It’s Halloween, which means, among other things, that we carve pumpkins to put out on the front steps. My wife insists on everyone in the house having their own pumpkin. With 5 people in the house, this means that every year I end up carving somewhere between 1 and 5 pumpkins. (This year I did 3.) We’ve gone through our share of pumpkin carving kits, you know the ones. They come with a couple of safety saws that won’t cut your skin, a scraper, and maybe a thingie for tracing a pattern or punching holes. A couple of years ago I started to get a little beyond the basic combo of circle eyes, triangle nose, and wide grin, and started doing patterns and designs that take a little more time. (It’s hard for me to just go the easy route with something like that.)
And so I graduated from those generic pumpkin carving tools to something a little more…manly. My pumpkin carving tool of choice is my multitool. I know that most of you are probably done carving your pumpkins by this point, but I wanted to tell you about using the multitool anyway since I just finished pumpkin #3 and it’s fresh in my mind.
The multitool I used is your pretty basic model. It’s got a couple of knives, a couple of screwdrivers (including a mini flat-head, which is super useful), pliers, a bottle opener, that kind of thing. Mostly, when I’m carving a pumpkin I’m using the knife and the mini flat-head screwdriver to do most of the work. I can use the knife to cut the top and get at all those gooey innards, then the blade can double for the carving work and the screwdrivers scrape out the meaty bits of the pumpkin for different effects. The nice thing about the multitool is that all the tools I need are in one spot. If I need to go from knife to saw to screw driver to whatever, I just need to fold back the part I’m using and fold out the part I need.
In the past I’ve used a steak knife from the kitchen and a screwdriver from the junk drawer, but invariably I get distracted and put one where I don’t notice it and then I’m looking all over for where the screwdriver went and the kids need something to drink and the dog starts barking and someone gets pumpkin guts on the couch and then I want to finish the pumpkin off with a sledgehammer. With the multitool I don’t lose anything so I don’t have to chug a beer or two when I’m done carving.
With the kids I’m still making them use the tools from the pumpkin carving kits. I don’t need to pause in the middle of carving to rush to the ER for a handful of stitches. Although, blood on the pumpkin might be a nice touch…
If you’re looking to up your pumpkin carving game for next year, try a mutlitool and see what you can do with it. This is the pumpkin I finished carving just a little while ago. What do you think? I know it’s not a masterpiece, but it’s not bad for something that was finished at 10:30 on a Monday night.