Branding Iron advice

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by drcodfish posted 11-08-2015 07:23 PM 1004 views 1 time favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View drcodfish's profile


124 posts in 980 days

11-08-2015 07:23 PM

I am considering getting a branding iron (Small) for identifying my work (obviously). My questions are:

1. Following the sellers advice concerning design etc. do these things work as well as the example they show?

2. Any particularly good results stories from any of you?

3. Is the extra cost of an electrically heated unit worth it?

With Christmas right around the corner, now would be a good time if I am going to do this. Your experiences would be greatly appreciated.

-- Dr C

14 replies so far

View theoldfart's profile


9743 posts in 2479 days

#1 posted 11-08-2015 08:01 PM

Looking forward to answers to your questions, I need to get one as well.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View MrUnix's profile


6768 posts in 2227 days

#2 posted 11-08-2015 08:06 PM

A quick search on this site turns up lots of threads regarding branding irons… it’s been a well covered topic.


PS: I just print out my own logos on a laser printer and heat transfer them… works great and you can make any design/pattern you want, so you are not limited to one size/design. Used to just use a sharpie, until someone here turned me on to the laser printer trick :)

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Clarkie's profile


455 posts in 1869 days

#3 posted 11-08-2015 08:15 PM

Instead of paying for a branding, I have used a pen for years…

View sawdust703's profile


270 posts in 1448 days

#4 posted 11-08-2015 08:24 PM

That’s what I’ve used, too, Clarke. We call’em sharpies out here in Kansas. Been working ok for me. A lot of the time on my scroll projects, there isn’t much room for a signature. Much less a brand.

-- Sawdust703

View OnhillWW's profile


130 posts in 1260 days

#5 posted 11-09-2015 12:27 AM

I had a custom brand made for me a couple of years ago. was the vendor, the iron is very nicely made. Mine is a flame heated brand and I have to say that they take some getting used to, i.e. just how much heat to apply and for how long. At times I will get 90% of my logo to look nice while the other 10% is either under done or overdone. I try to do my items in batches, I find this easier as the initial heating of the iron takes the most time time, you need to reheat the iron after each brand but only for a limited time. I have wondered if an electric iron would make the process more easy / uniform / repeatable. I know that an electric version is roughly 30 – 50% more money but whether it is worth the added expense by yielding a more uniform brand and easier process w/o the need for propane tanks I’m not sure but admittedly I think about it every time I brand a batch of items. I’ll be interested in the thoughts of those who have employed both methodologies.

-- Cheap is expensive! - my Dad

View drcodfish's profile


124 posts in 980 days

#6 posted 11-09-2015 12:37 AM

MrUnix, and OnhillWW:

Thank you for your thoughtful responses. More than adequately answered my questions.

-- Dr C

View willie's profile


534 posts in 2482 days

#7 posted 11-10-2015 01:18 AM

I bought an electric branding iron about a year ago through Rockler. So far I’m impressed! I’ll usually let it heat up 20 to 30 minutes and have gotten even, detailed brands every time. Practice on some scrap first and get a good feel for it. I’ve branded probably a couple dozen projects so far and would recommend it. No one can read my writing anyway so this way there’s no doubt whose fault it is!

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2658 posts in 2950 days

#8 posted 11-10-2015 03:29 AM

I use a self inking stamp to put my name and number on the items I make and sell.

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5000 posts in 2521 days

#9 posted 11-10-2015 12:27 PM

I have one that you heat with a torch. I had always though this was the one to have (versus electric) because if the element burns out (electric) you’re done. Turns out many (maybe all) of the electrics have replaceable elements. In the meantime with the one you heat with a torch it’s very hard to get to the proper temp, I usually wind up too hot. I have a non-contact thermometer I use and I still haven’t hit exactly the right temperature so my branding is a little trial and error. Soooo, is the electric one worth the extra cost, IMHO: YES. Someday I’ll find someone with an electric that can measure their temp and let me know what it is, until then I’ll keep trying to figure it out.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View hairy's profile


2720 posts in 3560 days

#10 posted 11-10-2015 01:27 PM

Here’s mine

Here’s where I got it

Overall size is 3/4” x 3/4”, letters are 1/2” x 1/2”, my initials.

I use it here as my avatar. It’s on a lot of my projects. I heat it with a torch, it takes some practice, but it works well for me. I put it in the tailstock of my lathe, and in the drillpress.

I bought mine from the guy that makes them , at WIA a few years back. At first, I wanted electric, I’m glad he talked me out of it. That saved me some $, and it works very well. I paid somewhere around $60.

-- My reality check bounced...

View knotscott's profile


8057 posts in 3403 days

#11 posted 11-10-2015 01:45 PM

I’m sure the branding irons work great, but for a hobbyist like me who only completes a handful of projects a year, I couldn’t justify the cost. Instead, I had a rubber stamp made for < $10…I apply it before a final clear coat, and it works really well.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View drcodfish's profile


124 posts in 980 days

#12 posted 11-10-2015 02:20 PM

Thanks for all the great responses, helped me a lot and probably others in the future who search this topic.

I am getting on towards the end of my life and want to make a few things for my kids that will out last me. My hope is that they out least them too and that future generations will know this was something made by a family member so permanence is important to me.

Again, thanks all,

-- Dr C

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2397 days

#13 posted 11-10-2015 02:23 PM

I bought an electric branding iron about a year ago through Rockler. So far I m impressed! I ll usually let it heat up 20 to 30 minutes and have gotten even, detailed brands every time. Practice on some scrap first and get a good feel for it. I ve branded probably a couple dozen projects so far and would recommend it. No one can read my writing anyway so this way there s no doubt whose fault it is!

- willie

+1. I have the same iron, and the same experience. Works like a charm every time, and I love having it. I don’t have any experience with the non-electric version, so I can’t comment on it, but the electric version is nice. Just plug it in, give it 10 minutes (it comes with a little holder so you can leave it on the bench, but I wouldn’t leave it unattended), and you’re good to go.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Dreggy's profile


89 posts in 1633 days

#14 posted 11-14-2015 10:07 PM

I use a flame heated brand. It took a few tries to figure out the proper procedure for a good brand. Not getting it too hot is the part I had trouble with. I now use a scrap piece of pine to constantly test it on while I’m heating it up (only takes about a minute). As soon as the brand is nice & dark without burning the small areas between the letters, I slap it on the piece I’m branding and rock the brand back and forth in both directions to get good coverage. Just practice a few times before trying it on a finished piece.

-- No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow your progress, you're still way ahead of everyone who isn't trying.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics