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What Are The Best Woods For Pyrography

01 January 0001 min read

Setting the craft scene ablaze - pyrography is a trend that is slowly rising in popularity. It takes ordinary materials and turns them into something extraordinary.

If you've never heard of pyrography before, it's an art form that dates back as far as the 17th century. It involves precision-burning freehand drawings, designs and decorations onto a wooden surface using a heated point. Your creative piece is therefore born out of the dark burn marks created. With a little flair and practise, you can master shadows and shading to create stunning images on your timber of choice.

But the most burning question to start with is - which wood do you choose?

Making sure you purchase the right wood for your latest pyro-art project is absolutely pivotal. Successfully finished results will be determined by your timber choice. In this blog, we selected our 4 favourite wood species. They are easy to work on and will showcase your masterpiece in the best possible light.




A more expensive choice for pyrography, but probably the best wood to work with. Maple has a light to medium colour and a very subtle grain. This will help accentuate all the intricate details of your drawing you've spent hours perfecting.

Working with maple requires a high quality heating tool. Or one that can reach high temperatures due to the sheer hardness of this timber.



It's like maple - only cheaper! Poplar is a popular choice for everyday pyrography projects. You'll benefit from the light colour tone and unobtrusive grain pattern which is ideal for working on and the burn patterns you create will show up wonderfully.

The only downside to poplar is the occasional risk of sap and resin spots or colour streaking, but this should only be considered a minor concern when buying.



Cherry exhibits a beautiful colour and imparts a medium to dark appearance. Due to its non-uniform colour, it may not be suitable for lighter or intricate wood-burning designs. However, its smooth wood grain ensures a consistent burn, making it a favoured choice among wood-burning artists. Cherry remains popular for various projects as it turns well and offers a glossy finish when polished and treated. It also smells amazing when it's burning!




If you're looking for an even more economical option, beech is a good alternative to maple and potentially poplar as well. It comes with a desirable pale colour, but the 'dash' grain pattern may cause aesthetic issues and sap seepage could occur when heated.


What Wood Types Should I Avoid?

Stay away from any dark, grainy or resinous woods, as well as timber that has an uneven or rough surface - all of these qualities will prove to be difficult or even impossible to work on.

Also stay away from any woods that have been treated with a finish or have any sort of synthetic materials in their composition (e.g. MDF) because, when heated, they could emit toxic chemicals which could be harmful if inhaled. For this reason, we'd advise that you also stay away from reclaimed wood such as pallets.