Choosing a Woodburning Tool:
Battle of the Burners


How do you choose the best woodburning tool?

Ahhh that all depends on YOU my dear.

  • How is your patience?
  • Are you willing to spend more time or $$$?
  • How does your wallet feel about this?
  • Do you even KNOW what questions to ask??

Don't worry. I've got your back.

First, we'll cover the top 2 categories of wood burning tools and get you familiar with the basics.

Then we can dig deeper and help pick out the perfect tool for YOU.



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Woodburning Tool OPtions

Here are those 2 basic categories or “models” of wood burning machines we just talked about:

  • Solid-Point
  • Wire-Nib

I like to relate woodburning tools to cars - the practical, the lemons, and the fancy upscale machines with all the bells and whistles.



1. Solid-Point burners

A solid-point tool looks more like a soldering iron (because 99.9% of the time it IS a soldering iron).

This woodburning tool is the Ford Focus or Honda Civic of the wood burning world... but with a stick shift.

Beginners can have a bit of a rough go at learning how to get this tool to burn smoothly. Yeah it gets the job done, but definitely doesn't have all the perks of a new Mustang or the ease of an automatic.

Some advanced artists stick with the solid point machines, but most pyrographers upgrade to the slicker wire-nib models.

The solid-point machines are...

  • practical (not necessarily easy) for beginners
  • kind to your bank [$]
  • but a bit clunky and slow on several levels.

2. Wire-Nib Woodburners

The wire-nibbed pyrography pens are much more like actual “pens” than the solid point wood burners.

This is where you find your Mercedes-Benz and Rolls-Royce burners. They're soooo satisfying to use and way easier to learn woodburning with than a solid point.

The wire-nib machines tend to be...

  • easier
  • faster
  • more powerful
  • but also tend to put a dent in that cash stash [$$$].


Which Should I Get?

Ahhhh the question of the day. How do you choose?

Let's go over the basic pros and cons side by side so you know a little more about the differences between them and which model is the best woodburning tool for you.



Battle of the Burners

Solid-Point
[ honda civic ]

Who is this for?

  • Great for beginners on a budget of <$50 
  • Okay for advanced artists although limited
  • Great for artists at all skill levels who have more patience (because you will have to wait longer for... well, everything)

Wire-Nib
[ rolls-royce ]

Who is this for?

  • Great for beginners with budget of $100+
  • Great for advanced artists who want to take woodburning to the next level
  • Great for artists at all skill levels who simply want to work faster

Why should you buy this?

  • Cheaper [$]
  • Small and easy to carry or store

Why Should you Buy this?

  • Thinner handle, more like a pen
  • Fast to heat up and cool down
  • More control over the heat
  • More nib/point options
  • Stand is secured to machine

Why Wouldn't You buy this?

  • Thick, bulky, awkward handle (hard to hold)
  • Tips/Points are harder to use
  • Slow to heat up and cool down
  • Limited on heat controls
  • Limited on tip/point styles
  • Stand must be secured to the table

Why Wouldn't You buy this?

  • Pricey [$$$]
  • Has a bulky machine that is awkward to carry and harder to store

The Solid-Point Burner
I Use Most

Walnut Hollow Versa Tool

Find the Versa Tool on Amazon

The Wire-Nib Burner
I Use Most

Colwood Detailer

Find the Detailer on Amazon

What's it Gonna Be?

Alright buttercup, you've got the basic overview of the different burner models. Which one sounds most exciting? Which one sounds most practical?

And which are YOU going to pick?



Burn Savvy Home > Choosing a Woodburning Tool

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