Wood burning tool not working | List of possible errors with solutions

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Written by Jared Watson

Jarred Watson is a pyrographer with 10+ years experience and has worked with brands like BOSCH & FORD. He is always looking to learn and share his passion of wood burning with others.

Many queries came over the wood burning tool or pyrography pen. Many faults have been detected by users. 

If the pyrography pen is not heating, it might be an issue. If the wood-burning tool not working, the first thing that should be checked is the temperature. 

The nib of the pen is the second important thing for burning. The second important thing is the nib of the pen and the power supply.

Problems (With Fixes)

Pyrography pen not heating up

It is quite exhausting if the pyrography pen is not heating up or the tips don’t get sufficient heat. There are some methods to keep your pyrography pen hot!

If a pyrography pen is kept in drawers or toolboxes, there is a major chance to get damaged. The burr forms on the cutting edge of the pencil which gets caught in the wood during firing.

You need to make sure that you store the pen in a safe container with the cap on. 

The cord of the pen is made thicker so you need to be careful whether the cord is not broken or damaged during burning. After using the pen, let it cool down for a while.

Broken tip stuck in the pen

If the wood-burning tool or pyrography pen is not working it is possible that the tip is broken. It happens if the pen is used in a hurry or if beginners are using this pen or if it is a cheap one or if the tip is bound tightly. 

In this case, usually, the part of the tip gets stuck and it becomes tough to get it out of there, and due to force, it is damaged.

The best solution to remove the tip is to let the tip cool before removing it and use the right pressure to screw the tip.

The tip should not be tightened and ensure the tip is cooled before replacing the tip. Often dealers offer these kinds of items, make sure you are purchasing the right one. 

Tip Won’t Go In Wood Burning Tool

If you are encountering difficulty in inserting the tip into your wood burning tool, particularly due to cross-threading, it is important to resolve this issue so you can carry on with your project. Below are steps that can guide you through the process of fixing a cross-threaded wood burning tool:

Ensure the Tool is Cold:

Before you start, ensure that the wood burning tool is cold. You don’t want to damage it further or risk injuring yourself by working on it while it’s hot.

Gather the Necessary Tools:

For this repair, you will need a pair of pliers, graphite powder, an 8:32 NC steel tap (this is crucial), a clean tip, and an old rag or piece of paper for collecting debris.

Insert the Steel Tap:

Place the steel tap into the threading area of the wood burning tool. Initially, screw it in by hand as far as it can go. Next, use pliers to further tighten it. There’s typically a square end on the steel tap which you can hold with the pliers. Apply pressure and twist the steel tap into the threading area. You may need to twist both the burner and the tap.

Feel the Resistance:

As you screw in the steel tap, you’ll feel some resistance. This is normal. The objective is not to rethread the entire tool but to rectify the threads that may have been damaged due to cross-threading. Once the tap is screwed in as far as it will go, slightly pull it out and twist it back and forth to bring back the damaged threads.

Clean the Area:

After removing the steel tap, gently tap the burner on an old rag or piece of paper to shake off any debris or metal filings.

Test the Tip:

Try inserting the tip into the wood burning tool to see if it fits properly. If it doesn’t, you may need to repeat the process with the steel tap.

Apply Graphite Powder:

Once the tip can be inserted smoothly, apply some graphite powder into the threading area. This will ensure smoother movement when changing tips. Make sure the graphite gets into the threads and not just the bottom of the barrel. Twisting the tip back and forth can help spread the graphite more effectively into the threads.

Final Check:

Once you have applied the graphite, insert the tip again to make sure everything is working smoothly.

By following these steps, you should be able to rescue a cross-threaded wood burning tool and continue with your project. Remember to always exercise caution and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure safety and effective operation.

Terminal screws seized and are difficult to undo or tighten

If the screws are difficult to turn then it will not be achieved. It may be difficult to tighten the screw without bending the struts. 

The terminal struts are usually delicate thus they are easily bent during the tightening of the clamps. If the temperature is high and it heats excessively, the heat may flow into the handle. 

The struts can be distorted thus they should be used carefully during using pillars. However, if you are using the classic pen it can become a danger.

At the joint section, the pen might be degraded due to excessive heat. It may result in a complete failure of the pen. If this takes place then the pen may be fully damaged which will be difficult to repair. 

Sometimes after using the pen for a few hours constantly, the screw sizes and it becomes tough to undo without bending the struts. 

Wire broken inside handle

It often happens with some portable electronic appliances, when the cable is pulling or twisting at its place the handle usually breaks the copper strands of wire inside the plastic insulation of flex. 

It causes an intermittent power cut. It is detected during the pushing or pulling of the wire where it goes into the handle. The only way to repair it is to cut the black handle, cut the cable, and re-solder the connection.

After cutting the handle to expose the joint you can repair it by covering tape. Primarily the repair should not have occurred and if it happens it is primarily possible to repair. 

If the handle becomes more heated than usual then it is a serious issue inside. The most common fault that occurs in the terminal struts is joined to copper. 

Pen excessively hot

Pyrography pens have temperature controller to set the appropriate temperature before using the tool. If the pen is heated excessively then the flow of the heat may damage the handle. 

Most of the problems usually occur at the joint point. If the pen becomes excessively hotter than usual then you should repair it.

There is nothing much to do in that case you can consult an enterprise dealer to cut off the handle or re-solder it. The special materials like nickel, chromium, and iron used to solder are quite difficult. 

The solder is required to be free with aggressive “Ersin 309” flux. The handle should be replaced with heat shrink tubing. 


Some probable issues are discussed with accessible solutions. All these problems may occur in you wood burning kit

Many precautions and cautions are mentioned in the booklet that should be read properly. Before starting the real project, experiment with the tool on another wood. 

Mark the design that you want to do on the wood and then initiate work. Always use smooth wood to burn. If you use rough wood the nip may stick on the wood which may cause damage to the pen.

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