I've been wanting to make this thread for a while and finally got around to it. Here are the tools that I recommend for different levels of carving.
To start, here are the non-edged tools that I feel are necessary.
1: A good strop loaded with compound (chromium oxide, or other). It's very important to keep your knives and axes sharp while carving.
2: A good tool bag (I use this one, http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...1#.UTQFGaVXLzI). It might not be "necessary," but I like to be able to carry all of my tools in one bag.
3: I like to wear a glove on my left hand to protect myself from my knives. I just got these that are supposed to be cut-resistant. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
4: I like to keep a pencil and a sketch pad in my bag. I use the pencil to draw the design on the piece of wood and the pad to sketch designs that I might want to make in the future.
5: I also keep an apron in my bag to keep the wood chips off my clothes.
Here is my tool bag,
NOTE: The rubber mallet is for hammering the back of a gouge.
Okay, now for the sets.
Set 1: Someone just starting to carve that doesn't know if he/she is going to follow through with the hobby or doesn't want to spend too much money. You will mainly be able to make spoons with this set, but you could make bowls and kuksas. However, it would take quite a long time to hollow the carving out. You could easily add a gouge to help with that.
Mora 120. It only cost about $20 and I haven't found anything wrong with it.
Wetterlings Wildlife axe. This isn't ideal, but it works very well for a beginning carver.
Mora 164 hook knife. Now, this is by far not the best spoon knife. However, if you have the ability to reprofile the edge a bit thinner it will be very serviceable. You could also get a better spoon knife from someone like Del Stubbs (http://pinewoodforge.com) or Paul Jones of Deepwoods Ventures (http://www.deepwoodsventures.com/index.html). Paul was VERY kind when I gave him some constructive criticism about the spoon knife he made me. He even sent me a prototype of a new spoon knife for free.
Saw. You really could use any saw that you have, but I use this one http://www.amazon.com/Corona-RS-7395...rds=corona+saw. I think a straight bladed one would work better than this, but it's just what I have.
SET 2: This set would be useful for someone that is more serious about carving and wants a great set. You can always add anything else you need. This set would work great for spoons, bowls, kuksas, and anything else you could this of.
Gransfors Bruks Swedish Carving Axe. If you can afford it, it is really nice. You can literally feel the hand-made quality.
Mora 120. Same as above.
Saw. Same as above.
Pfeil #7 bent gouge. I got a good deal on this on E-Bay for about $30-40. You would probably want to get a rubber mallet to chase the gouge.
Deepwoods Ventures spoon knife. This one doesn't work that well for spoons, but it is great for rough hollowing bowls and kuksas.
Deepwoods Ventures spoon knife prototype. Paul said he was going to add it to his lineup sometime, but he hasn't added it yet. This one works great for spoons, and the finish work for hollowing bowls and kuksas.
I hope this will help someone.