10 Spokeshave Questions and Answers for Beginners

If you are a beginner, the tool may not sound familiar. However, a spokeshave is a handy tool for use in the workshop. You can use it to perform various projects such as shaping round surfaces and chair spindles.

As a curving tool, you can use it to smooth surfaces in wood to make paddles, table legs, chair legs, bows, arrows, and more. It features a blade that does the curving and makes work easier. With this tool, you can work on your decorative pieces and complicated patterns. In this discussion, we have a set of 10 Spokeshave Questions and Answers for Beginners. Let’s jump straight into the discussion.

What Are the Main Types of Spokeshaves on the Market?

There are four types of spokeshaves available for maintenance works and DIY enthusiasts.  A flat spokeshave is suitable for working on objects that are curved on the outside. However, they are versatile and can be used on flat objects. These have a flat sole and a straight blade. You can adjust the blade depending on your desired depth. 

A flat spokeshave has various uses, such as curving the edges to make an item more appealing. It’s very common in making table legs, chairs, and fine polishing of objects.

The next type is the round bottom spokeshave that works on the inner part of the arch. It has a rounded bottom that allows the blade to come into contact with the wooden piece. 

It’s a versatile piece of equipment that you can use on tight or complex curves. Therefore, if you want to cut tight outlines, this is the tool to use. Professionals mostly use this spokeshave. However, even beginners can adapt to it through practice. The blade of the round bottom is similar to the flat model. The advantage of this tool is that you can use it on various projects such as curving chairs and table legs.

A concave spokeshave features a rounded sole with a dent. It’s mainly used on round surfaces when making wagon or decorative wheels. Also, it’s common in curving chair backs and bed frames.

There is also the convex spokeshave with a flat sole that extends from one side to the other. You can use the model to remove some material at the middle point of an object. The last type is a combination spokeshave with a single blade but suitable for several tasks.

What Is the Best Way to Hold a Spokeshave?

A spokeshave is a simple tool to use, and if you’re a beginner, it only requires a little practice and patience. 

When using it, don’t grab it tightly, but hold the spokeshave gently using both hands. Use the forefinger and the thumb to cut the wooden pieces effectively. 

You can turn the tool sideways as you cut the piece instead of going vertically in a back-and-forth manner. Proper handling protects your wood surfaces and the tool from damage.

Why Do Spokeshaves Have Soles?

Spokeshaves come with a wide variety of soles depending on the application. You may find flat-soled, which are suitable for cutting external curves. Others have a curved sole for working on the inner angles. At the same time, the tool may have a low-angle sole. 

Carpenters experienced wood is using spokeshave to decorate the furniture

How Much Does a Spokeshave Cost?

Like any other tool, cheap tools may not perform efficiently. It’s essential to spend some extra money and buy a high-quality product.  Also, you can get an old model and fit it with a premium blade. A high-quality model will give you value for money.

Which Is Better, a Spokeshave or a Router?

Even though a router is a bit quicker, a spokeshave works on the wood pieces with precision. Also, it gives you better control of the arch and the cutting direction. A spokeshave doesn’t use electricity, yet you get a high-quality cut.

What Is the Best Spokeshave Size?

A spokeshave is an essential woodworking tool that comes in varying sizes. The length ranges from 240 mm to 305 mm, while the blade size is between 5-60 mm in length. You can also find a smaller model for accurate and delicate projects. These can measure anywhere between 90 and 170 mm in length.

How Does a Cabinet Scraper Differ from a Spokeshave?

From the appearance, a cabinet scraper resembles a spokeshave. However, cabinet scrapers are more like removing tools than curving. They help in finishing flat surfaces and function like sandpapers.

The carpenters are using spokeshave to decorate the woodwork.

What Happens If the Spokeshave Fails to Function?

If your spokeshave fails to work, it could be that it requires sharpening. Also, if you choose the wrong model for the job, it may fail to work. For example, flat and round spokeshave may be challenging to cut tight corners or curves. 

It’s essential to check how tight the curve is before choosing a spokeshave since there are many types for different tasks. Also, inspect the bevel’s angle and ensure it’s not very steep as it can damage your wood.

Can You Use a Flat Bottom Spokeshave to Shave an Arc?

The flat bottom model is suitable for cutting the inside of a curved object since the sole is low-profiled. It’s most suited for shaving arches of chairs and tables. However, it’s challenging to use it on tighter curves since you may require an accurate radius.

Can I Get a Smooth Curve When Using a Round Bottom Spokeshave?

Round bottom Spokeshaves are primarily used in tight curves and hence not suitable in clean shaving. Therefore, it can’t deliver a smooth cut.


For a beginner, it can be hard deciding on the best type of spokeshave to use since the choices are many. The first thing is to understand the types of spokeshaves and their specific functions.

When shopping, it’s vital to have in mind the specific job you want to undertake with a spokeshave and why you want it. At times it can be confused with other tools such as routers and cabinet scrapers. Hopefully, the above set of questions will aid in understanding the spokeshave, the functions, and the different types.

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