If you want to design intricate art pieces to decorate your homes, the Pyrography method of making various beautiful art can be a decent and quality option. 

The wood-burning method of creating art is becoming very popular these days. It can indeed produce some of the best quality pieces which can be eye-catching.

However, you must also have the best piece of wood in your hand to perform the pyrography art method and display your creativity over the wood. 

What is Pyrography?

The word pyrography has been derived from a Greek word that signifies making art over woods using fire. Pyrography art is not a traditional drawing mode, yet you can create exquisite pieces using the pyrography mode.

It is a free-handed working mode that is performed with controlled heating equipment.

How To Select The Best Wood For Pyrography?

When performing pyrography art over the woods, you must ensure that you have the best wood in hand, which will ensure the best quality designs.

Therefore, there are several factors that you must look at for selecting the best wood. Let us see the factors in detail.

1. Colour

Lighter-colored woods is an effective option for pyrography art since they offer a better contrast for the designs. Therefore, while selecting the woods for pyrography, you must see that the wood has light-colored grains. 

2. Grain

The grains in the wood are also a factor that must be checked since they provide a beautiful background for the wood-burning arts.

Also, if the grains are coarse and overly raised, you might face difficulties working over them. See that the wood you select for carving out designs over it has light grains. 

3. Price

When you are beginning your journey with pyrography, look for woods at cheaper rates. You might create mistakes since you are a beginner.

However, if you select an overpriced wood for wood burning, making mistakes and ruining it would be easier for you to accept. Poplar can be a good choice for beginners who are planning to begin their journey in pyrography.

4. Treatment

Make sure that when working with wood, they are not chemically treated. Since pyrography tools use heat for carving out designs, any chemicals or treatments added over the wood can make it difficult for you to display the art.

It might also be harmful to nature as well as to the person who is performing pyrography over the wood. 

Top 10 Woods For Creating Pyrography Art

Well, many types of woods are available in the market where you can perform pyrography art. But all of them are not suitable for carving out designs over it.

Since the procedure includes burning the image or the design over the wood, the wood used for the process must comply with the conditions of the process.

Thus, by determining all the advantages and disadvantages, we have jotted down the top 10 best kinds of wood for pyrography.

See them in detail to understand which one is the best to suit your purpose. 

1. Basswood

Basswood- Best wood for pyrography art
Image Source: Reddit

If you are looking for professional pyrography art over wood, then Basswood will be the best option for carving out designs and images using heat.

Since the wood contains very few or no grains, the soft nature of Basswood makes it suitable for burning designs over it.

The Basswood comprises a solid surface of soft burning wood and is very beautiful. Also, the grains visible on the wood are so clear and light that you can burn designs of dark and light with intricate detailing. This makes Basswood a practical option for pyrography since it is straightforward to burn. 

However, one difficulty faced while looking for Basswood for typography is the size options. There are very few places where you can find the best quality basswood with live edges and in the most appropriate shape.

The planks are very easily findable, but they are a costly option.

A basswood is an excellent option for pyrography since it supports easy gluing, sanding, and cutting of the poplar. You can keep the Basswood in hand for a quick turnaround to serve your purposes.

2. Balsa Wood

Balsa wood pyrography bookmark

The Balsa wood is soft and is an excellent choice for beginners to work on it. The wood contains minimal grain, is very light in color, and is much cheaper when compared to other kinds of wood.

Balsa wood can be found at craft stores or at wood suppliers who are specialized in carving out designs on the wood or contain wood modeling materials. Therefore, Balsa wood is an affordable yet great option for pyrography art. 

However, when you choose Balsa wood for performing pyrography art or crafting any design over it, they are sold in blocks and becomes very difficult to find.

Due to the softness of the Balsa wood, the pyrography pens tend to sink into it. Therefore, you will need to maintain caution when trying pyrography art over this form of wood.

Since the material is very soft, you can use the Balsa wood only for practicing pyrography art. However, for professional use, the Balsa wood might fail.

3. Birch

Birch Wood Pyrography Art
Image Source: Etsy

Birch burns more like a basswood. The birch grains are consistently soft, and this wood is easily findable in stores.

They are light in color and contain minimal grain, making them suitable for wood-burning artists.

Birch is available in different sizes, as required for your pyrography art. The large sheets of birch from the big box stores are an excellent option since you can size them accordingly if you have the best tools or equipment with you. So, you can keep birch as your option for performing pyrography art.

But while working on birch, you must do it properly because birch tends to splinter. Therefore, you must not burn it intensely as it might cause hassles. 

4. Willow Wood

Willow wood pyrography art

Willow is a softwood type that makes it easy to burn and carve out designs. The wood contains a very light grain and is white in color, which is almost invisible. When finishing the art over a willow surface, it can retain its original color instead of becoming darker.

The only drawback of using willow for wood burning is that willow is very difficult to come by. Wood-burning artists who are looking for wood can search for willow as their choice.

It is an excellent option for carving out designs and makes it simpler for wood-burning artists to work on them. 

5. Poplar Wood

Poplar wood pyrography
Image Source: Wikipedia

The grains of poplar wood is soft and consistent throughout the surface, making it a perfect choice for wood-burning artists. It makes it suitable for pyrography artists to detail over the poplar wood without much hassle.

Besides, the grains on the surface of poplar accept the stains very easily and also hold the color to themselves.

If you are starting your journey in pyrography, you can buy a small piece of poplar and test yourself on it. It is one of the best quality woods for performing pyrography art.

The only drawback of poplar wood is the price of the wood. Although the wood is very pricey, it reflects the best designs. If you are designing something for the first time, then you can begin with an affordable option.

However, once you are confident enough with your carving skills, you can select poplar for pyrography since it is the best wood for wood-burning art. 

6. Pinewood

Pyrography on Pine wood

Pine is used mainly by artists for wood burning. The wood is inexpensive and is found at most stores, cut out in different shapes and sizes.

However, pine can be a bit more tricky wood for pyrography art due to its inconsistent grains. The lighter grains of pine wood are soft to burn; however, the darker grains are challenging. Therefore, while burning a design over pine wood, you might face difficulties designing beautiful patterns. It can also create spots and bumps in your design. 

Pine wood is the best for signatures or letter designing, requiring solid burning and not including any shade.

Since pine is an affordable option, it can be used for practice and can be used by beginners. Once you become a master in pyrography art and can design clean lines, pine wood can be a quick go-to option for wood-burning artists. 

7. Maple Wood

Pyrography on mapple wood

Maple is a minimally-grained, light hardwood that is a favorable choice for most wood-burning artists. Arguably, a practical selection for wood burning, the hardness of maple wood makes it a perfect choice for being burned at higher heat. 

Maple is easily findable at most home improvement stores. But they are a bit more pricey than other types of wood, and the higher price of Maple makes it inconvenient for most beginners.

However, the gouge-resistant nature of Maple makes it suitable for fixing mistakes. 

8. Aspen Wood

Pyrography on Aspen wood

Aspen is a strong, white, and softwood that has reduced flammability. It also has a textured grain over the wood’s surface, making it best for wood burning.

Also, it is a shock-resistant wood which makes it ideal for performing pyrography over it. 

The aspen wood varies in coloration. Yet you can find intricate ways of using them as a background for designing the best art over it. Thus, if you plan to prepare the best art through Pyrography, you can select the Aspen wood to serve your purposes. 

9. Cherry Wood

Pyrography on Cherry wood

Cherrywood is derived from the cherry tree. This wood is hardwood and is renowned for its colorful structure and durability. Cherrywood can be an effective option for pyrography art.

This wood is available in a wide range of colors including white, yellow, red, and dark brown.

You can find Cherry wood in most stores and is famous for creating beautiful wood-burning designs. Cherry wood has a fine and smooth-grained structure that can provide a quality burn for wood-burning artists.

10. Jelutong Wood

Pyrography on Jelutong wood

The Jelutong wood is primarily found in the Southeast Asian regions and is rarely found in Europe and North America.

Wood-burning artists who wish to perform pyrography on Jelutong woods must check for the retailers importing this wood. Although the wood is rarely found, Jelutong is less pricey than other wood varieties and is a good quality alternative for different wood species. 

The Jelutong wood has a low density and straight and clear grains, which makes it an ideal choice for woodcutting, wood burning, and other kinds of projects.

The wood is lightly colored, and it darkens only upon aging. Therefore, you can also select Jelutong as a popular choice for performing pyrography arts. 

How is a Scorch Marker Beneficial For Pyrography?

Scorch Marker
Image Source: Scorch Marker

The semi-permanence ability of a scorch marker makes it suitable for beginners. It is challenging to cover the mistakes in traditional pyrography art; one slip of your fingers can ruin your entire art. The scorch marker eliminates the challenge of making a mess.

Since they carve out deep designs, they can create permanent designs & shallow enough to be removed easily and designed again. 

Above all, the significant advantage of scorch marker is that it takes the intimidation out of wood burning. You won’t have to worry about burning yourself and can still enjoy some beautiful and intricate designs being carved out on the pyrography woods. 

Which is the most straightforward wood to work on for Pyrography?

Although Maple is an expensive choice. But it can be an excellent option to work for pyrography. Maple wood has a very light to medium color and contains light grains, allowing intricate detailing over it, and you can also carve out the most beautiful design over it. 

Therefore, when working over maple wood, make sure to use the best quality heating tool to reach higher temperatures. The maple wood’s sheer hardness would require extensive heat for carving appropriate designs. 

Which Tools Work Best For Pyrography?

Even though you choose quality wood for performing art over it, you must also have the best tool in hand, which can carve out beautiful designs. Let us see the best quality pyrography tools which can effectively perform wood burning arts over the wood. 

1. Solid Point Burners

The most affordable option for wood-burning art is the solid point burner. Most artists use these basic machines to design the best quality art over the woods. A solid point burner will require more time to carve out the designs, more time to burn the wood, and more time to heat up. 

2. Wire Nib Burners

The wire nib burners are one of the fastest pyrography tools present. They heat up quickly and cool down much quicker than solid point burners.

However, they are much more costly than solid point burners. The wire nib burners can be the best return on investment for wood-burning artists.

Frequently Asked Questions

Although pyrography is an obscure art form, it is higher than the art forms. This is why the pyrography art form is challenging and doesn’t apply to us. Once you begin with the procedure, you can gain more confidence with pyrography.

However, the learning process of pyrography is not as complicated as one might think. So, you can begin the pyrography procedure to improve your wood-burning art skills. 

Regarding both procedures, there is little difference between the two. Pyrography and wood burning are almost the same things.

However, there is a minor difference between the two. While pyrography includes designing over a wide range of surfaces using heat, wood burning particularly refers to the procedure of scoring and burning the wood. 

Genuinely speaking, someone does not require drawing skills to be able to perform pyrography art. Although the medium has become more complicated over time, pyrography has always been a fundamental mode of communicating its message.

Moreover, you might not require excellent drawing skills as there are advanced resources that can help you make the best pyrography art. There are different stencils and tools that you can choose from to carve out your required design. 


After considering the various factors, such as the type of pyrography project and the level of detail required, the best wood for pyrography is likely to be basswood.

Basswood is a softwood, affordable, easy to work with, burns evenly, and produces clean, smooth lines.

Other woods that may be suitable for pyrography include balsa, poplar, and aspen. Ultimately, it depends on your preferences and needs as an artist.

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