Draw Knife

Draw Knife

Every woodworker knows youre only as good as your tools; both in quality and variety, you need top of the line. A good draft knife will serve you well for years to come, helping you make some of your finer creations. With a sharp edge and comfortable grip, youll always look forward to working with it both as a hobbyist or a professional.

What is a draw knife used for?

Draw knives are used for carving off pieces of wood in order to shape a woodworking piece. Using a sharp blade controlled by handles on either side, the woodworker pulls down or "draws" the knife towards them, cutting through a thin strip of material in the process.

How sharp is the blade of a draw knife?

Draw knives have very sharp blades honed to a chisel bevel, meaning it is designed specifically for taking off large amounts of material at once. The bevel on a traditional draw knife is both smooth and somewhat rounded, helping to cut through wood smoothly with little force needing to be applied.

What kind of cuts can a draw knife make?

There are four primary types of cuts the draw knife is adept at making in a piece of material. Typically, youll want to make these cuts from a seated position using a vice, shaving horse, or other device to keep the piece of wood youre working with in place.

  • Straight: Straight cuts begin in the center of a piece and shave down to the end, taking off material in a straight line. This cut is good for evening out the sides of a piece of wood.
  • Concave: Concave cuts draw deep into the center of the material and lessen the closer they get to the end.
  • Convex: Convex cuts start shallow in the center and grow deeper as the blade approaches the end of the material.
  • Split: Split cuts are a more advanced technique and involve plunging the edge of the knife into the wood as deep as possible, then moving upward to try and flick the splinter off of the rest of the wood.
What is a shaving horse used for?

Given that a draw knife is meant to be used with two hands, there isnt a practical way for the woodworker to hold the piece of wood theyre sculpting while also using their knife. Additionally, as youre making cuts into the material toward your own body, using a drawknife can be very challenging if the piece of wood youre using is not secured. This makes a shaving horse ideal for the situation. Used as a place to sit while working equipped with a pedal-operated clamp, they keep the material in place while woodworkers sculpt with no fear of the piece coming loose.