If you’ve ever wasted countless hours carving a pumpkin with a kitchen knife, and then scooped its seeds out with an over-sized cereal spoon, only to find out your pumpkin carving is sub-par at best, then you need to use power tools to get the job done! Every year I use a combination of power tools to do the hard work for me when I carve pumpkins for Halloween. Whether you’re using a traditional Jack-O-Lantern face or the newest pumpkin carving template, power tools can help save time, get a more precise cut and operate safer than a kitchen knife.
Safety Stuff: Keep all power tools away from your fingers and your kids!
Reciprocating Saws A reciprocating saw with a small 4″ metal blade or jigsaw blade and the guide set all the way to its lowest point is the perfect cutting tool for cutting the lid off of a pumpkin.
You should only use a reciprocating saw with a variable setting switch set to its lowest speed. A reciprocating saw without variable speed settings may still work if you’re careful to pull the trigger in bursts versus holding the trigger down and cutting.
Here’s a secret trick for holding the pumpkin in place while you cut it; put it in a cardboard box that is a snug fit. It’s also possible to hold it steady and cut it from the top as you hold the pumpkin between your legs; but be careful, it can be dangerous. Having someone else help you hold it steady is always a good thing.
½” Drill Use a ½” drill to gut your pumpkin. Set the drill with a paint stripping bit and go to town on the insides! Just make sure you make this mess outside and not in your kitchen. Newspaper isn’t going to do the trick here!
Jigsaws A good tool for cutting out holes for eyes, mouths or templates, the jigsaw makes for quick work of precise curves and cuts that are required by pumpkin carving templates.
Using a metal blade can make all of the difference when cutting smooth lines and curves, while a wood blade is good for removing large sections at a time. Changing blades and using variable speeds on the jigsaw can greatly alter the shapes, designs and textures you can carve into a pumpkin.
Dremel This precise peeler will do just about any cutting you’ll need for pumpkin carving templates or other detail work when carving a pumpkin. With thousands of varying bits available and the precise control of a stylus-type ergonomic grip, you can easily carve any design quickly and meticulously.