The early days
When I started out I was using regular knives, veggie peelers and melon ball spoons. That was it. Not very sophisticated, and also a little frustrating because I never got to that detail level I wanted to achieve.
Next were some clay modeling tools which needed to be sharpened at the edges, plus an assortment of X-Acto knives and small saws. Those clay tools were a lot better suited for this kind of work, especially for cutting out small crevices and folds, but since I had to sharpen them with a fine Dremel grinder they also got thinner, which lead to them breaking constantly. Before I carved them, I always thought pumpkins to be more on the soft side, maybe like a beet root. Actually, that’s not the case.
So finally (and after a long search) I found the perfect tools for this from triangle tools (link). It appears they now even have a Villafane pumpkin carving set, which wasn’t available at the time I got my cutters.
If you’re serious about carving 3D pumpkins, the money you pay for these knives will reward you with a great carving experience, especially since cutting out fine stuff is much more controllable and therefore doesn’t ruin your piece of art at a late stage of the creation process.
It’s also nice to have these tools just to create some some fruit or vegetables decoration and thereby upgrading e.g. your regular breakfast.