From DT Online



Gouges are similar to Chisels but the blades are curved in cross-section (i.e. ‘fluted’ along their length).

Features and Applications

Gouges may be ground and sharpened in the inside of the curve in which case they are known as Paring Gouges and can be used for taking shavings out of concave shapes.

If ground and sharpened on the outside if the curve, they are known as Firmer Gouges and often used with a Mallet to carve out hollow forms.

Safety Point! As when using Wood Chisels always hold the work securely using a Vice or Cramp and always have both hands behind the cutting edge (i.e. either both on the Gouge or one on the Gouge and one on the Mallet if used)

Paring Gouge (aka Scribing Gouge or Incannel Gouge) These ground on the inside of the curved blade and are often used for shaping across the ends of timber by placing the workpiece flat on scrap timber then holding the gouge with both hands and pushing down to cut the shape required - a process known as Vertical Paring
Firmer Gouge (aka Carving Gouge or Outcannel Gouge) These are ground on the outside of the curved blade and are usually used in conjunction with a Mallet to carve out hollow forms (e.g. to make a Treen bowl for example)
Wood Carving Tools Wood Carving tool sets include a wide range of gouges, chisels and knives used to create sculptural forms, Relief Carving, Incised Lettering and Treen work for example.
Woodturning Tools Gouges for woodturning are invariably Firmer Gouges and used generally for roughing out turned shapes. Woodturning tools are characterised by long and strong handles such that they can be firmly gripped during this high-speed wood shaping process. Gouges are usually complemented by Skew Chisels, Parting Chisels, and Scrapers to create turned articles.

Safety Point! Woodturning is a high-speed process in which sharp tools are held by hand in close proximity to a powerful revolving machine. It is essential that all loose hair and clothing is tied in and that eye protection is worn. Do not use loose rags to apply polish and ensure the work is held securely.

DT Online Buyers' Guide
Firmer Gouges Paring Gouges Round Edge Slipstone Wood Carving Chisel Set Wood Turning Gouge
Firmer Gouges Paring Gouges Round Edge Slipstone Wood Carving Chisel Set Wood Turning Gouge