I cannot emphasis enough that the right burner and tips/pens make a world of difference with burning, especially with much finer detail. European style (wire tip) burners are the most versatile but when starting out, an American style (soldering iron type with screw-on tips) is most economical and at least gives you a good idea if it’s something you’re into. I use RazorTip only.
As for wood, I prefer poplar. Actually the only time I don’t use it is when working with pre-fabricated pine boxes and I only do a stippling effect on those because the wood is too soft and unpredictable to create the effects I want.