The best pyrography kits for beginners

Create beautiful pieces of art 'writing with fire' by using a pyrography kit for wood-burning and more.

Pyrography kit

by Eleanor Weaver |

The ancient art of pyrography is a fantastic way of creating personalised gifts, decorations, and home accessories. With your heated pyrography tool in hand, you can transfer any design you can imagine onto blank wooden signs, leather tags, and more with flourish and precision.

With pyrography kits available at a really affordable cost, you can hone your skills with only your imagination limiting what you etch and engrave. Make quick and easy designs in just five minutes, or create beautiful, exquisite designs to mark special occasions or just for fun and art therapy.

We've answered all your questions about pyrography to help get you started, and shared the best pyrography kits available to buy that are perfect for beginners.

What is a pyrography kit?

The term pyrography means 'writing with fire', which is just as fun as it sounds! It's the art of using a controlled heated object to freehand draw and decorate materials with burn marks. You can create beautifully intricate designs and pieces of art, or personalise gifts and objects around the home.

Getting a pyrography kit will provide you with everything you need to get started, including a pyrography tool (usually a pen for easy use), stencils, and a variety of interchangeable tips to achieve different finishes, straight or curved lines, or shaded areas on your surface.

Pyrography pen
©Getty Images

What is the difference between pyrography and wood-burning?

While wood-burning is to create burn marks specifically on wood, you can use pyrography on a whole range of materials. Wood is the most common surface of choice, but you can also etch designs onto leather, metal, glass, gourds, and even more natural fibres such as bamboo and cloth.

How difficult is pyrography?

Pyrography is actually really simple to do - it's just like drawing or sketching just with the heat being your nib instead of usual graphite. However, that's not to say your first piece of art will be perfect!

It can be a bit fidgety and it might take you a little practice to get used to. There are different tips for different markings and applying different pressure to your material can make for lighter or darker burn marks. Take your time and have patience when drawing to let the tool do its work, and get used to the unique feeling of the tool in your hand.

Our advice is to jump in and test it out! Take a piece of scrap wood or material and play with the tool, the use of pressure, drawing, and the different accessories in your kit. When you feel more confident, you can start on your project, but don't worry if you make a mistake - it just adds to the character of the piece.

Related: 10 easy crafts to do at home for all abilities

What is the best pyrography kit?

The TABIGER pyrography kit has an adjustable operating temperature range of 200 to 450 degrees Celsius and has rapid heating and cooling technology helping to save energy and your time. It comes with everything you need to get started and is a favourite among Amazon shoppers.

Kit includes: High-quality soldering iron, five different soldering tips, desoldering pump, solder wick, solder wire, tweezers, wire stripper cutter, soldering iron stand with a sponge, PU tool bag, and instruction manual.

Review: "This is the first soldering kit I’ve owned/used and I was really impressed. It was easy to use which was great for a novice/beginner like me. The product heats up relatively quickly and I found it easy to control the iron and temperature. I managed to solder a battery onto my fit bit with ease. It comes with various accessories such as a desoldering pump, tweezers, lead, wire stripper cutter a stand with a sponge so you can pretty much use it out of the box.

"The build quality is fantastic feeling like a sturdy well-made product. It’s great value for money and I would highly recommend it."

This pyrography kit also has an adjustable operating temperature range of 200 to 450 degrees Celsius which helps for controlling light and dark shading. It comes with rapid heating technology too and great insulation for comfort, durability, and safety. It's been praised by many reviewers as being a fab option for beginners and comes with different burning tips and stencils for a range of easy designs.

Kit includes: Wood burning pen, 27 wood welding tips, five iron tips, four plastic templates, an iron stand, a sponge, a tool bag, and instruction manual.

Review: "This kit makes doing wood burning fun. It has a good many bits and cutouts. It has a nice pouch which helps the parts not get lost. The soldering iron along with this is an added bonus as it makes it easier so one does not have to change from one to the other. This will also help in embossing which is very good and makes it fun.

"My wife does a lot of this type of creative work along with the kids and grandkids. It is also helping develop new skills in the grandkids. They have been at it trying and testing all sorts for the past 2 days. I would like to try doing some embossing myself so will wait till they are tired of trying new things and then get my day. It is easy to use since it has the power and temperature control on the pen itself which makes it easier to use. I would definitely be recommending it to our friends to make a nice Christmas gift for anyone interested in crafts."

This pyrography kit has a whopping 96 pieces to help get your wood carving fully underway. With 50 odd assorted soldering tips and accessories, these can be used easily for all skill levels and the kit comes equipped with 12 coloured pencils for creating beautiful designs in wood. It can work on the wood, leather, gourd, and so on, and heats up quickly in just 15 seconds - adjust the temperatures and power to create your desired effect.

Kit includes: Two pyrography pens, two stands, 50 odd assorted wood-burning, carving and embossing tips, 12 stencils, 12 coloured pencils, 10 pieces of wood, instructions, and carrying case.

Review: "This set is perfect for someone like myself who is just starting out. Simple instructions and easy to use, with a host of accessories. Great price too!"

This 6-in-1 gas torch is a great little tool for all your DIY and crafting needs. It has six interchangeable tips for soldering, pyrography, hot cutting, heat embossing, paint removal, and welding and you'll be able to achieve a precise finish with the variable temperature settings. Unlike other tools on this list, this one is powered by liquid butane gas, but it is easy and safe to start up thanks to the integrated ignition trigger - no independent ignition is needed, it's wireless, and the full tank lasts 30-60 minutes.

Kit includes: Dremel 2000 VersaTip, six tips, a soldering set, two spanners, an instruction manual, and a tin storage case.

Review: "First impressions this is a great product of high quality as always from Dremel which heats up very quickly. Plenty of different uses with all the different tips that come with it. Very simple and easy to use fill it up with some lighter refill gas (which is very cheap) and then ignite using the button and adjust the heat and size of the flame with the adjustment slide. If using to solder then you can lock it to keep the flow of gas without holding the button.

"Very portable as no electricity is needed and everything you need (except flux) is in a nice durable metal case keeping it all in one place and also allowing some slight growth with an empty compartment for extra tips you may buy. The only problem I can see so far is it does smell quite a bit when you use the tips so I'd use it in a well-ventilated area."

The light and compact Dremel Stylo+ is a versatile tool for creating the perfect design and finish for your craft projects. Designed to be held just like a pen, you can use it to engrave, carve, clean and polish materials including wood, leather, glass, and metal, and comes with a 2-metre long cord for better manoeuvrability. With this top-notch gadget, you vary the speeds for precision (from 5,000 to 22,000 rpm) and easily change up your tool nibs and accessories.

Kit includes: Dremel Stylo+ with multi-chuck, diamond wheel point, engraving cutter, two high-speed cutters, a carbon steel brush, two polishing wheels, three polishing meals, a mandrel, a polishing compound, a sanding band and mandrel, and two sanding bands of varying grits.

Review from Eleanor Weaver, Commercial Content Writer for Yours: "I was fortunate enough to try using this tool when Dremel came to our Yours Live events in 2019. I had never tried pyrography before but was able to learn quickly with this tool, thanks to its comfortable grip and ergonomic fit in my hand (even as a leftie!) The multi-chuck meant it was really easy to change the tips, and I was able to engrave glass and leather trying out different designs. The other Yours readers and I had a blast and I really enjoyed trying my hand at something new - I'd definitely do it again!"

This kit may seem a little more pricey at face value, but that's because it not only comes with the tool kit, but a variety of blanks too to test your skills. It comes with a selection of wooden blanks (spoon, coasters, name plaque), leather key fob, and step-by-step instructions to guide you through the process.

Kit includes: Pyrography iron with fitted plug, wood-burning tips, wood and leather blanks, and step-by-step instructions.

This high-quality pyrography toolset is great for adding unique, personalised details on wooden surfaces. You can stencil, pattern transfer, emboss, brand, and much more to create fun styles and designs. This tool can't be used on MDF and should only be used on natural wood surfaces only.

Kit includes: Pyrography tool, stand, pen holder, and five screw-on tips.

Review: "Purchased this as I wanted to have a go at wood-burning, and it is fab for beginners like myself. The handle does get very hot so just be careful when using."

This kit from Weller has everything you need to get going learning your new skill - use for decorative wood burning projects, sculpting and embossing wax candles, adding accents to gourds, ceramic, glass, leather, wicker, papier-mâché, fabric, stencil cutting, and more!

The enclosed project booklet has patterns and instructions for the use of each tip and techniques so you can achieve the best results from the offset.

Kit includes: Wood burning iron, hot knife with blade chuck, three branding tips, six wood burning tips, pattern transfer tip, iron stand, project booklet, and useful carrying case

Review: "It was really useful reading previous reviews for this woodburning kit. Comments that if you press hard, the tips will break. Having used my kit a lot already, I learned that the heat does all the work for you. You just have to relax using it and there is no need to press hard for anything. If you keep the heat held anywhere for a few seconds, you get definition where you need it.

"It's really simple to use. Use a glove or some kind of heat protection when using it as it heats up to high temperatures. (hence why the tip will break easily) I made name pegs for a big birthday I am having this year & really happy with the results."

This compact pyrography pen is perfect for engraving into wood, ceramics, metal, plastics, or leather with 6000 strokes per minute and a soft grip for optimal comfort whilst crafting. There are five variable stroke depths to choose from which you can adjust using the dial for different engraving effects. The separate on/off switch means that you can keep your preferred stroke depth setting when you turn off, ready for next time.

Kit includes: Dremel Engraver, two carbide engraving tips, a diamond engraving tip, four creative stencils, and an instruction manual.

Review: "This works a treat. I'm a hobbyist rather than a professional and it seems excellent so far for my requirements. If it lasts a long time then it will be true value for money."

Is pyrography safe?

Pyrography is safe but as you're playing with fire (literally!) you should take precautions to prevent accidents and to make sure the area is safe to work in.

The main risks to be aware of are burns from using the hot tool, a general fire hazard from putting heat on materials, and the potentially toxic fumes and sawdust that'll come from your burning material.

Follow these safety tips and you'll be able to work safely and without any concern:

Prepare your work area - make sure to cover your work surface and keep anything that could melt out of reach. Work in a ventilated space and use a fan if necessary to help with the airflow.

Research your materials before use - you want to avoid materials where toxic chemicals may be present and where they may be released when heat is applied. For example, you should only burn vegetable-tanned leather because other tanning methods contain toxic chemicals, and avoid man-made woods like plywood that contain chemicals.

Wear PPE - you should wear eye goggles, protective gloves, and use a breathing mask to prevent sawdust inhalation or irritation.

Be careful - your tool will be incredibly hot at the nib so make sure to use it carefully. Never leave it too near other objects, set it close to your skin, or leave it unattended.

What can I make with a pyrography kit?

The options really are endless! You can use your kit to create signs, plaques and decorations for your home, and personalise everything from chopping boards to wallets, trinket boxes to keyrings, and jewellery to leather bags.

We found some great ideas from Hobbycraft and Dremel that'll make for wonderful personalised gifts to make for loved ones or if you become a pyrography pro, you could even consider making them to sell on Etsy.

Hobbycraft how-to-make guides

How to Make a Floral Pyrography Trinket Box

How to Make a Pyrography Mandala Wooden Board

How to Make a Folk Rabbit Pyrography Decoration

How to Make a Pyrography Home Plaque

Dremel how-to-make guides (more experienced)

Etch glass coasters

Engrave jewellery

Engraving a leather bag

Materials for pyrography

If you don't have materials to hand, you can buy blank craft woods online to use as a base for your personalised gifts, designs, and technique practice.

If you'd rather practice on something old, we'd recommend old wooden spoons, coathangers, or clothes pegs - they can still be used no matter how your designs turn out.

You should avoid burning treated woods (painted, sealed, stained, etc.), MDF, or plywood due to the toxins. If you must use treated wood, make sure it is thoroughly sanded first so you are burning on the bare wood.

Pyrography inspiration

If you're really stuck on what to draw, you can search online for black and white illustrations that you can print and use to trace when practising your pyrography skills.

Another great place to get ideas for designs and decoration is on social media, where you can see people's finished products and aspire to make something similar. We'd recommend Instagram and Pinterest, where your fellow pyrography penpals may even include links to tutorials for making your own.

Top pyrography tips

• If you're etching on wood, you can draw your design in pencil first and go over it with your pyrography pen. Etching on glass? Use some masking tape to stick an image of your desired design to the other side and trace it on the glass. Alternatively, you can place your design over the top of any material, use the pyrography pen to trace, remove the paper and go over the outlines to make them clearer.

• Choosing a nice softwood like pine, ash, or maple is easier to work with. Hardwoods require hotter pens and if you're using a raw piece of wood, make sure to sand it down first to create a smoother working surface.

• Try to draw with the grain of the wood - it’s much easier to burn with the grain than against it.

• Have a damp paper towel or cloth to hand to wipe your material clear of sawdust or residue as you work.

• Add a protective layer of wax or oil to your finished design. That'll help protect it from damage and add a shine that'll make it look even better.

• Enhance your skills by following tips and tricks on YouTube. Tutorials like the below are a sure-fire way to build your confidence and help you improve on your designs and techniques.

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