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I'm a little dubious about the quality. There is an art supply company in the US that is known for budget tools and materials. Their big selling point is that they have a wide variety, and generally have items ready to ship the same day. Their carving chisel sets start at about the same price, w. some running 3 - 4X more expensive. And those are only about half the cost of the big name chisels they don't carry.
 

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It's pretty standard advise to only buy the chisels that you will use. If you look up Woodcraft's catalog online, they list all of their chisels by style and width. You can easily choose just the cut you want. Starter sets are frequently loaded with extra tools that just sit. I'm going to look at my tools and find the 4 that I first started with to list here. In the mean time, your knife is at least as important as any other cutting tool. What do you have there?
 

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When I started I had a 90degree V tool-12mm width

a #10 chisel- 15mm

a # 5 chisel- 14mm, these were all used flea market finds.

I went out and bought a Swiss Made (Pheil) #3- 30mm which is probably larger than you might need. The #3 is almost flat but not quite. It is used in place of a flat chisel because the slight up sweep keeps the corners from digging in.

There is nothing hard and fast about these numbers. They are just what I had when I started relief carving. The guy who taught me made his living carving scenery on mantles and these are what he used the most. Other folks here may have their favorites.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm not mean, just the eternal optimist who almost always ends up disappointed with his "bargain". I posted this on another wood carving forum and the diversity of answers was surprising. Not in decrying the quality of the tools, everyone agreed they were not up to much, but where folks differed was where to start acquiring tools. One advocated buying 1 gouge, say a number 3, and when it wouldn't do what I needed buy the one I did, and so on. Another advocated buying a set, which ain't going to happen unless I fall upon a Pfeil one for peanuts :)

I have decided I don't want to go the second hand route because I just don't have the patience for re-working. I will probably end up buying Pfeil tbh.

@ Lilysdad, I have 3 knives. all Flexcut, a long one for roughing, a standard length and a spoon carving style for doing finger grooves etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I can certainly understand what you are saying. In posting my list, I was simply trying to point out that you don't need a lot of tools to start.

Woodcraft has a 15% off sale going right now.
Oh I hear what you are saying about a starting point and I've narrowed it down to a 60 degree 10mm V tool, then a #3,#6,#9 in 1/2" sizes to be followed by smaller sizes in #3,#6 and #9 as needed. I've also found a supplier of Stubai which look quite nice. Unfortunately living in the UK the carriage from overseas would be prohibitive. I certainly envy the range of choice available in the US!
 

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The best way to hunt for tools of all makes shapes and sizes inc 2nd hand ones is to visit the shows, I go to the Northern Woodworking Show at Harrogate show ground in November a great place for diversity of equipment , Demonstrators of all genres wood, and suppliers, manufacturers of all types of equipment. All of the people there are approachable and open to answering questions on all topics. But be warned, save up as you always see what you want and more besides.

Check it out on the web, get the list of exhibitors and then check their range of products.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well I dipped my toe in the pond today and ordered three Pfeil, a large #3 for flattening (#2 on Pfeil list), a #9 for stock removal and a 10mm 60 degree V tool for outlining etc. These will get me started on my next carving, and by next week especially seeing as it's my birthday I hope to have some more cash to get a few more as I need them.
 

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I think when most people start most buy cheap tools always a mistake

You dont know what you raeally want unitl you start carving .and then this is oftern determined by your subect matter and if you like hand tools or power carving

They often go hand in hand.

just start with what you have and buy odd ones as you need them. The majority of carvers have drawful of tools which are never used

I have about three dozen chisels and probably just use about 8 of then mostly

I would recommend a few good rasps
 
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