Engraving is a permanent way to personalize your metallic, wooden, plastic, and ceramic crafts. If you haven’t had any luck with markers being too pronounced, wiping off, or gradually fading, engraving could be an option.
An engraved message, name, quote, or motif is there to stay, come rain or sunshine. It becomes part of the object for its lifetime. Plus, the intricate detailing you can achieve with it is incomparable.
Engraving can be expensive due to the high-powered machinery used and the precision accuracy. It also involves a lot of man-hours to deliver that impeccable quality work.
Luckily, technology has come a long way to offer engraving pens that make engraving accessible to the everyday crafter and DIY-er. These are portable manual or motorized mini engravers you can use to engrave jewelry, wine glasses, rings, wooden frames, etc.
What are the best engraving pens? The best engraving pens have high, but variable speeds, multiple bits and accessories, and are comfortable enough to hold for long periods of time. They should be well-made out of durable materials as well.
If you’ve read this far, it is probably because you are looking for the best engraving pens. We’ll review those in a bit, but first, let us look at some of the features you should consider before buying an engraving pen so you can choose the very best for your needs.
Engraving Pens – What to Look For
Before settling for what you consider the best engraving pen to help you add that perfect finish to your handmade wooden chest (or any other craft on your mind), there are certain features you want to scrutinize. They vary across brands and affect the performance, delivery, and convenience of the device.
Here are some things to consider:
The speed of an engraving pen is one of the most critical features. The speed is measured in RPM, which stands for revolutions per minute.
Engraving pens can be as slow as 3,000 RPM and as fast as 25,000 RPM.
Different materials engrave at specific speeds. Glass, for example, needs a higher RPM than wood. The precise speeds for different materials vary, but in general, higher speeds are ideal for harder materials (such as metals and glass), while slower speeds work well for softer materials (like wood).
The best engraving pens have a range of speed settings from low to high, enabling you to adjust between them according to your needs.
The most essential accessory an engraving pen can have is an assortment of bits and burs. These are the engraving tips which are interchangeable.
Bits can be superfine, medium-fine, pointed, rounded, chiseled, etc. The various sizes and shapes of the bits produce different results and are suitable for specific applications depending on the desired effects.
You might want to do fine lines at one time and deeper grooves at another. When bundled together with the engraving pen, it saves you the additional cost of buying them separately.
Stencils with lettering or decorative patterns are great additions too.
Engraving pens can be corded or cordless. That means they are AC-powered or battery-operated.
Cordless versions are the most portable choice. They run on batteries that are replaceable. Before settling for any brand, ensure that the type of battery required is readily available. It also needs to be a battery that is affordable for you. Remember, this is a cost that will recur every time the batteries run out.
AC-powered or corded engravers need to be plugged into a constant power source to operate. Although the cost of batteries is eliminated, that’s a trade-off for portability. Corded pens are usually more powerful too,
Size and Shape
The size and shape of the engraving pen matter a lot. Any discomfort affects how you interact with the tool and directly reflects on your results.
Trust us when we say even the slightest curve can make a fundamental difference in the overall feel of the pen. The weight also determines how long you can utilize the product without experiencing fatigue. The same applies to the barrel size, curve and texture.
The best engraving pens are lightweight and comfortable to hold for long periods.They also offer some form of resistance at the fingertip for tight gripping.
Lastly, consider the overall quality of the tool, particularly the materials used to build it. The best engraving pens are sturdily built for onerous duties, so you should only expect robust materials.
Avoid plastic-looking pens. In fact, if you do not see a diamond bit, tungsten carbide, or stainless steel anywhere in the description, it is not worth your money.
On/off and speed adjustment switches, knobs, or buttons must be strategically placed for easy control. It helps if they work with just slight pressure or glide smoothly.
If you can find an engraver with a lock button as well, that would be perfect. It reduces the constant tapping of the power button and extends its durability.
Noise and excessive vibrations are a complete buzz killer, so you want to check on that too.
The 5 Best Engraving Pens
You do not have to burden yourself going through customer ratings and consulting experts to find the best engraving pens. We already did that for you:
|1.||Tidalpool's Original Easy Etcher||Diamond tip bit, 5 special tips, 10 stencils, 12,000 RPM|
|2.||FOLAI Electric Engraving Pen||Diamond tip bit, cordless, 21,000 RPM|
|3.||AxPower Electric Micro Engraver Pen||30 varied bits, 6 polishing heads, 3,000-20,000 RPM|
|4.||Afantti Electric Micro Engraver Pen||30 varied bits, 8 stencils, 3,000-20,000 RPM|
|5.||General Tools Precision Engraver||Diamond tip bit, cordless, 20,000 RPM|
Without further ado, here’s a review of five of the best engraving pens for all your crafts and handmade gifts.
1. Tidalpool’s Original Easy Etcher
The easy etcher is one of the best engraving pens for beginners because it is just that: portable and easy to use. The little starter engraver comes with what you need to get started without making you feel intimidated.
You get one spare replacement diamond tip, five assorted tips for adding textures, one sandpaper tip with 6 covers for polishing up, and 10 stencils.
The pen is cleverly designed for maximum comfort with a sleek, lightweight aluminum body. It curves nicely to fit your fingertips comfortably, and the studded design provides the much needed grip when operating the pen.
There’s a switch button conveniently located near the fingertip end to turn it on and off quickly. And it has a lock button too.
The tool’s speed stands at a medium 12,000 RPM which is ideal for anyone starting or slightly experienced. It is not too fast to be overwhelmingly out of control but fast enough to get the job done.
This mini engraver is cordless and utilizes standard batteries. There is the freedom to work with it pretty much anywhere you like, and it’s suitable for a variety of surfaces too.
2. FOLAI Electric Engraving Pen
If you are looking for a simple, efficient engraver pen for just putting markings, your names, or initials on stuff and don’t care much about decorative detailing, this pen is the deal.
Folai is a compact cordless engraving pen that runs on 2 AAA batteries that come together with the tool. You also get two bonus diamond bits for future replacement.
The pen is quite a performer with a speed of up to 21,000 RPM. You can adjust this to work for any material: metal, wood, plastic, or ceramics.
You’ll also love the sleek aesthetic with a deliberately slender design and subtle gorge towards the end to comfortably fit into your fingertips.
Folai is probably everything you want in a pen, compact, lightweight, portable, quiet, comfortable, and most importantly, efficient.
3. AxPower Electric Micro Engraver Pen
AxPower is a corded micro engraver that saves you the inconvenience of batteries running out on you unexpectedly. It comes with a power adapter and a 3.3-feet extension cable that enables you to move further from the power socket if you have to.
Along with that are 30 pointed, flat, and rounded bits, 6 polishing heads, 80, 120, and 180 grit sandpaper covers, and 16 stencils with a variety of flowers, lines, alphabets, and numbers.
Its stepless speed ranges between 3,000 and 20,000 RPM making it suitable for many materials, from the softest wood to the hardest ceramic tiles. You can accelerate or decelerate the speed with the on/off button.
The pen is designed to be ergonomic and has a cylindrical shaft that tapers towards the bit for maximum comfort. It has a ribbed section for an enhanced grip at the fingertips.
This is a terrific engraver pen and an excellent addition to your handy tools. It is accurate, easy to use, not loud, and comes complete with all accessories you would like to experiment with and not spend a fortune buying separately.
4. Afantti Electric Micro Engraver Pen
Another corded engraving pen option is this micro engraver from Afantti.
This model is much like the one above, only a simpler set. It still comes with lots of accessories including, 30 bits, 4 stencils, and a scriber pen to attach to them.
With speeds as low as 3,000 RPM and as high as 20,000 RPM, you can use this pen for unlimited applications. And the fact that the speed control is stepless allows you to increase the pace steadily.
The overall design is compact and lightweight yet sturdy and ergonomic. The on/off/speed and lock buttons are strategically positioned for effortless operation.
Paired with the engraver pen is a scriber which is a nice addition for those extra-fine markings.
5. General Tools Precision Engraver
Last but not least is this cordless pen-shaped engraver for those precise markings from General Tools. It has a standard diamond bit tip for marking surfaces using fine strokes.
The motorized pen engraver runs smoothly and quietly on 2 AAA batteries with a maximum speed of 20,000 RPM. The on/off button switch controls the speed as well.
Design-wise, the General Tool’s pen is probably the most interesting of the best engraving pens reviewed here. It has a trilobal (three-sided or triangular) shaped end which is a refreshing change from cylindrical pens and offers a firmer and most ergonomic hold.
Couple that with a lightweight aluminum casing, and you can work for some time without getting hand fatigue.
It is a nice nifty engraver, excellent for practice or occasional light duty engraving. It could be better with a lock button and perhaps interchangeable bits.
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