Fire-Heated vs. Electric Branding Irons: Which One is Right for You?
If you’re just getting your feet wet in the wide world of branding, you may have a few questions. You’ve already figured out what material you intend to brand and have decided on a design and size for your branding head. With all that out of the way, there’s just one more question to ask: How am I going to heat this thing up?
There are a few different ways to get your branding iron to the ideal temperature for making permanent marks on wood, leather, and other materials and all have their advantages and drawbacks. The oldest and most traditional method of heating up a branding iron is over an open flame.
Taking budget into consideration, the use of a Fire-Heated Handle for a branding iron is a particularly cost effective method as there is no need for a power source. Simply use an open flame, heat the branding head up – taking care never to heat to the point of a dull red hue – and brand away! Another advantage of a Fire-Heated Handle is that it is compact for storage purposes. One drawback to the Fire-Heated Handle, however, is that extra caution must be taken to prevent overheating both the branding head as well as the handle. Leaving a Fire-Heated iron in the fire may cause the branding head to warp or melt, voiding the manufacturer’s warranty. There is also a learning curve to using a Fire-Heated Handle that differs from the use of Electric Heating Tools. Because the temperature cannot be controlled such as with an Electric Heating Tool, it’s more of a “trial by fire” or guessing game to make sure the right degree of heat is reached to obtain optimum branded marks. Overall, the Fire-Heated Handle is the way to go if you want an economical and traditional tool.
For those who plan on doing a higher volume of branding, Electric Heating Tools are great for increased efficiency and accuracy. One advantage of an Electric Heating Tool is that it pairs perfectly with a corresponding Temperature Control Unit, which allows you to find and set the level of heat to ensure best results. While test branding and trial and error is, of course, still recommended if not required, once you know on which setting to put your TCU, your branding process will be optimized. Additionally, the use of a Drill Press in conjunction with Drill Press Mounted Electric Heating Tools will ensure the most accurate results in terms of brand placement on your materials. Electric Heating Tools do definitely cost more than Fire-Heated Handles, and the addition of a TCU also adds to the cost. Furthermore, these tools require the use of a power source. As such, branding “out in the field” cannot easily be done. That said, Electric Heating Tools are an excellent tool for professionals and hobbyists alike who want to ensure their branded marks will come out clearly on each piece.
There is a lot to consider when choosing the right heating tool for your specific application. No matter which way you go, you will be getting a quality tool that will get the job done. Visit the Heating Tools collection page
on our website to learn more.
“I Didn’t Know I Could Brand That!”
When you think of branding irons, your first thoughts are probably about cattle and barbecues. For a long time, ranchers and grill masters have made up the majority of those who use branding irons and with good reason. Branding cattle and other livestock is a practical means of ensuring the safety and organization of a herd. Barbecue enthusiasts love to proudly mark their meticulously prepared steaks. More recently, however, woodworkers have joined in on the branding fun. For those who work in wood shops, “signing” woodwork with a branding iron will let everyone know whose skilled hands are responsible for creating each and every handcrafted masterpiece.
With that said, advances in production equipment technology brought about new capabilities, far beyond the traditional methods. Having the most sophisticated computerized equipment, along with a skilled team is key to our capabilities and the secret of a quality branding iron for any application. A custom branding iron featuring your logo, design or artwork is the perfect way to permanently brand your mark on a variety of materials and surfaces. If you can think of it, you can probably brand it. The possibilities are virtually endless!
One unique use for a branding iron is to mark art canvasses. Artists, put a special twist on how you would ordinarily sign your art by taking your personal trademark or logo and permanently searing it into your canvas with precision and intensity. The same applies to other products made of canvas and other materials similar in durability and texture like denim.
Another area that has begun to get into the trend of using branding irons is the food and beverage industry. Use a stainless steel food branding iron (with a compatible sealed electric heating tool) to brand burger buns, coconuts, and other foods. You can even use a multi-purpose brass branding iron on leather goods such as menu covers and bill holders, to name a few. Bartenders, use a branding iron to add a special touch to cocktail garnishes such as citrus peels. Your creative branding will make your establishment the toast of the town.
For those in the equipment rental industry, did you know that you can brand your company information into rubber, certain plastics and other materials, in addition to branding any wooden items you may have?
School officials, brand sports balls, computers and other equipment as proof of ownership to deter theft. Did you know that Public Works Departments also brand their equipment, including traffic cones, for identification purposes?
It’s time to get creative! Brand your logo on canvas or straw hats. Brand the underside of your skateboard with your logo or your own designs. Yoga studio owners brand your logo on your mats and, if you are an avid yogi who owns your own meditative yoga mat, then brand it with your name or initials.
Tire supplies worldwide brand their tires with various marks so, if you have any products made of rubber, go ahead and brand them with permanent marks that will benefit you!
Do you use bamboo or cork? These materials can also be branded with your logo, helping you promote your products.
Have products made of materials you’d like to make sure will brand well? Simply let us know! We are always glad to evaluate samples of materials our customers send in and, if need be, we test-brand them FREE of charge! Contact us today to get more information about the wide world of branding that awaits you!
Dress Up Your Drinks
Calling all purveyors of fine spirits!
Your handcrafted cocktails are the signature of your establishment -- the “bread and butter” of your bar, if you will. If you’ve been looking for a way to liven up your libations, the answer is simple: Branding! Use a custom made branding iron to burn your logo into fruit rind garnishes for that perfect finishing touch. Your customers will raise a glass to your unique custom drink decorations and keep coming back for more.
You’ve seen it done on livestock, wood and leather. How about food items? Be it a lemon, lime, orange, or any fruit with a firm rind, our custom branding irons will burn the sugars, caramelizing your logo into the outer flesh of the fruit, leaving a beautiful mark for your drinkers to admire.
At Branding Irons Unlimited, we will take your bar logo – or any image you choose – and optimize it to create a branding head that will keep your most popular drinks flowing fast and make your cocktails the star of the show.
Raise the bar of bar tending and craft the coolest cocktails around.
Branding Irons Unlimited
Brand Your Wedding: A Creative Way to Express Your Everlasting Love
Love is in the air! Getting ready to tie the knot is an exciting stage of life. It is, however, not without difficulties. Wedding planning can be costly and stressful for the happy couple. Instead of fretting over every little detail, allow Branding Irons Unlimited to help you check at least one or two items off of your wedding to-do list. For those newly engaged who are reading this right now, wouldn’t you like to have some fun with your special day? If you’re the kind of couple who wants to put your own unique twist on the traditional “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” motif, then it’s time to get creative!
Many couples go the route of lighting a unity candle as a special part of their nuptials. While this can be a beautiful part of a wedding ceremony, candles sadly don’t last forever. The advantage of branding a piece of wood to stand as a symbol of your unity is its permanence. A piece of branded wood can be preserved to stand in the home you make together as a symbol of your love. It truly makes a great conversation piece as well. Work together with your intended to design the Custom Wedding Unity Brander that best symbolizes your love and Branding Irons Unlimited will do the rest.
If you’re stumped over decoration ideas, our Wedding-2-Brand packages have you covered. Personalize your own branding iron package by choosing one of our pre-made layouts and adding your names and the date of your special day. Use your personalized branding iron to brand decorative coasters as a keepsake for your guests. You can even brand thick card stock invitations, placeholders, and “save-the-date” cards! Whether you simply want to personalize or go fully custom, we can create the right brander for you and yours to use together. Call us for a quote!
Branded Food: The Latest Foodie “Fashion” Trend
Are you a social butterfly with an appetite for everything delicious in life? Then get ready to be wowed by the hottest (literally!) news to hit the culinary world. Making your mark is now more clever than ever when you mark something everybody loves: food! The tasty trend of branded food is growing in popularity and you can get in on the fun too. You may think that branding is only for cowboys and cattle, but it’s more than just steaks; you can brand everything from burger buns to coconuts – and most firm food surfaces you can think of. It’s easy, efficient, and best of all: edible! All you need is a branding iron with the image you desire to brand, the proper heating tool, and you’re on your way to impressing your diners.
Finding the right branding iron is simple when you know what you’re looking for. You’ll need a branding head that is made of stainless steel to ensure beautiful branded marks on your fabulous food. Create your own custom design – keeping the “less is more” idea in mind for making the clearest mark – and see your creation come to life. If you can think of it, you can probably brand it.
Next, you will need to select the heating tool that is best suited to your branding needs. In a professional kitchen setting, a sealed electric heating tool is ideal for safety and efficiency. Plug it in and get to branding! Fire-heated tools – for use over an open flame — are best for smaller batches and can give a rustic feel to outdoor cookouts and barbecues. If you’re looking to use your own source of heat, a professional propane heating tool will hook up to any propane source that you’ve got. With a little bit of practice, branding will become easy as can be and fun too.
Exercising caution and using a steady hand will leave the branded mark you want on your food items. When it comes to food, it’s all about presentation and your dishes will look even lovelier with a freshly branded signature.