10 Essential Engraving Tools (with brands & links)

Essential Engraving Tools to Start Learning How to Engrave

Curious about the tools in my engraving studio? From custom hand drills to the gold color fill that makes your engraving ✨POP✨, I've gathered a list (and links!) of my must-have tools.

Engraving has quickly become one of my favorite ways to personalize anything from wine bottles to specialty fragrances. Behind the scenes, my studio is full of trial-and-error projects, a few too many paint spills, and a large collection of tools that I use to create special gifts. 

Macie is a Macon, Georgia, live event calligrapher and engraver to personalize items for weddings, conferences, tradeshows, and special events.

Ok, now let's take a closer look at the supplies I use (and love) for engraving.

1. Hand Engraver

  • There are multiple options on the market for hand engravers, at varying price points. Consider wireless options for more versatile work settings or events.

  • My tool of choice is the Ink Me This hand engraver with a brushless motor that reaches 35,000 RMP. On a full charge, it lasts 8 hours (great for live events) and comes with a case, small set of burs, and pen holder.

  • A more budget-friendly engraver option is the Yoke Fellow drill on Amazon. You'll need these burs to go with it! This equipment is more affordable and a great option for beginners who want to try engraving.

Hand engraving on bourbon bottle for a gift by Georgia calligrapher and engraver

2. Various Size Burs

  • Diamond tip burs are the tips at the end of the hand drill that rotate and etch away at the glass or metal.
  • Different sizes and shapes cater to various engraving styles. I use a fresh nib for most projects, but sometimes I prefer a dull tip depending on the material.
3. Brush Pen
  • Tombow brush pens are the gold standard for brush letting and my-go to for drafting on glass.
  • I use these pens to draft a project and easily wipe it away. Whether in-studio or on-site for events, I use Tombow brush pens in various ways for guidelines to ensure alignment and spacing.

4. Transparent Ruler

  • The Westcott graph ruler is great for even spacing and creating guidelines on glass. It also bends slightly around odd-shaped objects, making it that much easier to measure and space things evenly.
  • There are varying sizes, but I use this one.

5. Cotton Swabs

  • I fill in engravings with color fill using a cotton swab. No surprise I love these black ones.
  • Double-sided swabs allow me to switch between gold and silver easily.
  • Bonus: they are disposable to keep my workspace clean.

6. 100% Acetone

  • Acetone is the universal cleaner for my desk mat, bottles, and hands when they're covered in paint.
  • It's also ideal for cleaning residue or dust off of bottles to ensure a clean canvas for engraving.

7. Color Fill: Rub 'n Buff Magic

  • Rub 'n Buff (best brand for it) wax metallic fill is my secret to vibrant and lasting color in engravings.

  • The brand offers a few different metallic colors, but my heart belongs to any of the shades of gold.

  • Pro Tip: I match the color fill to the bottle. See how the gold engraving stands out on this Chanel perfume.
Engraved perfume for Chanel bridal client

    8. Cotton Pads

    • Round cotton pads, commonly used for nail polish removal, serve dual purposes.

    • Buffs color fill off bottles and ensures a clean work station and fingers during events.

    9. Microfiber Towels

    • The finishing touch for polishing away fingerprints, smudges, and glass dust.

    • I say these are versatile and professional, but really it's the same kind your dad probably uses to wash the car.

    10. Microbead Pillow

    • Mimicking the material of a neck pillow, a microbead pillow provides support for odd-shaped bottles.

    • With multiple sizes, shapes, and colors, any artist can use these to support bottles or their wrist during engraving.

    BONUS: Engraving lubricant. Also linked in my Amazon storefront. The "blue stuff" you see in my videos is not necessary, but it does extend the life of the bur and reduce friction.

    On site engraving and calligraphy for brands and brides in Atlanta and Macon Georgia

    Keeping my supplies to a minimal list and organized help me setup quickly for events and keep my space organized.

    Remember, these are tools for creating engraved pieces. The art of hand engraving requires specific techniques, safety precautions, and lots of practice. Even now, I'm still adjusting my process to be more efficient and practicing the basic calligraphy techniques to remain consistent.

    ⚡️ Want to see engraving in action? See behind-the-scenes videos on Instagram and TikTok.

    💌 Ready to order your own engraved items? Contact me for a personalized engraving experience.

    Explore all of thee tools and more now: My Amazon Storefront 🔗