How to Use a Manual Engraving Machine

Written by rebecca suzanne delaney
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How to Use a Manual Engraving Machine
Customise boxes and other items with a manual engraving machine. (boîte & couvercle (2) image by fotogisèle from

A machine makes it easy to engrave items. You can customise items like key chains, trophies, pens and jewellery 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 customise a lot of items. Use your imagination and you can engrave many metal objects quickly using a machine.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Manual engraving machine
  • Custom or commercial template

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  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

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

  3. 3

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

  4. 4

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

  5. 5

    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.

  6. 6

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

  7. 7

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

  8. 8

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

Tips and warnings

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

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