Supersharp Woodcarving Tools
Thursday 09 September 2010
The editor takes a closer look at the Supersharp carving set from Henry Taylor Tools
You get to know quite quickly in the woodcarving world that if you see a set of tools with the familiar yellow and green acorn sticker on the handle, then you are more than likely to be in for a treat when it comes to quality and execution. The badge denotes that the tools are from Henry Taylor, made from Sheffield steel, and are hand forged to produce precision of form and an enviable cutting edge, which other brands would kill to have.
So on this reputation, I decided to call in the 6-piece Supersharp set, aimed at producing detailed work, but also suitable for wood block and linoleum cutting.
The first and most obvious thing you notice about this 6-piece set is how short the handles are. The tools measure in at 130mm long with hardwood handles and six profiles:
5/16in (8mm) bent chisel
5/16in (8mm) shallow gouge
3/8in (10mm) bent skew
3/8in (3/8in) straight chisel
1/8in (3mm) deep gouge
1/8in (3mm) bent V-tool
The tools fit comfortably enough in the hand with a satisfying grip, and I would imagine that long-term use shouldn't be a problem in terms of comfort.
So with all being well thus far, it was time to see how the Supersharp fared on some detailed work.
When using tools from a reputable outfit, you come to expect that they will perform as expected, almost taking this assumption for granted, so thankfully there were no surprises out of the ordinary with this set.
Arriving in a plastic wallet, these were honed and sharpened, ready for immediate use, which is always a nice bonus. Having tools arrive in the post ready to use saves time, plus in your excitement, you just want to be able to try them out straightaway on the nearest bit of wood!
I decided to use the set to separate wing feathers on a bird and add necessary detail. Cuts were clean, precise and controlled. And where these little gems really came into their own was in reaching into tight, difficult areas where a normal sized gouge might have some difficulty. It was easy to get right down into the carving to apply detail with these small tools, and results were pleasing.
As expected, the Supersharp set performed exceptionally on detailed work and in getting into difficult areas. They are a good addition to your tool collection, particularly if you favour the feel and comfort of smaller tools, plus if block cutting is something you enjoy, then the set offers an added bonus in its usage. Not bad at all!