High speed rotary glass engraving tools are valuable for anybody who would like to create ornate glasses or vases, or put beautiful flourishes on stained glass windows. While features vary by brand, these tools generally work on more than just glass, making them versatile tools. Some even work on eggshells, capable of fine work done with the most fragile materials.
Etchworld High Speed Rotary Engraver
This rotary engraver runs off an internal motor, giving it 18,000 rotations per minute (rpm). It is on the lower end of high speed engraving tools, but is also relatively inexpensive at around £32. The unit is light at 51gr, and because it runs off an internal motor it requires no noisy air compressor. This makes it ideal for apartments and confined spaces.
Power Carver Engraving Tool
The Power Carver, priced at $299 is a 400,000rpm engraving tool that runs off an air compressor. The tool is quiet, has very little vibration, and is made with a lightweight metal alloy. The Power Carver comes with a five burr sampler, although it does not state explicitly which burrs these are. It also comes with a training DVD and a practice stencil. As with many of these systems, the air compressor must be bought separately.
The Turbo Carver Adjustable Water Mist system, priced at around $380, is ideal for working with glass, as the water helps to reduce flying dust. It comes with two burrs, one diamond and one carbide, and an instructional DVD. It runs at 400,000rpm, and requires no lubing. The system does not come with an air compressor, but the manufacturer offers a Quiet Twin Compressor.
The 400XS runs at 400,000rpm. The System 1 set is the least expensive 400XS package, at just over $1000. While it's a expensive option, it comes with a lot of extras, including: 25 burrs, safety equipment, starter artwork and blank stencil sheets. The System 2 is just under $2000 and System 3 is $2900 with both of these shipping with even more extras.
Industrial Rotary Engravers
Beyond the hand-held models that run off compressors, there are programmable machines meant to create repeatable, consistent, high-quality product. The disadvantage to these is that they take away from the skill and the handmade element of the other tools. The advantage, however, is their ability to do a much higher volume much faster. With these systems, prices are available upon request.