Carving a pumpkin is something most of us only do once or twice a year around Halloween, so it’s useful to have multi-purpose tools that can be used for other things around the kitchen in the meantime.
Whether you’re using a stencil, 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.
We’ve collated a list of essential tools and particular products we rate to help you build your own pumpkin carving kit.
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.
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.
Essdee five lino cutters and handle set
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.
Triangle double melon baller
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.
Antner Halloween pumpkin carving tools kit
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 decorating craft kit
A bit like stickers, these pumpkin decorations are self-adhesive and made from foam for curving around your pumpkin. There are enough sets for transforming 12 pumpkins, so there’s plenty of scope for mixing and matching.
Skeleton Halloween pumpkin reusable 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.
Discover three ways to carve a pumpkin with the BBC Good Food experts by watching our video guide on how to carve a pumpkin.
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This review was last updated in August 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.