A Guide To Engraving Techniques

14th March 2017 - Fine Cut

Engraving serves a wide variety of purposes, and finding the right approach for your needs is essential. Our guide will help you understand what the options are, and what will create the best possible finished product.

At Fine Cut, we have years of engraving experience, and our experts are on hand to offer advice and support - every step of the way.

What type of engraving is right for you? 

Nowadays, laser engraving is the most common choice, thanks to its speed, cost-effectiveness and versatility. However, your choice of engraving method should always be based on what kind of results you're looking for. We can provide you with all the advice you need for your unique project. In the meantime, the below guidance will introduce you to the different types of engraving processes and the results they give, so you can start thinking about what might be right for you.

Laser Engraving


Ideal for: 

Signs, component identification, promotional merchandise, nameplates, control panels and more.

How it works:

Incredibly versatile, laser engraving has a whole host of applications. Unlike other engraving methods, at no point does a machine actually touch the material; the laser is fired at the surface, creating a mark without any reverberation. This makes it suitable even for delicate products, such as tablet computers and other electronics. Controlled by a computer, the laser is able to create intricate and incredibly accurate designs. What's more, the extensive range of equipment available providing everything from different watt strengths to different styles of laser heads means that custom finishes are easy to come by. 

The results:

Fast and efficient, laser engraving can also be used to make incredibly small, intricate markings - and produce these results consistently across large batches of products. Exactly how the end product will look depends on the kind of machinery, power and laser head used, as well as the material being engraved itself. The possibilities of laser engraving are endless.

Unlike traditional methods of engraving, laser engraving does not typically remove significant amounts of material from the product being engraved. So, while laser engraving creates a permanent finish, depending on the material used, it is somewhat more flexible than other engraving methods in that sense. For instance, laser markings on metal could be removed if the top layer was filed away. On plastics and wood, the laser creates more of an indent, and so is not possible to remove.

Laser engraving at Fine Cut:

Our laser engraving department is one of the UK's most technologically advanced. Equipped with a range of high-quality CO2 and Fibre lasers, alongside a host of additional laser marking and cutting equipment, our team is able to engrave and cut almost any material using this technique. This includes metals, plastics, wood, glass, ceramics, leather foam and fabric.  

Committed to exceptional precision, our experienced craftsman draw on their years of skill and the finest equipment to create a faultless finish.

Find out what other materials can be engraved with a laser.

Hand Engraving


Ideal for: 

Stamp marking, dies, printing sets and more, as well as any intricate projects that need bespoke care.

How it works:

A traditional technique, hand engraving combines the expertise of the craftsman with the precision of machinery. Following a pattern, the engraver will guide the machine by hand, controlling the depth of the engraving by eye. The engraving will be carved into the surface by removing material to the desired depth.

The results:

Hand engraving creates deeper marks than laser, and the exact depth of the engraving can be tailored to individual needs. The fact it is crafted by hand makes it ideal for creating a unique, permanent finish that can be infilled with paint. It can create highly textured results, including 2D and 3D shapes. 

Hand engraving at Fine Cut:

Our years of hand engraving experience translate into stunning product finishes. Our expertise here is ideally suited to tricky, custom jobs and can be used to engrave items of any size. 

CNC Engraving


Ideal for: 

Trophy engraving, sheep tags, tube engraving, aluminium labels, embossing and more.

How it works: 

CNC engraving is very similar to traditional hand engraving. The chief difference is that the engraving machine is controlled by a computer, rather than by hand. This makes CNC ideal for engraving large batches, as well as creating more intricate designs.

The results:

CNC engraving creates a deep mark into the material in a similar way to hand engraving. Because it can remove a lot of material, unlike laser engraving, it has the potential to create 2D and even 3D shapes. So, if you are looking to create a bold, textured finish across a large batch of products, CNC engraving is an excellent choice.

CNC engraving at Fine Cut:

Our CNC engraving services not only include high attention to detail throughout the engraving process, but also the production of specialist tools and jigs to be used in that process - leaving you with a product identification solution that's second to none.

Design to completion under one roof

We pride ourselves on providing everything you need at outstanding quality - all under one roof. Our engraving division combines years of expertise with state-of-the-art equipment to produce a huge array of 1D, 2D and 3D products. 

What makes our service particularly stand out is that our expertise includes not only the latest methods, but traditional ones too - and, in each case, the machinery to match. This gives us the power to select the most appropriate techniques for your needs - and to innovate to meet them where necessary. This flexible approach, which puts your needs and the quality of the finished product first, allows us to achieve results that will reflect the care and attention you have put into your product.

Of course, you might need more than the precise execution of your design; perhaps you need the design itself. At Fine Cut, we can take care of this for you too, again taking a consultative approach to ensure the end result is not only exemplary, but achieved in a fast, fuss-free manner.

Why choose Fine Cut engraving?

  • 30 years' expertise
  • Experienced craftsman
  • State-of-the-art technology
  • Competitive pricing
  • Short lead times
  • Exemplary quality

From classic car badges to warning plates for the avionics industry, our precision engraving services combine exceptional quality with fast delivery and competitive pricing. 

With 30 years' experience, state-of-the-art equipment and expert staff, we provide everything you need under one roof. From the moment you get in touch, you will receive prompt, informative service that will help make your product vision a reality. Drawing on our many years of expertise, we will be able to answer your queries quickly, provide bespoke quotes and even come up with custom solutions to provide the best possible result at an excellent price.

Find out more about our engraving services today.

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