All the Pumpkin Carving Tools You Need To Make the Perfect Jack-o-Lantern

A few tools are all you need to create this classic Halloween decoration.

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August 15, 2019
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There's nothing more classic than a Halloween Jack-o-Lantern. Whether you've been carving since you were a kid or are a total newbie, having the right tools can make all the difference between a front porch showstopper or a total Pinterest fail. (We've all been there!) Before you get to carving this year, here are the scoops, slicers and cute add-ons you need to make your pumpkins one-of-a-kind.

BUY IT: Pumpkin Masters Jumbo Carving Kit; Amazon, $9.99

For a one-stop pumpkin carving kit, the Pumpkin Masters has it all covered with this all-in-one set. The tools are made for the task with "comfort handles" that come sized for inside-the-pumpkin work.

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$8.90

BUY IT: Stanley 15-556 Jab Saw with Cushion Grip; Amazon, $8.90

Technically this saw is made for cutting through pieces of drywall, but you see those big teeth and that sturdy handle? They're perfect for cutting the top of a pumpkin off. It's not going to cut it (sorry, had to) for more intricate jobs, but it's going to make the big jobs so much easier.

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BUY IT: Norpro 682 Anti-Freeze Ice Cream Spade; Amazon, $9.99

Using an ice cream scoop to dig out the guts of your pumpkin is a pretty tried-and-true trick, but if you want to really ease your effort, try an ice cream spade instead. It's not so rounded and has a bigger surface area and a bit of a sharper edge. It'll work well to scrape the insides off the walls of your pumpkin and make pulling the guts out a little easier.

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BUY IT: Bic Dry Erase Markers; Amazon, $13.49

You won't have to worry about whether or not you're cutting within the lines of your traced design if you use dry erase markers. These fine-point ones will let you trace your design on your pumpkin with ease and if you can still see some of your lines once you're done carving, just wipe it right off.

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BUY IT: Creepy Spider Pumpkin Carving Stencil Printable; Etsy, $2.35

You know those pumpkins you see that look professionally carved sitting on your neighbors stoop? They were made with stencils. Seriously impress your trick-or-treaters with an intricate design. You can find loads of free, printable templates for pumpkin carving online, like at our sister site HGTV.

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BUY IT: Sculpt Pro Pottery Tool Starter Kit; Amazon, $7.99

If you're an amature sculptor with some tools lying around, put them to use on your pumpkin. This basic set is made for sculpting clay but it also works great for the fine details of your pumpkin masterpiece. And even if you're no clay master, you'll have some tools to start a new hobby once Halloween is over.

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BUY IT: Falling in Art Craft Linoleum Block Cutters; Amazon, $12.99

If you plan on using a stencil for your pumpkin, you're going to need some good scraping and gouging tools to do the job. Some of the more intricate ones have several different layers of shading and using linoleum cutters like these will make the work go so much quicker.

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BUY IT: Dremel 7000-PK 6-Volt Pumpkin Carving Kit; Amazon, $24.99

The makers at Dremel must've caught wind that people were using their rotary tools for pumpkin carving because they made one just for that purpose. It's not as powerful or as fast as the wood carving tool, which makes it just right for pumpkins. Plus it costs way less, so if you're using it for a once-a-year task, this is the way to go.

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BUY IT: 2 Pack Fairy Lights; Amazon, $12.99

Put thoughts of fire-related accidents at bay by using battery-operated twinkle lights in your pumpkin instead of tea candles. Once Halloween is over, you can use them to decorate anywhere that could use a little sparkle. Plus, you won't have to worry about relighting candles if this All Hallow's Eve is a windy one.

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BUY IT: BLACK+DECKER LDX120C 20V MAX Lithium Ion Drill; Amazon, $49

You know all those projects you have that would be made so much easier with a good drill? Yeah, well, in October pumpkin carving moves to the top of the list. You can make the prettiest jack-o-lantern just by drilling holes into your pumpkin. Let your imagination run wild in polka-dot designs of all kinds.

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BUY IT: Vaseline 2-Pack; Amazon, $5.30

Once you've got your perfectly (or imperfectly) carved pumpkin done and ready to sit on your doorstep, help it last longer with this simple trick. Protect the cut surfaces of your pumpkin with a light swipe of petroleum jelly. It will slow down the decaying effects of oxygen by creating a protective barrier.

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BUY IT: Halloween Cookie Cutters 8 Pieces; Amazon, $10.59

Go super low-effort with great results by using cookie cutters on your pumpkin. These are Halloween-themed, but use whatever shapes speak to you (or whatever you've got in your cabinet). All you'll need to do it scoop out your pumpkin and hammer in the cutters with a mallet. Pop out the shapes and voila! Jack-o-lantern magic.

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BUY IT: Williams Sonoma Goldtouch Nonstick Half Sheet Pan; Williams Sonoma, $59.90 for 2

Ok, this one isn't technically for carving your pumpkin. It's for your pumpkin seeds! Don't let those delcious little snacks go to waste. Separate them from the guts, rinse them off and pop them on a nonstick cookie sheet for the best fall treat. Get more details on roasting them here.

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