This is big news, to me anyway. I’ve been using the same wood burning tool, the Walnut Hollow versa tool for 10 years. The only change I’ve made was to upgrade to a temperature control unit when my kids gave me one, to replace the on/off version I started with. Last week Miyuki Nakajima approached me on Facebook and asked me to review the AiTool. Then she sent me one for free, cool!!!
Here is that review.
AiTool Wood Burning Pyrography Pen Kit
More Specifically the 947-III Portable electric soldering iron.
I was approached Miyuki Nakajima who wishes to start selling these machines to accept one for free and review it for them. Miyuki found my Wood Burning by Marsha Facebook page and knew that I used the Walnut Hollow burner. As this tool is very similar, she thought I would be an appropriate tester.
It arrived very quickly, in only four days well padded and wrapped, in a padded blue travel pouch. Here is the technical description of what I received:
【37 IN 1 WOOD BURNING PEN KIT Selected high quality embossing stamps(5pcs), wood burning tips(10pcs), carving tips(10pcs), soldering tips(5pcs) and Hot knife to meet your multiple needs】 Plus two pencils, a set of plastic alphabet stencils, and a wire stand with a small sponge inside it. I was wondering what the sponge was for, the instructions explained that it was to clean the flux off of the soldering tips when it is wet. I’m guessing it could be used while wet as a place to put the tips if you remove them when hot also. Of course the instructions tell you to allow the tool to cool completely before attempting to remove the tips. As do the other machines (but I never do.)
The first thing I did was examine the tips. Many are shapes I have not seen before. 6 tips are silver Stainless Steel which fit over a heated sleeve and are held in place by a collar (not pictured). 26 tips screw into the end like the more familiar Walnut Hollow and Plaid brand burners. 10 tips are brass, five of those being what I call stamps, designed to be used like ink stamps, held in one spot. 15 of screw in tips are Stainless Steel, five of these also being stamping shapes. And the final screw in tip is a collar and knife blade for heated cutting of plastic.
The body of the tool is blue Bakelite and comfort grip, on/off switch, temperature gauge, and power indicator light. I really like the temperature gauge being on the tool instead of on the cord as is the case with the versa tool. It makes the cord, which is a heavy gauge and should last a good while, less clunky and much less likely to get caught on things like the edge of the work surface. Also the temperature gauge is marked with numbers,” 220 | | 250 | 300 | 350 | 400 | 480”. There is no explanation as to this arrangement of numbers and they are seriously tiny, a bit hard to read on a tiny dial. However they are an improvement over the WH’s four color sections on their temperature gauge. The tool is a little longer than the WH which means your fingers are further from the heated tip for more comfortable burning, but I know there are people who are not comfortable being so far back from their tip.
The stand was a disappointment as they usually are on the solder type tools. With very little force the burner can be dislodged and fall. The AiTool did not hold onto the stand I had fixed for my Walnut Hollow as the groove was even more narrow on the tool itself, which meant I had to rest it upon the stand that came in the pack.
The AiTool heated up quickly and cooled quickly. I tested a small round tip on all of the 6 numbered settings and will provide a picture of the results on wood, leather, and Bristol Board paper. Then I experimented with a couple of the tips to compete a lighthouse burning on Bristol Board paper. I did not like the tips so I decided to see if my Walnut Hollow tip would work and it did. It screwed right in without any damage. Me not liking the tips was no surprise, because I usually customize my tips anyway.
I did not feel any discomfort from the machine getting hot while I was using it, but I didn’t use it very long either.. Also the body of the tool is more slender so it will be easier for some people to hold.
I am willing to use this tool for a while and see how it works out. From what I understand it is $26.98 on Amazon and I think it compares very well with the other tools in this price range.