Power Wood Carving – Complete Beginners Guide

Power wood carving can be a great way to create something amazing while keeping yourself busy and learning a new skill. It is possible to do wood carving with a knife and a few basic tools, but power carving helps take this to a new level.

In power wood carving, the bur or the bit is the part of the tool that will remove the wood. The power carving tool, including the micro motor, will spin at high speed to cut the surface enough to remove the wood. This helps you create beautiful products faster than doing by hand.

There are different methods and techniques that you can use with power wood carving, and the possibilities of what you can create are endless. This article will look at some of the benefits, some of the best wood types to choose, the best power tools to get it all done, and the different methods you can choose to make your masterpiece.

Why Do Power Wood Carving

Wood carving is an art that is all about getting the smoothest results out of products you can mold out of a piece of wood. There are endless possibilities for doing this, but some of the benefits of choosing this as your hobby includes:

  • It is quick: You can do it by hand, but it takes a long time to complete. Power tools help you create something in a fraction of the time.
  • Make something with your hands.
  • A useful hobby to create something beautiful
  • Easy to learn how to do.

Best Woods for Power Wood Carving

There are several great kinds of wood that work well for all your wood carving needs. A few you may want to consider include:

  • Basswood: This is a popular choice for beginners found in America and Europe. It has little grain and is soft, making it easier to use.
  • Aspen: It is a bit stronger than basswood but soft to use.
  • Butternut: This gives a stronger and darker color to any item you use while being easy to carve.
  • Black Walnut: This is more expensive than the other options, and you will need to use sharp tools to make it happen. It has a rich color and grain that work nicely in many projects.
  • Oak: This is a strong and sturdy wood that looks nice and makes it a popular choice.

Power Wood Carving with Different Tools

How to Wood Carve with a Dremel

Dremel is an American brand of power tools that are often used for its amazing rotary tools. They are similar to some of the pneumatic die grinders that are used in metalworking or mold makers. Power wood carving with Dremel is easy and only needs the following steps:

Rough Cuts

Pick the biggest cuts that you can make on the wood to create the rough shape you want. Sketch out the area you want to carve and clamp it to the table with a cutting blade and Dremel Multi-Max. Cut along the lines to get rid of the wood. This is a rough cut, so you don’t need to cut perfectly. Continue to sketch and remove the necessary areas until you get a rough outline of the object.

The Edging

Once the rough cuts are done, you can use Dremel and its cutting blade to go along the edges. Take the time to round out the corners and remove any of the sharp edges.

Rough Detailing

With the basic shape of the carving done, it is time to move over to the rotary Dremel. You can use this tool to add in some of the details to what you want to create. This will depend on your project.


This tool will come with a sanding attachment that is great for sanding down some of the bigger areas you want to carve. Starting this out with coarse-grit sandpaper, 60 to 80 is best, and remove any of the rough areas and smooth out the jagged cuts. Once these are done, move to the medium grit and then finally to fine grit.

Keep Going Until Done

You can go back and forth between the Multi-Max and the Rotary Dremel based on what you are trying to get done. Start big and then work down to the finer and smaller details as needed. Do this until the project is done.

Power Carving with an Angle Grinder

You can also do power wood carving with an angle grinder. A few steps to use with this one include:

Picking the Grinder and Accessories

Some of the things you should look for when picking out the grinder and accessories include:

  • A 4 by 4.5-inch grinder is best for most projects you want to work with. It is easy to find in most hardware stores.
  • Choose a 5-9 amp motor if you plan to use it for some time. Do not skimp and get a cheap one, or it will quickly die out.
  • Check the RPM on the accessories to the grinder before purchasing. Each accessory will have a maximum RPM. Going above, this will lead to the attachment breaking apart and pieces sending all over. Make sure the RPM matches or exceeds the RPM of the grinder.
  • Look at the Safety features: A wheel brake system will stop the grinder quickly if necessary. It also helps the grinder come to a full stop before setting down.

Choose the Right Attachment

You can use a wire brush attachment for any paint removal like mineral spirits and cleaning jobs. Clampdown on the item you are working on so it won’t move around. When you apply the wire brush to the edge of your wood, position the angle grinder to ensure the brush spins away from the object you grind rather than into it. You can buzz off dirt on your garden tools, but choose the cup wire attachment for flat surfaces and the wheel to work on the crevices.

When you plan to cut through metal, concrete, and tile, use the cutting wheel. This works similar to the saw. You press it lightly to the object you plan to slice through, and it helps to make short work of these materials. Always use the right blade for the project. The cut off wheel will do the job for metal and is inexpensive. For tile and concrete, use the diamond wheel.

The diamond tuckpointing wheel is useful for removing mortar. If this is found in your brickwork, then the wheel is the best. Run the wheel between the bricks, doing a few passes to take care of it. 

To get the job to get done quickly, use a tuckpointing wheel the same width as the mortar.

And refine any edges of metal tools with the grinding wheel. You simply press the grinding wheel up to the edge of the grinder, position it perpendicular to the blade and adjust to the same angle to get this done.

The Best Power Wood Carving Tools to Use

Picking the best wood carving tools will depend on what you would like to make, how often you plan to use the tools, and your own personal preference. Some of the best power wood carving tools to work with include:


Power wood carving has many methods and techniques to make it a reality. Learning how to work with this method and which tools are necessary to get it done can be so important to learn how to do this craft. When you are ready to create your own masterpiece out of wood with some fun power tools, then power wood carving is the right option for you.

Martin Swizz

Hi! This is Martin, I like to research, experiment, and learn new things related to wood carving and other kinds of woodworking.

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