When making carvings on wood, the choice of tool and the hardness of wood is what make the cut for the woodworkers more often than not. Usually, the hardest of wood would need the more force applied in order to push through the carvings on wood. That is why many of the woodworkers choose mallet tools for wood carving works.
Mallets enable applying high-impact force on the tool and thereby allow carving the hardwood with more precision and control. On the other hand, for illustrating small wood carvings on softwoods, woodworkers use a palm tool which is short in length. They would produce low-impact blows, require less force and safeguard the woodworker of any imminent harm.
Even beginners who dare to handle a knife can do carving with bare hands. Mastering the process of carving, however, comes with practice and honing the skills needed to craft extensive textures on wood.
If possible, use a carving vice clamp to keep intact the tools securely and to illustrate the carvings on wood with due patience. If the project is large scale and the task at hand for you is making carvings with 12 to 15 inches in size, using a palm tool having wide profile maybe ideal.
Such kinds of projects like carving extensive wood craft on furniture may need the assistance of a mallet tool that can be forcibly pushed into hardwood using heavy mallets. Better yet, the project would need the assistance of a working surface that is stable and a carving vice which clamps intact the work piece.
The carving vice would enable the beginners to maneuver around the work piece appropriately and would avoid getting into a tangle, which may ruin the carvings. However, starters to the minor woodworking project should pay heed to clamp the work piece to a stable surface and try and keep both the hands behind the cutting-edge.
Another ideal inclusion into the starter kit would be a pair of carving glove, which would avoid the wooden scraps and cuts that go in vain on the surface area. Wearing the glove you can keep the control throughout the completion of the work, but you would need to keep the carving knife sharpened as well, because a dull knife may slip on the wood and lead to accidents.