Electric Branding Irons
An electric branding iron (excluding the electric cattle iron) is comprised of two main parts: The electric heating tool and the branding head (see Branding Head).
The branding head is connected to an electric heating tool where it is heated to a particular degree of heat. For best results, use with a temperature control unit (see Temperature Control Unit), which allows control over the temperature.
An electric heating tool is available in a variety of wattages. The required wattage is determined primarily by the size of the branding head. The larger the branding head, the higher the wattage. Some very large branding heads require two, three (or more) heating tools, for ensuring even heat distribution throughout the branding head Most electric branding irons are available in both handheld and DP models (for use in a drill press) for greater efficiency.
Propane Branding Irons
A propane branding iron is comprised of three major elements: The propane heating tool, the branding head (see branding head) and the propane source.
A propane heating tool connects directly to a propane source such as a propane tank (not sold by BIU). The branding head is attached to two adjustable rods connected the burner, and heated up with an adjustable flame. With its regulating knob, the user can control the flame intensity of the propane branding iron much like a gas stove-top.
Steak Branding Iron
A steak branding iron is a small, hand-held iron that is usually one solid part.
They have a stainless steel head that is connected by a rod and wooden handle. It is heated by open flame until it is hot enough to brand. The iron is then placed on a steak or food item until it leaves a mark.
Steak branding irons are inexpensive yet not capable of marking highly detailed designs. For greater detail, BIU recommends using a stainless-steel branding head (see stainless steel branding head) with heating tool.
Cattle Branding Irons
Cattle branding irons are made up of parts that are permanently connected. The cattle iron is available in three varieties: Fire heated, electric and a freeze brander.
A traditional fire heated cattle brander is the traditional style of branding iron and the oldest method of branding in existence. It is composed of one solid long piece of metal with one end the handle and the other the branding head. The head is designed extra thick for the marking of livestock. They are heated over a fire until desired heat is met, then applied to the skin of an animal. The resulting mark will leave a visible scar.
An electric cattle brander is the modern alternative to the traditional cattle. This brander’s head is made up of tubular electric elements (custom bent into the requested brand and braced with steel rods at all stress points). The head is permanently attached to the tool handle, fitted with an electric cord. The electric cattle brander is designed to reach the proper temperature in about ninety seconds and it maintains constant even heat.
A freeze brander is similar to a fire-heated cattle branding iron, however it is intended to be frozen using either liquid nitrogen or a mixture of dry ice and alcohol. It is applied to the animal’s hide (shaved), for killing off the pigment-producing cells of the specific treated area. The animal will thereafter grow white hair where the brand was placed.