Best Wood for Wood Burning Art - 2020 Reviews

Mostcraft is reader-supported. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

Cover Image: Best Wood for Wood Burning Art

The art of pyrography is both a phenomenal hobby, as well as a way to make some extra cash when you’ve developed the skill to create burned wooden art that people would want to buy. But even if pyrography is the kind of craft that you don’t have to invest that much money into, it is still important for you to know what the best pyrography tools are to work with.

Aside from the usual pyrography pen, which is the tool that’s actually used to burn wood, you will also require the appropriate wooden surface to work with. Because of that, you should know what the best wood for wood burning art is by being able to tell the differences between the results obtained when working with different pieces.

Quick Comparisons of the 5 Best Wood for Wood Burning Art

IMAGE BRAND FEATURES
mc-table__image
Walnut Hollow
  • Type of wood: basswood
  • Package contents: 1 x basswood plank
  • Size per piece: 9 to 11 x 13 x 5 to 8 inches
View Product
mc-table__image
Juvale
  • Type of wood: poplar plywood
  • Package contents: 36 pieces
  • Size per piece: 4 x 4 inches
View Product
mc-table__image
Woodpeckers
  • Type of wood: birch
  • Package contents: 8, 16, or 45 pieces
  • Size per piece: 10 x 10 inches
View Product
mc-table__image
Caydo
  • Type of wood: not mentioned
  • Package contents: 10 pieces
  • Size per piece: 12 inches
View Product
mc-table__image
Arteza
  • Type of wood: birchwood and pine
  • Package contents: 5 pieces
  • Size per piece: 10 x 10 inches
View Product

Types of Wood to Try

Pyrography. Wood burning with pyrography pen. Close up

There are different reasons why it’s important for you to know which type of wood goes best for your pyrography project. First of all, choosing the wrong type of wood can result in toxic smoke that you don’t want to inhale.

Second, the quality of the wood that you are using is going to make a difference and how difficult or simple it will be for you to actually burn wood. Let’s explore some of the most commonly used types of wood that are actually good for a pyrography project:

Basswood

What is arguably one of the greatest options out there, especially for Lichtenberg style pyrography. Since it doesn’t have any grains, it will be really easy for you to work with it. It has a solid surface with a smooth finish that makes it easy for you to brush the tip of your pyrography pen against it.

However, you might discover some limitations in terms of precut block sizes that aren’t available in online or offline shops. Basswood blocks can also be rather expensive, which is why people steer clear from it and would rather go with much cheaper options.

Oak

Oak old tree

It’s also used in pyrography projects, but you need to get the right type of oak if you want to make your job easier. For example, if you opt for red oak, you will discover that it’s really tough to work with it because the grains are uneven. Red Oak also tends to be moister and you might discover that sap bubbles out when you try to burn it.

Poplar

Probably one of the best woods to use in a pyrography project. You can find it in almost any size, it’s very cost-friendly, and it’s also very easy to work with. If you visit your local hardware store, you will most likely find pieces of poplar in a variety of different sizes.

This type of wood is extremely easy to work with if you’re trying to burn portraits because the grains are soft and consistent, making it easy for your pyrography pen to slide across the surface.

Birch

Birch will feel pretty much like basswood when you try to burn it. It comes with soft and consistent grains, and it’s super easy to find it in big box stores. It’s also a wood that’s fairly easy to cut if you need to do so.

Pine

Pine tree

It’s also a good option for wood burning projects. It’s an inexpensive choice that’s easy to obtain. However, if you opt for yellow pine, you should know that it comes with grains that might be too difficult to burn if you are a beginner.

It might not be the best choice for a portrait. White pine, however, is a much better choice. It provides you with a smoother burn and makes your pyrography pen slide across the surface with greater ease.

Tips for Safe Practice

Certain types of wood can be toxic when burned, which is why the following tips might help you make a more informed decision over which type of wood you pick:

Awesome Wood Burning Tips and Techniques - Bear face design on wooden plate.

  • Don’t work with wood pieces that you can’t identify.
  • Avoid any types of wood that have been treated with any sorts of chemicals. That includes planks of wood with paint coats, oils, or any other chemicals.
  • Don’t choose pieces of wood that have suffered water damage. They are likely to have accumulated mold, which is also something you want to steer clear of.
  • If you can’t afford to buy wood for your pyrography projects, you can always feel free to repurpose pallets. They are generally untreated and can serve as great canvases, especially for beginners that want to practice holding and working with a pyrography pen.
  • If you want to sand the wood that you’ll be using for your upcoming pyrography project, make sure that you always use a mask in the process.
  • Always try to work with a fan turned on next to you. This will help blow away some of the fumes that you would otherwise inhale.
  • Try not to lean too much over the project you’re working on. If you do so, you are more likely to inhale fumes.

Top 5 Wood Options for Pyrography Reviews

As we’ve mentioned time and time again, the wood that you use for your wood-burning art is going to make a lot of difference in how smooth the process is and how well your products will look. With that in mind, let’s explore your top 5 choices of pyrography and see if there’s something in here that you might fancy.

Walnut Hollow

Walnut Hollow Basswood Country Plank Small with Bark for Woodburning, Home Décor, and Rustic Weddings
  • Type of wood: basswood
  • Package contents: 1 x basswood plank
  • Size per piece: 9 to 11 x 13 x 5 to 8 inches
Check The Product

 

Useful for woodburning, but suitable for a variety of different other crafts, Walnut Hollow brings us a basswood plank that’s available in many different sizes so that you can benefit from a clean and easy-to-work-with canvas no matter what you need it for.

The manufacturer claims that each one of the basswood pieces is dried and finely sanded before finding its way to its happy new home. Since the wood isn’t treated with any chemicals, it’s also a safe option to have at your disposal for your woodburning projects. Because the product is natural, you should know that no two pieces you order will ever be identical.

Who Should Buy This?

If you want to create a more intricate wood burning project and require a larger surface to work with, this basswood isn’t just a suitable canvas but can serve for making projects like serving trays, chopping board, or even welcome signs.

Pros:

  •   Three size options.
  •   Not treated.
  •   Easy to work with.
  •   Finely sanded.

Cons:

  •   Some pieces are misshapen.

Juvale

Unfinished Wood Pieces - 60-Pack 3x3 Wooden Squares Cutout Tiles, Natural Rustic Craft Wood for Home Decoration, DIY Supplies
  • Type of wood: poplar plywood
  • Package contents: 36 pieces
  • Size per piece: 4 x 4 inches
Check The Product

 

Poplar is considered to be one of the best woods to work with if you’re interested in pyrography. This is why we believed that Juvale is a brand to try when it comes to your supplier of small cutouts made from poplar plywood. Used in a variety of different crafts, this wood is available in packs of up to 200 pieces, while also allowing you to choose between five different piece sizes.

All of the tiles that are in a pack are in the exact same size, which gives you the opportunity to create multiple objects that can be used as a set, such as holiday ornaments, coasters, or you can even burn out different letters and create a neat-looking sign to hang in or outside the house. Some customers even used these pieces of wood to burn out letters to create giant-sized scrabble pieces, which just goes to show you what you can do with a little bit of imagination.

Who Should Buy This?

If you want to give it a shot and use poplar wood for your next pyrography projects, you can use these to make beautiful ornaments, coasters, or experiment with different patterns until you get used to working with a pyrography pen.

Pros:

  •   Available in different sizes.
  •   Identically sized items per pack.
  •   Made from quality poplar wood.
  •   Easy to burn.
  •   Good for multiple crafts.

Cons:

  •   Not true to their size.

Woodpeckers

3 mm 1/8 x 10 x 10 Inch Premium Baltic Birch Plywood, Box of 16 B/BB Grade Birch Veneer Sheets, Laser Cutting, CNC, Wood Burning and DIY Projects. by Woodpeckers
  • Type of wood: birch
  • Package contents: 8, 16, or 45 pieces
  • Size per piece: 10 x 10 inches
Check The Product

 

Made from Baltic birch and with a multi-coat that provides a smooth working surface, this plywood is a much better choice for people who are looking for a wooden canvas for more intricate and large pyrography projects. The smooth surface of each piece is made in Russia, by one of the top lumber producers.

Each piece is designed to have a face and a back veneer. The front side comes with a light and uniform color that grants you the possibility to use these planks for a variety of different crafts, while the backside comes with small color-matched patches.

Who Should Buy This?

If you’re looking for a larger canvas that could serve as the base for your next pyrography project, Woodpeckers sells these birch plywood pieces that might just do the job.

Pros:

  •   Multipack options.
  •   Great for multiple projects.
  •   Smooth surface.
  •   Easy to burn.

Cons:

  •   Some pieces arrive warped.

Caydo

Caydo 10 Pieces 12 Inch Wooden Circles Door Hanger, Unfinished Round Wood Slices for Pyrography, Painting and Wedding Decorations
  • Type of wood: not mentioned
  • Package contents: 10 pieces
  • Size per piece: 12 inches
Check The Product

 

For everyone looking for round pieces of wood, Caydo might have the solution. They are selling packs of 10 pieces of round wood that measures 12 inches in diameter, providing you with just the right size canvas to make sure that you can burn anything from portraits to signs.

While the manufacturer fails to mention exactly what type of wood this is, we do know that it’s unfinished and untreated, being a good option for pyrography. However, you are not limited to just wood burning, as these can serve a multitude of different crafts.

Who Should Buy This?

If you’re looking for disk-shaped pieces of wood for projects such as burning portraits, creating door signs, or several other types of ornament, this 10-piece pack is right here at your disposal.

Pros:

  •   10 pieces per pack.
  •   12 inches per piece.
  •   Good for multiple crafts.
  •   Excellent for pyrography.
  •   Smooth and easy-to-work-with surface.

Cons:

  •   Some pieces arrive warped.

Arteza

Arteza Wooden Canvas Board, 10x10 Inch, Pack of 5, Birch Wood, Cradled Artist Wood Panels for Painting, Encaustic Art, Wood Burning, Pouring, Use with Oils, Acrylics
  • Type of wood: birchwood and pine
  • Package contents: 5 pieces
  • Size per piece: 10 x 10 inches
Check The Product

 

Arteza is no stranger to making quality art supplies for people who want a good price-to-quality ratio. Even if they are mostly known for making excellent drawing supplies, they also sell really good wooden canvas boards. While each pack contains five boards, you get to choose the size you’re most comfortable in working with: 8 x 8 inches, 8 x 10 inches, 9 x 12 inches, or 10 x 10 inches.

The wooden boards are made from natural birchwood and pine, which is a really solid combination for the intended pyrography purposes. You’d think that the 1.5-inch profile of each board makes it thick and heavy, each canvas is, in fact, very lightweight.

Who Should Buy This?

If you want a thick board, with a smooth surface, made from wood that’s good for pyrography projects, then you want to go with a brand like Arteza; a true connoisseur or the craft supply world.

Pros:

  •   Quality wood.
  •   Smooth surface.
  •   Thick profile.
  •   Easy to work with.
  •   Made with natural pine and birchwood.
  •   Multiple size options.

Cons:

  •   Expensive.

Bottom Line

The type of wood that you choose for your pyrography project can make or break the deal. Aside from the safety consideration related to smoke that you inhale which can be toxic if it comes from the wrong type of wood, there is also a matter of how easy it is to work with certain types of wood over others.

While we’ve given you some solid options for wooden boards that are suitable for your upcoming pyrography projects, there is also the option of visiting your local woodshop and looking to get your hands on some raw and untreated pieces of wood, provided that you have the means to do so.