I am often asked where to get good quality economical tools for linocut. I’ve tried a lot of different brands and styles, from the ubiquitous Speedball kits with the red handle and removable blades, through to the professional quality but quite pricey Pfeil tools that I use for my own work. Most of the cheap lino tools you can buy are rubbish. The main problem is that they use poor quality steel and are not sharp enough. When you use them they tend to tear the lino, rather than cutting it cleanly.
Well, I have just found these rather good little tools (from an obscure supplier – I’m afraid I can’t say who!) and I have decided to sell them via my etsy shop. They are $15 for a set of six, which is just under £10. They are lovely and sharp and come in a really useful range of shapes and sizes. Here’s what you get in a set:
One large and one small U tool
One large and one small V tool
One large and one small shallow gouge
With a lot of the Chinese and Japanese sets you get a knife (hangito) and a little chisel. These are useful for making Hanga prints if you’re a budding woodcut artist but for carving lino I find I literally never use them. So instead, with this set you get more tools you will actually use!
If I find there is a demand for these, I am thinking of producing a Linocutboy starter kit with tools, lino, ink, roller and baren. So let me know if you think it’s a good idea and there’s a gap in the market!
The tool kit comes in a nice little plastic carrying pouch.
Here’s a quick little linocut I made using the tools. You can get very good detail, especially with the V tools.
The toolset is available from my Etsy shop. Perfect for beginners or as a gift for someone special. Ah!