Spokeshave vs Drawknife: What’s the Difference?

Spokeshave vs Drawknife: What’s the Difference?

There are some tools that are so distinct in equally type and operate that selecting between them is an obvious no-brainer (believe a noticed vs. a hammer). Unfortunately, that is not the scenario for the spokeshave and drawknife. These two instruments are really comparable and can at times be utilised interchangeably.

However, there is a distinction among the two equipment. Notably, the spokeshave is considerably scaled-down than the drawknife, generating it far better for a lot more delicate or distinct positions. Nevertheless, the big difference between the two tools is extremely subtle and warrants much more dialogue.

Let us just take a closer appear at these two equipment to fully realize their variations.

Overview of Spokeshaves

Spokeshave vs Drawknife: What’s the Difference?
Image Credit: Helioscribe, Shutterstock

The spokeshave is a woodworking instrument that includes a blade and handles. This resource is reasonably modest, that means that the blade in between the two handles is shorter. This brings about the handles for equally your right and still left hand to be nearer with each other.

In many ways, the handles on the spokeshave look like they extend from the blade like a pair of wings. Beside hunting great, this layout aids the spokeshave make fine and controlled cuts. Though spokeshaves can occur in numerous measurements, they are virtually often more compact than the drawknife.

In addition, there are diverse varieties of spokeshaves. You will have your selection among a flat, concave, or convex blade, as effectively as a flat, concave, and convex sole.

How to Use

Because the spokeshave tends to have more compact handles, you will keep every single handle among your very first two fingers on each and every hand. The thumb ought to be behind the blade. Place the sole from the wood you are working on, and pull the spokeshave towards you. Give the instrument a slight downward stress to make the work far more well balanced. You can also press a spokeshave instead of pulling it.


Because of the smaller sized dimensions of most spokeshaves, they are very best for modest particulars or patterns. For example, they are wonderful for chair legs, spokes, or paddles. Although this device does not go down deep, it is extremely beneficial simply because of how delicate and element-oriented it can be.


the downside of the spokeshave is that you actually can not lower massive parts out of the log. This resource is not created to make large cuts or chunks. This tends to make it significantly less versatile considering that you can only use it for detail function.

Best For

Due to the a lot more fragile and detailed nature of the spokeshave, this instrument is greatest for tiny detail perform. It is specifically helpful if you find element perform to be a obstacle. The tiny design will make it significantly less complicated to get into the crevices with no damaging the wooden piece.

  • Easy to use
  • Great for detail work
  • Not suitable for large cuts

Overview of Drawknives

Spokeshave vs Drawknife: What’s the Difference?

The drawknife consists of two handles and a blade between the handles. Several men and women believe that drawknives appear related to handlebars on a bicycle. Based on the activity at hand, the blade can either be straight or curved. Both way, it allows you to thinly slice wooden or take away big chunks. Drawknives are frequently utilised for debarking trees, trimming beams, and wooden sculptures.

Considering that drawknives are suited for equally taking away slim slices and massive chunks, you will at times hear the instrument called an “all-rounder.”

How to Use

How you use the tool is advised in the title. You will location the drawknife on the wood you are working on. It is ideal to place it at an angle. Then, you pull or attract the device in the direction of your human body. This makes it possible for for the slices of wood to simply arrive off the primary log.

You could in fact use the drawknife in two ways: bevel up or bevel down. Utilizing the tool bevel up provides you more management, making it easier to create finer shavings or deeper cuts. Conversely, bevel down helps you to not minimize too deep. This is excellent for hollowing out parts, but it dulls the blade.


The advantage of the drawknife is its versatility. Whether or not you want to thinly slice a log or consider off a massive chunk, the drawknife can do it. This makes it a hugely versatile instrument that is required for nearly all professional woodworking needs.


The downside of the drawknife is that it is challenging to use. Particularly if you want to use it for more wonderful or detailed function, you have to know how to use the device beforehand. If not, you could injure yourself or butcher the picket log.

Best For

Drawknives are greatest for skilled woodworkers. Given that they are hard to use, they call for the encounter and care of a specialist. At the identical time, their versatility ensures that pros will get good use of the resource.

  • Versatile
  • Good for cutting big chunks
  • Good for thin slices
  • More difficult to use

What’s the difference?

Spokeshave Drawknife
Ease of use Easy to use Difficult to use
Control over cuts High control Low control
Depth control High control Low control
Tool movement Push and pull Pull only
Blade design Slotted sole Handles
Best for Delicate detail work Quick and easy cuts; versatile use with experience

For the most element, spokeshaves and drawknives have very related styles, with the exception of the smaller frame of the spokeshave. Most of the variances amongst these two equipment lie in their operate, not necessarily the design.

Control Over Cuts

Spokeshaves give you much more handle over your cuts. This tends to make them far better for thorough operate. Drawknives, on the other hand, give you significantly less manage and are greater suited for tough cuts. The rougher cuts make them great if you need to get a job accomplished quickly and really do not care about the physical appearance.

Depth Control

Depth management is another big location of variation among these two resources. A spokeshave will give you more depth management considering that they are smaller sized. The smaller sized body implies it will naturally be a lot more challenging to cut also much off the wooden log. A drawknife, in distinction, offers you nominal depth manage, necessitating a little bit of a finding out curve when operating with the resource.

Tool Movement

How you go the two tools differs as nicely. A spokeshave can each be pulled in direction of you or pushed away from you. Drawknives can only be pulled.

Blade Design

The previous spot of difference in between these two equipment is the blade. A spokeshave blade is designed to suit into a slotted sole. The blade on the drawknife is basically supported by the handles, giving it a handlebar condition.

Which should you get?

At this point, you may possibly be pondering, “Which instrument must I get?” The answer to this issue depends on two elements: the job you are operating on and expertise degree.


The job you are operating on will mostly figure out which device to use. For fragile depth work, it will possibly be ideal to go with the spokeshave. Its layout will make it a lot easier to produce delicate styles that are beautiful from begin to complete.

If you need to have to just make rough cuts on the go, the drawknife will probably be your greatest bet. If you really do not treatment as well a lot about the physical appearance, the drawknife will get the occupation done effectively and quickly.

Experience Level

Experience amount is one more aspect you should consider. Drawknives, however highly successful, can be far more difficult to use if you really do not have the encounter. If you are a beginner, you might want to choose a spokeshave for this explanation. You will gain from the more managed style that arrives with a spokeshave, even however it might just take a little bit lengthier.

Professionals may possibly want to get both resources. The drawknife will give you a tremendous adaptable and convenient instrument for making the two sensitive and more substantial cuts, although the spokeshave helps you make delicate layout specifics that your drawknife just can’t do.

Quick Look: Our Top Choices

Image Product Details
Our Favorite Spokeshave Spokeshave vs Drawknife: What’s the Difference? STANLEY Spokeshave
  • Durable
  • Efficient
  • Easy to use
    Our Favorite Drawknife Spokeshave vs Drawknife: What’s the Difference? Timber Tuff TMB-08DS Straight Draw Shave Tool
  • Provides fast and accurate work
  • Comes with 1-year limited manufacturer’s warranty

    Our Favorite Spokeshave: STANLEY Spokeshave

    Spokeshave vs Drawknife: What’s the Difference?

    The STANLEY Spokeshave is a sturdy, efficient, and easy to use device. It is created particularly for curved operate, these kinds of as when you are shaping a chair seat. The cutters are designed so that they can be altered according to depth of cut and thickness for the job. The tool is designed with a flat base for both flat and convex surfaces, making it more flexible. It also comes with a vinyl pouch for easy and safe storage. STANLEY backs the product with a minimal life span warranty.

    Our Favorite Drawknife: Timber Tuff TMB-08DS Straight Draw Shave Tool

    Spokeshave vs Drawknife: What’s the Difference?

    This Timber Tuff Drawknife contains a sharp eight-inch straight blade that is five millimeters thick and angled at thirty levels. This gives fast and accurate work. The blade is also created of metal, guaranteeing that it is difficult and long-long lasting. Meanwhile, the handles are produced with wood so that you can have a relaxed however safe maintain. This instrument comes with a 1-yr restricted manufacturer’s warranty.


    Even though some specialists may be capable to use spokeshaves and drawknives interchangeably, the two equipment are different. Spokeshaves are better for a lot more sensitive function and novices, while drawknives are greater for knowledgeable users and rougher cuts. Professionals will be sensible to get equally resources since of their distinct functions and positive aspects.