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Easy Guide for using a Branding Iron for Wood Branding - Updated 2024

Using a flame heated branding iron may seem simple, but if you're new to it, this guide is for you. To get great results, familiarise yourself with the basics of branding and practice a few times on scrap materials.

In this post, we'll discuss how to use a flame-heated branding iron on wood. (The basics are similar for different kinds of material). 

wood branding iron result

Basics of Branding

  • Heating Time: The ideal heating time depends on the branding head size, material being branded, and heat source.
  • Branding Time: The time the branding head is in contact with the material. For best results, aim for 2-4 seconds at the right temperature.
  • Pressure: Apply pressure evenly to get a clear, even impression.

Using a Flame Heated Branding Iron on Wood in 3-steps

  1. Heat the Iron: Heat the branding iron using a plumber's or propane torch, gas cooktop, or even a propane grill for at least 3 minutes for sizes up to 2x2 inch. For larger branding iron heads, heat for longer. Wear heat-resistant gloves as the iron will get very hot.
  2. Prepare the Surface: Use a wooden guide for uniform positioning of the branding area. For branding untreated wood, gently tap the surface with a wet towel helps for a cleaner burn.
  3. Make the Mark: Place the branding iron on the surface, apply pressure for 2-5 secs, remove, and check the mark. The pressure and time required varies with the type of material. *Note: A flame-heated branding iron requires reheating after a few minutes, unlike an electric branding iron. 

Practice is key to get the best branding results. Test on different types of wood or scraps of the material you brand on to find the optimal heating time and pressure. 

Flame heated branding iron leaves a rustic look which is loved by many but if you are looking for a more consistent and clean branding, an electric branding iron gives you more control.