How do people not cut themselves when woodcarving and pulling the knife towards themselves & making contact with their skin?

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Recently I’ve been watching a lot of woodcarving/whittling videos, but I’ve also seen this happen in videos of people peeling fruit with a knife. I’m always amazed when they make a cut towards themselves and I see the sharp part of the knife make contact with their thumb (or sometimes their palm) after cutting through the material, yet it never seems to cut through their flesh. I feel like I’m way too scared of cutting myself to ever consider drawing a blade towards myself like that.

Is it just practice and knowing the right amount of pressure to apply? Are these knives (woodcarving blades and paring knives) maybe not very sharp, since I’m assuming softwoods and fruit are their intended purpose? If any woodcarvers or avid knife fruit peelers could chime in, I’m all ears!

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39 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

I’ve peeled an apple like you described. It was all in how quickly (or slowly) you do it and how much pressure you apply. Granted, I also did not use the sharpest knife out there. Ultimately, if you work deliberately and slowly you won’t get hurt. As time goes on you’ll get better and do it much faster.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The sharper the knife, the easier it is to control. So wood working knives are very sharp. So are good kitchen knives. Dull knives are more dangerous, because you have to use a lot more force to cut with them.

But people who cut wood or food have cut themselves more than once. It’s part of learning the craft. But no one ever gets so good that they are free from the risk of it happening again.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I’ve peeled an apple like you described. It was all in how quickly (or slowly) you do it and how much pressure you apply. Granted, I also did not use the sharpest knife out there. Ultimately, if you work deliberately and slowly you won’t get hurt. As time goes on you’ll get better and do it much faster.

Anonymous 0 Comments

On the contrary: these knives are VERY sharp. Thus, it doesn’t require much force to pull them through the material (wood or even fruit). So the knife moves slowly, and is easy to control as it approaches emerging from the wood (or fruit).

Anonymous 0 Comments

The sharper the knife, the easier it is to control. So wood working knives are very sharp. So are good kitchen knives. Dull knives are more dangerous, because you have to use a lot more force to cut with them.

But people who cut wood or food have cut themselves more than once. It’s part of learning the craft. But no one ever gets so good that they are free from the risk of it happening again.

Anonymous 0 Comments

On the contrary: these knives are VERY sharp. Thus, it doesn’t require much force to pull them through the material (wood or even fruit). So the knife moves slowly, and is easy to control as it approaches emerging from the wood (or fruit).

Anonymous 0 Comments

On the contrary: these knives are VERY sharp. Thus, it doesn’t require much force to pull them through the material (wood or even fruit). So the knife moves slowly, and is easy to control as it approaches emerging from the wood (or fruit).

Anonymous 0 Comments

I’ve peeled an apple like you described. It was all in how quickly (or slowly) you do it and how much pressure you apply. Granted, I also did not use the sharpest knife out there. Ultimately, if you work deliberately and slowly you won’t get hurt. As time goes on you’ll get better and do it much faster.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The sharper the knife, the easier it is to control. So wood working knives are very sharp. So are good kitchen knives. Dull knives are more dangerous, because you have to use a lot more force to cut with them.

But people who cut wood or food have cut themselves more than once. It’s part of learning the craft. But no one ever gets so good that they are free from the risk of it happening again.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I don’t know who you’re watching. But if you watch the likes of doug linker or carvingisfun on youtube they both explain that the knife will never come in contact with their thumbs.

While woodcarving knives are sharp wood can split so when doing a paring cut your thumb needs to be out of the way with this happens.

More importantly wear slash proof gloves or thumb guards.