Whether you're carving something simple, or a complex pattern with shading, you'll want to use the right tools. Kitchen knives are generally unsuitable for pumpkin carving; fortunately pumpkin carving tools are readily available (at least in the Fall). Pictured above are some Pumpkin Masters tools you should be able to find easily. A: lid-cutting saw (do not use a carving saw to cut the lid). B: large saw, C: and D: small saw. Both are for carving, use whichever you feel is appropriate for the area you are working on. E: drill, use to make round holes or you can insert it without twisting to make a hole for your saw if you're not able to pierce the pumpkin directly with the saw. F: poker, use for transferring patterns or making small holes. G: multi-poker, use this to transfer patterns more quickly than the regular poker by "rolling" it. F: candle planter, this will make wells at the bottom of your pumkin for a taper or votive candle, so you don't need a holder. All these tools will work on either real or artificial pumpkins, except the candle planter of course.

Pumpkin Masters put out this battery-operated saw a couple years ago, and I recommend you pick one up. It's certainly not good for details or tight curves of any kind but it can be quite useful for long straight or slightly-curved cuts. Since the blade moves so fast it isn't as likely to break a delicate part of your carving than manual cutting, so save the areas you want to use this tool on until last. Works well on real pumpkin but not really so well on the artificial. The blade is replaceable if you have a spare plain saw (like D from the picture above) laying around to substitute.

You can scoop your pumpkin guts out with a plain spoon but something serrated works a little better. I believe this is called the "Monster Scoop."

Yes, these are ceramic tools, and they're great for working on real pumpkins. The large one will make short work of hollowing out your 'kin, while the small one is useful for evening out shaded areas. No, don't use the scoop for actually "hollowing" your 'kin, only use it on the slimy guts and seeds. Use the large ceramic loop to pull out long strips of flesh, until your pumpkin walls are as thin as you want.

This is a linoleum cutting set, by Speedball. The v-shaped tools are used to peel away the skin of a real pumpkin to create "shaved" areas for the light to shine through. You can buy these individually but I like the set because you get two handles (both of which are hollow and can be used to store the tips) and I generally only need two tips at a time. Tips #2 and #5 are the ones I usually use.


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