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Advice on buying woodburner

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  • Advice on buying woodburner

    Hey All,

    Well, my birthday's next month (I turn a whopping 38!) I'm thinking of asking hubby to buy me a woodburner. I borrowed one from my dad, but wasn't really thrilled with it. The bits are big and I find it hard to move and control. I also don't know if it's cheap or not. (It does get very hot if that's any indicator!)

    Being that I carve mostly Santas big and small, I thought it'd be good to have a burner that lets me do tiny lines (for things like fur, checkered-board patterns, etc.)

    Any suggestions on the type I should ask for? We can't afford anything really expensive, but I know it's not worth having a cheap tool either. Anything I should look for in particular? As I said, I don't seem to do really well with these, but I find myself looking at them often.

    Thanks for any thoughts,

  • #2
    Re: Advice on buying woodburner

    I started out with a Walnut Hollow burner, Wallmart $15. I got a few different tips for it so I was able to do a little more. The only bad thing was the one temp to burn with.

    Last year, I picked up a Colwood Detail and 10 different tips for @ $190, I like it. With the different tips and temp settings, it allowed me to burn smoother, faster and add more detail than I was able to do before.

    My suggestion, get with people that have different burners and try them out, about like a pair of shoes.

    Good luck and let us know what you get.


    • #3
      Re: Advice on buying woodburner

      I bought a razortip from Nedra. It is an excellent unit with fine temperature adjustment. I'm happy with it. It also has one of the best warrenty on the market. Nedra gave me a good price that included heavy duty cords. The heavy cords help the hand piece run cooler. I'm sure that others have thier favorites.


      • #4
        Re: Advice on buying woodburner

        I use a Razertip woodburner and love it. Nedra would be a good sorce for your burning supplies and tip recommendations.



        • #5
          Re: Advice on buying woodburner


          a lot of compairing went into my buying an optma 1.

          1st thought was durability
          2nd thought was buy from a seller you know or have bought from before and they will remember you if you have to return it..
          i bought mine from little shavers with ricks reccomendation of spearpoint tip, only thing i regretted is i havent bought the fine signature tip and being the optma 1 was bought with the heavy duty cord and handpiece, the hand piece and tip is all one unit, limiting extra connecyions that can carrode and cause problems, handpieces run $18.- or so bit its all in one
          no regrets mine works fine,

          Although not suggested ive even dropped the handpiece and it stuck in the floor with no problems its tough...

          you will be sadisfied with most any burner you buy once you learn its own differences no matter who you buy it from.... compair price verses garentee.. and the availability of tips or hand pieces.


          • #6
            Re: Advice on buying woodburner

            I have the optima 1 also. I love it. I have several pens skew, shader, writing tips, etc. I worked with the razor tip at the Wards, and was very impressed. The Rep was a big wig in the company and made a very good pitch. If I hadn't previously owned the optima, and liked it so much, I could have bought the razor tip.


            • #7
              Re: Advice on buying woodburner

              I have a Razortip, with duel control and really like it. Pens I have are spoon tip, blender tip, writing tip (use the most) and spear shader (use the most also). The duel control allows you to have two pens ready to go, you do need to switch the heat control from one to the other (no biggy). Also what is nice is that you can control the heat of the pen by just turning a knob.
              Nedra would be a good course for a new woodburner.


              • #8
                Re: Advice on buying woodburner

                Hi there,

                I also recommend the Razortip. I have more fixed pens that I can even begin to tell you but my favorites are the Small Skew, the Writing Pen, & the Spoon Shader. I let my students at Lee Valley know that if you have those three tips you can do just about any project. I love the easy temperature control plus if you do break a tip Razortip will replace it free within the first year and if it's after that, they'll only charge you $10.00 CDN to repair it.

                From what I've seen they have the largest selection of fixed pens and tips and they really do have a great warranty.

                Best of Luck


                • #9
                  Re: Advice on buying woodburner

                  Thanks so much for all the advice. Yes, I'm looking for something that will allow me to do some fine detailing and it sounds like something we can afford.

                  I really appreciate your responses!



                  • #10
                    Re: Advice on buying woodburner

                    Hi Jillsy, sorry this is a bit late (we're traveling and I don't have a lot of time to participate here).

                    Razertip is an outstanding burner and they do have the best warranty on the market. They are the only company that has a warranty on the pens and after the warranty is out on the pens (1 yr) they will fix or replace them for $5.00 in US funds (since your in the USA).

                    I have been using their burner and selling them since I started teaching about 6 years ago. Just love the burner and the customer service in the industry and they make custom pens for me...of course they end up becoming part of their regular line but what the heck!

                    You can't go wrong with them.

                    If, however, you want to spend a bit less you might want to try the Burnmaster. It's also a very good burner and is very reliable.

                    If you have any specific questions please email me directly at [email protected]

                    oh, as others have said you do not need a lot of pens. I usually recommend 3 and that's about all you need. We even have kits available with the 3 most popular pens (the HD5MP bent spear shader that comes packed with our burners, a writing pen and round heeled-knife). You can do just about anything with those pens. And yes, I do recommend only fixed-tip pens.

                    I do fairly detailed burnings and I primarily use the bent spear shader. If you check out my site you can see just what you can do with that shader. Because of the spear shape you can do the most detailed shading. All the detail work on the portrait of Chief Joseph was done with that pen. The background and blanket were done with a torch and single temp burner. You can do more detail work with that shader than any other shader they make.



                    • #11
                      Re: Advice on buying woodburner

                      Jillsy, have you decided yet? I just received my razor tip and I now realize and totally understand the practice, practice, practice...

                      I sure admire all the work I've seen, especially now that I've actually touched a woodburning tip to wood!!


                      • #12
                        Re: Advice on buying woodburner

                        Hi Skittles,

                        After reading all your responses, and emailing with Nedra about my specific needs, it seems like the best way to go is the razortip. But, instead of for my birthday, I decided to wait until Christmas. That'll give me something to look forward to!

                        Thanks again for all the great advice everyone!