When it comes to whittling, you will need a knife.
After my first experience making something out of wood, I began to beg for a real knife, and when I turned ten, this is the knife I was given. It is a fine all-purpose knife but not such a great whittling knife. Unlike knives today, it holds a good sharp edge and is a handy tool. That I have kept it over 65 years, shows the importance it had in my life.
One does not think of little girls and knives going together but my other passion was dolls. My dolls were my best friends but the ones they sold in the stores were made of china, (cold and breakable) or celluloid (not as strong as today's plastics) With a knife and some wood,you can have a doll the size and look you want.
These two lock-blade knives are made by Gerber-Sakai. I have heard that Sakai was a sword-maker. I don't know the connection with Gerber but this is an excellent knife and I was able to buy a left-handed model. (the lower one with the dark blade) These knives hold a good keen edge.
I had never used anything but a commercial knife until I went to my first BSA Jamboree. There I first met "Whittling Jim" Hill at the Boy's Life whittling display.
I was not a stranger to Boy's Life or to Whittling Jim. When I was small, I joined Brownies and then Girl Scouts, but, my twin brother was a Cub and then Boy Scout and my Dad, a leader.They met in our basement and I sat on the top step and ate my heart out. Every month, into our post box came a copy of "American Girl" and "Boy's Life". My goal was to beat my brother to the post and check out the "Slide of the Month".
First, Ben Hunt, and then Jim Hill, were my heroes. I was always keen to try out the latest design. That collection has been lost over the years. Some I have done again but there are many more I remember having made when I see them in collections.
For two National Jamborees, I had other staff jobs and spent any free time I could grab in the whittler's tent. I was able to find a nice set of Japanese gouges for Jim and the above three knives were made by him, just for me, using German straight razors. The lower one is my favorite but the small horn handle fits so comfortably into my hand and all three keep such a nice sharp edge.
The past three Jamborees, I have been lucky enough to be admitted into this elite group of whittlers, as their token woman. What a wonderful place that is and what an inspiring group of people!
Even a commercial set of gouges for making block prints is quite good quality and not too expensive.
I use this craft knife to teach the "whittling chip" to Cub Scouts and the Woodcarving Merit Badge to Scouts. Besides having replaceable blades, this blade is friendly to either right or left handers. The round yellow knife is a small blade for details. It breaks from time to time but comes with many spare blades. The silver craft knife is also made by Olfa but I would not recommend it for kids. These blades are easy to keep sharp. At the end of the day of use, I polish them up on a leather strop as I put them back in the box. They are always ready for use.
So ... what is your favorite knife? What is your criteria for selecting a tool?