Hook knives make spoon carving a fast and easy task and can even make it more fun. The internet is supposed to do the same thing for shopping, but it doesn’t always live up to those expectations. We all know the pain of getting a product we don’t like, and misleading product descriptions written by advertising executives can make it hard to get a good feel for what we’re buying.
We think that you should be able to shop with confidence online, which is why our straightforward reviews are designed with the end user in mind. We cover the pros and cons of every model so that you can understand what you’re getting before you commit money to the enterprise. That way, you’ll be able to get a tool that you’ll love using, at a price you’ll love, too.
|Morakniv 164||1 lb||4.6/5|
|Mountain Elk Products|
(Best for the Money)
|Flexcut FLEXKN52-BRK||1 lb||4.2/5|
|Narex 822101||1 lb||3.9/5|
You may have heard of some of the name-brand hook knives out there, but there’s no reason to spend more money on those when you could get the BeaverCraft Wood Carving Hook Knife instead. This knife’s quality is astounding. The carbon steel blade typically arrives sharp and holds its edge like a champ, even when you’re using it on harder woods. That already makes it a great deal versus the sea of other hook knives which rapidly wear down. It also comes with an ergonomic handle, which feels good to use and won’t quickly wear your hand out.
The only real downside to this blade is that a small fraction of the shipped units arrive dull, or less than razor sharp. It’s a rare problem, but it’s always nice when you get a tool you can use right out of the box. However, that’s a problem you should be able to fix at home, and if you don’t know how to sharpen a hook knife, it’ll be a good opportunity to learn, as all knives need sharpening eventually. Overall, this is the best hook knife on the market today and one you can get for a good price, too.
If you want a premium experience, you could look to the Morakniv Knife 164. This Swedish-made knife features a blade made from stainless steel. That means it will resist corrosion very well, and that it has great strength. While it may not hold its edge as well as a carbon steel blade, the next-best option is stainless steel, so you’ll be in good shape. This model also comes with an ergonomic wooden handle which won’t bother your hands or wrists. It also comes with a wider angle on its blade than the previous model, which leads to faster cuts, making it a better choice for projects larger than spoons, such as bowls.
It also weighs just 2.1 ounces, which makes it one of the lightest knives you’ll find on the market today. What ultimately keeps this great blade out of first place is the fact that it costs nearly double what you’d pay for the top model on our list. While that might not be a problem if it always arrived sharp, this model also has some minor problems in that area. Still, if you’re looking for a wider blade, this model is a great overall choice for you.
The Mountain Elk Products Wood Carving Hook Knife is another good choice if you’re looking for a hook knife for spoon carving. You can get it for about half of what you’d pay for the top two models on our list. That makes this model the best overall value for the money on our list. If you’re looking to get into spoon carving, but don’t want to invest in a premium model just yet, then you’ll be very happy with this knife. It comes with a stainless-steel blade, which makes it easy to care for, and reduces corrosion significantly.
It also comes with an ergonomic handle that’s flat across the top, helping it fit perfectly into most hands. Additionally, it has a great reputation for holding its edge. However, it suffers from the same problem as the other hook knives on our list. This model frequently doesn’t come sharp, which is a pain to deal with, especially for beginners. It’s equally as easy to sharpen as other models, but it seems to come dull a greater percentage of the time. If you know how to sharpen it, however, this could easily be your best value buy.
If you’re not a full-time spoon carver, it would be hard to get good value out of the Flexcut FLEXKN52-BRK. The problem isn’t that’s it’s a bad knife, but instead that it might be too nice, and it has a price tag to match. That’s not to say that there won’t be people who can get good use out of this hook knife, but rather that you’re going to pay more than double the next-most-expensive model on our list, and for most, that’s an expenditure that most should be hesitant to pay, given that your experience doesn’t improve that much.
Still, this model has the highest-quality handle, which is painstakingly carved from cherry. It looks and feels great. It also comes with a full-tang knife, which means the blade runs all the way through the handle. It also comes with a brass ferrule, which looks great, but also resists corrosion well, so it will look great far into the future. It’s a bit on the heavy and large side, but that’s because it’s a premium product. Overall, some people might carve spoons enough to get a good return with this knife, but most people won’t need to spend this much.
The Narex Small Spoon-Knife 822101 is the first knife on our list which will be good for lefties since the blade is on the opposite side of the knife. That means you can push with your left hand or pull with your right, which may be what some users prefer. It’s also made from manganese alloy steel, which is extremely strong, though it doesn’t have the same corrosion resistance that stainless steel has. What ultimately drops this hook knife to last place on our list is the blade’s odd angle.
It’s only 11/16 inches wide, so you’re not going to be able to remove as much material in a single pass. That leads to a clunky feel, which isn’t something you have to have in a knife of this price. The narrow blade also means that the cutting angle is a bit strange, and ultimately isn’t quite 90 degrees, which may be what’s contributing to the clunky feel. It’s still a good choice for left-handed people, but people looking for the best overall knife may want to steer clear. Overall this is a decent product, but it’s going to be too expensive relative to the quality that it brings.
The BeaverCraft Wood Carving Hook Knife is our favorite hook knife for spoon carving due to its carbon steel blade, ergonomic handle, and great edge. The Morakniv Knife 164 comes with a stainless steel blade with a great angle, a lightweight frame, and an ergonomic handle, though its high price keeps it out of first place. The Mountain Elk Products Wood Carving Hook Knife comes with a stainless steel blade that holds its edge well, and since you can get it at a great price, it’s the best value for the money on our list. The Flexcut FLEXKN52-BRK has a high-quality handle and a full tang, but its price and weight keep it out of the top three. The Narex Small Spoon-Knife 822101 is good for lefties and is made from manganese alloy steel, but its odd angle, clunky feel, and narrow blade mean that it can rise no higher than last place.
We hope that our reviews have helped you better understand what makes for a great hook knife and that you’ve been able to find the model which is right for you.
Just a quick note: I’d highly recommend adding a whittling knife to your carving arsenal too. They’re affordable, and can do some things that you can’t do with your hook knife.
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!