When carving my first spoon with a hook-knife, I learned very quickly that my thumb and fingers needed protection. I quickly bought a leather thumb guard so that I could carve without hurting myself.
The thumb guard I bought was an add-on item from Amazon, meaning it was so inexpensive I had to buy other items before they would ship it. I rose to the challenge and bought a bunch of other neat stuff so I could make the video shown in this post.
Basically the thumb guard is just a leather patch that has elastic sewn onto it so that it forms a glove around your thumb.
This allow you to press against the double edged hook knife blade to carve with power and control but without pain.
I should have bought this when I got my knife, but I didn’t think it was necessary – boy was I wrong. This tool really saved my thumb and made carving easier.
A thumb guard is not strictly necessary, but neither are shoes. Once you have some you don’t want to go around without them. They really make a difference in safety and comfort.