Pumpkin carving is an activity synonymous with autumn, and there are a host of pumpkin recipes you can make once the carving competition is over.


Whether you're using a stencil or a picture for inspiration, or are free-hand drawing a design onto your pumpkin, the right bits of kit will make light work of carving intricate designs into seemingly impenetrable pumpkins. Or, for something a bit different, decorate a squash and enjoy the variety in shapes and flavour.

Seeing as it's something most of us only do once or twice a year around Halloween, it's useful to have multi-purpose tools that can be used for other things around the kitchen. However, there are specific pumpkin carving kits and nifty tools around for those wanting to get specialist with their designing beyond the linear cuts of a sharp knife, or make the activity safer for all the family.

We've outlined the types of tools that are useful to have in the kitchen drawer for this time of year, but also some tried-and-tested top performers from our reviews experts to help you build your own carving kit.

If you’re looking for inspiration for what to do with your pumpkin after carving, here are some of our favourite pumpkin recipes, from pumpkin & bacon soup to pumpkin pancakes.

More like this

And for more Halloween-related inspiration, discover pumpkin carving ideas with the BBC Good Food experts and some of our favourite halloween recipes.

Best pumpkin carving kits and tools


Small serrated knife

A sharp serrated knife will be your main tool for cutting and carving sections of your pumpkin designs. But it’ll also give you control over neatening edges around small intricate sections. When it comes to the right knife, look for one with a sharp point that punches through tough skin without too much pressure and a slim but robust serrated blade for making easy work of pumpkin chunks.

We recommend:
Victorinox 10cm paring knife


Lino cutter set

Now bear with us, but lino cutters make great pumpkin carving tools. Designed to withstand some force, they’re sharp and robust enough to make grooves through particularly tough bits of pumpkin, but also allow you to nimbly scrape away sections of skin so that candlelight glows through the flesh.

This set by Essdee has five precision-ground high carbon steel blades, to make cutting seamless and easily controlled. The handles have expandable collars so that you can switch the blades easily.

You could also use the set to make child-friendly potato stamps. Read our simple guide on how to make potato stamps.

We recommend:
Essdee five lino cutters and handle set

Available from Amazon (£4.54)


Melon baller

A good, strong melon baller makes scooping out pumpkin flesh particularly fun. Simply pop pressure on the metal edge of the scoop and you’ll be left with mini moon spheres and perfect eyeball craters on the pumpkin’s surface. Save pumpkin moons in the fridge for cooking once you’ve finished carving.

We recommend:
Triangle double melon baller

Available from Borough Kitchen (£14)

GoStock Pumpkin carving kit

Pumpkin carving tool kit

If you’re keen on buying a specific kit for pumpkin carving, this stainless steel set contains four tools each designed to make light work of tough pumpkins. Included is a sharp serrated mini saw, a scraper with toothed edges for scooping and slicing out the fibrous seeds, one ‘poker’ tool and an etching tool for giving carvings 3D designs.

Six pumpkin carving stickers are also provided for giving you guidelines around which to carve, or simply for small kids to decorate their pumpkin with. These are sharp, so this set would be best suited to older kids under supervision.

We recommend:
GoStock Pumpkin Carving Kit

Available from Amazon (£18.99)

Reusable pumpkin designs and decorations

Halloween pumpkin stencils

Pumpkin carving stencils

Stencils are the perfect way to add some artistic flair to your pumpkin carving. Over 50 are included in this book, featuring a variety of Halloween designs. Plus, you can save the stencils to re-reuse over and over.

Available from Amazon (£5.99)

Reusable pumpkin designs and decorations

Pumpkin decorations are a fun alternative if your kids are too small to carve their own. Plus, you can keep the pumpkin intact so it can be cooked afterwards. For pumpkin decorating inspiration, check out these good-value kits chosen by BBC Good Food experts.

Pumpkin sticker decorations

Pumpkin carving stickers

These pumpkin decorations are self-adhesive and made from foam for sticking to your pumpkin. There are 32 pieces included for transforming 12 pumpkins, so there’s plenty of scope for mixing and matching.

Available from Amazon (£6.99)

Reusable pumpkin decorations

Reusable pumpkin decorating kit

The perk of reusable decorations is obvious – bring them out year after year, and you’ve got a mess-free Halloween pumpkin that remains perfectly intact for cooking. This plastic-free set contains a wooden skeleton head, two arms and two legs that can be pushed through the skin of the pumpkin – a bit like you would when building a snowman.

Available from Amazon £9.99

Pumpkin ideas

Discover three ways to carve a pumpkin with the BBC Good Food experts by watching our video guide on how to carve a pumpkin.

More on kids' cooking

The best kids' cooking recipes
Cooking projects for kids
Recipes for teenagers


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