Wood wicks are a fascinating and unique alternative to the good old braided cotton wick. Curating candles out of them could actually make you stand out from classical cotton wick candle makers.
What are wood wicks? Wood wicks are strips of wood used in candle making. They are usually centered in the wax, similar to a cord wick to fuel the flame by wicking the wax.
The amazing crackling property of wood wicks is perhaps what makes them so attractive to candle lovers. Their rigid structure also saves candle makers the time needed to get them in position without going off-center as you would a thread.
However, the main feature that makes wood wicks better than cotton wicks is their ability to prevent tunneling. The wood slab’s wide base enhances thermal energy output to the edges of the container, which broadens the wax pool for a clean, even burn.
But are all wood wicks the same?
What are the different types of wood wicks? The three main types of wood wicks are single-ply, booster, and spiral. Single-ply is the thinnest and works best with paraffin wax or wax blends. Booster or double wicks work well with natural waxes that produce lower heat outputs. Spiral wicks work with all waxes and produce a lot of heat.
If you are interested in creating DIY wood wick candles, you must familiarize yourself with the different types of wood wicks. This post will quickly guide you through that, so read on!
What Wood Wick Should I Use?
This is a common question among candle crafters new to wood wicking. You are obviously looking for the best wood wicks for your candle projects.
Well, there’s no single best type of wood wick for candles.
One company, Wooden Wick Co, makes all wood wicks in the U.S. The wood wick brand is patented, so whether you get them from Amazon or another supplier, they are all sourced from the same manufacturer.
The success of your DIY wood wick candle lies primarily in the width of the wood wick against the size of the holder. Also, the type of wood wick must be compatible with the wax used and the fragrant load.
Therefore, the wood wick you should use is the one whose width is wide enough for the diameter of your holder. It should also be compatible with the wax composition because some types of wood wicks only work with natural wax and not unnatural wax.
If you are hoping to use your own slab of wood, you must be wondering; what type of wood are wood wicks made of? Wood wicks can be made from one or a combination of the following trees: cherry, birch, balsa, rosewood, oak, and maple. These would be the best places to start if you want to try making your own.
Notwithstanding, it is always best to use wood wicks that have been researched, tried, and tested for safety and performance. Attempting to use just any type of wood as a wick could result in dangerous candles.
The Three Types of Wood Wicks
There are basically three types of wood wicks:
1. Single-Ply Wick
The single-ply wick is the thinnest wick you can get. As the name suggests, it is a single strip of wood with a thickness of no more than 0.04 inches.
The width is no more than 0.75 inches making it ideal for small diameter vessels of no more than 2 inches.
The single-ply wick performs terribly with natural waxes and those that hold excess fragrance oil but excellent with non-natural waxes such as paraffin or only semi-natural blends such as Para-soy wax.
2. Booster Wick
The booster wick, sometimes referred to as the double wick, is nearly the same as the single-ply wick. The major difference is that it has an extra strip attached down the middle to the main one to make it thicker.
The additional strip acts as a thermal output booster. As a result, these types of wood wicks handle natural waxes that hold in fragrance oils and have low heat output far much better. You can expect great performance with soy wax, beeswax, or palm wax.
3. Spiral Wick
The third type of wood wick is the spiral wick. This type of wood wick is tubular in shape with a hollow center. It is still authentic wood, only manipulated into a spiral design.
The spiral wick burns beautifully with a cylindrical or teardrop-shaped flame. It produces heat at a high capacity creating wax pools of up to 3.5 inches in diameter. Consequently, they are best used with large diameter containers.
This type of wood wick works well with all types of wax, be it blends such as coconut-soy wax or all-natural beeswax.
Each of these types of wood wicks comes in a range of sizes (varying length and width), but the features remain the same in every category. The name may vary across distributors, some labeling them as small, medium, and large, while others by codes or numbers.