12 Pumpkin Carving Tools & Tips For Halloween

Carving knives are so last decade. From basic to extreme, we’ve got your Jack O’Lantern pumpkin carving tools stocked. All you have to come up with are the bright ideas!

pumpking carving ideas

Halloween is approaching fast, and DIYers are already hard at work on cleverly carved pumpkins. For a step-by-step illustrated guide, check out “How to Carve a Pumpkin” guide for tips and tricks below.

Now’s the time to grab your gourd and show up your neighbors with the best Jack O’Lantern on the block. The ambitious pumpkin-carver (one who’s not afraid to experiment with extreme design) you’ll need the best carving toolkit. If that’s you, we’ve got some good news: There’s a plethora of power tools and hand tools on the market that put the standard carving knife to shame. Here are a few of our favorites:

Basic Pumpkin Carving Tools

pumpkin scooperThe Scooper

You’ll need to scoop out the pumpkin guts – and thin the inner wall of your pumpkin. You can use your ice cream scoop to do the job. A flat-edged ice cream spade, like this one from OXO, will do the job efficiently. It’s wide and very handy, and the best in its price range, even better than most of the pricey ones.

 

battery-powered pumpkin carving sawThe Saw

While this isn’t kid-friendly, a battery-powered saw will speed up the process of carving your pumpkin. Pumpkin Masters makes one that you can find in many drugstores.

 

 

Pumpkin Carving Tool

Carving Tool

For all the fancy finishing details, like a toothy pumpkin grin, you’ll need a special carving tool. This tool makes one that’s a four-in-one carving tool.

 

 

Cookie CuttersCookie Cutters

Regular tin-plated steel circular cookie cutters make it easy to create a neat opening around the bottom of your pumpkin. (It’s also safer to carve an opening on the bottom of the pumpkin, so you can set your candle on a flat surface and set your pumpkin over it.) You can also use cookie cutters of other shapes (think stars and the moon) to punch out designs on your pumpkin.

Extreme Pumpkin Carving Tools

Cordless pumpkin carving toolCordless pumpkin carving tool

It’s a two-speed, 4.8-volt rotary tool is perfect for the ambitious carver looking to create an intricate design.

 

 

 

 

Hole cutters

Hole cutters

If you’re carving a Jack O’Lantern with a lot of different holes (or polka dots!), a set of hole cutters will come in handy.

 

 

 

Power drillPower drill

A typical drill is the easiest way to make small holes in your pumpkin, such as the centers of eyes! This drill is not only the best for your carving adventure, but also a very good tool for your other household projects.

 

 

Pumpkin GutterPumpkin Gutter

If you’re the DIYer, who loves to use your drill, here’s an attachment for you. Attach this pumpkin gutter to your drill, and the attachment will loosen the pumpkin guts (just make sure you have a helper to hold your pumpkin steady for this high-powered tool.) You can also use this tool to shave down the inner wall of your pumpkin and make carving easier.

 

Wax transfer paperWax transfer paper

You can trace a cool design onto your pumpkin using this transfer paper. It’s a faster, easier method than using a toothpick to poke an image on the pumpkin’s surface.

 

 

 

Linoleum cutterLinoleum cutter

For accurate details and carved designs, a linoleum cutter is your best bet.

 

 

 

 

Melon ballersMelon ballers

You don’t have to carve all the way through a pumpkin to get that magical glow. Simply carving circular depressions in your pumpkin with a melon baller will shine when you place a candle inside.

 

 

 

Still not satisfied? Then check out these creative carving tools from Party City. Along with the tools, they provide easy-to-do templates for beginners and pro’s.

Halloween pumpkin carving samples

Pumpkin Carving Tips & How To’s

Halloween is in the air, and that means it’s time to break out those classic pumpkins. Follow this easy pumpkin carving guide to creating a spooktastic jack-o’-lantern!

Nothing says Halloween like the glow of your very own carved jack-o’-lantern. Once you’ve gathered your pumpkin carving tools and templates, you’re well on your way to creating your masterpiece. Here’s a step-by-step guide to carving a pumpkin fit to spook the entire neighborhood.

1. Cut an opening in your pumpkin.

Instead of carving a hole around the top stem, opt to cut one on the bottom of your pumpkin. This way the pumpkin is set over a candle sitting on a flat surface, instead of the curvy bottom of the pumpkin. Doing this will make it easier to light and replace candles, as well as hide the cords for electric lights. To cut the opening, push your pumpkin down on a large cookie cutter. It will create an impression in the pumpkin. Carve along the line with your carving saw.

Gut the pumpkin

2. Gut the pumpkin.

Use a flat-edged ice cream spade, melon baller, or even your hands to remove the pumpkin’s strings and seeds. Use a damp towel to clean off any pumpkin guts that spilled over on the pumpkin’s outer shell. Save the seeds for a tasty treat later.

Pumpkin template

3. Tape your template and poke around the lines.

Drawing your template directly onto the pumpkin with a marker will most likely result in smudge lines, so it’s best to use a paper pattern to map out your pumpkin face. Choose the flattest side of your pumpkin to tape on the template. Then use a sharp pumpkin carving tool such as an awl, needle tool or T-pin to poke around the lines of your template.

pumpkin carving tools

4. Carve the dots.

Remove your paper template and use a carving saw to cut along the poked holes.

5. Make a smoke hole.

If you’re using candles and not electric lights, you’ll need to add a hole on the top of the pumpkin for smoke to escape. This will serve as a chimney so that heat and smoke don’t get trapped inside the pumpkin. First, place your pumpkin over a lit candle. After a few minutes, remove the pumpkin. You’ll notice a blackened area visible on the inside of the pumpkin. This area is where you should carve a chimney hole.

6. Light your pumpkin.

Use a votive candle inside a glass candle holder to illuminate your carved pumpkin. This will make the candle less likely to tip over. You can also place small flashlights or battery-operated light sources inside your pumpkin.

Do you have any favorite tools for carving a pumpkin? Tell us in the comments!

Alexandra Peterson

Alexandra is a writer and a volunteer actress for a local amateur theater based in Seattle, WA. Her mission is to complete as many different volunteer activities as possible. Alexandra's specializations include volunteering non-profits, the entertainment industry, eating yummy vegetarian stuff, and all things green including spinach.

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