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Guide to Carving Pumpkins with Power Tools
Squash - Pumpkin

Guide to Carving Pumpkins with Power Tools

Halloween season is upon us! Need some pumpkin carving inspiration to get into the Halloween spirit? Today, we’re going to talk about carving with, you guessed it, power tools!

Jack-o'-lantern - Squash

Let’s Get to Work

I don’t know about you, but in my household, my husband and I are really competitive! We love placing a friendly wager on whoever can come up with the best design. Then our kids judge them without disclosing which pumpkin belongs to who so we get an unbiased outcome.

In the past, we used cheap and flimsy carving tools. Which resulted in a whole lot of elbow grease and way too much time. We recommend several gadgets to help improve your carving game. These tools will allow you to create more intricate designs, or at the very least, save you some time. Here are some power tools to experiment with…

Drill with Various Attachments

Depending on the design you’re going for, a common household drill can be a super helpful tool! You can use a small drill bit and create a connect-the-dot pattern to transfer a design onto your pumpkin. By using a spade bit or hole saw drill bit, you can create various size holes. The precision and speed at which you can make cut-outs make this tool super handy.

Squash - Pumpkin


If you’ve ever fumbled with an inferior carving knife, you will love how easy the jigsaw makes carving out shapes. Start by setting the speed on slow; make sure to be careful not to have hands in the way of the blade. Use it to carve out a hole in the top of the pumpkin or to cut perfect shapes. The blade used in the jigsaw has teeth very similar to handheld carving tools. You’ll really enjoy how quick and precise the results are!

Tool - Squash
TIP: Instead of carving the hole in the top of your pumpkin to get the guts out, try carving the hole in the bottom instead. This can make your pumpkin last longer, make it easier to light, and easier to clean out since the majority of the guts should get pulled out with the bottom piece.

RotoZip Spiral Saw

This saw is really great for freehand cuts and irregular shapes. It can really save some time cutting out your design; be careful for any knots, which can cause the tool to slip and ruin your design.

Pumpkin - Jack-o'-lantern

Image Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lP2TOAv4lYw

Dremel Tool

This tool can really bring your carving to the next level! There are a variety of bits that can sand, carve, etch, and engrave. By using the sanding attachment, you can shave off the exterior to reveal a different shade. This will result in a unique look and even give your pumpkin a fleshy glow. The possibilities are endless with this multi-tool!

Pumpkin - Dremel

Image Source: https://www.doitbest.com/resources/articles-and-buying-guides/manufacturers/easy-pumpkin-carving-with-a-dremel
TIP: Using a cordless version, ideally a model that has a work light works best!

Linoleum Cutter

Okay, so this last one is not a power tool, however, it is a great tool worth mentioning! This old school gadget comes with different shaped attachments for surface carving. This tool is actually used in printmaking and is ideal for adding detail to your design with consistency and precision.

Pumpkin - Carving
Tip: Don’t discard or forget about the pieces you carve away. Find creative ways to incorporate the scraps into your design. For example, using the guts, seeds, or carved skin pieces to create other face detail elements in your design.

You Still Have Time!

It’s ok if you haven’t purchased or carved any pumpkins yet! For a fresh look, don’t carve your pumpkin until 1-2 weeks prior to Halloween.

That being said, uncut pumpkins can last 8-12 weeks if they are kept out of direct sunlight. Now is the perfect time to visit your local farm or grocery store and make your selections. Get creative with the variety of colors and styles to choose from! Here’s what to look for to ensure choosing a healthy pumpkin…

Squash - Winter squash
  1. Pick a pumpkin with a long green stem. The greener the stem the more recent it was harvested. Avoid pumpkins with a broken stem, as they typically rot quicker.
  2. Look for a pumpkin with a bright-colored flesh & semi-smooth texture (easier for carving).
  3. Check the base of the stem where it meets the pumpkin, if there is any mold or mildew, keep looking. This is not a good sign of a healthy pumpkin.

If you’re trying to preserve your pumpkin and prevent mold growth, make sure to clean the insides out; including the stringy stuff. You can preserve your pumpkin by misting the inside daily with a mixture of lemon juice and water.

I hope this post inspires you to get creative with your pumpkin carving this season! If you’re looking for some free carving templates, check out: The Ultimate Pumpkin Carving List of over 1,000 free stencils OR Over 130 Free Disney Stencils. For some additional power tool inspiration, check out these YouTube videos: DIY Network’s Power Tool Pumpkin Carving OR How to Carve a Pumpkin with a Dremel Tool. May you have a fang-tastic Halloween, ghoul-friend!

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