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Engraving vs Woodcutting of Metal – What’s the Difference

Engraving vs Woodcutting of Metal

Engraving and woodcutting are two common methods used to create intricate designs on metal. Both techniques produce beautiful works of art but require different tools and processes. In this blog post, we will cover the main differences between engraving and woodcutting of metals so that you can decide which process is best for your project.


Engraving involves using a specialized tool, such as a graver or burin, to carve patterns into the surface of the metal. This tool is usually made from steel, but it can also be made from other materials like brass or plastic. The depth of the cuts created by an engraver varies depending on the tool used and the amount of pressure the artist applies. Engraved designs are typically shallow in comparison to those created with a woodcut.


Woodcutting is a much more involved process than engraving. To create these designs, an artist must first create a template or pattern out of wood that will be used as a guide when cutting into the metal. The pattern is then placed onto the metal and traced with a chisel-like tool that creates grooves on the surface. These lines are then filled with various colours to create an image or design that stands out against the background colour of the metal. Woodcuts tend to be much deeper than those created through engraving because more material must be removed from the surface in order for them to stand out clearly against their background colours.

Difference Between Engraving and Woodcutting of Metal

Advantages of Engraving

One advantage of engraving is that it allows for very detailed images to be created. Engraving can also be used to add text to metal surfaces.

Advantages of Woodcut

One advantage of the woodcut is that it is a relatively simple process and can be used to create simple designs or images. Additionally, woodcut prints can be made quickly and easily.

Disadvantages of Engraving

One disadvantage of engraving is that it is a time-consuming process. Additionally, engraving can be expensive, as it requires special tools and equipment.

Disadvantages of Woodcut

One disadvantage of the woodcut is that the quality of the print may not be as high as in other printing processes. Additionally, woodcuts can only be made on one side of the paper.


Overall, both engraving and woodcutting are great ways to add intricate details to your metalwork projects. Depending on what look you’re going for, one technique may work better than another. If you’re looking for shallow designs with subtle details, engraving might be your best bet; if you want something bolder and more complex, woodcutting could be what you need. Ultimately it all comes down to personal preference! No matter which method you choose when creating your next project, it’s sure to turn out beautifully!

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