The Durable Industrial Marking Blog

Using a Branding Iron: The 5 Things You Need to Know

Posted by Matt Martin

Branding is possibly the most practical and economical way to permanently mark almost any material other than metal or glass.

using a branding iron

What are branding irons used for?

Fine furniture, timber and other woodcrafts are frequently branded to advertise a trademark, logo or manufacturer’s name or to “sign” or individualize a craftsman's work.

Branding is also used to identify tools or equipment for personal or security purposes.

Why use a branding iron?

What makes branding irons a good marking solution over other options? One of the greatest advantages of branding irons is that they are an inexpensive solution. The marking surface is easily customized with almost any design and is long-lasting with minimal maintenance.

Branding irons are also easy to use, making them ideal solutions for artists or craftspeople looking to make a lasting mark quickly. This is especially true because the same branding setup can be used to mark any number of materials.

By simply changing the temperature settings, you can mark wood, plastic, leather, etc.

Branding Iron Temperature

In general, rubber and leather branding temperatures are between 325° to 400°F, softwoods 650° to 750°F, and hardwoods/thermoset plastics 750° to 850°F. Our branding irons are sold with optional temperature regulators to ensure consistent results.

Some testing is required to determine the optimal branding iron temperature for your unique combination of material and design.

Below you can see how quickly and easily a branding iron can be used to make a deep, lasting mark in PVC piping.


Using a branding iron

screw-tip-branding-iron-4.jpgWhen making a branded mark with a handheld or drill press branding iron, there are five factors that determine the successful outcome of the mark:

  • Design- Clean, simple designs work best when branding. Busy or highly detailed art can result in less than satisfactory results. Custom bronze dies can be engraved per your artwork or provided with a pocket to hold interchangeable type or logos.
  • Temperature- Temperature settings vary depending on the material to be branded. 
  • Pressure- Pressure must be applied uniformly to ensure deep, even impressions.
  • Dwell Time- Dwell time refers to the contact time between the branding die and the material to be marked. This time is determined by the die temperature relative to the melting or burning temperature of the material.
  • Depth of Brand- The longer the dwell time and the greater the pressure, the deeper the branded mark. The desired depth of the mark depends on the application requirements and the desired appearance.

Learn More About Using a Branding Iron

To learn more about successfully marking your brand using a branding iron, download our free How to Make a Quality Brand guide.

The guide will provide a detailed explanation of all five factors that make a successful brand.

Download How to Make a Quality Brand  

This post was published on January 17, 2023 and updated on January 17, 2023.

Topics: Branding Irons and Branding Dies

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