When paint pens just aren’t enough, engraving is my favorite way to personalize a gift, and it is guaranteed to wow the pants off your friends and family this holiday season!
When I first started engraving in January 2020, I took a class so that I could learn the ins and outs of the skill without the huge learning curve. I highly recommend that you do the same!
If you would like to learn engraving with me, please send me an email and we can set up a date!
Here’s what you need:
- Handheld microdrill engraver
- Diamond bur (multiple sizes)
- Stabilo pencil
- Makeup brush (nothing fancy)
- Rub n Buff
- Anti scratch paper towel or cloth towel
When choosing an engraver, consider the following facts:
- What speed do you want the engraver to spin? I prefer 35,000 RPM for glass and 18,000 RPM for metal.
- Are you a hobbyist or industrial engraver? Most handheld engravers start at 30,000 RPM, but the industrial ones can go up to 200,000! If you are a hobbyist or calligrapher, the engravers I’ve listed are sufficient and are perfect for on-site engraving events due to ease of transportation and power!
- How much are you willing to spend? The beginner engraver starts at $50 and my preferred engraver is $300.
Also remember – the tools makes it easier for an artist, but PRACTICE MAKES PROGRESS and if you want to be an amazing engraver, practice on anything and everything!!
I started learning with the NatPlus and still remains as my backup engraver just in case my favorite engraver fails me for whatever reason. It hasn’t happened, but better safe than sorry! I highly recommend this engraver if you are a beginner, and encourage you to upgrade once you become more comfortable with your skills!
I know several professional calligraphers who still use this for their live engraving events and they make beautiful pieces!
- Speed: Up to 30,000 RPM
- Price: $50
- Pros: Cost efficient
- Cons: Hand piece is larger and has a brush motor, so it fatigues your hand a bit more
The Mystisa 2 engraver is amazing! I love how sleek it is and you can pause the engraver in between phrases to dust off, instead of having to stop and start each time.
- Speed: Up to 35,000 RPM
- Price: $299
- Pros: Higher RPM, ability to pause, sleek and sexy, smaller hand piece that feels like a pen, and has brushless motor (to prevent hand fatigue)
- Cons: Slightly pricey!
When choosing bur sizes, consider what you’ll be engraving on. Smaller pieces (like perfume bottles or lipsticks or lengthy pieces) require a smaller bur, I recommend the 1 to 1.5mm bur head. For larger items (like engraved Hydroflasks, cups, wine or liquor bottles) require a larger bur, such as the 2 to 2.5mm bur head. Just make sure you select the burs with the 2.35mm shaft size so that it can fit in your engravers!
- Shaft: 2.35mm (super important!!)
- Burr Head Size: 1mm to 3mm
Engraving leaves a matte texture and is super gorgeous on its own… but to add the finishing touch, Rub n Buff REALLY makes it pop!! Simply add a tiny bit (a little goes a long way), rub it in with a q-tip or brush, then wipe with an anti-scratch paper towel or cotton pad! Work quickly, because once it dries up, you’ll be buffing for a long time. It helps to use a little bit of alcohol to get rid of the excess.
I hope this engraving tools blog helped you decide on which tools to get! If you are interested in taking an engraving class with me, please email me at email@example.com to arrange a date! Cheers and happy holidays!