First Pyrography Project – 3 – Wood Burning Pens

Tips comes in many shapes and bends from the tight bend used in the standard writing tips to half circles that can create fish scales and even square tubes that make a textured pattern on your board.


I use four basic tools throughout this book – the loop-tip, ball-tip, spear shader, and spoon shader. These are the four snap-in interchangeable tips that comes with the Walnut Hollow Creative Tool – shown below.

Each pen tip creates its own width and shape of line burn, and therefore is more suitable for specific textures. Thin edged spear or curved shader tip cut thin, deep lines. Loop and ball tip pens burn thick, shallow lines.
A basic beginner’s set of tips may include a tightly bent loop writing tip , a ball point writing tip, a flat spoon-shaped shader, a curved-edge spear shader. These tips will burn any pattern or project in this e-book. Specialty tips can be added as you discover your style of burning.


Tip shapes and names vary, depending on the manufacturer of your burning unit and are often offered in several sizes. Please check the website for your unit for more specific tips that are available for your use.
Variable temperature pens come in two varieties – fixed tip pens and interchangeable tip pens. A fixed tip pen has the burning wire permanently set in the pen. Some manufacturers create a interchangeable pen that allows different styles of tip to be inserted into the end of the pen.


All of my Optima 1 pens are fixed tip pens.

Interchangeable pens often allow you to purchase a wider variety of burning tips, a great advantage to the new pyrographer.

Each manufacturer creates their pens to specifically fit the electric voltage, wire, and connections used in their wood burning units. Although some manufacturers do sell conversion kits that allow you to use pens manufacturer by other companies on their units I do not recommend this practice.

Using another companies pens can void your warranty and can damage both your pens and your burning unit.
When you purchase your variable temperature unit consider not only the power features of the unit but also the pen construction, how the pens connect to the unit, the guard grip construction, and the variety of tip profiles available for your unit.

The photo, above, shows five of my Colwood Detailer tips.  The top three are permanent fixed
tip pens while the bottom two are interchangeable tips.

We will take a closer look at the burn strokes each pen tip creates in just a few pages.

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