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  • purchase advice....

    Hello:

    I am looking into buying a wood burning unit, I need some advice on what make and model is best for carving in the round animals. I want to add fur to bears etc... I also need advice on what tips to buy. Thanks

    Casey

  • #2
    Re: purchase advice....

    My burner is an Optima. I really like it. I use the whole pens not the changeable tips. I have heard nothing but good things about the Razortip unit. My buddy has one of those and raves about it whenever he gets the chance. Either is good. The Razortip is USA made if that is a big selling point to you.

    Happy hunting

    K

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    • #3
      Re: purchase advice....

      RazorTip is Canadian. Optima is USA. Any of the top name burners would be a good choice for you. I have the Optima and love it and most of my club members use it. But I also know several that use RazorTip and it's seems like a lot of carvers like the Colwood burners. But I would definitely invest in a variable temp burner not a single temp, soldering type craft burner. Good luck and have fun with it. Blessings

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      • #4
        Re: purchase advice....

        Thanks TEE, As usual I'm a little bass ackwards ;-D

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        • #5
          Re: purchase advice....

          I bought the razortip because the tips were much cheaper than some other brands.....have had it a number of years and its a very good burner, no regrets!
          "Lif iz lik a box "o" choc lets, ya nevr kno whut yull git!"

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          • #6
            Re: purchase advice....

            I have a Duel (two pen) Razortip also, I've had mine for four years and would recommend it. There are several fine woodburners out there just waiting for you. As I have only used a Razortip I might be a little bias. LOL
            What ever one you decide on choose one with variable heat setting. Being able to control the amount of heat being applied to your pyrography projects is important. It can be done with a one heat fits all unit but also sets you up to get more heat to an area than you want. Also they get very HOT!
            Kathy
            Also, recommend a unit that has some foam or cork on the pens where you hold them. Razortip has a wrap of a foam heat resistant type material in the area.

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            • #7
              Re: purchase advice....

              I have a colwood super pro II, and I cant complain about it. I heard the razor tip is really good, but it is more expensive than the colwood.

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              • #8
                Re: purchase advice....

                I did my research and settled on a Colwood Detailer. Got the pen with the replaceable tips...should work well for what I want to do!

                Good Luck in your hunt!
                Tim

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                • #9
                  Re: purchase advice....

                  No problem Ken. I knew what you meant. I didn't think you would mind if I clarified it. I was just trying to be helpful and meant no offense. Sure know the bass ackwards for sure. Sometimes I feel like I live there. lol Blessings!

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                  • #10
                    Re: purchase advice....

                    Optima pens are much less expensive than the Razertip. Razertip average around 27-28 dollars while Optima average around 17-18 dollars a pen. And they are at least equal quality pens. I prefer them but that is my personal preference. That is what finalized my decisions between Optima and Razertip, price point and the pens.

                    If I had to replace my burner today I would choose the Razertip unit but I would definitely stick with my Optima pens. I think their warranty on their units and customer service is better. But can't do without my Optima pens. I have a heavy hand and do a lot of texturing even in my flatwork so I need a sturdy reliable pen. I think they are work horses. It's hard to advise on burners and tools cause we all have our favorites. Doesn't mean the others are necessarily lesser quality. Yes there are poor quality out there but none of what have been mentioned so far are. They each just have different little nuances for consideration.

                    The best thing to do for research is not always possible for everyone. Unfortunately no matter how informed you are by others means there is just no substitute for hands on research. So if that is possible that would be the best way to make your decision. If you can find a club that has some burners and carvers that burn, go there and ask if you can try their units. I found that at our club most everyone are very open to that. They remember and know how hard it is was to do so. I would let you try mine for sure and do often. Sorry about the long post. I wish you luck. But the ones that have been mentioned so for I don't think you would be disappointed. Let us know how it goes and post the fruits of your labour when done. Blessings! tee

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                    • #11
                      Re: purchase advice....

                      I haven't been around to add to this thread but I need to clarify the information on warranty issues which in my opinion is important.

                      Actually Razertip has the best warranty on the market. It is an unconditional warranty so if it stops working for any reason it's covered and that includes the pens and tips which most brands do not cover, including Optima. Razertip is definately more expensive but you can get the pens and burners at discounted prices from many dealers. As an example my prices range from $23-27 so while it's more expensive than Optima they provide a 1 year warranty on the handpiece AND tips and will fix or replace ANY broken tip even after the warranty for $5.00. They will also do this for any brand of pen for $7.00. Their customer service is also the best in the industry. And even though they are in Canada, their service is very fast.

                      Another brand to look at is Nibsburner. It has a heavier tip and is great for people with a heavy hand. It's made in the USA and has a good warranty with the only condition that it not be abused, stating "with normal use". If it stops working under normal use, including pen tips it's covered under the warranty and they provide very quick service. They will fix or replace their tips for the cost of the tip after warranty.

                      Optima warranty excplicity states that while it is a lifetime warranty on the power source, it is only against manufacturing defects only. There is no warranty on their tips...as they state the use (or abuse) is not under their control, although they will replace them if they break for a charge.

                      Some things to consider in pens are if they get too hot. Many pens will get too hot to handle and will become uncomfortable. Some of the companies are now making vented pens such as Razertip and Nibsburner. Detailmaster also offers vented pens but they have a metal body which still gets hot and has no padding to ease the discomfort on the grip while burning. Optima and Razertip pens were at one time the (both designed by Cam at Razertip when he waws partnered with the original owner of Optima) same but Razertip has changed their handpieces over the last few years to make them more comfortable and adding venting in the handpieces. Optima hand pieces are still the same as original design much like the Colwood.

                      While a good woodburner will last for years without any problems, it is important to understand what your rights are with each brand's warranty.

                      Most any brand will perform adequately for woodcarving but the important issues to consider in my opinion are (not in any particular order): price, quality, manufacturers warranty and customer service, and availability of pens/tips you need.

                      Talk to dealers about your needs and let them make some recommendations based on your specific needs. You can usually find a list of dealers on each manufacturers website...except for Optima.

                      From my perspective having to deal with manufacturers on a daily basis I frequently see and hear things that the average consumer doesn't both from the manufacturer and from customers who have had problems with burners and manufacturers. Frequently not even my cusomters but from people who have gotten frustrated and are looking for help so I have a different perspective than many users...and I am a user myself.

                      Nedra

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                      • #12
                        Re: purchase advice....

                        Good information but I reread through this thread before I posted to make sure I didn't miss anything. I didn't see where anyone said that it wasn't important. I think everything was clear. Warranty should always be considered whenever making an investment like this especially being an electrical tool. But it is not always the highest priority for some, which is fine. As you said and we all know these are personal opinions whether professional or non-professional all are valid. I don't think it is any one's intention to minimize or slander any of the other products when we share our preference for another. This question gets asked a lot as we, you well know. So not every aspect gets shared in every post. Thanks for sharing your opinion and experience.

                        BTW, warranty and customer service was mentioned and it was stated that RazerTip does have a better warranty and customer service. But sometimes you don't expound on it to shorten the length of the post, especially when it is long already. And usually if they want to know more specifics they re-post and ask.

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                        • #13
                          Re: purchase advice....

                          Sorry Casey, I had addressed the pens according to what another poster had posted about the pens instead of your original post, question. I caught it after I re-read all the posts. I apologize. You had ask about what pen you needed for the type of carvings and details you are wanting to burn.

                          They have many specialty pens out these days with most of the companies so you can check them out. But they all can be done with a couple of basic pens that you would use for any type of burning. The three basic pens that are recommend by most instructors and distributors; the bent spear shader and the round healed skew or knife, depends on the manufacturer whether it is called skew of knife and a writing tip or ball tip.

                          For what you want to do fur, hair, feathers can be done with either the skew or the shader. Some, like Optima also have a pen called a hair pen which as you can guess by the name is good for hair and fur and outlining getting around curves smoothly. But this can be done just as easily with the shader and the shew with practice. Each person usually finds that they eventually gravitate to one.

                          The specialty pens are very nice, the ones I've had the chance to try but they are not necessary to get the job done. But if you check them our or try them and like them and they are in your budget go for it. Carvers are not the only ones that like a bunch of toys (tools). lol

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                          • #14
                            Re: purchase advice....

                            I just got a Colwood Detailer with replacable tips and I am loving it. It is a vast improvement over what I was using, and I haven't found anything I can't do with it yet. Was pretty inexpensive comapared to some.
                            'If it wasn't for caffeine, I wouldn't have any personality at all!"

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                            http://centralarkansaswoodcarvers.blogspot.com/

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