I have been watching a lot of spoon carving videos on Youtube and I really wanted to try carving a spoon bowl out with one of these crook knives. I have carved out some spoon bowls on some other spoons that I have made but I used a gouge to do it. Its not difficult to use the gouge, I just wanted to try something different and using the knife vs. the gouge appeared to be simpler. After using the crook knife, I would agree to the previous statement.
Most people know that a sharp tool is easier and safer to use. It is true and that applies to these knives as well.
Out of the box, or should I say bag (they come wrapped in paper in a clear plastic bag), they are useable but NOT sharp. Not really a big deal because, usually, cutting edged tools don't come honed and ready for use straight from the distributor.
Since the cutting edges are not straight, but curved, I was a bit unsure how to best go about sharpening and honing them, getting them ready for some cutting. I went to Youtube again to see how others have gone about this procedure. I found a really helpful pair of videos from Ben Orford showing how he goes about sharpening his crook knives.
Here I tried to get a picture of the honed edges but was too impatient to get a good image.
Also I tried to show how rough the back of the blade was. It's a bit blurry to really see it. It doesn't affect the cut at all but it would have been an easy grind at the factory and would make a better initial impression of quality.
I used the crook knife to carve the bowls on both of these spoons. I did sand the bowl lightly to get rid of some tear out but the tear out was due to operator error (getting used to using the knife) rather than the tool itself.
Overall, for the money invested, these knives will suit me well. It would be nice to say that I had a custom forged crook knife. For what I do, these knives are money well spent. I do not carve out spoons for a living, just for fun and use around the house. Both of these knives feel nice and stable in the hand. The handles are wood so, if one would so desire, you could always shape the handle to your personal liking or you could make a custom handle for it.
I would recommend these knives as a good entry point tool for spoon carving. They will give a good cut with a bit of sharpening out of the box. The price is right on.