How Hot Do Wood Burning Tools Get?

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As the name implies, a wood-burning tool is designed to burn designs into wood. In order to do this, there has to be a lot of heat coming from the tool. This temperature usually varies and many tools have the ability to control the variation of temperature as you are using them. How hot does a wood-burning tool get?

The most popular wood-burning tools on the market have a temperature range from around 100° Fahrenheit (37° Celsius) to over 1600° Fahrenheit (871° Celsius). The temperature you use depends on the wood you are burning, the tip you are using, the technique, and desired result.

Hot tip on woodburning tool

Just because a wood-burning tool can reach such high temperatures doesn’t mean that you should use it at this high of a temperature. In general, burning projects will require that you keep your temperature somewhere in the middle of this range.

I generally use my tool somewhere in the middle and adjust to a higher or lower heat setting depending on the pen tip I am using, how I want the burn to look, and how fast I want to work. Different types of woods will burn at a different rate.

If you are using the popular basswood that many wood burners prefer, this wood burns easily in the 700 to 900 degree temperature range. However, it’s likely that you won’t even know what temperature you are burning at. Manufacturers often give a range of what their tools are designed to deliver in the instruction manual but are not listed on the tool itself.

The Razertip SS-D10 burner that I use has a knob with a range of 1 to 10 so all I really know is where I am at on this scale. I’m not aware of the actual temperature as I do my work. The manufacturer of the Razertip claims that this unit operates at a temperature of 340 Fahrenheit to 1600 Fahrenheit.

I can discern from this range that a middle ground would put me around 800° Fahrenheit. This is typically where I start and adjust from there depending on the result that I want to achieve.

How Hot Should a Wood Burning Tool Be?

A wood-burning tool should be at a temperature that you feel comfortable using and will allow you to achieve the desired result that you are looking for. Everyone has a different technique and feel for their wood-burning tool so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all temperature that you can just set your tool on and achieve the same result as someone else.

In general, there are some guidelines that people use to help them find a good starting point but this will often be adjusted as you practice more and more and learn the style that you are most comfortable with.

When in doubt, start in the middle range and adjust from there. It’s also beneficial to practice on a scrap piece of wood in order to get a feel for how your tool burns in that specific wood.

How Long Do Wood Burning Tools Take To Heat Up?

Some wood-burning tools can take up to five minutes to reach their maximum temperature while other tools may take only seconds. Thinner tips will likely take less time to heat up than thicker tips will. It will also take less time if you are working at a lower temperature.

A good rule of thumb is to wait about two minutes when you first turn your tool on or change pins or tips. This amount of time will usually be enough time for the tool to reach its maximum temperature. Some budget wood-burning tools may take longer and you may have to wait up to five minutes for these to reach the desired temperature.

Many of the higher-end tools will take much less time to heat up.

5 Simple Ways To Avoid Getting Burned

When dealing with tools that produce such high temperatures, you must take precautions to protect yourself. It’s quite easy to get burned on a wood-burning tool so you should always put safety above everything else.

Always Keep Your Tool in a Stand When Not in Use

When not using your tool, you should have a stand nearby that you can place the tool in to keep it out of the way. The stand should be positioned in a way that allows your tool to face away from you so that you do not accidentally get burned.

Wood burning tool in holder

Of course, you will want to make sure the tool isn’t pointing toward something that could catch on fire or anything flammable within the area. It’s a good idea to have a spacious work area cleared out so that you always have room in which to work.

Keeping your tool in a stand will free you from worrying about where your tool is and whether or not it is touching something that could get burned. If your stand is always in a safe location, then you know your tool will be safe once it is positioned safely inside the stand.

Get used to storing your pen in a stand at all times so that it becomes second nature when you are not using it.

Make Sure Your Tool Stand is Sturdy

The stand that you place your wood-burning tool in should be sturdy and not slide around the table. This could mean that you will need to mount it or get a solid stand that won’t move around as lower-quality ones might. Some wood-burning tools have stands or pen holders built onto the side of the main burner unit. This device is often sturdy enough so that it doesn’t move around and when you place the pen in its holder, it will also be sturdy.

Oftentimes, lower-cost wood-burning tools come with stands that aren’t very good quality. They may be light and flimsy and slide around, especially with the weight of the cord pulling on the pen. If this is the case, it may help to clamp it down in some way so that it does not move.

The last thing you want is your tool sliding off of your desk because the stand it was in was not stable. Not only could this cause you to burn something, but it could also land in your lap as it falls off of your table. Ouch!

Be Cautious of Where Your Tool Tip Is

Always be cautious of where your pen tip is pointing. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that you are holding a tool with such a high temperature. One touch of the tip could do some serious damage to your skin and burn nearly anything else that it touches.

Rather than waving the pan around as if it’s just a simple lead pencil, keep a conscious mind of where your pen is pointing at all times. This includes times when it is safely stored in its stand or holder. Make sure it is always pointed in the direction that isn’t going to touch anything that it could cause damage to.

Wear Protective Gloves

Protective gloves are always good to have nearby, especially when you are working on high-heat projects that take a while. The heat can begin to build up and become uncomfortable. When working with the tool for long periods of time at high temperatures, gloves designed to shield heat can be worn to protect your fingers and make them more comfortable.

Whether you choose full-on gloves or just fingertip gloves, either will protect you from getting burned as you are using the tool.

These heat resistant gloves (affiliate link) are great options for keeping the heat away from your hands.

Avoid Loose Clothing and Long Hair

If you are wearing loose clothing and have long hair that hangs down, you may want to reconsider. It’s best not to wear clothing that could hang onto the workpiece and get into the path have a hot wood-burning tool tip. Instead, make sure your clothing fits tightly and will pose no risk of dangling down into the area where you’re working.

Likewise, if you have long hair, putting it up will go a long way towards making sure you do not set your hair on fire or burn the tips of your hair as you are working.


A wood-burning tool is designed to get extremely hot so that you can easily burn through wood and create decorative art. While the exact temperature may not matter, it’s important that the tool you have has a range of temperatures so that you can easily control the heat coming from it and be able to accomplish different looks as you are burning.

No matter how hot you have the tool, safety should be the number one concern. This could be a dangerous tool since it is so hot. It’s important to be conscious of just how dangerous it is if you do not follow some basic safety procedures each time you use it.

Treat it as if it could burn you and don’t become sloppy in using it and wood-burning can provide a safe, fun way to express yourself in a form of art that is gaining in popularity.