Green Wood vs Dry Wood for Spoon Carving: Which One Should I Use?

When it comes to spoon carving, both green wood and dry wood can be used, but they each have their advantages and disadvantages. If you are uncertain which one to choose, don’t worry. We have compiled all the information you need in one place, making it simpler for you to understand.

Green Wood Vs Dry Wood for Spoon Carving - Which one should I use?

Benefits and Drawbacks of Green Wood Vs Dry Wood in Carving

Green Wood

Green wood refers to wood that has recently been cut down and still has a high moisture content. This wood is generally easier to carve than dry wood because it is softer and more pliable. 


  • Easier to carve: Green wood is softer and more pliable than dry wood, which makes it easier to carve and shape.
  • Less prone to cracking: Because green wood contains more moisture, it is less likely to crack while being carved.
  • More forgiving: Mistakes made during carving can often be corrected because green wood is more malleable.


  • Requires more attention: Green wood needs to be kept moist to prevent it from drying out.
  • Longer drying time: If you plan to use the finished product for a long time, the green wood will need to dry out for a period of time to prevent it from warping or cracking.
  • Increased risk of mould: Green wood is more susceptible to mould because of its high moisture content.
  • Not always easy to acquire: Although you can look for trees that have recently fallen or branches that have been trimmed it might not always be the right wood for carving.
  • Harder to store: Storing green wood is not easy unless you have a big freezer.

Depending on where you are based, you might find yourself limited by your green wood supply. To address this issue, we have created a global green wood network called The Carvers Without Borders (TCWB). On The Spoon Crank marketplace, you can purchase green spoon blanks and billets for your wood carving projects. Feel free to reach out if you have questions.

Dry Wood

Dry wood has a lower moisture content and is more stable and durable than green wood. It is also harder and more difficult to carve than green wood, but it can hold finer details and produce a smoother finish. Dry wood is particularly well-suited for carving larger or more complex projects, as it is less likely to warp or change shape over time.


  • Harder and more stable: Dry wood is harder and more stable than green wood, making it ideal for intricate carving and detailed work.
  • Requires less attention: Dry wood does not require as much maintenance as green wood and can be stored for long periods without risk of cracking or wrapping.
  • Quicker drying time: If you need to use the finished product quickly, dry wood can be used right away.
  • Easier to acquire an store: You can either repurpose dry wood or reach out to suppliers that sell dry wood specifically for carving.


  • More difficult to carve: Because dry wood is harder and more brittle than green wood, it can be more difficult to carve, especially for beginners.
  • Prone to cracking: Dry wood is more likely to crack during carving due to its low moisture content.
  • Less forgiving: Mistakes made during carving are harder to correct because dry wood is less pliable.

Green woodcarving

Green woodcarving is a traditional technique of carving wood while it is still freshly cut, or “green.” This means that the wood has not been dried or seasoned, and still has a high moisture content. Green woodcarving has been practiced for centuries, and is often associated with traditional crafts such as spoon carving, bowl carving, and chair making.

Carving with hand tools has become gain popularity mostly due to the fact that carving on green wood is relatively easier. Carvers often venture to the woods in search of fallen branches, as these are easy to procure and do not require additional steps before you can begin carving. Another good reason to visit nature more often.

The main downside is often splits or cracks during the drying process, which is reasonably easy to prevent if you learn why it happens. Opting for green wood facilitates an effortless carving experience; and with clean knife cuts the need of a long and tedious sanding process becomes redundant.

Dry woodcarving

Dry woodcarving is the process of carving wood that has a lower moisture content, typically around 10% or less. Dry wood is generally more stable and less likely to change shape or warp over time, making it a popular choice for projects that require precision and durability.

There are different techniques and tools that can be used for dry woodcarving, including chisels, gouges, and knives. Each tool requires a different level of skill and precision, so it is important to practice and experiment to find what works best for your project.

Dry wood is ideal for relief carving which requires a higher amount of detail. Although it can be done, carving on dry wood using whittling knives is quite uncommon. 

Is Green Wood Better for Spoon Carving?

Ultimately, the choice between green wood and dry wood comes down to personal preference and the specific project you have in mind. Although when it comes to spoon carving, green wood is definitely my favourite choice and the most popular amongst spoon carvers. It comes with a lot of advantages compared to its dry counterpart. 

  • It’s easier. With some understanding of the techniques involved and less effort than carving on dry wood is fairly straightforward.
  • It’s affordable. With a couple of inexpensive hand tools and a piece of green wood there is no really any limit on what you can carve.
  • It’s dust free. What I love the most about green woodcarving is that I can carve literally anywhere without having to worry about creating a mess.

To avoid cracking and splitting keep your work in a paper bag between sessions. Sudden temperature changes is something you also want to avoid. The longer the drying process the better, for a crack-free wooden spoon.

When you explore the realm of green woodcarving, The Spoon Crank will be your number one ally as you progress into your carving journey. The Spoon Crank has everything you need, from carving knives to spoon blanks and spoon templates to make your spoon carving experience easier.

Give green woodcarving a try and discover the beauty of making something unique with your hands. And If you don’t have access to green wood, check out the green wood blanks and billets available on our marketplace.

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