Benign tumors and metastatic bone lesions can be treated by ablation techniques performed either alone or in combination with other percutaneous techniques. Ablation techniques include ethanol or acetic acid injection and thermal ablation by means of energy deposition [including laser, radiofrequency, microwave, cryoablation, radiofrequency ionization and magnetic resonance (MR)-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU)]. Goal definition of the therapy is crucial: ablation techniques can be proposed as curative treatments in benign bone tumors or oligometastatic disease (<3 lesions). Alternatively, these techniques can be proposed as palliative treatments aiming at reduction of pain, local control of the disease and tumor decompression. Depending on the lesion's location ablation can be combined with cementation with or without further metallic augmentation; local tumor control can be enhanced by combining ablation with transarterial bland embolization or chemoembolization. Thermal ablation of bone and soft tissues is characterized by high success and relatively low rates of potential complications, mainly iatrogenic thermal damage of surrounding sensitive structures. Successful thermal ablation requires a sufficient ablation volume and thermal protection of the surrounding vulnerable structures. This article will describe the general principles governing ablation and the mechanism of action for each technique and in addition will review the literature about safety and effectiveness of percutaneous imaging-guided ablation for benign and malignant (primary and metastatic) lesions.