Wood Carving Safety Checklist: 9 Things to Keep in Mind

Need safety tips on how you can carve wood without an accident? This article will walk you through the wood carving safety tips you need to follow. These safety rules are going to help you protect yourself from accidental injuries.

Depending on the nature of the tool, power, or hand tool, you will find various guides. But some safety tips and rules are universal that need to be followed regardless of the tool in use.

So without wasting any time, here’s a wood carving safety checklist of 9 things you need to remember: 

Tip 1 – Wear Safety Gloves

Safety starts with the hands operating the tool. Whether you’re using a saw or a knife, safety gloves are very important. If you are working with power tools like a saw or hand tools like a knife, gloves can save your fingers.

Straight away we would like to recommend Kevlar Gloves that you can get from Amazon, I actually own these specific ones and they have saved my, and my fellow carver’s fingers dozens of times.

If you feel that gloves are impeding your knife work, then you can wear finger guards. These are guards for your fingertips that can help you avoid cuts to your thumb and fingers. When taking off the wood with a rotary tool using your thumb as a pivot, a thumb grip can go a long way for protection purposes.

Tip 2 – Protect Your Eyes

When working with power tools for carving, sawdust can fly up in your face. There is not much you can do about the dust flying, but you can protect your sensitive areas from it. Sawdust can be a big irritant for the eyes. It can cause itching, irritation, pain, and even bleeding in some instances.

To protect your eyes from the dust produced by carving using power tools, wear protective eyewear like goggles. Safety glasses and goggles cover every area from which dust might enter your eyes.

Tip 3 – Wear a Mask When Doing Power Carving

Not only is it important to protect exterior sensitive areas from sawdust, but you must also protect your interior. By that, we mean that you should avoid breathing in sawdust when power carving.

If you want something a little more professional than what you can buy in a local pharmacy check out the Half-facepiece cover set that both looks awesome and actually protects you way better than a mask would. The respirator also costs around the same price as a reusable anti-virus mask.

Some wood’s sawdust is not harmful, while others can be toxic. But regardless of nature, you should avoid breathing it in altogether. Wearing a mask with filters can be a huge help in this regard.

Wearing a mask is especially important if you have a preexisting breathing condition like asthma. But we would suggest you wear a mask whether you have a condition or not.

Tip 4 – Use Sharp Tools for Carving Wood

Sharp objects can be pretty dangerous and can cause an injury. But in the case of wood carving, if you don’t use sharp tools, there are more chances to injure yourself compared to when it is sharp.

The reason behind it is simple, a dull knife would struggle to cut through and you’ll have more chances of slips and cuts. Meanwhile, a sharp tool will carve wood with ease without struggling to give you more control over it.

The better the control the lesser the chances are of accidental injuries.

Tip 5 – When Changing Blades or Bits Turn Power Off

Power tools have advanced a lot in this day and age with more features aimed towards safety and ease of use. Regardless of the features, it is never too much to always be careful when working with them.

While there are locks and such on power tools, it is often wise to just cut the power off of the tools completely. You can do that by taking the plug out of the wall outlet.

If the wall outlet is too far, just ensure that the power button on the tool is turned off and the lock is pressed in as well. Better safe than sorry in case of sharp power tools.

Tip 6 – Wear Ear Plugs In Case of Power Tools

Hand tools are normally quiet and only make noise when you want them to, but in the case of power tools, you can’t really help it. They are powered by motors and they run at ultra-high speeds of tens of thousands of RPMs.

These RPMs can generate enough vibration and sound to make you deaf if used prolonged without protection. For ear protection, you can just wear plugs that can help protect your hearing.

It not only protects your ear from hearing damage but also saves you from tinnitus. This is the ringing sound that you can often hear when there is absolute silence. It can get quite annoying and its primary cause is loud sounds. People who often listen to loud music often complain of this issue.

Tip 7 – Choosing the Right Tools for the Job

Sometimes you are going to find that you need a certain tool for a job. But chances are you might not have that tool at hand. There may be a way to work around the job, but that’s normally not recommended, especially for beginners.

Not using the right tools can make the job more difficult and as a result, make you struggle during your project. If that happens then drop what you’re doing and  find a tutorial that can guide you better on how you can get the job done safely.

Tip 8 – When Working With Chemicals Do it in Open Air

Some people use chemicals to treat their carving pieces. While an exhaust is a good way to get rid of those fumes, it is best suggested to do it in an open air space. That is because these chemical fumes can be harmful even if it is being vented by an exhaust.

In some cases, you need to do chemical treatment in closed enclosures while wearing the best safety equipment. An example of this is when you apply ammonia fuming to white oak for darkening it.

Tip 9 – Have a Clear Mind When Working on Woodwork

If you have had a bad day or you are tired, it is not a good idea to pick up sharp tools to work on wood. Best try to calm yourself down, take rest, freshen up, and come back to the table with a clear state of mind.

You do not want to get frustrated if you are not reaching your desired results at wood carving. This art is all about patience and taking it slow, so always try to resolve any problems you have had, try to calm your anger, and rest up if you are tired.

Recommended Safety Equipment

If you are wood carving by hand, the first and foremost thing you will need is safety gloves. If you are a  power wood carver, then you would need goggles, a mask, and earplugs.

Thumb Guards

At the start of the article, we’ve already recommended gloves which in our opinion are the safest way to go about carving. With that said, most advanced carvers don’t like working in gloves for various reasons, if you are one of them, these G & F 8126L Cowhide Leather Thumb Guards. They are great for protecting your thumb from the edge of the knife when you are carving wood. There is also the option of buying fingertip guards for all your fingers in there as well.


Safety goggles or safety glasses are essential if you are working with power carving tools. The sawdust can damage the sensitive areas of your eyes and the damage can be irreversible if not taken proper care of.

While using an exhaust fan right where you are working can help decrease the amount of dust produced, it is still not safe enough. Something affordable like these 3M Safety Glasses is durable and affordable, in the budget for most people. 


While a standard K95 mask is going to protect your lungs from sawdust and such, a proper respirator mask is going to serve you long term. It is a one-time investment for the mask and the filters can be replaced after using it for a long time.

It is much better than a disposable mask, plus it can be used for a variety of other purposes like when handling chemicals. The Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator cover set is a great choice in this regard. 

Final Thoughts

If you are planning on wood carving, try to create a safety checklist of your own. Follow the whole safety checklist before you start working. Try not to make exceptions when it comes to this because while it is a hobby, it can cause some serious injury if not taken seriously.

We urge our readers to read the tips and create your checklist because nothing is more important than your own health and safety.

Thank you for reading our article, we hope you enjoyed it and that you learned something new. Be sure to surf our website for a little longer and see if there are any other articles that will interest you. Hope to see you soon again.

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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