Whether you are a novice or an experienced burner, choosing a professional wood burning kit for your needs is purely a personal choice – with a lot of factors coming into play.
The wood burning kit that is best for you, may not be so favored by another pyrographic artist.
You may prefer a heavier tool, a smaller handle, a specific brand, or wire tips instead of solid points.
Wood burner kits may also have extra accessories like a stencil or two, crayons, a pouch or bag, and a free blank for your convenience.
Let us go find the best pyrography kit that will suit you best.
Which Professional Wood Burning Kit Is Right For You?
The history of pyrography covers many centuries with the development of these tools making for an interesting story. Modern-day wood burning kits for adults have been honed by centuries of experience and knowledge, which is of great benefit to us today.
A pyrography machine or burning wood kit is used to burn designs, not just onto wood. Leather, canvas, gourds, and other natural materials like bone are popular alternatives.
There are unlimited wood burning projects for beginners to experiment with. Just choose one and start being creative.
Your imagination is your only stumbling block.
Artists and tradesmen alike find these kits very versatile. They are used by pyrographers, woodworkers, woodcarvers, gourd artists, and other crafters all over the world.
A pyrography tool, known as a pyrography pen or wood burner pen, is essential equipment for this art form – you are “pyro-less” without it!
There is a myriad of wood burning pens available, either singly or otherwise in a professional wood burning kit, by various popular brand names on the market.
You will be sure to find a burner tool or a burning wood kit that will meet your budget and skill level.
Walnut Hollow Creative Versa Tool
A popular pen on Amazon is the Walnut Hollow Creative Versa Tool.
With over 7,600 global ratings with a 4.4 star rating, and a reasonable price tag – it is a very good option.
Types of Professional Pyrography Kit
When looking to buy the best wood burner kit for your needs, check which type of pyrography wood burner pen is included in the set. Choose the one that suits you best.
There are 2 categories of pyrography pen.
- Solid-Point Burners
- Wire-Nib Burners
Solid-point burners look and operate much the same as a soldering iron. They are a heavy-duty burning tool just right for someone just starting in this art form.
They consist of a solid brass tip that is heated by an electrical element. These burners operate at a fixed temperature.
The basic tool for a beginner is a one-piece tool or pen with the burning tip set permanently into the shaft. The tip consists of a cylinder or tube that has been honed at a precise angle on two sides to create a sharp slanted edge.
There are many wood burner sets available for the beginner pyrographer who is just starting out. They supply the basic equipment required to get you burning.
As you gain more experience, you will naturally progress to more professional wood burning sets in order to achieve better results.
There are tools available with the option of interchangeable tips. These will give you a wider selection of burning strokes, angles, and detail, in your design.
This means that in addition to the basic burning tip you started with, you can now add shading tips and other specialty tips for cross-hatching and other effects to your arsenal.
Another category of the burning tool is wire-nib burners.
These wood burner pens have variable temperature controls. The “writing nib” is heated by an electrical current passing directly through it. Some models having interchangeable nibs to allow for various different burning effects.
These wire points can be shaped for various tasks giving you the diversity that you need. Look for tips that create fine line work, diversify your shading, make calligraphy easy, increase your texturing options and pierce wood-turned projects.
The advanced wire-nib burner will come with built-in thermostats to give you greater control over the temperature of the tip.
A wire tip kit may also offer a large range of interchangeable tips including fish scales, down to feather tips, and specialty textures.
How Hot Does A Wood Burning Tool Get
Burners for pyrography have a temperature range of 750 to 1050 degrees Fahrenheit (400 to 565 Celsius).
Burners with solid point, screw-style tips are frequently made of soft brass metal. It may take this metal five minutes or longer to reach a temperature.
The basic guideline for wire gauges is that the thicker the wire, the smaller the gauge number. You should observe that pyrography equipment requires more time to heat a thicker wire.
A 16-gauge tip, for instance, would require more time to heat up than a 20-gauge tip.
Pro Pyrography Kit Options
In wood burning pyrography kits – you will usually find a burning pen and a selection of nibs. Some advanced pyrography sets give you more options – these may include letters and number stamps, a stencil, a stand, case, and finger guards.
Decide what your needs are and buy accordingly.
You will discover there is a very large selection of wood burning tooltips or nibs with assorted shapes to choose from. Each of these nibs performs differing functions and create their own effects.
You will, with experience, learn which nibs suit your style and subject matter.
Some people also prefer to work with heavier pyrography pens, others with lighter ones. With experience and practice, you will learn which type of pen and nibs suit your style and which tools you are most comfortable working with.
When buying a wood burning tool, bear in mind that you will probably be holding it for long periods of time, perhaps a couple of hours at a time.
The best pyrography machine will be comfortable in the hand and easy to manipulate and control.
Besides the pen and the selection of nibs provided, the other tools in the burning wood kit may include a variety of other useful accessories.
Why Is A Stand Important?
A pyrography pen stand is a very useful addition to your wood burning pen kit. By using the stand you keep your hot tool off your worktable or bench and out of harm’s way.
By keeping the hot end of your pyrography pen elevated you limit the chance of burning or marking your work area.
The stand also makes it easier to pick up your tool and prevents the pen from rolling around on the table.
Finger Guard Protection
Some wood burning machine kits also provide a finger guard for your protection. A finger guard protects your finger from the heat coming off the tool while in use. These wonderful accessories are durable, heat-resistant and one size fits all.
Pyrography Letters and Stamps
These will be included in a good kit, and it is a great addition. Sooner or later you will be wanting some sort of lettering done, be it someone’s name, address, or a couple of words.
Letter stamps come in capitals and lower case. To use them you need to heat up each letter, use it, remove it and move on to the next letter you need. This is where a stencil may be a better option.
The best pyrography kits for beginners can come with generic stencils with numbers, letters, and a few icons included.
Be aware though, that there are some beautifully designed metal and plastic stencils for wood burning that cover almost any design, pattern, or wording available.
How To Change Tool Tips
There are 2 methods of changing your wood burning tool tips.
The safest method is to remove the tool tip and replace it when the pyrography pen is cool. It usually takes 4 – 5 minutes for a hot pen to cool off enough to not scald you.
- Simply remove the pen tip turning in an anti-clockwise direction. If it is a little tight, use needle-nosed pliers to loosen it gently.
- To install your new desired tool tip, turn the tip in a clockwise direction.
When doing this ensure that the tip is in an upright position and in line with the threads. If you screw it in and it is not straight you could damage the threads on both the tool and the tip.
Additionally, if you force it in you may not be able to get the tip out again. Or you may not be able to thread any other tip into the tool as the threads are damaged permanently.
Care and patience are advised.
Removing A Hot Tool Tip
You will definitely need needle-nose pliers close at hand for this exercise.
- Use the pliers to gently remove the hot tip.
- Unscrew the tip from the pen in an anti-clockwise direction. Be careful not to squeeze or pull too hard, the tips are made of brass and can be damaged.
- Place the hot tip in cold water to cool it off. This also prevents the burning or scalding of your work area.
- Use the needle-nosed pliers to install the new tip. Be careful not to touch the hot pen while doing this.
It is good advice to practice installing and removing tips on your new pyrography pen before you start using it. This will ensure you get the feel of how the tips go on and off.
A good thing to know when changing the tips when the pen is hot.
To avoid too many changes while you are working, purchase a second tool. In this way, you can have 2 hot tools at your fingertips with different nibs. This will save you time and not break your workflow.
How To Clean Your Tool Tip
There will always be a build-up of carbon on your tips eventually. Carbon is burned wood that starts to accumulate on the hot tip.
The easiest and simplest method is to use fine sandpaper to scrape off the unwanted residue. Do not use a rougher grade as it may damage the tip.
And safety first – do not hold the sandpaper in your hand when cleaning a hot tool. You may scald yourself.
It is also advisable to only do this occasionally, and when necessary. Too much use of sandpaper will slowly wear away the brass tip.
A pyrography pen kit is a very personal thing to buy.
You need to determine what type of artwork you will be creating. Will it be fine art, just lettering, or are you interested in geometric designs?
These factors predetermine the type of nibs and related accessories you will be needing in order to burn efficiently.
Another factor to consider is your experience and skill level when buying a new pyrography burner.
A professional wood burning tool needs a little more expertise and experience in order to use them to their full potential.
But there are plenty of wood burning kits for beginners that are of good quality and will last more than adequately for a few years as you increase you skills.
And of course, just have fun and experiment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a wood burning kit do?
Wood burning art is also known as pyrography. This art form uses a tool that heats up very similar to a soldering iron. With the heated tip, you can etch or burn designs onto wood and other materials too.
What is the difference between pyrography and wood burning?
Pyrography in Latin literally means to "write with fire". Today many people call this art wood burning. But you can burn on more than just wood. You can burn a design on any surface that will not melt or burst into flames. For example - bone, canvas, and gourds too.
What tool do you use for wood burning?
A wood burning tool or pen is a pen-like device that has a removable metal tip that gets hot. These metal tips come in various designs and sizes in order to etch differing thickness of lines, do shading, and create varying shapes to build up your design/artwork.
How hot does a wood burning tool get?
A pyrography tool can reach very high temperatures. An average temperature is between 750 - 1050 degrees Fahrenheit or 400 - 565 degrees Celcius. So never ever touch the tool tip, you will seriously burn yourself. Only remove the tip once the tool is cool, this can take up to 5 minutes.
What's the difference between a wood burner and soldering iron?
A soldering iron is specifically designed for soldering with a metal filler. Wood and solder burn at different temperatures. Solder melts at a lower temperature whereas wood needs a higher temperature to burn. Therefore using a soldering iron on wood will not be very effective.