Every wood carving tool consists of the main parts, the handle and the blade. The straight or curved shape of the edge starting from the cutting edge of the blade is referred to as the sweep. The point the blade can be either beveled on both sides, if it is a straight sweep and beveled on one side only if the sweep is curved. If the bevel is on the inside of the curve the gouge is said to be incannel and if the bevel is on the outside of the curve the gouge is outcannel. The blade starts to taper near the handle at the shoulder reaching its narrowest point at the neck.
The blade flares out from the neck towards the handle to form the bolster. A rod always extends out from the bolster into the handle (not always the case with cheap carving tools). The tang gives extra support to the blade within the handle. The handles of carving chisels are usually made from wood. Straight grained and slow growing hardwoods such as ash, beech and hornbeam are best for handles. This is because the wood is dense and strong and the straight grain is less likely to split due to inherent knots and faults. In the place next to the bolster where the tang enters the handle a brass or steel ferrule usually supports the handle.