Want your logo engraved or your logo etched? What is the difference between engraving and etching?
You’ve probably heard engraving and etching used interchangeably; however, there are
differences you need to know. Both Engraving and Etching are techniques that remove layers of material away from a substrate. You are going right down into the glass, metal, plastic or wood. The biggest difference is that most engraving is deeper than a surface etch. Once again, each is useful for different items.
Engraving and Etching techniques
Engraving and Etching techniques include sandblasting, rotary machine engraving, laser engraving, hand engraving and chemical etching. Each technique is best for certain substrates and designs.
For glass, the best technique is sandblasting. With sandblasting you can lightly etch into the most delicate crystal item or engrave deeper into heavy glass or crystal. The sandblasting is done using a mask to protect the areas not being engraved. For large glass windows for architectural use, glass artists will use a chemical to etch into the glass. The thicker the chemical paste and the longer the chemical is left on, the deeper the etching.
For metal the best technique is rotary machine engraving. The rotary blades give a bright cut to the metal that catches the light and is beautiful. Of course to really go deep, you would need a hand graver to chisel out the metal.