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A drawknife, also known as a drawing knife, draw shave, and shaving knife, is a traditional woodworking hand tool used for shaping and smoothing wood.

Basically, the tool consists of a blade with a sharp cutting edge, typically about 8 to 14 inches in length, and two handles, one at each end of the blade. The blade is usually flat on one side, and beveled on the other, and it tapers to a point at both ends.

Uses of a Drawknife:

Woodworkers use draw knives for a variety of tasks including:

  • Shaping Wood: The sharp edge of the drawing knife allows woodworkers to remove large amounts of material quickly. It can be used to round off the edges of logs or create curved shapes in wooden pieces as well. 
  • Stripping Bark: Draw knives are useful for stripping the bark from logs or branches.
  • Making Spindles: Craftsmen often use draw knives to shape spindles and handles for various tools and pieces of furniture.
  • Smoothing Surfaces: Woodworkers can also use draw knives to create a smooth and even surface. This is especially useful when preparing wood for carving or other detailed work.

Handling Safety

Here are a few guidelines for a safer drawknife handling experience:

  • Learn Proper Technique: Learn how to properly handle a drawknife from a more experienced woodworker. This will help establish safe practices in the workspace.
  • Maintain Sharp Blades: Always keep the tool’s blades sharp. Dull blades require more force and may cause accidents.
  • Work Away From Your Body: Push the knife away from your body and not towards it. This reduces accidents and injuries in case the tool slips.
  • Use Controlled Force: Apply even pressure when cutting and let the blade do the work.
  • Mind Grain Direction: Pay attention to the grain direction of the wood. Always cut along the grain and not across it.

Buying a Drawknife

There are drawknives of varying sizes and types on the market today, here are some of them:

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John Friedenbach

My initial goal, to provide a selection of tools, education and plans to the Beginning to Advance Woodworker has not changed. I continue to search the web to find new products and services. To bring those products and services to your attention.

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