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Temp.on a woodburning tool, I have one that is 10 watts is that to low for woodburning ?? Answered

I just started woodburning, which I like. However, it seems to take along time to get a good burn (I'm using pine) my tool says 10 watts.  Is this a good temp?  I have seen on Amazon some go up as high as 450*, since I'm just starting ~ Any suggestions on what to start with? Thank you for any help, tips, info. Patty


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Jack A Lopez
Jack A Lopez

3 years ago

I think, years ago, I encountered a wood burner like the one you describe. It might have even been the same power rating, i.e. 10 watts.

I was impressed by how much this tool looked like a soldering iron, and I thought to myself, "Oh! So it's like a soldering iron."

Then I think I tried plugging it in, and then I tried to melt some solder with it, and that did not work at all.

Then I think I tried burning wood with it, but I quickly got bored with that, because even if it could burn wood, it seemed to do it agonizingly slowly.

So I concluded that this, so-called wood burning tool, was a deceptive thing, a fake tool, trying to pass itself off as a relative of a soldering iron, but too underpowered to do anything useful.

So that was an amusing anecdote, but you asked if I had any suggestions.

My suggestion is that you get a cheap 30 watt soldering iron, and then put that in series with a TRIAC based lamp dimmer, so by adjusting the knob you can throttle the power to the soldering iron, to pretty much anywhere between 0 and the full 30 watts.

Also as a benefit of doing things this way, if you decide that wood burning is not a worthwhile hobby, you will still have a perfectly good soldering iron, so you know, you could learn how to solder wires, and circuit boards and stuff, and that can lead to all kinds of fun!

Somewhere around here I have a picture of what a box-with-dimmer-switch looks like.


Also there exist full-blown instructables on the subject of building a dimmer box tor to throttle power to a soldering iron, here,


and here,


Also I think in the comments section of an instructable I wrote, on the subject of homemade soldering iron tips,


had some discussion of using a dimmer box, for to allow the iron to run cooler, for to help the tips to last longer.


3 years ago

When it comes to burning wood it all comes down to how much (detail) and how deep you need to burn.
10W I might consider for very fine detail if the tip is still getting hot enough.
For general work I would opt for around 100-150W and for the bigger burning tasks go even higher.
Depends on how much time you have though but a cheap 100W soldering iron from the hardware store is only a few bucks...


3 years ago

More Power => More Watts, does go faster but is hotter to hold and easier to make mistakes (burns, fires, uneven lines).

Compare this to mowing your lawn with a Locomotive which does a great job BUT it can go out of control !