Pyrography Burner

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Ideal ESH

Synonyms: etching pencil, pyrograph; DE: Brandkolben, Brandmalkolben,
Brennkolben, "Brenn-Peter", Elektroschreiber, "Arkograf"
Type: power tool
Material: wood, cork, leather
Location: Lukas' workbench
(until repaired)
Access Requirements:
Status: needs new tips

A pyrography burner can be used to burn freehand drawings and small patterns into wood, e.g. for marking or decorational purposes. Using a laser cutter is much easier for intricate designs.

Although it looks much like a soldering iron, please refrain from using the burner for soldering - remains of charred wood in your solder will not exactly improve the connections and remains of solder may taint the pyrography.

Health & Safety

  • only solid untreated wood, cork or leather should be burned with this tool as other materials may release harmful fumes (see Wikipedia)
  • make sure you have good ventilation even if "your" fumes are not especially harmful
  • obviously, the burner gets hot and should not be touched while plugged in or shortly after
    • use a metal stand to rest the tool when it is hot


Sketching your design in pencil beforehand is always a good idea, and scribing it with a pricking awl may help you guide the burner along its lines.

Move the burner along its path until you achieved the desired look - the slower, the darker!

Ideal ESH

We have one older pyrograph as shown in the picture. You will find a more detailed instruction for this particular model. NOTE: the tungsten wire broke so make sure the ends contact each other.


New tungsten tips for wood pyrography would be nice if we can find them, and perhaps even compatible metal etching tips! They should function similar to a tiny TIG welder, but without the dangerous light. [1]

We don't plan on buying a new burner at the moment because we don't know how often it will be used. If we do need one it will cost us a bit as the screw-in tips of the cheap models don't stay in properly.

Example Project

Some shelves which were decorated with a pyrography burner:

Pyrography - shelf.JPG

Further Reading