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Chainsaw Carving Prices 101: How Much Can You Make

Written by Brent Butterworth

The practice of chainsaw carving started back in the 1950’s though it wasn’t until the early 60’s that chainsaw dealerships began lining up and the forestry expos and state fairs started promoting this art.

No matter if you take this as a hobby or a way to make a living, here’s a guide to help you get a fair deal out of this amazing practice!

Factors That Affect the Chainsaw Carving Prices

  • The size of the figure

chainsaw carving - The size of the figure

The best part about wood carving is that the options for what can be shaped are literally endless!

The dimensions of the workpiece are the ultimate determiner. The dimensions of the log help determine how much the potential buyers will be willing to pay. You can easily price up a dragon like this a few thousand dollars!

  • Well detailed carvings with multiple subjects

Well detailed carvings with multiple subjects

Some clients will prefer an enigmatic artwork over a solitary brown bear. Multiple subjects help you create a complete atmosphere and attract more people’s attention. They might find these carvings impressive and be willing to pay a higher price to satisfy you for the hard work.

  • Human subjects

Human subjects chainsaw carving

Carving out human subjects is a good idea when it comes to selling your art pieces at a better price.

If you can get the facial expression right, the rest becomes way easier than carving a big bird or a bear. In fact, you can sculpt a human outfit faster than any other creature with feathers or fur.

  • Combinations of people and creatures

Combinations of people and creatures

A well-put-together combination of humans and beasts can create an outstanding spectacle. They’re one of the most in-demand chainsaw carving works today that can help earn you a fortune! You can do a lot more with these two subjects and bring your imagination to life.

  • Custom orders

Try to get custom orders since it makes a huge difference in the pricing. Get yourself out there, let people know that you’re carving, show your work, and gain custom orders.

This way, you’ll have the option to set the price based on the demand of a customer. You may charge $100 per foot for a bear holding a welcome sign or $200 to $300 for a roaring male lion.

How do you price a chainsaw carving?

  • Take your time to practice before adding a price tag

Your first few carving pieces may not command high prices unless you’re exceptionally talented and sculpting jaw-dropping pieces. If you’re a new carver who is knocking out blocky pieces that are low in detail, you may keep your piece lower in price and give yourself room to grow.

Before attempting to put a price tag on your work, carve up 10-12 bears or other similar pieces. Things will be easier over time with the successful completion of every project.

  • Price out your carvings based on size and not necessarily on time

Focus on carving up large objects and bigger logs since this has a huge impact here. For instance, if you take more than a few hours to carve a 2-foot bear, this won’t mean more than just a 2-foot bear to the viewer. Set the price by the foot and girth.

You may be disappointed sometimes if you only count on how many hours you’ve spent on a particular piece.

  • Invest in market research

Explore the local carving events like craft fairs, meet with the popular artists, make good connections. Also check out the prices of other workpieces and what they look like, what the carvers get for their piece, and what they are actually selling.

Get along with carvers like you because they may help you find a market for your works. Try to find out how and where they sell their lions and wolves.

Where to Sell Your Chainsaw Carving Work?

  • Facebook marketplace

You may not like facebook for a lot of reasons, but Facebook Marketplace can be a great option for you to find people who’d love to get your pieces with a fair price. It costs you nothing to post your work with a price tag and get more people interested in your work

  • Sale sites

You can try other sale sites online to get orders. Try your local sale sites first to attract local buyers then go nation-wide.

  • Local shops

Make a book/brochure that includes pictures of your work with pricing details and then head out to your local shops and ask for the owner or manager. Try to offer them a great deal and make them interested in doing business with you. It’s totally fine if they don’t show any interest at all – just keep trying.

  • Small vendors

Big corporations may not be interested in your work if you’re not that popular in the industry. Small sellers and brokers often have more connections and you may find them more inquisitive about doing business with you.

  • Privately owned businesses

People are more attached to privately owned businesses these days. They tend to have a loyal customer base that trusts them. You may ask them to keep some of your pieces and make a profit when they sell.

  • Furniture stores

Furniture stores are a superb option for your chainsaw carving pieces. People who’ll buy different types of furniture items might as well buy a sculpture when renovating their homes or offices.

  • Knick-knack Souvenir shops

Art-lovers and visitors are your ideal customers. Talk to the shop owners or managers about what type of carving pieces they’d love to keep in their stores.

  • Handmade antique keepers

Handmade antique keepers would most probably like to showcase some wood-carved horses or birds. Make a business plan and take orders that you can supply soon.

  • Hunting and fishing gear stores

Keep hunting and fishing stores in your mind as well. Hunters generally love being with animals. The shop owners may see the potential for trade and order some gazelles and sharks from you.

  • Feed stores

You have a great chance for selling your chainsaw carving works to pet lovers and farmers are the ideal customers of these stores. Take the brochure with you or show your website to the store keepers and gain your orders.

Chainsaw Carving Prices: How Masters See Fit

  • Be realistic

It’s always tough for anyone to calculate the “real” value of an artwork. Be realistic as you set up your chainsaw carving prices. Put a price that makes sense.

Art is not cheap, so don’t be shy to put a price that complements your work. Keep the price different or similar for each piece based on your preferences.

Don’t show up with all of your projects at once. Have a candid discussion with businesses about your work and see if they’d be involved in selling your pieces. Don’t put pressure on people that they can’t handle.

  • Keep your very first piece for yourself

You’ll always regret selling your first piece, no matter how good or bad it has turned out. Be proud of it and keep it for you. Carve up a few more pieces and only then make your sale.

  • Try to put a good amount of detail into your work with whatever tools you have

Don’t compromise to achieve perfection in your work. Use whatever tools handy and make your work better with each touch. Good detail and expression makes your work stand out.

  • Try to keep your price to a satisfactory level

It’s important for you to be happy with the price. You have the freedom to set the amount you like for your work.

Start off between $30 to $50 dollars a foot for very beginner-looking, low-detail pieces as it’s considered a fairly decent price range.

You can charge more if you can take your pieces to the big cities near you – maybe you’re happy with less or maybe you can only be happy with more.

  • You may not get rich with your first sale

Be patient. You can ask for more as you get good at carving in the near future. Focus on the work you do and try to achieve greatness; the amount you truly deserve will come soon!

  • Test the market in your area

Go around and check out your local market to be more practical about pricing up the sculptures. Don’t forget to investigate other neighboring areas since you may get a better deal by walking a few miles more.

FAQs:

1. How much does a chainsaw carver make?

Ans: Many professional chainsaw-carving masters today are making more than $100,000 a year. On average, chainsaw carvers earn around $60,000 a year. Even new carvers are making a substantial income out of this art form. The demand is still high while the supply is low.

2. Is Pine good for chainsaw carving?

Ans: Yes! White Pine is easy to carve and considered one of the top chainsaw carving materials out there.

3. How long do wood carvings last?

Ans: Normally, wood carvings can last a few decades. They can even last generations after generations with a little care. You can also keep them outside for decades if they’re out of direct sunlight and regularly treated and sealed.

About the author

Brent Butterworth

A Professional Woodworker & Custom Furniture Builder

Brent lives in Wisconsin and is a woodworker, custom cabinetmaker, interior consultant, and a freelance writer who got the opportunity to write several magazine articles for different publications on home improvement and woodworking. He’s always amazed at the depth and breadth of woodworking all over the globe, and feels proud to be a part of this great effort. Brent has built everything one can imagine, from unique art furniture to different types of home furniture to canoes and even a sailboat.

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