Etched Nameplates or Engraved Nameplates: Which Should You Choose?

Etched Metal Plates

When it comes to your nameplate needs, the choices you have can ultimately confuse you. There are so many options available to you in terms of metal choices, printing or marking choices and even plate category choices that you might find it rather difficult to make up your mind about your order. One of the choices you might find rather difficult to make would be between etching and engraving as your marking preference.

While etched nameplates and engraved nameplates may seem rather similar to you, these are actually two pretty different marking options for metal plates. To help you understand (and to also help you decide between) these two marking methods, here is some information on both marking choices:

  • Etching – this metal marking method is an age-old technique that uses acids, or other strong chemicals, to eat away at exposed metal, leaving behind a mark or design that is difficult to deface. Metal nameplates that are manufactured using this technique can often boast of accurate and durable designs that are difficult to vandalize. In the past, these plates we made by hand, however with technology, nameplate manufacturers can now produce huge quantities of high-quality etched nameplates with the use of machinery made specifically for such a purpose.
  • Engraving – this method that is used by a lot of manufacturers to mark metals (and other materials) creates designs and wordings on such surfaces with the use of a gouging action. This method gouges out specific designs and words onto flat and plain surfaces with the use of sharp tools, making these designs also durable and impervious to vandalism and damage. In the past, plates were engraved by hand with the use of hand engraving tools that were called gravers or burins. To get the different line types required by a specific design, different sized burins were used. These days, engraving can be done with the use of machines which are aided by computers to produce accurate and clean designs on metals and other materials. The engraving tools that are used can either be lasers or diamond cutters, depending on the type of machine a nameplate company has.

These two different manufacturing methods for nameplates produce similar products in the sense that both have grooved designs resulting from the process. What you choose to use for your nameplate needs usually depends on the intricacy of your design as well as what you will be using these plates for. To help you further understand whether etched plates or engraved ones will best suit your need, it might help if you consult with a nameplate expert to give you suggestions as to which marking method will best suit your specific need.