I don't claim to be a carver. I do most of my shaping on my handles with files and rasps. One tool I never seem to see mentioned anywhere (not just here but other woodworking forums as well) is the file card.
This one is starting to show it's age.
I find it's an important part of my tool kit, at least as important as the files themselves. A clean file or rasp cuts a lot better than one clogged with shavings.