Become a pumpkin-carving pro with these tips and tricks from our experts. Plus, some tools you can snag for less than $20!

Jessica Ball, M.S., R.D.
September 24, 2020
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Getty Images/Basak Gurbuz Derman

Believe it or not, Halloween is right around the corner. And what better way is there to bring in the season than to carve some pumpkins with your loved ones? (Bonus points if you grew them in your garden.) Whether you are a seasoned pumpkin carver or do it just for the family fun, the right tools make all the difference. But should you use your good kitchen knives for carving pumpkins? We checked in with our Test Kitchen and a Vice President of WÜSTHOF, Adam Fischer, to learn more.

Our Test Kitchen Manager, Breana Killeen, told us that she would definitely use her kitchen knives to carve pumpkins. “We cut squash with our knives, so why not pumpkin?” Killeen adds. Our test kitchen recommends getting your knives sharpened frequently (around twice a year) to keep them in tip-top shape, which would make it less likely to get dull (or stay dull) after carving a pumpkin.

Senior Food Editor, Devon O’Brien, adds that many of her knives are too big for pumpkin carving. “That being said, I always use my paring knife for details and bread knife for taking off the top and bottom,” she says. However, be careful to use sturdier knives when carving a pumpkin. Some thinner knives or serrated knives can break, our Food Features Editor, Carolyn Malcoun, speaks from experience.

Fischer echoed the recommendations of our test kitchen and assured us that you absolutely can carve a pumpkin using a kitchen knife. "Like any task, using the right tool can make the job easier and more fun," stated Fischer. "That being said, it’s important to be mindful of proper care of your cutlery. A serrated utility knife (like this WÜSTHOF one from Williams Sonoma, $45) will cut beautifully into the pumpkin… but stay away from cutting the pumpkin stem. The stem is much harder and could dull your blade." He also added that a smaller blade will help you be more precise in your carving, and the serrated edge will help you cut through the thick skin and softer interior flesh of the pumpkin.

Amazon.com

Even though it may be totally fine to use your kitchen knives to crave pumpkins, some may still prefer to have tools specific for the task at hand. Lucky for us, Amazon has this all-purpose pumpkin carving set from Elmchee for only $15.99. With 13 different pieces, you can get as creative and specific with your pumpkins as you like. And don’t forget to save the seeds for delicious recipes like Everything Bagel Pumpkin Seeds and Cinnamon-Sugar Pumpkin Seeds. Happy (early) Halloween to you!