Can I Use a Wood Burner as a Soldering Iron?

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Wood burning is the art of decorating wood using burn marks. Initially, it involved the use of charred remains of fire to create designs before the discovery of wood burners. Interest in wood burning originated in England during the Victorian era as the first wood burning machines were invented here. Later modern wood burning pens were developed resembling soldering irons. Their construction and function is as that of the soldering iron but they are uniquely designed for engraving decorative signs on wooden surfaces.

It is this construction that make them ideal candidate for soldering tasks too. But can they substitute soldering irons? Let’s find out:

​History of the Mass Production of Soldering Irons

Successful production of soldering irons started in 1921. Before then artists heated metal tools in fire to create pyrography tools. They would then heat the metal tool again in fire when working. However, the heating and reheating process of the pyrography was a little time-consuming. It was then that soldering pens were invented.

Using Wood Burners as Soldering Irons

Modern pyrography pens are fitted with nichrome wire tips which don’t deteriorate from heat as other conductive metals like copper. As such, the tip lasts longer making it ideal for soldering projects. The wire-nib wood burner is particularly popular as it allows users to switch between tips.

Additionally, it has a vast temperature range that enables you to fine-tune it to any soldering requirements you desire. The pen comes with an adjustable transformer that allows light to deep burning tasks by turning the dial of the transformer.

The device also heats up within seconds and cools down just as fast which is also a bonus for people looking to use to the wood burner as a soldering iron too. What’s more, the nib can be exchanged depending on your soldering applications. The wire nib burner is also long lasting.

Wood burners are also available in the form of an interchangeable nib burner. It is relatively new in the market and has become a pretty popular choice for artists. Just as the name the tips are interchangeable and the burning nibs is plugged into the pen handle. Other brands have the nibs held in place using a retaining screw. Interchangeable nib burners also function as soldering irons thanks to the interchangeable nibs.

The nibs are purchased separately as they come in different shapes. As such, you can purchase those designed for the style of your artwork and those that function as soldering irons as well. other brands have two burning pens attached to them letting the user switching from one tip to another by changing pens.

Wood Burners that Function as Soldering Irons

Leather Pyrography Pen

It is a perfect example of a burner that functions as a soldering iron too. The pen is ideal for making field service repair on components and small parts as well as working on light duty jobs like fine motor wires and servo leads.

The pen heats up in 50 seconds and can handle long soldering projects (up to 40 minutes of continous use). Leather Pyrography pen also has a protective safety cap that turns off when placed on a work surface. Being a cordless pyrography pen makes it extremely portable and lightweight.

Using Soldering irons for Pyrography

Soldering irons are not designed pyrography. They are specially designed to melt solder and connect joints. Most irons have copper or iron tips which are not as pointed as woodburning pens. It does not mean is impossible to perform pyrography tasks using soldering iron but:

  • Soldering irons are not as detailed as woodburners
  • It’s difficult to achieve the desired temperature for wood burning
  • Soldering irons don’t write clear words or draw quality outlines

Also, while craft-style pens and solid-point burners seem to deliver great wood burning art they might disappoint you as they resemble the soldering iron. Their tips are made of bras just like the soldering iron, have a fixed temperature and take long to heat up. It is this fixed temperature that makes it difficult to perform a range of effects during wood burning projects.

However, you can purchase kits that come with interchangeable tips to switch to wood burning projects as needed. Keep in mind to allow the tip to cool before changing the tip.

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