When I first started, I purchased an inexpensive craft unit. I used it so much that it burnt out on me and stopped getting hot. I went through at least 3 of the cheap irons.
I then broke down and purchased a real woodburner. If you are going to burn a lot of pieces, it's better to get a good burner.
I have two units, the detailer and the Optima Dual. My favorite is the Optima Dual because the tips hold up good when red hot. I burn deep into the wood when I make a sign. The detailer is more for detailed pyrography artwork because the tips bend and break if used on full power. I broke almost all the tips in the detailer, so I don't use it much.
The Optima company will repair the pens for a lesser price than purchasing a new one.
I paid $145 for the Optima unit, and the Detailer was included in a gross art supply purchase from a nearby neighbor.
If you start selling your work, the unit will pay itself off. I sell my work at small local events. You need to build up an inventory to sell. So burn, baby burn!
It's always a good day when you wake up, so don't sweat the small stuff.
Last edited by kcortese; 04-23-2012 at 09:32 AM.