The knife you use for carving is very personal to you. You may use different knives for different elements of the carving process. The feel and shape of the handles, the angle of the bevel on the blade, blade thickness, stainless steel versus carbon steel, the length and thickness of the blade may all influence your decision.
On my tools for starting out page I recommend the Morakniv 120 or 106 knives as the best starter knives, sometimes called sloyd knives to reinforce their Scandinavian tradition. Some folk stick with the Moras for the rest of their carving careers. Ideally you need to feel the knife in your hand to get the right feedback for you..
On the pages below I describe some of my favourite knife brands and makers to inspire you to choose the best carving knives for you.
The Norwegian knife makers Brusletto supported a campaign a couple of years ago to encourage children to take up whittling as a way of preserving a traditional craft by bringing out this little knife, the spikkekniv or whittling knife. On the handle is a picture of a little troll or a ‘spikketrollet’ that is easy to carve out of a piece of branchwood. Here’s my attempt on the left. The spoon alongside the knife is carved from applewood.