Stubai Carving Tools


In this data sheet

  • Quick navigation to 11 Series of tools (if you know what you want)
  • An explanation of the nomenclature (the coding system for the tools)
  • Making your own set up.
  • Suggested starter sets
  • A list of all available sets
  • A more detailed navigation to each Series
  • A ranking of world-wide sales volume for Series 52 and 55 (a very useful guide to what tools to start with)
  • A brief history including manufacturing process



Use these links to proceed directly to purchasing options

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Series 52

Gold Flute

100mm blade 200mm overall - 500+ options

Series 53


56 options 53_sample_4

Series 5379

Rounded V

6 options f6350
Series 55 Polished Flute

125mm blade 250mm overall - 260+ options

Series 58 Lino & Block
51 options 58_Sample_4_400
Series 57 Palm
65mm blade, 135mm overall - 84 options


Series 52

H/Duty Fishtails

28 options 52_FTsample_02_400

Series 55

H/Duty Fishtails

12 Options 55_FTsample_400

Series 82

Violin Makers

8 Options f4969_3

Series 104

Stone Carvers

13 options 1047_59_1_600


Tool Nomenclature (applicable for all other than Stone Carving)

Stubai chisels are described with a six digit code.

  • The first two digits define the series (e.g 52, 55 etc.),
  • The middle two digits define both the sweep and the style (the sweep meaning the cross section of the flute and the style, defining the tool a straight, a long bent, a short bent etc.)
  • The fifth and sixth digits define the nominal width of the flute in millimetres (e.g anywhere from 2mm to 90mm).


(Note that the style is defined within the sweep definition, for example a 5241 is straight, a 5242 is a long bent, a 5244 is a short bent, a 5234 is back bent and a 5268 is a fishtail etc).







The tool above, a 550720, is therefore a Series 55 with a 07 sweep, a straight style nominally 20mm wide.

A tool specified as a 524106 is therefore a Series 52 with a 41 sweep, a straight style which is nominally 6mm wide.

A tool specified as a 520110 is therefore a Series 52 with a 1 sweep, a straight style which is nominally 10mm wide.

A tool specified as a 520216 is therefore a Series 52 with a 1 sweep, a straight skewed style which is nominally 16mm wide.

A tool specified as a 522112 is therefore a Series 52 with a 1 sweep, a short bent right leading skew style which is nominally 12mm wide.

A tool specified as a 521216 is therefore a Series 52 with a 4 sweep, a long bent style which is nominally 16mm wide.



Some popular sweeps

(The German term stich, and English terms sweep and flute are all terms for the cross sectional shape of the blade.)






Sweep4_450_2 Sweep5_450_2 Sweep6_450_2
Sweep7_450_2 Sweep8_450_2 Sweep9_450_2







Buying Sets & Making Up Your Own Set

The information on sets follows below.  Note that you can if you wish make your own set up and we can package it and charge for it as a set.  This suits buyers with a specialty carving interest. The only provisos are that the range of sizes and pricing approximates a standard set and that it may take us a while to assemble your set. Please email for further advice on this option.


Getting Started - links to two popular starter sets

An ideal way to get the first few tools together is to opt for one of the sets detailed below. Carving uses by far the most varied chisel patterns when compared with other woodworking pursuits however, a set of 6 in either Series 52 or Series 55, supplemented with a pattern 41 V tool, typically around 6mm, is the perfect introductory set.

  • Series 52 set of 6 - CLICK HERE
  • Companion tool to this set of 6 - 6mm Sweep 41 V tool in 52 series - CLICK HERE
  • Series 55 set of 6 - CLICK HERE
  • Companion tool to this set of 6 6mm Sweep 41 V tool in 55 series - CLICK HERE


Getting Serious - Full Listing Of Sets

Series 52

  • Cardboard box set of 6 - CLICK HERE
  • Cardboard box set of 7 (includes 2 knives) - CLICK HERE
  • Set of 14 in a leatherette tool roll (includes a knife & slipstone) - CLICK HERE
  • Set of 21 in a canvas roll (includes a mallet) - CLICK HERE


Series 55

  • Cardboard Box set of 6  - CLICK HERE
  • Wooden Box set of 6  - CLICK HERE
  • Gift box set of 6 (includes DVD, paintset & brush and pre-roughed carving blank)  - CLICK HERE
  • Set of 20 in a canvas tool roll - CLICK HERE


Series 57


Series 58


Series 82





Tool Series - links to the most commonly purchased tool series

The principal series are 52, 55, 53 and 58.

Series 52 - in-line, octagonal handle with internal ferrule and heavy bolster. Treated flute to resist rust, ready honed, around 215mm overall. Total of 35 sweep/style options and approximately 500 tool options overall.

  • Click HERE for Series 52 Catalogue .pdf download.
  • Click HERE for Series 52 Tool sets
  • Click HERE for Series 52 Straights
  • Click HERE for Series 52 Long Bents
  • Click HERE for Series 52 Short Bents
  • Click HERE to see the Series 52 heavy duty sculptors fishtails




Series 55 - in-line octagonal handle with internal ferrule and heavy bolster. Polished flute, ready honed, around 250mm overall. Total of 32 sweep/style options and approximately 220 tool options overall.

  • Click HERE for Series 55 Catalogue .pdf download.
  • Click HERE for Series 55 Tool sets
  • Click HERE for Series 55 Straights
  • Click HERE for Series 55 Long Bents
  • Click HERE for Series 55 Short Bents
  • Click HERE to see the Series 55 heavy duty sculptors fishtails




Series 53 - fishtail style, in-line octagonal handle with internal ferrule and heavy bolster. Treated flute to resist rust, ready honed, around 215mm overall. There are 7 sweep options and 7 flute width options. The series 53 are similar to series 52 and are displayed in the series 52 catalogue.

  • Click HERE for Series 53 catalogue page .pdf download.
  • Click HERE for individual tool purchasing options.




Series 57 - substantial palm handle with external ferrule. Polished flute, ready honed, around 135mm overall with 65mm blades.  There are 24 sweep and over 80 tool options.

  • Click HERE for individual tool purchasing options.


Series 58 - classic lino palm handle with external ferrule. Polished flute, ready honed, around 140mm overall. These tools are often known as block or lino cutters. There are 21 sweep and 50 flute width options.

  • Click HERE for Series 58 catalogue page .pdf download.
  • Click HERE for individual tool purchasing options.
  • Click HERE for Series 58 Tool sets



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How To Choose
Of all the disciplines in wood working which use hand chisels, and it is difficult to think of any which do not, carvers use by far the widest range of patterns and sizes. There are many variants which can cause confusion for the beginner carver. Many of the more esoteric tool patterns are for unusual applications. The truth is about 6 tools will get you started and a serious set of tools will still likely number fewer than 30 tools.


The tables below are intended to assist with getting started and selecting the most useful tools from those which are for specialised of obscure applications. The rankings indicate the top selling 100 tools across the Series 55 range followed by an outright ranking of sales of the Series 52. These rankings also inform our stocking decisions.

Note this represents Stubai sales worldwide across every carving discipline and national carving tradition so needs to be seen as a guide only. If for example you are interested in a specialty such as carving bowl shapes, these rankings are not so useful. If, on the other hand, your interests are mainstream, this is a most useful guide to what tools to purchase and in what order.


Series 55 Popularity Ranking

Ranking is by 5 groups of 20 tools and within each group they are ranked by purchase code NOT populartity, i.e a 41/12 is equal to a 01/20.

The F9999 structure codes are searchable Item Codes which we use in our website, the 01/20 structured codes are short hand, in this case, for a Sweep 1, 20mm etc.


Rank 1-20 Rank 21-40 Rank 41-60 Rank 61-80 Rank 81-100
Code Desc. Code Desc. Code Desc. Code Desc. Code Desc.
F5009 01/20 F5002 01/04 F5039 02/25 F5332 06/06 F5120 03/02
F5122 03/06 F5003 01/06 F5124 03/10 F5333 06/08 F5123 03/08
F5125 03/12 F5006 01/12 F5127 03/16 F5334 06/10 F5130 03/30
F5128 03/20 F5032 02/06 F5157 04/20 F5335 06/12 F5132 03/40
F5129 03/25 F5035 02/12 F5301 05/04 F5336 06/16 F5151 04/04
F5302 05/06 F5121 03/04 F5303 05/08 F5337 06/20 F5152 04/06
F5305 05/12 F5156 04/16 F5307 05/16 F5423 07/08 F5153 04/08
F5308 05/20 F5309 05/25 F5424 07/10 F5482 28/10 F5158 04/25
F5425 07/12 F5421 07/04 F5603 09/08 F5544 08/08 F5159 04/30
F5427 07/20 F5422 07/06 F5604 09/10 F5545 08/10 F5306 05/14
F5602 09/06 F5426 07/16 F5606 09/16 F5546 08/12 F5310 05/30
F5605 09/12 F5428 07/25 F5667 11/10 F5631 10/10 F5338 06/25
F5607 09/20 F5601 09/04 F5784 41/10 F5662 11/03 F5429 07/30
F5661 11/02 F5608 09/25 F5900 47/05 F5752 39/06 F5431 07/40
F5663 11/04 F5665 11/06 F5005 01/10 F5753 39/08 F5541 08/04
F5668 11/12 F5666 11/08 F5008 01/16 F5901 47/08 F5547 08/16
F5781 41/04 F5780 41/02 F5034 02/10 F5001 01/02 F5600 09/02
F5782 41/06 F5010 01/25 F5154 04/10 F5004 01/08 F5632 10/16
F5783 41/08 F5031 02/04 F5155 04/12 F5033 02/08 F5660 11/01
F5785 41/12 F5038 02/20 F5304 05/10 F5037 02/16 F5664 11/05



Series 52 Popularity Ranking

The final table below indicates the top selling 40 Series 52 tools in outright popularity rank. The advice above about the usefulness of this advice should be noted.


1 F4677 41/06 #524106
2 F4371 07/20 #520720
3 F4556 11/02 #521102
4 F4486 09/20 #520920
5 F4676 41/04 #524104
6 F4558 11/04 #521104
7 F4369 07/16 #520716
8 F4176 04/20 #520420
9 F4522 30/06 #523006
10 F4151 03/20 #520320
11 F4392 16/12 #521612
12 F4178 04/30 #520430
13 F4624 39/10 #523910
14 F4555 11/01 #521101
15 F4566 11/16 #521116
16 F4039 02/10 #520210
17 F4482 09/12 #520912
18 F4041 02/14 #520214
19 F4007 01/08 #520108
20 F4033 02/04 #520204
21 F4562 11/08 #521108
22 F4678 41/08 #524108
23 F4152 03/25 #520325
24 F4360 07/02 #520702
25 F4167 04/04 #520404
26 F4001 01/02 #520102
27 F4563 11/10 #521110
28 F4259 05/16 #520516
29 F4560 11/06 #521106
30 F4264 05/35 #520535
31 F4372 07/25 #520725
32 F4479 09/06 #520906
33 F4373 07/30 #520730
34 F4155 03/40 #520340
35 F4366 07/10 #520710
36 F4012 01/16 #520116
37 F4174 04/16 #520416
38 F4254 05/06 #520506
39 F4362 07/04 #520704
40 F4044 02/20 #520220



Historical Notes and Tool Manufacture



The Stubai is an alpine region in the Austrian Tyrol where iron ore deposits have sustained a steel making and edge tool manufacturing industry for centuries. A vibrant carving tradition grew up around the steel making industry and locals, during long winters when work was scarce, would use the time to carve artwork and trade it for food and other essential items. The earliest of these pieces date back to the 14th century.


Stubai wood carving tools are a premium European brand with an extensive range of close to 1500 tool options in all. The hand forged tools have beech handles, a forged bolster and the majority of the range have a tang fitted into an internal steel ferrule which resists handle splitting.


Stubai maintain a tradition which for them is several hundred years old. They still make their carving tools by hand forging and grinding whereas other manufacturers have moved to CNC manufacture. Each tool is hammered out on a drop hammer powered by an in-house hyrdo-electric generator. The shaped tool then goes through many processes to finish as a hardened, honed and ready-for-use carving tool.


It should be borne in mind that these tools are individually hand forged by master toolmakers and not produced automatically by robotically driven machines. There will therefore be slight variations between identically specified tools.


The Series 55 tools have a polished flute, the Series 52 range have a golden coloured appearance applied during heat treating to minimise rust.


The tools are supplied ready honed with edges adequately buffed and not dubbed over. Stubai handles are machined from European White Beech and have either an octagonal cross section or machined flat which avoids the tool rolling about when put down on a bench. Many carvers gently sand the handle edges for a more comfortable feel. The 52 and 55 tools are made without external ferrules or hoops (at either end) or striker caps. The steel in these tools is equal to the best found in Western made carving tools.


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Hammering the tang Shaping the blade
forge_01_300 Forge_02_300


Words from the makers:


Many factors are involved in the manufacture of a high quality carving tool and there are as many as 26 steps in the production process of completion of a tool.


The major steps are;

Forging: Raw material is forged into the basic form
Heating: With a longstanding experience the steel is beeing processed for forming
Forming: The approximate endform is accomplished during this process
Cooling: The tool is beeing cooled down for the first grinding process
Grinding: Carefully grinding is the key to a quality tool during this process. Since the tool has not been hardened yet.
Hardening and Heating: During this production step we accomplish the HRC 59-60
Polishing, sharpening and mounting the handle: Final steps can be applied to the tool.
We start with a top quality alloy steel for high edge-holding ability called “K 200” which depending on the availabilty is purchased in Austria (Böhler- Udeholm) or Germany (Thyssen) .

The K 200 Steel consists of: Carbon, Chrom, Mangan and Silizium


Production steps in order:

1) lengthening of the steel
2) handforging the shaft
3) lengthening to the tool length
4) handforging the basic form
5) heat treatment at 560° Celsius for 12 hours
6) trimming
7) pressing in the form
8) glowing: steel is being processed to be airtight, 710° Celsius for 36 hours
9) scrubbing in barrel to remove the forging scales
10) sorting
11) straightening
12) grinding the form lengthwise
13) grinding the sides to the exact width
14) sharpening
15) marking the sweep number
16) another process of straightening
17) hardening in salt bath
18) glowing, to reach the desired HRC
19) polishing the inside
20) polishing the outside
21) grinding the shaft
22) cleaning in gasoline bath
23) heating to 230° Celsius
24) polishing
25) sharpening the cutting edge
26) mounting the handle