Branding iron - electric or not?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by Dabcan posted 05-20-2014 01:10 AM 10518 views 0 times favorited 38 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Dabcan's profile


255 posts in 4008 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 ,,

38 replies so far

View Steve Peterson's profile

Steve Peterson

429 posts in 4419 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


118 posts in 2813 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 3824 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


2243 posts in 3227 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


5164 posts in 2831 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.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View Richard's profile


11310 posts in 4370 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.”

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View Dabcan's profile


255 posts in 4008 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


262 posts in 4223 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


8007 posts in 3058 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.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View hairy's profile (online now)


3359 posts in 4869 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.

-- there's someone in my head but it's not me...

View bondogaposis's profile


6103 posts in 3688 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


6029 posts in 5000 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

7359 posts in 3830 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.

View vonHanke's profile


12 posts in 1595 days

#14 posted 09-11-2017 07:47 AM

electric heating has one major disadvantage. There is a heating spiral and it may be burned over time. I personally use a gas burner and I have no problem. It’s true that I use it every day, I have practice :))).


View vonHanke's profile


12 posts in 1595 days

#15 posted 09-20-2017 01:59 PM

If you do not know here, I made a small video

showing 1 through 15 of 38 replies

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