Bear Woods is pleased to be an exclusive distributor of Schaaf tools. This line of tools, priced to be affordable for beginners, will stand up to a lifetime of use.
Woodcarving Illustrated said that Schaaf tools offer the quality of Swiss made tools at a third of the price. The tools are hardened to Rockwell C60, and they hold an edge for hours with only a light buffing or stropping to maintain the edge.
The tools are available two different ways: professionally sharpened by Dick Belcher of Belcher Supply, or with a factory edge. A beginner without a lot of sharpening experience is better off getting the professionally sharpened tools. It is much easier to keep a tool sharp because the professionally sharpened tools provide a template to keep your tools sharp. The factory edge will allow you to carve right away, but it might need a little refining for best results.
In many cases, you'll have more control while carving if you use a mallet. While you can use hand pressure to carve a variety of woods, the different densities of wood sometimes means that the tool will cut faster than you expect. Controlled strikes with the mallet allow you to predict how fast the tool will cut, increasing your control.
"As every carver knows, getting good tools can be a challenge. A set of ready-for-carving Swiss-made gouges will set you back over $400, while inexpensive tools require serious work to shape and sharpen before they are suitable to work with. That’s precisely the problem that the new California-based company Schaaf Tools set out to solve. “We thought if we could make quality tools and sell them at an affordable price,” said co-founder Eli Pearlman, “there was an opportunity.” The result is this 12-piece set, sourced in China, which comes with a factory bevel for experienced carvers (who can then reshape and sharpen them to meet their preferences) or as a professionally sharpened set for an $80 upcharge so newbies can dig right in." -- “Sharp Tools, Great Value.” Woodcarving Illustrated, Magassist, 14 Aug. 2019.