Tool of the Week: Draw knife

By Micah Summers

At The West Seattle Tool Library, we’ve been thankful and fortunate to receive a large number of unique donations.

Over the last year, we’ve received everything from 100 year-old, vintage tools to those that have barely been touched. Today, I’m writing about one of our many relatively unique tools, the draw knife, which is a tool for wood carving.

A long (typically 6-12″) blade is secured between two handles. The user pulls, or draws, the knife towards himself along a rough log or long piece of wood. Common uses are to debark wood or to shape furniture, boat spars or virtually any larger, carved wood piece.

A draw knife tool had one of its handles replaced seemingly decades ago but remains fully functional and a lot of fun to use.

Based on its construction, this particular draw knife likely dates between 1920 and 1940. It is just one of 1000+ tools available now at the West Seattle Tool Library, which is free to use and run mostly on member donations.

Visit us at for more information or to take a look at our inventory.