Air Turbine Woodcarving Tools

Before the invention of power tools, all woodcarving was done by hand, using small chisels and a hammer. With the advent of using compressed air to drive tools, new possibilities were created. This includes wood carving tools. These are small and lightweight, but can carve wood at a far faster rate than the traditional hammer and chisel method.


The Powercrafter by Cirrus is a turbine air powered carving tool. Its size is about that of a large pen, and features an all metal outer housing. Its tip spins at 400,000rpm, and has a variety of burrs available from the Cirrus company. Also, a complete kit is available, which includes an air hose and two burrs. Replacement parts are also available, such as the main turbine unit.

Lab Air-Z

The Lab Air-Z is actually a dentist's rotary tool that can be used to carve a variety of materials, including wood. It spins up to 350,000rpm, and has a variety of burrs available. The Lab Air-Z has an ergonomic shape, so it fits comfortably in your hand. Two models are available, an oil-free or a manually oiled model. The air feeds in toward the back of the unit, away from the tip. Diamond burrs are available as well.

Great Neck Die Grinder

The Mini Die Grinder, manufactured by Great Neck Tools, is a heavy duty larger rotary tool. Unlike other pencil-thin tools, this is a handheld unit. It accepts burrs with a standard 1/4-inch shank, making it useful for large wood carving projects. It spins at 22,000rpm, and has an air requirement of 40.8 Kilogram per square inch at 4 cubic feet per minute. This is a large tool for carving expansive works, such as a totem pole or other large sculptures.

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About the Author

Tony Oldhand has been technical writing since 1995. He has worked in the skilled trades and diversified into Human Services in 1998, working with the developmentally disabled. He is also heavily involved in auto restoration and in the do-it-yourself sector of craftsman trades. Oldhand has an associate degree in electronics and has studied management at the State University of New York.