Carving the perfect pumpkin can seem like a daunting task. We've rounded up the best tools and techniques to help you make this Halloween tradition a breeze. Get our five must-have tools, and then try our best tips for how to use them. With these easy pumpkin-carving hacks, your carved creations will be the envy of the neighborhood this Halloween.
Since this small saw has a long blade, it's the ideal tool to make the first cut into your pumpkin. The long blade easily cuts through pumpkins of all thicknesses; cut slowly with long sawing motions. When cutting the initial hole in the top or bottom of your pumpkin, keep in mind that the hole should be large enough to put your arm into.
The least enjoyable part of carving a pumpkin is scooping out the insides, which is why we like the idea of using a large kitchen spoon for this step. Use a sturdy metal spoon to scrape the inside edges of the pumpkin to separate the pulp from the shell. The spoon can also scoop the pulp and seeds out and into a bowl or disposable plastic bag.
Clay modeling tools are perfectly suited for cleaning the inside of the pumpkin. Use the tool like a potato peeler to scrape the inner walls of the pumpkin until they are no more than 1 inch thick (this will make carving easier later). The modeling tools are flexible and bend to fit the curve of the pumpkin, so you'll be able to get a clean edge all the way around. If you don't have clay modeling tools, you can continue using the spoon to scrape away the excess material.
To carve the finer details of your pumpkin, use a fine-tooth saw. It functions similarly to the keyhole saw, but its small blade will help you make smaller and more intricate carvings. Hold this saw in your hand like a pencil and saw around your design using an in-and-out motion, keeping the blade perpendicular to the pumpkin surface. When carving larger designs, it's helpful to start in the middle of the pumpkin surface and work your way outward so that your hand always has a solid surface to rest on; this will help you stay in control of the blade for a safer and more accurate cut.
One of our favorite pumpkin-carving hacks is using nontraditional tools to create perfect shapes. A handheld apple corer is a great way to carve out perfect circles because it usually has an easy-to-grip handle that allows you to apply even pressure to the surface of the pumpkin. For smaller holes, use a drill that is outfitted with different-size drill bits to get perfect circles every time.