If you want a cheap kit so you can dabble in the art of wood-burning, you’ll find a tonne of them out there. All pretty much the same – with just slight variations in the number and type of accessories, you get with them.
They’re cheap because the wood burner is basically a repurposed soldering iron. And soldering irons don’t cost much to make.
It’s not necessarily a bad idea to get one if you’re a complete beginner. They will let you try out a bunch of different techniques.
But sooner or later you’re going to want something that will let you really get into the craft and explore your potential.
So whether you want to just have a go or really master the craft, here are my recommendations.
The Best Wood Burning Kits Reviewed
|Our Top Pick||TRUArt Stage 2 Single Pen Professional Woodburning Detailer|
|Best Budget Kit for Beginners||99PC Wood Burning Kit, Professional Woodburning Tool by Catnes|
|Best Smoke Extractor for Your Kit||TRUArt Woodburning Smoke Extractor|
Table of Contents.
- Our Top Picks
- Smoke Extractors | Why You Need One
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Other Wood Burning Kits We’ve Reviewed
Our Top Pick for the Best Wood Burning Kit: TRUArt Stage 2 Single Pen Professional Woodburning Detailer
Our Top Pick for the Best Wood Burning Kit
The TRUArt Stage 2 is for creative people who don’t want to be limited by their tools
This one will never hold you back.
Frankly, it’s the best “price point” wood burner for what you get – without having to commit to an expensive kit that does more than you need.
It doesn’t have lots of different types of tips like the cheap kits.
But that’s not actually a downside because you’ll be able to use the set of 40 wire tips it comes with for a wide variety of applications. Much like the pencils and brushes you use for drawing and painting.
It also comes with 5 assorted files, pen holder, pliers and tweezers and a brush.
This kit doesn’t have any stamp tips, because you won’t be using stamps as an artist. You’ll be drawing things yourself, you see. That’s the difference in the focus of this kit.
Our top choice is the single pen version. But we have to say, it would be worth going for the two pen version if you can. That way you’ll be able to have the two tips you’re using most often for your project at hand.
You can basically swap between them – without having any wait time for one tip to cool down before being swapped and then swapped back when you need it. This will save you a lot of hassle in the long run.
You get a good selection of quality wire tips in this kit. Wire tips are much better than stamp tools – or the various solid shaped tips you get with the cheaper kits.
They’re designed for you to draw with and add your own detail – unlike those that have chiseled ends in various shapes that make a standard – pre-shaped mark for you.
You’ll be able to work with these tips in a way that’s not unlike the way you would use your pencils and brushes in traditional artwork.
And you can make minute heat adjustments with the digital control to easily achieve depth and shading to your work.
What We Like:
- Cooler to the Touch, Ergonomically-Shaped Pyrography Pen | The pen has a heat resistant rubberized wrap. That means will remain cool enough for you to hold the pen much closer to the heated tip, than other brands on the market. Even for long periods. The pen is also more oval-shaped than some of the chunkier round shaped pens out there. That means it will fit more naturally in your hand, allowing for greater control and a steadier hand.
- Fast Heat-Up Time | These tips heat up super fast which will help speed up your workflow. They do obviously take longer to cool than heat up. However, they still cool faster than the thicker solid tips of the cheaper kits. And if you go for the 2 pen set, you won’t have to interrupt your workflow while you wait for the tips to cool.
- Professional Wood Burning Kit | TRUArt are a company that just specializes in wood-burning kits, spare parts, and accessories. You know with them you are getting a professional artist quality product. If you require any extras, such as additional tips, spare parts, or even an extra pen, you will find that they’re all easily available to buy.
- Carry Case| Most other kits don’t come with a carry case. This might seem like a no big deal detail but you’ll want to look after your equipment. Therefore, having the correct size case that you can put everything away into when you’ve finished using your kit is both helpful and sensible.
Check the latest price for the TRUArt Stage 2 Single Pen Professional Woodburning Detailer on Amazon.
Wood Burning Kits for Beginners
One of these kits will let you try out lots of different wood burning techniques to get a feel for what you can achieve.
Beginner kits come with lots of different tips and stamps so are great for this. They are all pretty similar to each other, whichever one you go for, and they’re also unbelievably cheap.
As we’ve mentioned, these pyrography pens are pretty much-repurposed soldering irons and can even be used as such.
That’s not to say they’re not good for wood burning. They may be very basic – you plug ’em in, they get extremely hot pretty quickly, hot enough to make decorative marks on wood and with all the different tips you can attach to them, you can get some great results.
You may be more creative than artistic. In this case, you’ll find having lots of stamps and stencils useful.
Just bear in mind that unless the stencils are metal, and with the cheaper kits they mostly aren’t, you should just use them to trace your design onto the wood. The reason being you’ll melt the plastic if you use the pen directly on them.
If you lean more towards the artistic side or you like the artist’s sketch look and want to have a go at drawing, you should look for a kit that has a good selection of pencil-shaped tips.
The 97Piece Wood Burning Kit shown above left has quite a few of those but it also has several stamp tools too.
In our opinion it’s a good all-round kit with a bit of everything in it.
One of the downsides to these kits is that though some do have temperature controls (this is something you’ll find useful in order to achieve the right amount of burn for the type of wood you are using and the type of mark you are trying to make), they are a bit fiddly and not as accurate or sensitive as the digitally controlled ones you get with the more professional pens.
These pens also tend to get hot so they aren’t ideal for using over prolonged periods. If this is a problem you might find a heatproof glove a good idea.
They’re also, it has to be said, less efficient in that they tend to take longer to heat up and longer to cool down than our top choice.
This will, unfortunately, slow your workflow down considerably and you’ll need to be patient while you’re waiting for the tip to cool down enough to swap it.
What We Like:
- Lots of Tips and Accessories | This makes them ideal for experimenting with. You’ll be able to find your own style and learn what works for you so you can achieve something to be proud of. Not only that but if you find a good tutorial or have a project in mind you want to create, chances are, you’ll already have everything you need in one of these kits to go ahead and make it.
- They’re Super Cheap | Most of these kits are around the $20 mark which makes them worth going for, even if you’re not sure whether you’ll like your new hobby or not. In any case, even if you don’t commit to wood-burning and go on to create amazing and stunning masterpieces, you’ll certainly get your $20 worth of fun out of one.
Buying Factors to Consider:
- Pyrography Pen Can Get Hot | These pens as we’ve discussed are primarily soldering pens. They’re pretty cheap and not that well insulated. This means they can get uncomfortably hot if you’re using them for a long period of time. If you want to complete large projects or you think you’ll be using the pen quite a lot you should consider going for a professional kit like our best choice
Check the latest price for the 99PC Wood Burning Kit, Professional Woodburning Tool by Catnes on Amazon.
Smoke Extractors | Why You Need One
Though we generally only review the best stuff out there and make recommendations, in this case we are saying – If you buy a wood-burning kit, you MUST buy one of these!
However, pleasant the smell of wood smoke is, it’s not good for you.
And once you get totally absorbed in a project, you’ll forget that the air around you is getting smokier and more unhealthy by the minute.
It’s only sensible to get yourself a fume exhaust rather than to risk any short or long term health problems from something that should be relaxing and enjoyable enough to be actually good for you.
This one by TRUart isn’t expensive it will sit happily next to you on your craft table and it’s designed specifically for all types of wood-burning projects.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I like wood-burning if I like drawing?
If you’ve never tried this before but you like drawing, you’ll find your art skills are easily transferable to wood burning.
Pyrography will give you an exciting and extremely versatile new medium to work with.
Are the cheap wood burning kits worth it?
The basic kits aren’t really tools for artists, and the quality can be very hit and miss. But if you’re still learning, you won’t pick up any bad habits with one.
And they’re easily good enough for the level of precision you’ll be working with as a beginner.
Is wood burning easy to learn?
Yes, it’s actually pretty easy. Don’t worry or be put off if your drawing skills are a little on the rusty side or you’re not quite in the league of Rembrandt. You’ll be completely blown away by the amazing results you can achieve with even a basic kit.
And as a professional illustrator and serial art dabbler, I can attest to just how far a passion for something you want to learn can take you.
Do I need a smoke extractor when wood burning?
Wood smoke is not good for you and it’s easy to get absorbed in a project and forget that the air around you is getting smokier and more unhealthy by the minute.
You should absolutely get yourself a fume exhaust, – it will be much better for your health.
They aren’t bulky so are not going to take up a lot of space and they’re fairly inexpensive too.
There’s really no good reason not to get one.
Other Wood Burning Kits We’ve Reviewed:
These are the products that didn’t quite make our top picks. But they’re still pretty good so you might like to take a look:
This one’s cheaper than our top pick and it’s a good wood burning kit suitable for detailed work on any medium like wood, leather, gourds, and paper.
It just doesn’t come with as many tips and there are no files. We just found the handle was a little chunkier to hold.
- Good price for a professional kit
- Comes with 20 tips ball tips are also included
- Includes a carry case
This one has a tip system with two replaceable tip handles. Only one handle heats up at a time and you toggle between two switches.
- Comes with the Pyrography Workbook by Sue Walters
- Includes 3 tips – a skew, rounded skew and writing tip
- Alo has a tip puller and 2 abrasive tip polishers