Carving on wood is one of the modern arts that has ancient history! what is the best types of wood for carving?

Perhaps the first human beings had been carving with sharp stones on the wood.

From then until now that human can do a lot of things with the help of laser carving on the wood, this art has been always an enjoying special status for mankind.

The wood has different types, so it should be chosen as proper wood for carving.

Usually, properties such as durability, color, strength, density, and price are important factors in choosing a wood type.

Do you want to carve with the hand?

What is your goal of carving?

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Choosing suitable wood for carving can be dependent on many factors.

It’s important to know about different types of woods.

In this article, we will first introduce types of carving on wood and then we will look at the types of wood for carving. In the end, we will guide you to start working in this field.

Types of Carving on Wood

Choosing a suitable wood for carving depends on your carving technique.

There are several types of carving methods on woods that you need to get to know them at the first step.

In general, there are three methods of carving on wood:

  • Hand Carving
  • Mechanical Carving
  • Laser Carving

Below are brief explanations of each one.

Hand Carving (Traditional)

In this type of carving which is one of the oldest methods of carving, by a sharp tip tool that has no rotation (like a Chisel) we can carve the shape.

From a simple knife to a variety of chisels can be used for carving on woods with hand.

The advantages of this method are the lack of additional equipment and low noise output.

This method is suitable for carving on softwoods.

Hand carving result has a lot of artistic value although is hard and time-consuming.

Mechanical Carving

This method has various tools with a variety of sizes and powers.

The general process of work is that a diamond-shaped rotating tool is placed on a piece of wood and carve its surface by pressing and rotation.

This rotating tool can be placed on a simple manual tool or even on a CNC-controlled cutting machine.

It should be noted that if the contact and pressure parameters in this method are not well controlled, the process can lead to perforation of the workpiece.

This method is much simpler than the traditional method, and it’ll be done more quickly.

Laser Carving

One of the most modern methods of carving on wood is by using of lasers.

In recent years laser has been used for cutting and carving on various types of wood and has led to changes in this industry.

Using laser can easily create a variety of designs on wood, but this is very difficult with traditional and mechanical methods and it takes a lot of time to do this.

The elegance and high precision are the most important advantages of laser carving on wood.

The Best Wood for Hand Carving

For hand carvers, basswood is a good choice.

It is very soft, which makes it easy to pinpoint it.

This wood is not toxic and its color is white, although there are brown lines on it, and there is not much difference between inside and outside of the wood.

The best basswoods are in the northern states: Wisconsin and Minnesota.

This wood is suitable for beginners.

If you enjoy carving, you should find suppliers of good quality basswood.

There is also a selection for carving called Cottonwood.

This wood is suitable for carving and there are in the western states.

The surface of the wood is very suitable for the construction of wooden houses.

This wood is very soft and easy to make, but it is very easy to split into two parts.

As well, Butternut wood is good for carving.

It’s not easy to find this kind of wood especially for large sizes, but it is very popular among the public and has a very nice color.

The Best Wood for Machine Carving

You can use hardwood for mechanical carving.

Walnut wood is very popular for carving but by woodcarving machine, it is difficult to carve with hand.

Walnut wood is very durable and its fibers are not bearded.

Another one of good woods for carving is Mahogany Wood.

Central America is the natural habitat of this tree.

You can also use the ebony wood for carving with a machine.

This wood has a high density and the result will be very attractive. But you should know that ebony is very scarce and expensive.

The Best Wood for Laser Carving

carving can almost be done on any kind of wood by lasers.

The amount of power used for the laser device determines depending on the type of wood.

Since wood is a natural material, when working with a laser, it is necessary to consider parameters such as density and the presence of resin.

Cutting and laser carving on softwoods such as pine need less power than walnut wood, maple, and so on.

Softwood always has stronger growth rings, which makes it very effective to carve with your laser machine.

So always try to choose the suitable wood for your job and your wood laser machine to see the best result in your work.

Some Important Points

  • If you want to paint your project, it’s better to use softwoods.
  • If you want to have a consistent carving design, you should do carving on multilayer wood with a smooth texture.
  • Carving on wood with the hand is an artwork that requires a lot of patience and creativity.
  • When selecting the wood for carving, be careful that it doesn’t have the knot.
  • Do not use very softwood for laser carving.
  • If you are a beginner, don’t use expensive wood for carving. Use inexpensive wood until you have enough experience in this field.


Your project type and your carving tool are two important factors for choosing wood.

It also depends on your location, choosing a wood that’s suitable for your project.

Carving on wood in any way requires the precision to make the details of the plan on the wood.

Usually carving on the hardwoods is more difficult, but the details are clearer. Notice that dense woods are heavy and hard to carry.

So if the weight is important for you, pay attention to this matter.

There are many other kinds of wood that can be used for carving, but a beginner must first start with one of the woods here and when he has enough experience, he can try other types.

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