Do you want a quality bowl gouge but don’t know which to buy? This list has the best bowl gouge for the money. It’s no secret that if you’re going to be buying a new bowl gouge, you want to make sure it has the right price. After all, you’ll be adding it to your tool kit and cutting lathes of wood with it for hours on end. For those of you who want more variety in your choices, we’ve created a list of the best bowls gouges for the money so you can cut right to the point!
What is a bowl gouge ?
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A bowl gouge (also called a bowl scraper) is used to smooth the inside of bowls and can make short work of large tasks like this. It has two cutting edges, one on the outside curve and the other on the bottom edge, which allows you to remove wood quickly and effectively. The gouge I use is a #4 1/2 and is fairly long and narrow compared to other gouges.
Bowl gouge for wood turning
A bowl gouge is a carving tool used for shaping bowls, vases, and other similar objects.
If you are looking to buy a bowl gouge, then there are two different types of tools that you can choose from:
1. The flat bottom type which has a round bottom shape with sharp edges. This type of tool is best for making hollow objects such as bowls or cylinders.
2. The U-shaped type which has a wider base and sharper edges than the first one mentioned above. This tool is best for creating rounded shapes such as spheres or cylindrical items like handles on furniture pieces.
How To Use A Bowl Gouge ?
Bowl Gouge is used for making a concave surface. If the shape of the bowl gouge is more like a half of a ball it will make a round bottom. A length of the gouge can be from 10 to 40 cm. The length of the bowl gouge depends on how deep you want to make your bowl. A bowl gouge has a small edge at the end, this edge is called the spur.
Top 10 Best Bowl Gouge for the Money
The Robert Sorby deep flute bowl gouge is a ½ inch HHS extra-long gouge that is a perfect tool for any woodturner regardless of the level of expertise. The Robert Sorby deep flute bowl gouge is uniquely designed for woodturning, with an amazing capability to make both large cuts and delicate finishes. The tool is refined from a solid bar to enhance mass and stability and is built with High-Speed Steel (HSS), therefore further boosting durability.
- Features high-quality HSS (High-Speed Steel), thus can maintain a sharp edge longer than carbon steel (up to 3x longer)
- Resistant to “blued” softening from overheating, thanks to the high-quality HSS material
- The bowl gouge also features an extra-long handle built with hard White Ash and brass ferrule
- The handle is 17” long while the tool measures 9”
- Extra-long handle provides leverage when working
- Provides a good and comfortable grip
- Can make large cuts as well as fine finishing cuts
- Can cut both green and dry wood blanks with ease
- Affordable price
- Some people may find the long handle uncomfortable
The Robert Sorby deep flute bowl gouge is a perfect bowl gouge both for beginners and experts alike. The gouge is also quite flexible as it can make both fine and massive cuts perfectly.
2. Yellowhammer Turning Tools Ultimate 4 Piece Bowl Gouge Set: 1/4 Flute, 3/8 Flute, 1/2 Flute and 5/8 Flute Featuring Beech Handles, Brass Ferrules and High Speed Steel Blades
The next bowl gouge for the money is the Yellowhammer Turning Tools Ultimate. You can tell that this is a quality bowl gouge just by looking at it. This is due to the tool’s thickness and heavy build, which make the gouge very strong and durable. The gouge is manufactured by Ever Pest and is built with high-quality materials of brass, steel, and wood. Additionally, the bowl gouge’s extra thickness makes turning bowl bottoms super easy.
- The tool features a thick flue for easy operation
- The deep flute grind makes it easy for the operator to switch from the insides to the bottom of the bowl.
- The efficient tool is made from high-quality brass and steel. The handle is hardwood.
- The bowl turning gouge features one of the most comfortable handles for extra comfort
- A comfortable handle for easy use
- Ideal for the more complex jobs
- Made from high-quality material to provide life-long service
- The large size makes the tool ideal for working larger turning
- Extra thick for high stability when working
- You need to clear the flute regularly
- You need to master working with smaller gouges first to use this one well
The Yellowhammer Turning Tools Ultimate is a top-quality bowl gouge, capable of handling any bowl turning tasks you may have. However, I’d recommend the gouge to professionals only as beginners may have a difficult time handling the tool correctly because of the extra thickness.
The IMOTECHOM ½ inch HSS Bowl Gouge Lathe Chisel woodturning tools are a good deal for the money. These efficient woodturning tools come well packaged in a box during shipping, guaranteeing that all the tools reach you in perfect condition. The woodturning tools have some pretty impressive features, including high-quality HSS build, among other things.
- All bowl turning tool comes with accurately sharpened chisel heads
- The bowl gouge features a 9-inch HSS blade that will maintain a sharp edge even after years of use
- The handle is 15.3 inches and is made from hardwood to provide a nice and comfortable grip
- The contents included in the package include a ½” HSS bowl gouge with a lathe chisel
- Comes in a well-designed package
- The bowl turning tools are very durable
- A wooden handle for a nice comfortable grip
- A pre-sharpened bowl gouge for best operation
- Perfect size for comfortable operation
- The bowl gouge can be used by beginners
- Easy to use
- Some people find the tools not sharp enough and need more sharpening before use
- The shipping box has a poor shape
The IMOTECH HSS bowl turning tools come as a set, therefore, saving you a lot of money as you don’t have to buy the different pieces separately. Many tools can be used by beginners and professionals alike. This is because professionals can choose the best tool for specific tasks, while the beginner can work with any of them.
4. Robert Sorby 67HS 6 Piece Lathe Turning Set (¾” Spindle Roughing Gouge, 3/8” Spindle Gouge,3/8” Bowl Gouge, ¾” Standard Skew Chisel, 1/8” Parting Tool, ½” Round Nose Scraper 67HS)
Next, we have a set of Robert Sorby tools by Grizzly. The Robert Sorby 67HS 6-piece lathe turning set features 6 different woodturning tools at a lower price than what you’d pay buying the pieces separately; therefore, the set offers value for money. The tools include a ¾” spindle roughing gouge, 3/8” spindle gouge, 3/8” bowl gouge, ¾” standard skew chisel, 1/8” parting tool, and ½” round nose scraper.
- The complete set features easy-to-use lathe tools that can be used by beginners and professionals alike.
- The set consists of a roughing gouge, a spindle gouge, a bowl gouge, oval skew, a parting tool, and a round scraper.
- The complete package weighs approximately 6.4”
- Easy to use tools
- Value for money
- A complete set to handle a variety of jobs
- Relatively cheap
- Quality customer service
- Highly durable tools
- The bowl turning tools maintain a sharp edge for long
- Some tools break easily
- Most of the tools need sharpening
The Robert Sorby 67HS 6 piece lathe turning set is one of the best bowl gouge deals available in the market today. The set provides a total of 6 turning tools, thus, saving you a substantial amount of money. The only problem we found is that some of the tools are of poor quality and can break easily.
5.Hurricane Turning Tools, Woodturning Three-Piece Spindle Gouge Set, ¼” flute, 3/8” flute, and ½” flute, High-Speed Steel
Fifth on our bowl gouge review, and my personal favorite, are the Hurricane turning tools. The tools come in a three-piece set featuring a ¼” flute, 3/8” flute, and ½” flute. Thus, you get different options to handle various woodturning tasks. Just as you’d expect from a top-quality bowl gouge, the tools are all made with High-Speed Steel; therefore, guaranteeing strength and durability.
- The hurricane Turning Tools set features 3 separate spindle gouges.
- The 3 gouges have the following sizes; ¼’ spindle gouge with a ¼” bar stock, 3/8” spindle gauge and bar stock of similar size, and ½” spindle gouge and an equal bar stock
- The tools are made from High-Speed Steel (HSS), thus guaranteeing 8x longer life than carbon steel materials
- Guaranteed durability
- Easy to use bowl turning tools
- Different sized gouges to handle different tasks
- The tools are pre-sharpened for convenient operation
- Maintain a sharp edge for long
- The bowl turning tools are also suitable for the beginner as the tools come in different sized gouges
- Value for the money
- Suitable for beginners
- Produces perfectly finished cuts
- The grind is very rough and needs cleaning
The Hurricane tools are some of the most cost-efficient woodturning tools available in the market today. Additionally, the three different sized gouges make the set usable by both professionals and beginners alike. I’d highly recommend the tools to anyone looking to master their woodturning skills.
The Robert Sorby H9076 model is also another cost-efficient bowl turning gouge to buy in 2020. The bowl gouge features a 3/8” fingernail grind, giving the tool immense flexibility during operation. The fingernail grind allows you to comfortably use the gouge for detailed spindle work as well as make fine shears. Besides, the H9076 model has a new feature for better performance – ground back wingtips that help reduce the occurrence of “catches.”
- Fingernail medium grind
- Is built with High-Speed Steel (Resists “blued” softening due to overheating)
- The cutting edge lasts 6x longer than carbon steel
- The tool has an overall length of 16-½.”
- The handle is built with hardened white ash
- Made from high-quality material (High-speed steel)
- Has a long comfortable handle
- Maintains a sharp edge for long
- Fair price
- Best for turning inside bowls
- Suitable for beginners and professionals alike
- Easy to use
- Doesn’t come ready-to-use straight from the box
The Robert Sorby H9076 Fingernail bowl gouge is a top-quality bowl gouge that is perfect for turning inside bowls, thanks to the fingernail medium grind. Although beginners can handle the tool easily, I’d recommend the gouge to the professional woodturners seeking perfection.
Yellowhammer Turning Tools Essentials 3 Piece Bowl Gouge is also among the best bowl gouges for the money. This incredible tool bowl gouge by Crown Hands Tools is exclusively designed for woodcraft. As you can tell from its name, this bowl gouge is cryogenically treated, thus, resulting in superb quality. The special cryogenic treatment gives the tool 3x more strength than M2 High-Speed Steel tools, which makes the bowl gouge very valuable.
- The Pinnacle cryogenic fingernail grind bowl gouge is made in Sheffield England and features a cryogenically-treated build to provide a stronger blade
- The process involves treating the blade to sub-zero temperatures of -300 degrees F, which modifies the steel material to produce a strong edge for bowl turning
- The tool features an ash handle which provides a comfortable grip
- The bowl gouge has a total length of 17” – 23.”
- Holds a sharp edge for a long time
- Easy to use
- The cutting edge is easy to sharpen
- Value for money
- Works perfectly on any type of wood
- Resistant to high temperatures and doesn’t soften due to overheating
- Affordable price
- The tool may need to be sharpened before first use
The Pinnacle cryogenic fingernail bowl gouge is an invaluable woodturning gouge for professionals. The bowl gouge provides all the benefits of metal gouges like stability and durability while coming at half the price. Thus, the tool is perfect for anyone looking to buy a cheap bowl gouge that still delivers quality and decent service.
The PSI woodworking LCHSS8 Wood Lathe 8 pc HSS Chisel set features 8 different woodturning tools to give you a wide range of options to choose from. The tools are all built from high-quality M2HSS, thus, guaranteeing strength and stability. In addition to the strong build, the tools come in a nice wooden box. Therefore, the storage and transportation of the tools become super easy.
- The set features 8 different woodturning tools
- The tools are perfect for turning pens pepper mills spindle bowls as well as other woodturning projects
- Each of the chisels features the following measurements; 16 – ¼” 9(length), 1 – ¼” M2HSS blade, 10” hardwood handle
- The woodturning tools come in the following sizes; 3/16” parting tool, 5/8 spear scraper, 1” skew chisel, 5/8” skew chisel, 5/8” round nose scraper, ½” bowl gouge, 7/8” roughing gouge
- The tools also come in a wooden casing that you can use for storage when not using the tools
- Easy to use
- Man bowl turning tools to choose from
- Comfortable handle for easy operation
- Suitable for all woodturners (Professionals and beginners)
- Value for money
- Maintains a sharp edge for long
- The tools are durable
- Affordable price
- Heavy sharpening can cause the tools to lose angle
- The metal dulls quickly
The PSI woodworking 8pc HSS chisel bowl turning set gives you a wide range of tools to choose from; thus, you can accomplish numerous tasks with the same set. Therefore, I’d recommend the set to professional woodturners and hobbyists as well.
Our bowl gouge review would be incomplete without mentioning the 8pc Benjamin’s anniversary set. This set features 8 different woodturning tools designed to handle numerous bowl turning tasks. Additionally, the set gives value for money since you get 8 different woodturning tools at a discounted price.
- The woodturning set includes the following tools; 1/8” and 3/16” spindle gouges, 9/64” beading tool, 9/64” Diamond Point, 9/64” Square Nose Scraper, 3/8” x 1/8” parting tool, 1/8” round nose scraper, 3/8” x 1/8” skew chisel
- The bowl turning gouge features a 2.25” blade and a 5.25” handle
- The set is ideal for making intricate details on large bowls, as well as making small turns for the smaller projects, thanks to the efficient micro-chisels.
- Can be used for turning wooden bowls and plastic pieces as well
- All blades are pre-sharpened to make your operations easier
- The micro detailing capability makes the tools suitable for working on tiny projects that demand detail
- Affordable price
- Perfect for making fine and detailed cuts
- Maintains a sharp edge
- The tools work best on small projects
- Not best for beginners
The 8pc Benjamin’s best HSS Micro Detailing anniversary set is a perfect combination of high end turning tools that can handle even the most delicate bowl turning projects. Since the tools are designed for detailing, I’d only recommend the set to professionals.
Bowl Gouge Buying Guide
Whether you are a professional woodturner, hobbyist, or beginner, you must use the perfect bowl gouge for to achieve the desired result. Shopping for a perfect bowl gouge can be challenging, especially if you don’t know what to look for. That is why we have included a buying guide to educate you on the features to look for when shopping for a quality bowl gouge.
Factors to Consider before Buying a Bowl Gouge
The type of material used in a bowl gouge is an important factor to consider when shopping for any bowl gouge. Traditionally, bowl gouges were made from high carbon steel, and some bowl gouge models still use the material today.
However, the problem with carbon steel is that the material gets blunt easily, thus, requiring regular sharpening, which causes the bowl gouge to wear fast. To solve this problem, modern bowl gouges are built with High-Speed Steel, which is an alloy of Molybdenum, tungsten, and chromium. The HSS material results in stronger bowl gouges with high edge retention. HSS is also resistant to high temperatures and is resistant to “blue” softening caused by overheating during operation.
M2 HSS is another variation of HSS used in modern bowl gouges, and is also equally strong. Always consider bowl gouges made from HSS or M2 HSS to ensure you get the best quality.
Next, always know the specific work you want to use a bowl gouge for before shopping for one. Different bowl gouges are designed to handle different tasks; therefore, understanding the task will help you determine the best model to purchase.
3.Bowl gouge Size
Different woodturning jobs require the use of different bowl gouge sizes. Consider the following bowl gouge sizes and the suitable tasks for each size.
- ½” Bowl Gouge: Ideal when working on a bowl with a diameter of not exceeding 12 inches.
- 5/8” Bowl Gouge: Ideal for medium-large sized bowls with a diameter of 12 – 14 inches.
- ¾” Bowl Gouge: Perfect for working on large bowls with diameters exceeding 14 inches.
- Large-size gouges function better than small-sized bowl gouges. However, it is always good to try out the different sizes and stick to the size you are most comfortable working with.
- If you are a beginner, I’d recommend you start by practicing with small bowl gouges before graduating to larger ones.
4.Grind Profile/ Flute Shape
Just like the above case, different grind profiles and flute shapes are ideal for different tasks. A bowl gouge can have any of the following grind profiles.
- Traditional Grind
- Fingernail Grind
- Swept Back Grind
A. Traditional Grind
The traditional grind is the most common grind on bowl gouges. The grind features a straight design that has some benefits, such as easy sharpening. Also, the traditional grind is the best grind profile to use when dealing with the difficult grain.
The traditional grind profile is also sometimes referred to as a “bottom feeder” since it is mostly used for turning bowl bottoms.
- The U flute shape is the best flue shape for traditional grinds.
B. Fingernail Grind
The fingernail grind is the most versatile profile for turning bowls since the grind is ideal for several uses; detailing, roughing, and shearing. However, the fingernail grind is more difficult to use compared to the traditional one. Thus, the fingernail grind is better suited for professionals and experienced woodturners.
- The v flute is the best flute shape to use on a fingernail grind.
c. Swept-back Grind
The swept-back grind is the most advanced type of grind profile. The profile is also the most popular version among professionals and experienced turners because the swept-back grinds provide immense flexibility when working.
- The parabolic flute is the best flute shape to use with a swept-back grind.
Since a bowl gouge is a hand-held tool, you need to be mainly focused on the type of handle on your preferred bowl gouge. You do not want to end up with a tool with an uncomfortable handle since you will be using the tool for hours on end. Therefore, always opt for a wooden handle rather than a metallic one. A plastic handle is also applicable since you will have a comfortable grip when working; thus, avoiding injuries and unnecessary strain on your hands.
Beginners Guide – The Best Bowl Gouge Usage
Shaping a Bowl Gouge
Beginners often have a hard time operating a bowl gouge straight from the box. This is because you are required to make a few adjustments on the tool before starting the operation. One such change includes shaping the bowl gouge. (Note: Shaping a bowl gouge is different from sharpening.)
Bowl shaping involves changing the tool’s profile to the desired shape. I’d recommend you only alter the tool’s grinding profile once and stick with the new shape for all operations. This is because shaping involves the reduction of material and can cause a lot of wastage if overdone.
Always use a protractor to measure the perfect bevel angle and then use a sharpening jig to grind the edge to the desired shape. When grinding, you use a more coarse grit grinding wheel than the one used for sharpening, thus getting rid of more material quickly.
Sharpening a Bowl Gouge
Next, you should know how to sharpen a bowl gouge. Though you can sharpen a bowl gouge by hand, I’d recommend using a sharpening jig to ease the process.
The sharpening jig comes with instructions on sharpening bowl gouges, so you shouldn’t encounter many difficulties with the process. Remember to use the finer grit grinding wheel when sharpening the bowl gouge.
How to use a Bowl Gouge Correctly
- Always ensure that the lathe tool perfectly fits into the handle before starting work. A loose chisel makes rotating the bowl gouge difficult.
- Also, ensure that the flute is closed and facing downwards, especially if you are a beginner. An upward-facing flute causes the wood to catch, which hinders smooth operation.
- Next, make sure that the tool’s flat bevel surface is parallel to the wood for an ideal cutting pass. This position is referred to as “riding the bevel.”
- Remember to lower the handle a bit when making the turns as you get more leverage.
- Finally, be patient when turning bowls. If you try slicing too much material at once, the gouge will catch the wood, thus, slowing you down.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the best bowl gouge for the money in 2021?
When selecting the bowl gouge, you should consider all the features on each available model based on your specific task. The best bowl gouge is the Hurricane 3-piece bowl gouge set since the set has all the tools you need for turning bowls and comes at an affordable price.
What bowl gouge size should I use?
The specific bowl gouge size to use depends on the specific work to be achieved. That said, you should use a ½” bowl gouge for small bowls with a diameter less than 12”, a 5/8” for diameters of 12-14 inches, and a ¾” bowl gouge for larger diameters.
Who manufactures hurricane Turning tools?
Hurricane turning tools are made by Jamie Straw of Woodturners Store New York and distributed by Steve Fulgoni.
Where can I buy quality bowl gouges?
Bowl turning tools are quite popular in the market, and you can find some quality models in any woodworking store in your vicinity. However, I’d recommend you always buy bowl gouges and other woodworking tools from online stores like Amazon. That way, you have more options to choose from, and you can also refer to the customer reviews for some useful guidance on the purchase.
I am glad you’ve come this far in our review for the best bowl gouge for the money review. I hope that the article has been a valuable source of information for you to help you make an informed purchase decision. Remember; what works for one person doesn’t have to always work for you. Therefore, always try different bowl gouges before deciding the best one to work with. Have an awesome time finding a perfect bowl gouge for your woodturning projects.