Pyrography is a form of wood-burning that involves using a sharp-pointed tool to burn designs into wood. In ancient times, it was used by carpenters as a means of creating art. In modern times, pyrography has found its way into contemporary art through various forms. The technique can be used to produce intricate patterns and designs on wood that look amazing when finished.
Hence, pyrography is also known as burning wood, wood-burning, or flame carving. To use this art, you will need a piece of solid wood, a pen-like tool with sharp ends (a pencil works well), and something to burn on.
Below, we have added the top 11 best wood for pyrography. These pyrography wood work well in everything from delicate fine work to heavy-duty carving and hard use. However, I would suggest purchasing wood only if you plan on getting into pyrography or wood burning crafts.
Top 11 Best Wood for Pyrography
1. Alder wood
- A versatile tool that can be used for a variety of jobs.
- Will not cause any damage to your project
- Easier to burn than other types of wood.
- Accessible to store and transport.
- No more expensive.
- It comes in a variety of widths to accommodate most needs.
Alder wood is also called Alnus serrulata, or just “alder” in North America. It’s a hardwood that is used in cabinet-making, furniture-making, pyrography, and craft. It’s easier to burn because it doesn’t have the resin or sap that other hardwoods have, but it has similar properties to them. This wood is one of the cheapest, although it comes in only a fixed width, typically 4 inches wide.
2. Balsa Wood
- You can get the most out of your carving tools.
- Works great for model making, especially when it comes to grooves and divots on the surface.
- Get your hands on some Balsa wood and start creating.
Balsa wood is a highly lightweight softwood ideal for ornamental purposes, pyrography, wood burning, etc. The surfaces of the wood are smooth and uniform, with no grain or hollows. It can be carved, sanded, painted, stained, or laminated. It’s the perfect wood for making pyrography crafts.
In fact, its beautiful grain reveals a stunning pattern that truly makes it a unique type of wood. It’s perfect for complex modelling projects and wood-burning or pyrography because it won’t break easily. Furthermore, its shape can be recreated with other types of adhesives, so we highly recommend this wood for your ultimate pyrography.
- It is a great decorative wood for many projects like pyrography.
- The colors range from almost white to pink and brown tones.
- The wood is very stable and durable but not too stiff or heavy.
- A quality wood that is hard to break.
- Light in weight, very easy to work with and finish, Easy to turn on a lathe.
- An economical choice for carving projects of all sizes.
You can use basswood as a filler or as a decorative accent. It is also suitable for making art, furniture, boxes, pyrography crafts, toys, etc.
This is a quality wood with great colors, textures and finishes. It is easy to work with and looks good in almost any design. It works well in jewellery making, so if you are looking for wood to use in any type of woodworking project, this would be the one for you.
4. Beech Wood
- A lovely, light hardwood with a dark grain.
- It’s easy on the hands and produces a smooth finish on woodturning projects.
- It is easily carved with hand tools or large power tools.
The wood of the beech tree is quite popular because it is light and easy to work with. Beechwood is used for furniture, flooring, cabinets, food preparation island, fireplace surrounds, outdoor furniture, tabletops and much more.
However, the best usages of beech wood is pyrography.
5. Cherry Wood
- Very strong hardwood, resistant to insects and termites.
- No sap or resin, non-toxic.
- Good for carving.
- Easy to work with.
Cherry Wood is a hardwood with a nice grain, which is slightly dark. It has a slender shape with a light brown color, often used for making furniture and decorative items. Also, it is good for carving because it takes the craftsman’s knowledge to carve well.
The best thing about this cherry dark hardwood is that artists and craftspeople highly seek it out!
6. Hickory Wood
- No sap or resin.
- Dark in color with a reddish tint when cut or stained.
- Hickory is a beautiful dark brown wood.
- It features beautiful grain and color variations.
- It will look great in any room of your home.
Hickory provides an exceptional selection of decorative hardwoods. Hickory can take a really distinctive finish, especially when it is polished. As a result, it is the finest selection of the most popular decorative hardwoods ideal for DIY projects, home décor or professional woodwork.
7. Maple Wood
- It is an excellent wood for various uses, such as Decorative pieces.
- Hardwood and easy to carve into a variety of shapes.
- It has no grain or resin to collect in your pen nibs
- Furniture and interior accents.
Before you can even think of trying maple, you have to pick it. Unfortunately, it’s not the most common of woods, so you may have to pay a bit more for your very own. You can also try looking for it online, but don’t expect to find the best prices there. An excellent place to look is Amazon which has high-quality maple wood at fantastic low prices.
- Great for decorating, art, and woodworking.
- The grain is dark with an irregular pattern.
- It’s beautiful in any room of the house or office.
- Oak is the traditional choice for pyrography.
- It’s expensive pyrography wood and great for any project.
- The grain is usually uniform, with fine knots on both sides, but some grains are milled to look cut on the other side of the log.
Oak is the hardwood for pyrography, but it’s also one of the most expensive. So now you can spend your money on your artwork with the same high quality.
Oak has a lot of grain that can’t be tinted. It is a beautiful wood with a lot of grain, but it truly shines through the dye. To begin with, it is not cheap wood, so don’t be fooled by cheap pine with a bunch of grains on it. So go ahead and take your time and invest in this great wood as you will not regret it.
9. Pacific Albus
- Great for making bowls, serving trays, and more.
- Available in a variety of colors.
- Easy to work with.
- Available in several colors and grain patterns,
- Pen tip can sink,
- Easy to cut with a sharp saw or chisel for decorative purposes.
The Pacific Albus wood is excellent for pyrography but very light in color, making it look uneven. It has no sap or resin, making it easy to gouge, and it’s very softwood. On the other hand, it’s inexpensive, thin and prone to curving.
10. Pine Wood
- Decorative furniture wood that is inexpensive.
- Lower maintenance and upkeep costs.
- Lighter colored soft hardwood floors.
- Large selection of common and exotic wood species.
- Easy to maintain, no sanding required.
Pine Wood is a great wood for your next pyrography project with a large selection of lumber, tools, and hardware for DIYers, professional contractors, and do-it-yourselfers alike.
11. Poplar Wood
- Easy to cut, sand, and finish.
- Great for general projects.
- An excellent choice for beginners and hobbyists.
- Lightweight, low cost per board foot of wood used in pyrography projects.
The most popular choice for pyrography projects, Poplar is also very easy to work with. It is the wood of choice for many ancient forms of pyrography, dating back to ancient Egypt and ancient Rome. Poplar can be used with either hot or cold coals, with liquefaction mechanisms that are not as complicated as those found in certain types of birch.
However, Poplar has a certain level of fragility, but it is easy to cut and carve and can be used for pyrography (wood burning) applications; cutting the top is very easy, suitable for beginners to practice in wood carving. Check below YouTube video on how to make pyrography artwork easily!
Frequently Asked Questions
Choosing a good wood for pyrography is not easy, and it depends on what you want to create.
If you are just learning how to do pyrography, then the best wood would be one that burns well and has a low moisture content. You can also use scrap wood that has been cut into pieces of various sizes and shapes.
However, if you are an experienced pyrographer, the best wood would be one that produces rich colors or is easily worked with your tools. If you are doing abstract designs or lettering, then the best wood would make a good, consistent light to dark burn. Another important aspect is if your wood will require different candles for various stages of the design process. Using more than one type of candle allows for this flexibility and increases your tool’s versatility regarding what it can do with each burning material.
Invest in a pyrography starter kit and practice with it every day.Try drawing objects such as flowers, fruits, or leaves to learn the basics of how pyrography works.Practice freehand on something simple such as wood, so you can work out your own style and figure out what you like best before attempting more complicated designs.Look for tutorials online that will teach you how to do specific things like drawing a rose or writing an inscription on wood that has been prepared with pyrography ink and other tools like paints, pastels, and acrylics.
The answer is yes. However, it should be noted that balsa wood will not produce the same results as hardwoods like maple or oak.
Balsa wood is a lightweight and softwood with a higher moisture content than hardwoods, leading to warping and bending of your project if you are using too much pressure when working with it.
If you’re looking for a lightweight option for pyrography, balsa is perfect.
There are several ways to test if a particular wood is suitable for pyrography. One way is to do a small project out of the wood, let it dry, and then check the surface of the wood. If there are no cracks or chips on the surface, you can use that piece of wood for your project.
Another way is to take a small piece of that type of wood and place it in an oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes. This will dry out any moisture in the wood so you can see how it would react when used with pyrography.
Real wood is much better than fake wood for pyrography. It will not warp, split, or crack when used in pyrography because it is stable and can withstand heat.
Fake wood does not have the same level of stability and would most likely crack or warp when exposed to heat.
There are a lot of alternatives to real wood when it comes to choosing an ideal material for pyrography. Here are some of the materials that you can use:
Plaster of Paris.
Some wood species are not suitable for pyrography. These include some softwoods, such as pine and spruce, because they do not hold the heat well enough. Hardwoods, such as oak and ash, may also be unsuitable for pyrography because of their density and hardness.
What is the best wood for pyrography? There are many choices in this field. So, which one is the best pyrography wood? In our opinion, the best wood for pyrography is maple. Maple has a lot of benefits, such as being easy to work with and highly resistant to decay. It’s also a good choice because it’s relatively cheap and durable.
So, now you know what wood is best for pyrography, it’s time to pick the perfect wood for your next project. You can find all types of woods online websites, so take some time today to browse through some of these inventories and choose the one that fits your needs best. Once you’ve made your selection, let us know which wood you picked in the comments below!