Engraving tools come in a variety of models and makes. Many of these use different methods of engraving and engrave different types of materials. Engraved material can include metals, glass, stone, and print materials. The types of engraving tools include etching pencils and pens, sandblasting pens, engraving machines, and diamond wheel points, among others. Hobbyists and artists will find unique uses with these tools and differing contexts of use.
Resists and stencils are a common tool used for engraving either by hand or machine. They can be precut or they can be custom made, and the materials to make one can be found in craft stores. Resists and stencils can also be used in production lines for processing boards in computers and embossing numbers into products made of metal. In manufacturing, in conjunction with resists and stencils, chemicals are applied to the exposed surface of the metal, plastic, wood or glass product. The product, while still covered with the resist or stencil, is dipped into some kind of chemical bath where the exposed surface of the product becomes etched in the desired shape.
Etching pens, engraving pens and sandblasting pens are types of manual engraving tools. All of these tools use different parts and techniques to engrave onto certain materials. Etching pens can be used as a welding device or use electromagnetism to rapidly vibrate the pen, allowing a surface to be etched. Engraving pens have diamond tips on one end to cut surfaces, giving the engraver easy handling and the benefit of being able to cut in a free form fashion. Sandblasting pens etch and engrave surfaces, most likely marble or glass, by blasting an abrasive material onto the surface.
Machines for engraving are also a common engraving tool used by hobbyists and in commercial or manufacturing jobs. Common materials engraved with these tools include plastic, marble, glass, acrylic, brass, aluminum and wood. These types of engraving tools can use lasers or sandblasting, which engraves the material with a diamond point bit. Engraving machines may also use abrasive chemicals and stencils to do an engraving job.
Laser engraving machines are beneficial in that they do not use tool bits which are subject to wear and replacement. The technology of these types of engraving tools is complex and involves computer systems. It is also beneficial because it is fast paced and produces clean, precise engravings. This industrial engraving tool is not likely to be seen in a hobbyist’s workshop.