Reviews of specific carving products by those who've used them.
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By Patti
#4172
I tried the ZP Pro Pumpkin Carving Tool out tonight, carved Stripe. I like them much better than the kit tools.

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The smaller blades remind me of the fine saw that pumpkin masters had years ago. That size hasn't been available for years.

I compared some new out of the package PM tools and these pro tools were far superior. They cut faster and easier and didn't bend or come loose in the handle. I also like the pointed blade as opposed to the blunt blade on the PM (and other brand) tools I've tried. These blades are also a bit sharper than the PM blades.

I did notice some discoloration on the blades, probably from the acid in the pumpkin. I don't know if that will effect long term performance.

I'll wait on my final opinion until after Halloween is over and we've carved 100 or more pumpkins, but for now I think these blades beat anything else I've ever used.
User avatar
By Patti
#6296
Well after 90+ pumpkins this year I'd like to report that the pro carving tools are the best set of carving tools I've come across.

We bought two sets, and between the two of us we carved about 100 pumpkins this year. Probably 80% of the cutting used the tools. The rest of the cutting was with the PM power saw (OK too, I think I'll get another one) or the regular PM tools if I was too lazy to swap a blade.

We only used one large and one small blade per set and those were just as sharp when I put them away as they were when they came out of the package. :!:

The pointed end was great for starting a cut and the large handle was more comfortable.

I only had one episode of really cramped hands this year as opposed to about a week of steady pain last year. That may be coincidence, we'll see next year.

The blades aren't hard to change and they didn't slip at all. Skip the little wrench it comes with though and just get a real wrench.

Turn the smaller piece at the top to the left, once it breaks loose you can finger turn the lower piece, the whole thing loosens up then just slip the blade in the slot.

I get it finger tight and then take another 1/4 or half turn with a wrench. Not hard at all.

They are quite sharp and pointy. This wouldn't be the set I'd let a younger child use. I can see where someone not being careful could get a nasty cut.

The only gripe I had was that I would like to have had a slightly longer fine blade for the really small detailed cuts.

I plan on buying two more kits for next year. That way my carving buddy and I can each have two blades set up.

All in all, a fine product. :D
User avatar
By S.A.M
#7048
The carving tools feel great to wield erm I mean hold, really well balanced and comfortable. I've never used the old Warren pro tools but the ZP version holds in your hand like a pencil and I can tell it's going to be great at carving those designs!
The trouble is I have nothing to carve, I'm now hurrying on the pumpkins to grow so I can try this thing out lol.

Thanks Patch Master for the great service :D :D I'm well pleased and I'm sure I'll be shopping with Zombie Pumpkins again in the not too distant future :wink:
User avatar
By angstmama
#10825
I used my set on real pumpkins. I really liked it, a big step up from the cheapie sets.

My only complaint was something that wasn't the fault of the set. When I carve, I like to use both the large and small blade at the same time, carving large chunks and then refining, then going back to the large saw. I had a hard time, because obviously it's not too practical to switch the blades in and out all the time. So I kept the larger blade in the handle most of the time, and used a cheap Pumpkin master small saw for more detail work. I'm thinking about ordering another handle base so I can use both good tools at the same time.

Am I the only one who uses both at the same time, or do you save all your fine detail carving for the end?
User avatar
By belli
#10827
angstmama wrote:...Am I the only one who uses both at the same time, or do you save all your fine detail carving for the end?
I purchased two sets for this exact reason. I had one with the large blade and one with the small blade so I could go from one to the other as needed. Made it much easier that way.
User avatar
By Tkaraoke
#10844
I have both sitting by my side as well. I know it's kind of reduntant but being able to just pick up a diffrent blade when I needed to was awesome. In the long run it never hurts to have another handle for backup!
:D
User avatar
By Dadja
#10855
Nightwatchman wrote:I only used the small blade, I found that the big blade felt more awkward and didn't give me as much control as I wanted.
I agree. I hardly had any lines I founded suitable for the large blade. Are there extra blades available? I think a slightly longer version of the small blade would be perfect...
User avatar
By Patti
#10857
angstmama wrote:Am I the only one who uses both at the same time, or do you save all your fine detail carving for the end?
I have two sets and we keep one large and one small blade in each handle. I want to pick up two more sets for next year that way we all won't need to swap back and forth.
User avatar
By Tkaraoke
#10862
For the most part I did use the small blade for most cutting. For example, on Sandy Gauze, I used the large blade on the long, flowing parts of his bandages. On Slimer, I used the long blade on the outer bands of his design but when I had to go to the middle I switched to the small blade so I would cause less stress on the pumpkin.

I do agree 100% with Daja...a longer small blade is needed. I'll have to check to see if one is available at the hobby store that will fit in the handle. Of course, the problem that you are going to encounter is that the longer the blade (depending how strong it is), the more it's going to try to flex on you.
Last edited by Tkaraoke on Sun Nov 11, 2007 4:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Euri
#11039
I gotta say I am starting to really *hate* PM carving tools. I never use the poker and the handles just aren't comfortable for long durations of carving. I'll probably just keep them around for carving parties and the kids though. :wink:

I am soo picking up at least one ZP Pro set next year. :!:
User avatar
By Tkaraoke
#11047
I like both handles myself but when I carve I really prefer to get my whole hand around it. It really makes carving easier (and faster) on my hand.
By Joey
#11052
I've got one of each set, I keep the smaller blades in the ZP handle and the longer blades on the older style. It was great to just be able to switch between the two when I was carving.

One thing I felt I should bring up is when I washed the ZP style handle, it got all dry and rough, whereas the old style has like a varnish or something that keeps it smooth and shiny. Anyone else have this problem? And what would I look for to fix this, as the way it is now I'm kind of worried about splinters.
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