I never went to summer camp, so I was always jealous of my friends’ belt buckles and pouches with their names burned in leather, Western-style! Thanks to the Sizzle Dual Temperature Craft Iron from Purple Cows, I’ve been able to recreate the arts ‘n crafts cabin of my dreams.
Here’s what the website has to say:
The Sizzle craft iron is a unique multi-purpose high-temperature tool with two temperature settings (925° F. & 650° F.) featuring interchangeable tips for an endless variety of creative techniques.
- Soldering for jewelry, glass art and hobby applications
- Leather branding and design work
- Synthetic textile cutting and sealing
- Cutting and trimming plastic, foam and acrylic
- Fabric fusion and more
Sizzle includes 6 interchangeable tips
- Universal–performs all basic burning techniques
- Mini Trowel–fine points and wide strokes to embellish, distress and shade
- Mini Flow–burn small dots, circles and shapes
- Taper–multi-use fine point for detailing, cutting stencils, precision sealing and more
- Hot Knife–heated blade for cutting foam and acrylic
- Button–embossing and image transfer
To begin with, I like the size of the tool; it’s compact and easy to hold onto. With the detail tips, it’s like using a really big pen, which takes a little bit of getting used to, but you should have no trouble with the larger stamping tips.
I decided to experiment with the Sizzle on leather and wood to satisfy my summer camp fantasy, but it’s also usable on all kinds of other media including acrylic, fabric, and metal.
This little guy is quite powerful, with the high setting reaching a toasty 925 degrees. Once plugged in and turned on, I gave it about two minutes to warm up, after which it definitely seemed to be hot enough to work with.
I started with a triangular tip, which screws cleanly into the tool itself. Never having used a tool like this before, I pressed the tip down hard onto the leather. Maybe a little too hard, as I got not only a nice triangle but a dark circular indentation. A lighter touch suited me well, and I happily stamped away.
You can create very different results by leaving the tool on whatever medium you’re using for varying amounts of time; leave it on long enough and you can burn all the way through something (which I did to make holes for my necklace).
True to its name, this tool does sizzle. It stinks! But that’s normal. Burning the wood smelled like roasting marshmallows, and the leather? Not quite as good.
For the wood, I wanted to see if I could carve words onto a plaque, rustic-style. I used the appropriate tip and warmed up by making some decorative dots. The handwriting was a little tricky, as you have to maintain the same amount of pressure in order to make the letters look even, but I think I did a tolerable job on my final product.
NOTE: The tips get hot, so you can’t go changing them willy-nilly without an oven mitt handy.
Overall, I’m really excited about this tool. I think I used about 10% of its potential (not unlike my own brain) and I look forward to trying the soldering tip for jewelry-making and getting creative with other media. As a total heat beginner, I found the Sizzle easy to use and was happy with the results of my first try.
The Sizzle Dual Temperature Craft Iron is a pretty good bargain at $29.25. The tool itself comes with one set of six craft tips; additional sets cost $14.95 each.
Samples provided for review.