Paul recommends the Ashley Iles No7 37mm straight gouge to use in spoon and bowl carving. He also uses and recommends Pfeil and Hirsch in similar size and sweep, however these brands are not always in stock.
We found the Stubai 40mm No7 to be in stock from Tiranti which is just as good as the other brands.
You can use any size between 25-40mm in width and smaller ones can be adapted for other work. The type of handle, plastic, wooden or shaped, will be down to personal preference. Paul advises a No 7 sweep, which describes the curve. You want the bevel on the bottom or outside (out-cannel) rather than the top or inside (in-cannel). The quality of the steel is important for edge retention, that is why it is advisable to buy a well known brand which have been tried and tested.
🇬🇧 We purchased this gouge. We have found it in stock on here for £69.99 (inc VAT)* with £3.99 delivery
🇺🇸 If you are ordering from the US, Paul recommends this Hirsch No7 from Highland Woodworking for $56.99*
Update May 2020: If the gouges we have linked to are out of stock, try searching for the other brands Paul recommends such as Ashley Iles, Pfeil and Hirsch in similar size and sweep.
*Prices checked October 2022
To read more on this tool, we recommend the following from Paul’s blog: