There are many pyrography tools on the market today. The two types I have personally used are:
Walnut Hollow Creative Woodburner value tool
Razertip SK (power unit) with interchangeable-tip & fixed-tip pens
I would recommend everyone interested in pyrography to purchase a Walnut Hollow woodburner from your local hobby store. I began with the most basic model, which came with no temperature control and a few different tips. Having no temperature control does not make burning on wood impossible as one may think. It is still possible to get various tones. The longer you keep the tip in one place, the darker it will be and the less time heat is applied, the lighter it will be. Walnut Hollow also offers a model with a temp control knob, which allows for a larger range of tones.
The different tips provided by Walnut Hollow definitely get the job done, however Razertip’s tip selection is much greater. The Walnut Hollow tip that I use is the mini universal point. The mini universal point is a wedge shape that allows for lines and shading. The pointed tip could even be used or stippling if one desired. After purchasing a more versatile pyro machine, the use for my Walnut Hollow has changed. Now, I mainly use it for larger dark areas and bold lines.
After discovering my passion for woodburning, I purchased a Razertip pen and power supply. The Razertip SK burner, Pyrography Starter Kit currently cost $281. In my opinion, it is worth the investment. The unit I purchased is still working, almost a decade later.
The features Razertip has to offer is quite enticing. Razertip offers over 900 different tips. Some ultra-sharp tips can burn 120+ lines per inch. If for some reason you are unable to find a tip that fits your needs, Razertip offers special tips that allow you to fashion your own shapes.
Razertip’s temp control knob varies from 340°F - 1400°F roughly. When burning on paper, not having temperature control could prove difficult. In my experience, it is best to burn on paper using a low - medium heat, and slowly build up the darker areas.
Razertip offers two types of pen:
Fixed- tip pen
When I was first getting familiar with Razertip, I used an interchangeable-tip pen. Originally, I thought it would be cost efficient to buy one pen and as many different tips as I needed. After a couple weeks of burning, I realized I only need 2 or 3 tips to achieve what I needed in my art. If I were to recommend only three tips, it would be:
1 sharp skew tip - for fine lines
1 flat tip shader - for shading
1 writing stylus tip - to achieve ideal writing styles
Being equipped with these 3 tips allow me to create almost all the art I currently produce. However, if I had to choose just one tip, I would choose a flat-tip shader. This is the most versatile tool that I use when practicing pryrography. With a flat-tip shader, I am able to use the sides to burn lines, the bottom for shading, and the tip for stippling.
After a couple years of burning, I started having some issues with my interchangeable-tip pen. The post, where the interchangeable tips are screwed in, began to twist and the pen was not getting as hot. I think this was a result of rough, excessive use. I decided to purchase two fixed-tip pens:
skewed liner pen
flat-tip shader pen
Some of the fixed-tip pens in my kit are over five years old. The fixed-tip pens seem to be my preference. In my opinion, it is best to have a tool that is very good at its job, as opposed to having a tool that does alright at many jobs.
I would love to try burning with other prography tool brands in the future, but for now I am perfectly happy with my current pyrography tools.