The Art of Pyrography

Practical Pyrography & Wood-burning Teachings

So you discovered wood-burning but you aren’t quite sure what tools for pyrography you need? I’m going to go over some of the tools that I started with and upgraded to over the years!

This wood-burning tool from Walnut Hollow is great for beginners. The pen is supplied with a tool stand and 4 screw-in points (Cone, Shading, Universal and Flow). The pen features a fluted easy-grip handle, a long cord with an on/off switch.

Pyrography Ship
Created with my very first wood-burner – single-temperature

At 950 degrees Fahrenheit, this pen works on most types of wood and maintains a constant temperature very well and if affordable when you’re just getting started.

The tips are great when you are not going for a lot of detail and want to just focus on signs and lettering.

But if you are interested in creating pyrography with more detail then you’ll want to invest in a temperature-controlled wood-burning tool.

The Detailer from Colwood was my first investment into a temperature-controlled wood-burner. This one also came with a variety of tips that are great for more precision and control over your work.

I prefer this style not just because of the control I have but because of the different temperature settings, which I find important if you are working with different types of wood.

Pyrography Dragin
One of the first pieces I did when I bought the Colwood Detailer

How do you choose the tools for pyrography?

One of the considerations you want to give is the power your tool has. When your tool heats up faster and hotter, you can get going faster, but the challenge is that if you burn too hot you will likely scorch the piece of wood, which may be the opposite of what you are trying to do.

And since the tip is the piece that helps you create you’ll want to choose the one that makes the most sense to you. If you’re doing lettering and stencil type pyrography, the single unit often comes with great tip and stencil choices.

Just like the single unit, and something I love about my wood-burner is that the tips are interchangeable giving me more versatility in my work. Tips often come polished or unpolished.

Polished tips are more giving and help you achieve a clear burn over the wood, while the non-polished are rougher and can leave imperfections behind but are great for creating darker results.

You will also want to consider comfort! The single units are often larger and feel bulky in your hand and can cause cramps after a while and you may require more breaks, and therefore disrupting the flow of creativity.

The temperature-controlled ones, like the detailer, often come with smaller pens, similar to pens and pencils and your hand won’t cramp as fast.

When just starting out though, I do recommend the single unit as it is relatively low in cost and you may not want as much detail in your work or you find that it’s not something you do on a regular basis and therefore don’t blow your investment.

The variable temperature ones are pricier but are a solid investment if you want something more professional for your wood-burning creations.