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Laser Engraving vs Hand Engraving – What’s the Difference

Laser Engraving vs Hand Engraving

Laser and hand engraving are used to create intricate designs on metal surfaces. Whether you’re looking to add an elegant design to a gift or a logo to a product, both laser and hand engraving can do the job. But what are the differences between the two processes? Let’s take a closer look at how they measure up against each other.

Laser Engraving

Laser engraving is a process of using a laser to remove material from a metal surface in order to create an image or design. This type of engraving is typically done with a computer-controlled laser, which allows for very precise images to be created. Laser engraving is a relatively new technology, offering several advantages over traditional hand engraving.

Hand Engraving

Hand engraving is a process of using tools to remove material from a metal surface in order to create an image or design. This type of engraving has been around for centuries, and it is still used today by some artisans. While hand engraving can be very beautiful, it is often more time-consuming and less precise than laser engraving.

Difference Between Laser Engraving and Hand Engraving

Cost & Speed

When it comes to cost and speed, laser engraving is the clear winner over hand engraving. Laser engravers use digitally generated lasers that can be programmed with exact settings for whatever pattern or design you have in mind. This makes it easy to quickly produce multiple copies of the same design, which is ideal for large orders. Plus, since no manual labour is involved, laser engraving costs much less than hand engraving.

Design Flexibility

On the other hand, when it comes to design flexibility, hand engraving has a distinct advantage over laser engraving. Hand-engraved pieces can be customized in ways that laser-engraved pieces simply cannot match. Hand-engraved designs often feature intricate details and texture variations that give them a unique character that is difficult to replicate with lasers. In addition, many metals such as gold and silver respond differently when engraved by hand compared to when they are engraved by laser – so if you’re looking for something truly special, hand-engraved is your best bet!

Durability & Precision

When it comes to durability and precision, both laser and hand engravings provide excellent results – but in different ways. Laser engravement is more precise than its manual counterpart because of its digitally controlled settings; however, because the process uses heat rather than physical force (as with manual tools), it can cause discolouration or warping of soft metals like aluminium or copper. On the other hand, while hand-engraved designs may not be quite as precise as those created using lasers, they are generally more durable as they use physical force rather than heat to make their marks on metal surfaces.

Advantages of Laser Engraving

One of the main advantages of laser engraving is that it is much more precise than hand engraving. This means that detailed images and designs can be created with ease. Laser engraving is typically faster than hand engraving, so it can be more cost effective for large projects. Finally, laser engraving does not require as much skill as hand engraving, so anyone can do it with access to the right equipment.

Disadvantages of Laser Engraving

One potential disadvantage of laser engraving is that it can sometimes result in a less “natural” look than hand engraving. Additionally, because laser engravers are computer-controlled, there is always the potential for human error. Finally, laser engravers can be quite expensive, so they may not be an option for everyone.

Advantages of Hand Engraving

One advantage of hand engraving is that it often results in a more “natural” look than laser engraving. Additionally, because no computer is required, there is less potential for human error. Finally, hand tools are typically much less expensive than laser engraving.


Laser and hand-engravings offer beautiful results that can transform any metal surface into something truly special – but each method has strengths and weaknesses depending on your needs. If you’re looking for speed and cost savings, laser engravings are your best bet; however, if you need something unique, go for a custom-made piece with a handmade feel! Whichever option you choose, rest assured, knowing that your item will look great no matter what!

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