BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Expert Shopper Kitchen

Best pumpkin carving supplies

Which pumpkin carving supplies are the best?

Carving pumpkins is a classic autumn tradition that both children and adults can enjoy. There is no better way to get into the Halloween spirit than picking pumpkins, enjoying a hot drink and creating a unique work of art. 

Individual tools and all-inclusive sets allow you to easily carve a traditional, spooky or funny design as you celebrate the fall holiday. These tips and recommendations will help improve your carving experience, whether it's your first time or if you’re an experienced carver. 

Pumpkin carving tips

Choose a perfect pumpkin

It doesn’t matter if you pick a pumpkin from a patch or buy one from a local store. You’ll want to choose one that isn’t too big or small for your intended design. The best pumpkins for carving have an area clear of any significant dents or scratches. 

Wash your pumpkin 

By simply washing your pumpkin with water and soap, you can remove any caked-on dirt and give yourself a better canvas to work with when carving. 


You might be tempted to carve your pumpkin right away, but if the date is too far from Halloween, there is a greater risk of your pumpkin rotting. Depending on the weather and climate in your area, carved pumpkins can last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. 

Thin your pumpkin

Once you’ve cut a hole in the top and scooped out the seeds, take some time to scrape and thin out the interior walls of the pumpkin. Doing this will make carving a bit easier, especially for younger children. 

Practice your design

If you are confident, you could start carving without a plan. However, it is usually a good idea to sketch out your design and then transfer or trace it onto the pumpkin’s face. This will give you an outline to follow. 

Consider etching or scraping

You do not need to carve all your pumpkins fully. Some designs benefit from etching or scraping out shapes and patterns to allow light to shine through differently in specific areas. 

Use the seeds

Don't just toss the seeds. Once you have removed all of the seeds, wash them and roast them in the oven for a tasty snack you can top with salt or your favorite seasoning. 

Coat your pumpkin

Using petroleum jelly to coat your pumpkin’s carved edges and interior, you can actually help prolong its life. This will not only help protect against frost on cold nights but will also keep moisture sealed inside and prevent mold so your jack-o-lantern won't wither and wrinkle. 

Add lights

Finally, once your pumpkin is ready to be put on display, consider adding a source of light to the interior as a way to make your design stand out. 

What you need to carve a pumpkin

Pumpkin carving kits

These pumpkin carving sets are all relatively affordable and contain the essential tools you’ll need to get started. 

GoStock Pumpkin Carving Kit

This 9-piece set contains various scoops and saws that all feature durable, ergonomic handles made from eco-friendly materials.

Sold by Amazon

Elmchee Halloween Pumpkin Carving Tools Kit

You’ll have plenty of options when carving with this 11-piece set which contains both larger carving knives and smaller tools meant for engraving. The zip carrying case is great for storage throughout the rest of the year.

Sold by Amazon

Shuttle Art Store Halloween Pumpkin Carving Kit

With 15 tools and rust-free stainless steel blades included, even the most detailed pumpkin carver can benefit from this reusable set.

Sold by Amazon

Creative Craving Premium 3 Piece Pumpkin Carving Kit

While this set may not feature as many tools, you’ll appreciate the high-quality construction designed to last for years. You’ll also receive an additional stencil book to help everyone create an impressive jack-o-lantern.

Sold by Amazon

Antner Professional Pumpkin Carving Tool Kit

The aspect that stands out the most with this 10-piece set is the unique shapes of the carving knives. Sporting curved and L-shaped designs, these tools are excellent for achieving intricate cuts and patterns.

Sold by Amazon

Individual carving tools

Several individual tools are made explicitly for pumpkin carving, but some conventional household items can come in handy.

OXO Melon Baller

Using a melon-baller to carve a pumpkin may seem strange, but it allows you to create perfectly round polka dot patterns, eyes and other features with ease.

Sold by Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond

Spring Chef Ice Cream Scoop

Another classic household utensil that can make your task easier is an ice cream scoop. While any large metal spoon will work, the sturdy curved edges of this ice cream scoop are great when removing seeds or thinning out the shell.

Sold by Amazon 

General Tools 818 Hardwood Handle Scratch Awl

Using an awl to poke an outline of your design lightly can make the actual carving process easier and more precise.

Sold by Amazon

AUGSUN Wood Carving Knife Set

Though not technically a pumpkin carving kit, this wood carving kit is ideal for those attempting an engraved look rather than a classic carved design.

Sold by Amazon

Keyfit Tools Pumpkin Carving Knife

Made specifically for pumpkins, this sharp serrated blade will easily slice through the thick skin to create neat lines and cuts.

Sold by Amazon

Fiskars Heavy Duty Die Cast Craft Knife

When the small details matter, using a fine-tipped knife like this model from Fiskars can be a gamechanger when putting the final touches on your pumpkin masterpiece.

Sold by Amazon

Pumpkin carving accessories

Homemory Flickering Flameless LED Tea Light

One of the most rewarding aspects is seeing your design lit up at night. These flameless candles provide a realistic appearance without any fire hazards or burn risks.

Sold by Amazon 

The Perfect Pumpkin Ultimate Stencil Book

Not sure exactly what to carve? By using a stencil book, you can follow the outline of a pre-made pattern to produce professional-looking pumpkins.

Sold by Amazon

Complete Acrylic Paint Set

If you’re planning an activity for younger children, having them paint a design onto their pumpkin can be a fun experience. You can even do a mixture of painting and carving to make a one-of-a-kind Halloween decoration. Acrylic paint will work best.

Sold by Amazon

Vaseline Pure Petroleum Jelly

Once your work is complete, rub some pure petroleum jelly along the edges of your cuts and the pumpkin's interior so you can enjoy your carving for longer.

Sold by Amazon


Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Matthew Young writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Share this post: