The 5 Best Pumpkin Carving Kits of 2023

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If you’re looking to elevate your at-home Halloween decor this spooky season, you’ll need the best pumpkin carving kits to help create some seriously fun jack-o’-lanterns. Whether you’re a seasoned carver or a beginner eager to dive into the festive spirit, you can use my guide to select the best pumpkin carving kits that promise precision, safety, and boundless creative possibilities. 

best pumpkin carving kits
Credit: Jessica Gavin

From ergonomic handles that ensure a steady grip to stainless steel tools engineered for durability, this guide to the best pumpkin carving kits leaves no stone unturned in the quest for carving perfection. It’s taken me some time to find the best tools for pumpkin carving, especially because my kids ask for more intricate and interesting designs each year. However, with the right collection of tools under my belt, pumpkin carving has become a fun and seamless tradition in my house!

My Top Picks:

  1. In My Kitchen: Elmchee Pumpkin Carving Kit – $18.99 at Amazon
  2. Best Budget Pumpkin Carving Kit: Pumpkin Masters Pumpkin Carving Kit – $8.99 at Amazon
  3. Best Professional Pumpkin Carving Kit: Messermeister 3-Piece Pumpkin Carving Set – $24.95 at Amazon
  4. Best Pumpkin Carving Stencils: Hyde & EEK! Halloween Pumpkin Carving Party Kit – $10 at Target
  5. Best Pumpkin Carving Kit for Kids: WANNTS Pumpkin Carving Kit – $16.96 at Amazon

Reviews of The Best Pumpkin Carving Kits

1. In My Kitchen: Elmchee Pumpkin Carving Kit 

Elmchee Pumpkin Carving Kit
Credit: Amazon

I’ve used the Elmchee Pumpkin Carving Kit for the last three years because it has everything I need to create unique designs! I love that the tools are sturdy and have lasted through each season. 

The kit comes with a variety of tools to help with basic carving and effectively cleaning the pumpkin (especially to scoop out and save the pumpkin seeds for roasting). I’ve especially found that these tools are perfect for more intricate designs since it has chisels, saws, loops, and a hole and a needle tool for finer details. This kit helps me level up my pumpkin decorating skills!

The set has a combination of thin, wooden-handled tools and thick, plastic handle tools (that are easier to grip), all tucked away in a zippered carry case. For a closer look at what each tool is used for, check out my guide to pumpkin carving tools!

The Specs:

  • Blade Material: Stainless steel 
  • Number of Tools: 13
  • Recommended Age: 9 and up (with supervision)
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes
  • Includes: Six double-sided stainless steel detail sculpting, cutting, and carving tools, two stainless steel scoopers with scraper, two tooth saws, two hole and circle punches, and one engraving pen.

The Pros:

  • A wide variety of tools 
  • Very sharp 
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Ergonomic handles
  • Comes with a carrying case 

The Cons:

  • Handles are a bit short
  • The wooden-handled tools are a little flimsy 

What Others Are Saying

Insider, Wirecutter, and Delish all recommend the Elmchee Pumpkin Carving Kit. This product has a 4.4 rating on Amazon from more than 1,800 reviews. 

Buy the Elmchee Pumpkin Carving Kit: 

2. Best Budget Pumpkin Carving Kit: Pumpkin Masters Pumpkin Carving Set 

Pumpkin Masters Pumpkin Carving Set
Credit: Amazon

Pumpkin Masters has been a favorite pumpkin carving brand since 1986, when the company created its first pumpkin carving kit. I’ve tried these ones before (they’re often sold in the grocery stores), and although they aren’t as sturdy or intricate as the Elmchee pumpkin carving kit that I use now, I like the pattern book that comes with different options like bats and witches. 

The basic kit is easy to use and very budget-friendly, and the ten included patterns are great for beginners and kids. Since the saws and drill are on the petite side, the trick is to use an up-and-down saw motion to cut through the pumpkin flesh. 

The Specs:

  • Blade Material: Stainless steel 
  • Recommended Age: 6 and up (with supervision)
  • Number of Tools:
  • Dishwasher Safe: No
  • Includes: A starter saw, detail saw, scraper scoop, utility saw, drill, and a pattern book of 10.

The Pros:

  • Budget-friendly kit
  • Easy to use 
  • Great for kids  

The Cons:

  • Small sized tools
  • Not as durable
  • A limited number of tools

What Others Are Saying

The Strategist and Consumer Reports both recommend the Pumpkin Masters Carving Kit. 

Buy the Pumpkin Masters Pumpkin Carving Set:

3. Best Professional Pumpkin Carving Kit: Messermeister 3-Piece Pumpkin Carving Set

Messermeister 3-Piece Pumpkin Carving Set
Credit: Amazon

Messermeister, founded in 1981, is a leading kitchen and tool brand specializing in handcrafted cutlery and chef’s knives, and their pumpkin carving kit is no exception. The blade is constructed from forged steel, meaning it’s made from a single bar of hammered steel — the preferred method for knife manufacturers due to its added strength and durability. 

This 3-piece set is consistently voted as one of the best pumpkin carving kits out there. It’s also the only kit I found that includes a lifetime warranty, so it’s a great choice if you’re looking for a more professional pumpkin carving kit that will last for years to come.

The Specs:

  • Blade Material: Stainless steel 
  • Recommended Age: Not specified
  • Number of Tools: 3
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes
  • Includes: A 3.5-inch sawtooth carver, an etching tool, and a pumpkin scraper. 

The Pros:

  • Soft-grip ergonomic handles
  • Easy to hold 
  • Great for beginners and experts alike 
  • Lifetime warranty against defects

The Cons:

  • Expensive compared to other kits 
  • No storage case 
  • A limited number of tools

What Others Are Saying

Wirecutter found The Messermeister 3-Piece Set to be the best pumpkin carving kit they tested, and Delish voted it as the best overall. 

Buy the Messermeister 3-Piece Pumpkin Carving Set:

4. Best Pumpkin Carving Stencils: Hyde & EEK! Halloween Pumpkin Carving Kit

Hyde & EEK! Halloween Pumpkin Carving Kit
Credit: Target

If you’re shopping for a more expansive set with stencils, this Hyde & EEK Pumpkin Carving Kit comes with nine tools and 16 stencils! Each of the stencils comes with a corresponding difficulty level, so you can easily pick a stencil to suit your carving abilities. The set has limited tools for shading or shaping, but it’s a good option for kids and beginners, and since it includes two of (almost) every tool, it’s great for families. 

The only downside to this kit is the scooper is very small compared to others I found. This can make it difficult to scoop out all the flesh, so you may need to use a larger spoon to get the job done. 

The Specs:

  • Blade Material: Stainless steel 
  • Recommended Age: 8 and up (with supervision)
  • Number of Tools: 9 (and 16 stencils)
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes
  • Includes: A carver, two scoops, two detailers, two tracers, and two pokers.

The Pros:

  • Great for beginners
  • Includes two of most tools 
  • Good selection of stencils at varying difficulty levels
  • Affordable price 

The Cons:

  • Scoop is pretty small 
  • No carry case
  • Limited retailers available

What Others Are Saying

The Hyde & EEK Halloween Pumpkin Carving Kit is recommended by Consumer Reports.  

Buy the Hyde & EEK! Halloween Pumpkin Carving Kit:

5. Best for Kids: WANNTS Pumpkin Carving Kit 

WANNTS Pumpkin Carving Kit
Credit: Amazon

This kid-friendly pumpkin carving kit contains punching molds that are similar to cookie cutters, making it a good option for people who don’t love cutting or carving into their Halloween pumpkin. The set includes 22 stainless steel carving molds that can create over 1,000 different patterns or designs for your pumpkin! 

If you don’t already have a heavy tool (like a wooden meat tenderizer) to pound the shapes into the pumpkin, you’ll want to opt for the set that includes the rubber hammer (although it’s also sold without the hammer for a few dollars less). 

The Specs:

  • Blade material: Stainless Steel 
  • Recommended Age: All ages
  • Number of Tools: 25 (with a hammer)
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes 
  • Includes: A carving knife, pumpkin scooper, 22 stainless steel carving molds, and a hammer.

The Pros:

  • Lots of different designs to choose from 
  • Easy grip handle tools 
  • Safe for kids 
  • Easy to clean and use

The Cons:

  • You’ll need a rubber mallet (or hammer tool)
  • A little more costly than other options
  • Bulky to store

What Others Are Saying

The WANNTS Pumpkin Carving Kit has a 4.6 rating on Amazon out of over 361 reviews. 

Buy the WANNTS Pumpkin Carving Kit:

Other Pumpkin Carving Kits to Consider

Disney Pumpkin Decorating Kit

If you have Disney fans in your house, then this Disney Pumpkin Carving Kit is a must-have for Halloween. It’s easy to use and doesn’t require any carving, thanks to the simple push-in molded pieces. There’s a range of different Disney designs to choose from, including Hocus Pocus, Cinderella, Nightmare Before Christmas, and Star Wars. The kid-friendly set also comes with paint and a brush, but the molds themselves are reusable. That said, it’s more of a decorating set than a classic pumpkin carving set, so it doesn’t include any scraping or carving tools. The Disney Pumpkin Decorating Kit is available at Target for $10.

Comfy Mate Pumpkin Carving Kit with Candles

This popular 12-piece set comes with 11 pumpkin carving tools, including two saws, one cambered etching tool, one poker drill, one scoop, and six stainless detail sculpting tools — all in a convenient case. The tools have anti-slip handles, making them better for little hands. You’ll also receive five battery-operated LED candles and a pumpkin carving eBook, which is a nice addition for ideas, but you’ll need to have a printer handy to use the stencils. The Comfy Mate Pumpkin Carving Kit with Candles is available at Amazon for $20.99.

Bootiful Professional Pumpkin Carving Kit

The Bootiful Pumpkin Carving Kit includes eight stainless steel carving tools that are durable and easy to use. The set comes in a handy zippered case for easy storage, has more than 1,200 Amazon reviews, and was voted best overall by Bob Vila, but it is a little more expensive than some of the other options (and has fewer tools). The Bootiful Professional Pumpkin Carving Kit is available at Amazon for $29.99

OuMuaMua 36 Pack Halloween Pumpkin Decorating Stickers  

If you’re looking for a simple and easy alternative to pumpkin carving, then decorating your pumpkin with stickers is a great idea. This is a quick and fun way to get in the spooky spirit if you have little ones or are running low on time this fall. The kit comes with 36 sticker designs to choose from. The OuMuaMua 36 Pack Halloween Pumpkin Decorating Stickers is available at Amazon for $6.49.

Dremel Craft Rotary Tool

If you want to take your pumpkin carving to the next level, you may want to invest in a rotary tool, like this one from Dremel Craft. It’s perfect for creating intricate details on your pumpkins like spiderwebs, elaborate fonts, or big designs. While this electric pumpkin carving tool is a bit on the pricier side, a rotary tool can be used around the house and for other crafts year-round. The Dremel Craft Rotary Tool is available at Amazon for $39.95.

Why You Can Trust Us

Hi, I’m Jessica Gavin, a Certified Food Scientist and Certified Culinary Scientist with a passion for all things food. I have multiple degrees in food science topics, and I’m most enthusiastic about unraveling scientific mysteries in the realm of cooking. 

Over the years, I’ve immersed myself in the intricate world of food technology, including the journey of food from farm to table. In 2012, I launched my blog and within the confines of my home test kitchen, I take pleasure in the art of crafting and developing recipes, like this one for roasted pumpkin seeds. In 2018, I even published my first book, Easy Culinary Science for Better Cooking, which includes over 75 delicious recipes, cooking tips, and step-by-step guides. 

best pumpkin carving kits
Credit: Jessica Gavin

I also have a ton of knowledge on all things pumpkins! From everything you need to know about pumpkin carving tools to an extensive guide on carving pumpkins, I’ve spent time getting to know these fruits like the back of my hand.

To curate my list of the best pumpkin carving kits, I conducted extensive market research to find some of the most top-rated kits. First, I looked at my own favorite tools and considered why I love them as much as I do, and then factored in things like the variety of tools, user-friendliness, durability, safety features, and cost. Finally, I sought expert feedback and user reviews, resulting in these recommendations.

What to Know About Pumpkin Carving Kits

Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Pumpkin Carving Kits

Selecting the best pumpkin carving kit is essential for crafting fun jack-o’-lanterns and bringing your Halloween visions to life. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

Tool Variety and Quality 

A quality pumpkin carving kit should offer a range of tools designed to handle various tasks. You should look for kits that include serrated knives, scoops, saws, and intricate detail tools. Aim to find stainless steel tools to ensure durability and precision during carving. 

Ease of Use

A user-friendly kit is a must, particularly for those new to pumpkin carving or young kids. The tools should be easy to handle and maneuver, allowing for precise carving. You may also want to buy a kit with tools with ergonomic handles, instructions, or online tutorials. 

Durability 

Pumpkin carving kits should be strong enough to withstand multiple carving sessions. You should aim to find kits with high-quality materials like stainless steel or strong plastics to ensure longevity and repeated use over the years.

Price and Value 

While it’s tempting to buy cheaper kits, remember that quality and durability often come with a slightly higher price tag. By paying a bit more for a kit, it should hopefully last you for many years to come.

How to Use Pumpkin Carving Tools 

The best pumpkin carving kits of 2023

Using pumpkin carving tools effectively is the key to transforming your pumpkin into a masterpiece. Most pumpkin carving kits come with a selection of tools, including fine-tooth saws, scoopers and scrapers, etching chisels, hole cutters, and sculpting ribbon loop tools. Each tool is used for a specific job (find out more about this in my pumpkin carving tool guide). 

  1. To start, you need to empty your pumpkin of its insides. The best way to do this is to cut off the top of your pumpkin using a fine-tooth saw, and then use the scoop and scraper to remove the flesh.
  2. Once the inside of your pumpkin is clear, you can work on your design. If you’re new to pumpkin carving, you may want to use a stencil. You can secure it to the surface of the pumpkin using tape, but you can also create your own design.
  3. To carve your design, select the appropriate tool for the job. Serrated knives are ideal for initial shaping, while fine detail tools suit intricate designs. Hold the tool firmly but not too tightly, allowing for controlled movement. 

Remember to always carve away from your body to prevent accidents. You should also ensure all of your tools are clean and dry for optimal performance. 

How to Carve a Pumpkin Without a Kit

In my experience, pumpkin carving tools can simplify the process while keeping things fun and safe. However, if you’re in a pinch, some kitchen utensils can help with pumpkin carving: 

  • A serrated knife is good for initial cuts, gradually working your way around the outline. 
  • A large spoon can be used for scooping out the seeds and pulp.
  • Smaller knives can be used for finer details, and a scraper or spoon can be used for smoothing the inner walls. 

Check out my in-depth, how-to guide on pumpkin carving for more information and first-hand tips!

How to Decorate a Pumpkin

In addition to carving your pumpkin, you may want to decorate it. There are a lot of different ways to decorate a pumpkin, but some of the most popular ways include painting, adding hats, or using adhesive decorations such as stickers. Adding googly eyes is another fun way to spice up your pumpkin. 

What to Do with the Pumpkin Guts

scooping seeds
Credit: Jessica Gavin

If you want to avoid waste, it’s possible to use every part of a pumpkin, by roasting the pumpkin seeds or using the guts for vegetable stock. If you can’t use the pumpkin guts, then you can always compost the remains in your home composting system. 

How Long Does a Carved Pumpkin Last?

The duration of a carved pumpkin’s freshness typically spans anywhere from five to ten days, but this will vary on the temperature. Once the skin and flesh are cut, the natural process of decay initiates, driven by factors like oxidation, moisture loss, and the activity of organisms and insects breaking down the flesh. Warmer temperatures can also accelerate the spoiling process. For these reasons, it’s best to carve your pumpkin three days before you plan to display it.

How to Preserve a Carved Pumpkin

  • Consider using a bleach cleaner to treat both the inner and outer surfaces of the pumpkin. Allow around five minutes for the solution to settle before wiping down the pumpkin’s exterior. This step can help with getting rid of surface-level bacteria and organisms, but it won’t get rid of everything. 
  • Another approach involves applying petroleum jelly to the cut sections. This creates a protective barrier against airborne oxygen so that the pumpkin will retain some of the flesh’s moisture. 
  • For daytime preservation, refrigeration is an option. You can cover the carved regions with plastic wrap to maintain moisture and remove it when showing off your pumpkin at night.

The Best Pumpkin Recipes

pumpkin brushing
Credit: Jessica Gavin

To get even further in the fall spirit, you can enjoy warm, cozy flavors by eating pumpkin or pumpkin-flavored goodies. Here are some of my favorite sweet and savory creators for the season.

Prices were accurate at the time of publication. 

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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