Last Tuesday evening I noticed a message on my Facebook business page (Here if your interested) from a representative of Tekchic. They asked if I would be interested in trying their wire tip machine. So they twisted my arm and two days later my box arrived. Shocked is not the word! I was amazed at two days shipping, plumb gobsmacked. They sell on Amazon for $99 – $150 and in the name of full disclosure they sent me this one for free, to get my opinion and for me to use their name when I post on Facebook.
There were more things in the box, like an extra burning pen, a tiny bit of stone to shape the nibs with, an instruction book, and the sponge is a bit different from the one in the first picture.
In all honesty I’ve wanted a wire tip pen for a very long time. I’ve burned with the Walnut Hallow for 11 years and just didn’t want to spend the money especially on a machine I had never used before. Another company had sent me their tool back in August of last year, you can read that review Here. There were a few things I liked about that machine, but it did not hold up to the wear and tear of using it every day, so I had gone back to my trusty WH.
Here’s the first thing I doodled, there were two of these slices in the box and first let me say don’t try to learn to burn on these silly things. They are awful, the dark grain is so hard it will hardly take a burn at all, and the white is so soft that the burner digs in like a house a fire. Since this one was cracked it wouldn’t matter if I ruin it.
Then I found a scrap of good Baltic Birch plywood that I burn on all the time. This wood is much more burner friendly. I did a series of these beetles and had the photo laying around, besides I kinda like bugs so here’s my first serious burn with the Tekchic tool. The power dial seen in the first photo controls the voltage running through the nib. It displays a number on the small screen on the front of the box and it is so delicate that I could dial it between 35-65 stopping at any number in between. Below 35 it didn’t burn at all. At 65 it was a little too hot and burned into the wood a little too much for my liking. I’m not sure what the actual range of numbers happens to be. Best of all the pen never got even warm, the cord did though, that was a bit worrisome. I kept an eye on it and it never got hot, just warm.
Changing nibs was a breeze with the tiny screw driver. It cooled down and heated up almost instantly so it was no problem switching between the three I used.
I used the pointed one for the dotted texture and fine hair like fuzzy appearance on the belly and the other two for shading and line work when I turned and used the edge.
Here are some photos for reference. The original photo with the one I burned on wood today, and then the one I burned on Bockingford paper by St Cuthberts Mill the last time with my Walnut Hallow versa tool. I really like the fine tips with this new machine.
Here are the nibs included in the Tekchic kit and how I figured out how to store them in my tip box. I found out quickly that the tips burn much darker on their edge than they do on the flat. So the flat was good for shading. To achieve the large patches of solid dark was a bit tricky. I used the flat edge drawing it slowly toward me, overlapping strokes to even them out and going back over it if a bit of light showed.
So far I am very satisfied with the Tekchic tool. The pen is comfortable and the nibs are great for details. I’m not going to put away my WH for sure yet and will probably always use it for large solid dark backgrounds or large areas in general. But this new toy, um er tool is going to be seriously fun to play with for a while.