Common Engraving Methods

An Eternal Skill

engraving methodsOne who can create designs by cutting into a flat surface with a tool, which may be mechanised or non-mechanised, possesses an ancient skill. This craft has been practised since ancient times.

Engraved stones have given us history lessons. Information which would otherwise have been lost has been literally written in stone or metal, for today. Monuments and burial places have shared much information. This skill is still practised today. We no longer need it to retain information for the future. But we use it to beautify jewellery and to make stunning artwork. The tools used today may be mechanised rather than the simple burin of tradition although the skill is still the same.

Variations on an Ancient Craft

This craft has several methods. Some are traditional and others are modern. Let’s take a look at some of them.

  • Scratch Engraving – If you wish to engrave on a soft metal like gold or silver, this method, using a diamond tip, is ideal. It can be used for putting designs on trophies, medals and jewellery. The finished work looks beautiful. This method is quiet rather than noisy, relatively inexpensive and can produce small letters.
  • Burnishing – This is a modern method. It uses a diamond tip, but the tool is mechanised. This method can produce a greater variety of letter sizes and looks beautiful. The slight drawbacks include the fact that it’s noisy, owing to the mechanised tool. It’s also rather expensive.
  • Rotary Engraving – This method requires a motorised cutting tool and makes deep cuts. It’s noisy and can create a mess which needs to be cleaned afterwards. This method is suitable for industrial tasks and works well with plastics.
  • Laser Engraving – This suits many materials – paper, plastic, steel and wood. The work is done in a laser machine and controlled by a computer. It can be used to engrave barcodes. The technology continues to advance.

Looking to the Future

This ancient craft is still very much in demand, even though the world has changed completely since the first craftsman carved designs onto a flat surface with a tool. It seems that this ancient skill will not grow obsolete, at least for a few more centuries. Engraving is something which continues to grow, develop and adapt to changing times. To find out about our wide range of engraving services at Able Engraving, please get in touch with our highly skilled engravers on 01342 843211 or email sales@able-engraving.co.uk.