Wood burning, or pyrography, is a fascinating hobby that you may have heard of, but never thought to take up. Some may have dabbled in school, or seen it on TV. Wood burning can create countless products by taking a simple piece of wood and transforming it into something cool.
Are you a beginner, just starting out in wood burning? Or a past enthusiast who wants some updated tools? Either way, read on to find out some tips, tricks and my picks for the best wood burning tools for beginners.
Calling all artists!
Any budding artist out there can transfer their skills onto wood burning. Using the freehand style of burning can be fun, but needs some skill. An artist, especially tattoo artists, are already adept at drawing awesome patterns and pictures. Simply pick up a different type of tool and go ahead.
Don’t panic. Even those unskilled at drawing can be wood burning pros in no time. Stencils can be bought easily. These can make anybody seem like Michelangelo in wood burning.
What Should I Look For?
Wood: As a beginner, no matter what tool you use, you should be aware of the different types of wood. Simply put: soft woods burn at lower temperatures. Hard woods burn at higher. Pine is a good choice for beginners.
Grip: You will spend a lot of time handling the pen-like-tool. Buying one with an ergonomic design is best. A handle which can also protect from the heat is important; we don’t want any burnt hands out there.
Heating: Wood burning can be completed when the pen has reached a certain temperature. Tools can heat up at different times. Buying one which doesn’t take an hour will save a lot of time.
Tips: Not the handy pieces of information; tips are the top pieces of your tool which can be adjusted and changed. You want to buy one which has a few choices of thickness, so you don’t get bored.
Tips and Tricks
- Prep your wood. You can purchase prepped wood from most craft stores. To save pennies, try it at home. Sanding the wood down is the first task, you don’t want any niggles or splinters.
- Work with the grain. The grain of the wood is important, decide if you want to go horizontal or vertical. For beginners I’d recommend burning with the grain.
- Draw on your template. Beginners should try and use stencils first. Going at it freestyle is fun, but you’ll need some practise at how the tool handles the wood. Affix your stencil to the wood and draw in pen first. Then go over the pen with your tool.
Have an idea of what things to look for? Well, here are my picks for the best wood burning tools for beginners!
Best Wood Burning Tools For Beginners
As with most of my lists, I have to put on a budget item. The Walnut Hollow is the ideal tool for beginners to buy. Or for those with lower budgets. The Hollow is cheap enough for a passing fancy in wood burning. Have a cool keyring idea you want to try it out? With this tool you can buy something good enough, without worrying about spending too much.
This set comes with a tool stand and four different tips, including; cone, shading, universal and flow. It includes easy to follow instructions, so beginners can be satisfied. The interface is so simple; it’s an on/off switch. This pen heats up to 950 degrees, which is acceptable with most woods. The temperature is constant, no changing it up. However, for beginners the thought of differing temperatures could make them break into a sweat!
- The ideal woodburning pen for beginners, intermediate and advanced users as a first tool or a backup spare
- Supplied with a tool stand and four different points (tips) - Cone, Shading, Universal and Flow
- UL approved for the U.S.A. and Canada and includes a long cord with an on/off switch
- At 950 degrees F this pen works on most types of wood and maintains a constant temperature very well
- Includes easy to follow instructions on how and why to use each of the four points (tips)
Wall Lenk 10-in-1
The Wall Lenk is an awesome little set not unlike the Dremel, just at a cheaper price. The brand may not be as well known, but the kit is pretty special. Containing all the pieces you may need for woodworking at a great price, the Wall Lenk is all a beginner need buy.
Portability is the Wall Lenk’s big appeal. The storage case holds the tool, all tips and tool stand. It’s lightweight enough to throw everything inside and go on the bus.
The tool is simple enough to use for beginners, but the handle can get a little hot. With 7 burning tips and 2 cutting tips, you will find enough to keep you busy.
- Woodworker foots tool Kit
- 1-30 watt Professional tool, 7-burning tips, 2-cutting and fusing tips, 1-soldering tip, storage case, tool stand, user instruction
- Maximum tip temperature - 1050 degrees Fahrenheit
- 10-In-1 tool Kit
- 30 Watt Professional Woodworker's Kit
TruArt are another quality brand who have created a set worthy of any wood burner. This is the set to buy if you are a beginner with a healthy budget. The initial price may seem high but you get a lot of bang for your buck.
The dual powered mode means the tool can be used at either 15 or 30 Watt. The pen allows you to create products using wood or leather. There is a HUGE range of tips available, various patterns and thicknesses can be achieved. The metal stand and metallic stencil kit are great for tools when they’re heated. The actual pen is simple to use and has a comfortable handle.
The TruArt set is perfect for beginners who want to start out with the whole kit and work through everything.
- REPLACEMENT PEN GUARANTEE We fully understand the processes involved in woodburning including, among others, the effect high heat has on brass. As brass softens because of the heat, excessive pressure causes it to bend and eventually break. We WILL replace the pen and broken tip at no extra cost. Simply contact us and include a picture of the broken tip for immediate replacement. This is our definition of 100% Risk-Free Satisfaction
- THE DUAL POWER MODE, BEST-IN-CLASS WOODBURNING PEN FOR US/CANADA/MEXICO - 110V ONLY. Using with any other voltage VOIDS THE PRODUCT WARRANTY. This 30W pen heats quickly and has excellent heat retention. Use 30W for woodburning and 15W for leather burning
- COMFORTABLE TRUArt Superior-quality pen features a stainless steel barrel integrated with heat and impact resistant rubber. The lightweight pen is easy to handle which makes it perfect for precise results. You will have more time to focus on your projects' details rather than worry about getting burned
- WIDE RANGE OF TIP PATTERNS This kit comes with 21 different interchangeable tips (solder point tip, razor blade tip, calligraphy tip, groove tip, dot tip, pattern transfer tip, stripes tip, branding tip, knife tip, etc.)
- COMPLETE USER MANUAL The User Manual (in PRINT) explains the parts of the pen, uses of the various nibs or tips, and safety precautions. It provides easy instructions on how beginners can create professional projects in no time! Kit comes with a superior quality metal pyrography alphabet stencil to give your work more impact and professionalism. It also comes with a sturdy metal stand to rest the pen safely when not used
Don’t you just love the name? It’s the middle price in this list, but you do get a lot as the brand is relatively unknown. With 38 pieces including, carving tips, wood burning tips, blades, stencils and holders; the iMoorcare set boasts a great range.
The pen itself has an ergonomic design to help you operate for lengths of time. The interface is fairly simple to use for beginners. Each tip can be changed quickly, without too much hassle. The 30 Watt power allows for quick heating; no huge waiting times here!
If you’re interested in wood burning but want a tool that is versatile, Dremel is the answer. The Dremel 2000-01 soldering bundle is a 14-piece kit which offers wood burning, soldering, hot cutting and shrinking.
It heats up quickly, allowing you to get to work straight away; always useful for the anxious beginner. For wood burning; it does the job well considering it is a multi tool. You are paying more for this kit, but considering you can use it for several tasks, that shouldn’t be an issue. It has variable temperature control, which is great for working on different pieces of wood.
Dremel is a good brand, known for creating quality items. The extra price shouldn’t be sniffed at. For beginners who are unsure if they will like wood burning; the Dremel will still get used for other tasks.
- INTEGRATED IGNITION TRIGGER – For easy start up, no independent ignition tool required
- VERSATILE 14-PIECE ACCESSORY KIT - Offers versatile accessory range for soldering, hot cutting, shrinking, wood burning and area heating
- VARIABLE TEMPERATURE - For precise control
- FLAME LOCK-ON - For simplified operation on extended use projects
- PREMIUM QUALITY- For life long durability with operating temperature of 1022° F - 2192° F