes to get there. Between the elongated handle and the bent teardrop handle I find the teardrop more comfortable; I don't like the palm tools, but I have long fingers and I may not have been using them right. You can do a lot with just a good chip-carving knife, but adding on a scorp, gouge, curved knife, and crooked knife will greatly expand your possibilities.

    The other (possibly) big expense is your sharpening kit. You can go big commercial, waterstones, or get out a homemade strop, but it's something to think about before you start. Some woods will just murder your edge and having a fast, reliable way to get it back means actually finishing projects.
     
    CJBLUEBUCK and Getting older like this.
  3. Getting older

    Getting older

    229
    Jan 3, 2016
    Always stay on budget.Just because they cost more doesn't always make them better,but you do get what you pay for.The flex cuts have a great reputation in and around my club.Number one rule,it's got to be comfortable in your hand,try before you by
     
    CJBLUEBUCK likes this.
  4. CJBLUEBUCK

    CJBLUEBUCK

    29
    May 6, 2015
    Thank you for your opinion and recommendation on the teardrop handle as I have large hands too. I will be going with the flexcut and in the future add gouges and scorps(do you have a brand you prefer?) As for sharpening what compound paste would work well with flexcut knives I use green for all my knives with pretty good results will that be the same with the flexcut's steel or will I need a 1 micron dmt paste?
     
  5. evilgreg

    evilgreg Why so serious? Gold Member

    Dec 25, 2012
    I have a couple of Helvies and they're nice knives. I thought the finger grooved handle would be a disaster, but it's not bad on the one I bought in that style and the knife is really nice looking with the layered handle.

    The Flexcut set I had was fine, though not one of my personal favorites.

    I'm an odd duck, though. I mostly carve with a couple of CS Tuff Lite knives that I've wrapped the handles on (the fugly black ones in the middle of this old picture of some of my carving tools at the time):

    [​IMG]

    I really like my Pfeil gouges and chisels. I enjoy buying and trying new knives, and I've bought at least a dozen dedicated whittling fixed blades of one sort or another, but I still keep ending up back with these in my hands:

    [​IMG]

    Clearly I have issues.
     
    jux t, CJBLUEBUCK and Getting older like this.
  6. BitingSarcasm

    BitingSarcasm

    Feb 25, 2014
    I use Flexcut scorps, my gouges were gifted from my Dad and don't have a brand on them. I picked up a Carving Jack off the exchange, it came with a nice selection of tool, and it seems to be what I use for scorps most often--it's more likely to be with me when I am out whittling. I use green compound, but for my carving knives I like to use it on basswood instead of leather. It might well be all in my head, but I feel like I get better results that way.

    I totally agree with evilgreg about the carving ability of the Tuff Lites. I have spent many hours at parks watching my kids play with a mini-Tuff in my hand, whittling away. The full size Tuff is great for larger tasks, stock removal goes quick, and de-barking is very precise. The mini was discontinued a while back, but for some reason BladeHQ got some back in stock, don't know how long they will have them. If I lost all my carving tools, the mini-Tuff is the first one I would replace.
     
    CJBLUEBUCK likes this.
  7. evilgreg

    evilgreg Why so serious? Gold Member

    Dec 25, 2012
    This is basically my main whittling set up, I use the full size Tuff Lite as my rough out knife, and the Mini Tuff Lite as my detail knife for almost everything. Occasionally I need a blade that isn't quite as tall, and I swap in the Helvie, Drake, or Deepwoods Ventures Draper but once that use case is over I'm usually right back to the CS folders again. They perform well, but there's something about the curve that stretches from the handle to the tip of the blade in one long sweep that just really works for me somehow.

    The ones I use on the back patio or the living room are the wrapped, bulked-up versions in black, but it's a bonus that I can toss a pair that still fold and a hunk of wood in my bag when I travel to whittle on the go as well.
     
    BitingSarcasm and CJBLUEBUCK like this.
  8. CJBLUEBUCK

    CJBLUEBUCK

    29
    May 6, 2015
    I actually have a mini tuff lite but Thanks for the heads up that bladehq has some I had no idea they discontinued it, I might pick up another one.
    That's a nice tool set you have there I like the modified mora's also good idea with the taped up Mini tuff lites their handle is a bit thin if I get another one I will try that.
     

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