Branding iron - electric or not?

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Forum topic by Dabcan posted 05-20-2014 01:10 AM 1893 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Dabcan's profile


249 posts in 2089 days

05-20-2014 01:10 AM

Topic tags/keywords: branding iron wood logo custom

I’m looking into getting a custom branding iron to put my logo on my work. Electric ones are more than double the price of the ones you heat up with a torch, but are obviously more convenient as you just plug them in.

What’s the quality difference between these two? Are the non electric ones a big pain to get consistent and even?


-- @craftcollectif ,,

13 replies so far

View Steve Peterson's profile

Steve Peterson

317 posts in 2500 days

#1 posted 05-20-2014 01:16 AM

I have an electric one and think the convenience is well worth it. Heating with a torch is almost guaranteed to give inconsistent results. They are nearly impossible to re-position to burn again without ghosting. You will be wishing you had the electric model as soon as one project gets messed up at the end. The electric model does require about 10 minutes to fully heat up.


-- Steve

View IHRedRules's profile


89 posts in 894 days

#2 posted 05-20-2014 01:17 AM

I have an electric one. I have to plug it in and let it heat up for about 15 minutes for it to be up to temp, so it does take a little longer to get going than the torch heated ones. The reason I went with the electric one, was because I can just plug it in and go, no need to keep lighting a torch, running out of propane, open flame, etc.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 1905 days

#3 posted 05-20-2014 01:55 AM

I have a manually heated iron. I don’t use a torch on it, instead I use my little hotplate. It will heat that bugger up in about 1 minute flat.
I use to use the torch, but as others said, I had trouble with ghosting.
This cured the problem, the hot plate cost a couple of dollars at a yard sale. The iron was around $50.

For the guys that use the electric units, would one of you please heat it up to usable temp and check that temp with a non-touch IR thermometer?

I would like to know how hot they actually get.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View lateralus819's profile


2236 posts in 1307 days

#4 posted 05-20-2014 01:58 AM

I have a lent, and it does work well (electric) The damn head is bent, so i have to rock it side to side and back and forth. I was going to try to fix it, but don’t know how strong the head is.

View CaptainKlutz's profile


53 posts in 912 days

#5 posted 05-20-2014 03:44 AM

Have used both. I have the electric one. Challenge is it takes 15+ min to warm up to a consistent temp. Electric is great if you need many imprints at one session. The press time is very consistent mark to mark in the same wood type. Although, the press time is a little different depending on wood type and it takes some practice to figure out the right count. I find 6-10 seconds about right for various hardwoods
Have to admit, I hate to wait for the electric to heat up. Several times while being impatient, I used a torch to get the brass head up to temp (maybe a minute) and then let the electric heater keep it going.

-- I'm not a woodworker, but sometimes I do occasionally find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View Rick's profile


8287 posts in 2450 days

#6 posted 05-20-2014 06:05 AM


Best way I’ve seen on here so far! Good One!

“I use my little hotplate. It will heat that bugger up in about 1 minute flat.”

-- Hope Everyone Is Doing Well! .... Best Regards: Rick

View Dabcan's profile


249 posts in 2089 days

#7 posted 05-20-2014 02:51 PM

Thanks everyone, sort of reinforced what I had been thinking. I’ll likely be saving up many small projects and then branding them all at the same time, so having to wait for it to heat up isn’t as big of a deal.

-- @craftcollectif ,,

View BilltheDiver's profile


250 posts in 2303 days

#8 posted 05-20-2014 04:03 PM

I have the electric version. If I had it to do over again I would do the same thing.

Plug it in, go work on something else for 15 minutes. Then apply. The convenience and consistency make it an easy decision for me.

-- "Measure twice, cut once, count fingers"

View bigblockyeti's profile


3569 posts in 1138 days

#9 posted 05-20-2014 04:58 PM

Heated with a torch or on a gas burner would certainly be faster, electric would be good if you’re branding quite a bit, a setup for any other method would certainly be more time consuming, but cheaper.

View hairy's profile


2375 posts in 2950 days

#10 posted 05-21-2014 01:00 PM

My avatar is my brand. I got it here.

I heat it with a torch. Practice on scraps, it’s not a big deal.

-- stay thirsty my friends...

View bondogaposis's profile


3969 posts in 1769 days

#11 posted 05-21-2014 01:53 PM

I think it depends on whether you brand one thing at a time or in large batches. The torch method is most convenient for one at a time items, whereas for batches the electric will be more efficient.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View TheDane's profile


4930 posts in 3081 days

#12 posted 05-21-2014 01:57 PM

I have an electric. I don ‘t mess with torches and open flames in the shop, and the electric iron gives even, predictable results.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3839 posts in 1911 days

#13 posted 05-21-2014 09:26 PM

I’ll second that request Dallas made: can someone measure the working twmp of the electric units. Mine is an unheated one and that would be useful.

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

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