How to Use a Manual Engraving Machine

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Things You'll Need

  • Manual engraving machine
  • Custom or commercial template

A machine makes it easy to engrave items. You can customize items like key chains, trophies, pens and jewelry with a manual engraving machine. Most homes and small studios do not use engraving machines for limited use because they are expensive. The investment in an engraving machine can, however, pay off for businesses that plan to customize a lot of items. Use your imagination and you can engrave many metal objects quickly using a machine.

Sketch the design you plan to engrave. This sketch will be your template. You can use your imagination to sketch the design or you can use commercial fonts and other artwork.

Mark the item with a marker where you plan to begin engraving.

Secure the item you plan to engrave in the manual engraving machine.

Lower the diamond stylus of the manual engraving machine to the spot where you marked.

Trace the pattern you plan to engrave on your template. The template can contain words, pictures, a design or a combination of art work. The machine will duplicate your hand motions and engrave the item you secured.

Continue to trace the template until you are done and the item is fully engraved.

Check your work. Remove the engraved item from the manual engraving machine.

Remove the marker with acetone. Rinse with water to remove the acetone residue.


  • Plan your template carefully. You can not erase marks once they are engraved.