Table of contents:

Electric Engraver: Which One To Choose, How To Use It, How To Do It At Home And Do It Yourself Repairs
Electric Engraver: Which One To Choose, How To Use It, How To Do It At Home And Do It Yourself Repairs
Video: Electric Engraver: Which One To Choose, How To Use It, How To Do It At Home And Do It Yourself Repairs
Video: How to Make CNC Laser Engraver Using DVD Drive 2023, February

Electric engraver for beginners and craftsmen: which one to choose for further work


Engraving, grinding, cutting for metal, glass, plastic, bone - all this is included in the capabilities of an electric engraver. For those who are just deciding which tool to choose, an overview of its varieties will be useful. Tips and video instructions for working with an electric engraver, as well as a description of some breakdowns and how to fix them, will be useful to tool owners. And lovers of an individual approach will learn how to do it at home.


  • 1 Electric engraver - features, main tasks, types

    • 1.1 Species

      • 1.1.1 Impact
      • 1.1.2 Video: Dremel Engraver Review and Test
      • 1.1.3 Networked devices with motor and handpiece in one housing
      • 1.1.4 Suspended machines
      • 1.1.5 Mobile electric engravers
  • 2 Which electric engraver to choose

    • 2.1 Main characteristics affecting performance
    • 2.2 Table: types of materials and optimal tool parameters for working with them
    • 2.3 Package contents
    • 2.4 Reviews, opinions about electric engravers
  • 3 Nozzles for an electric engraver - types, methods of application and DIY modifications

    • 3.1 Engraving tips, burs

      • 3.1.1 Handcrafting a bur - triangular lance
      • 3.1.2 Video: making a nozzle - a triangular peak with your own hands
    • 3.2 Other types of attachments
  • 4 How to work with an electric engraver

    • 4.1 Step by step instructions

      4.1.1 Video: Making an engraved wooden shelf

    • 4.2 Safety precautions
    • 4.3 Care
  • 5 Repair - what you can do yourself

    • 5.1 Electric engraver device

      5.1.1 Photo gallery: components of the electric engraver

    • 5.2 The device makes an abnormal sound, the air flow from the fan increases

      5.2.1 Video: disassembly of the electric engraver motor, replacement of the coupling

    • 5.3 Overheating

      5.3.1 Video: Cleaning and lubricating bearings

    • 5.4 Poor speed switching

      5.4.1 Video: Cleaning the RPM Switch

  • 6 How to make an electric engraver yourself

    • 6.1 Step by step instructions

      6.1.1 Video: DIY blender engraver

Electric engraver - features, main tasks, types

An electric engraver is very similar in form and general principle of operation to a drill. The main difference between the engraver is its miniature size (you can work with one hand) and high speed, that is, the number of revolutions per minute. This tool also allows you to perform work with high precision. An electric engraver, as the name suggests, is primarily intended for engraving - drawing letters, lines, backgrounds onto surfaces. But it's not that simple.


Trying to find a suitable model for yourself, do not get confused for long. In the catalogs and in the names of manufacturers, there are many names: "engraver", "mini" or "micro drill", "dremel", "drill", "straight grinder". What is worth considering? What to skip? I want certainty. A review of models depending on their capabilities, as well as feedback from those who are already using the tool, will help solve this problem.


Dremel 290
Dremel 290

The Dremel Engraver 290 works on a percussion basis

In a very strict sense, an engraver is a percussion instrument, the principle of operation is similar to a hammer drill. It is arranged simply. Accurate in work, but noisy, makes an unpleasant sound. The impact engraver is designed for a small range of works - namely for point engraving or, if you trick with the attachment, carving, it is perfect for working on metal, inscriptions. Spot engraving results in a silky finish. You can also make a contour drawing on stone, work on glass, but you must be careful with this material - there is a high risk of breaking the surface. Among the percussion engravers, Dremel models are most represented on the market, there are Chinese counterparts, they are inexpensive, but the quality of their work is a big question.

Video: review and test of the Dremel Engraver

Network devices with motor and handpiece in one housing

Many manufacturers and craftsmen also call engravers mini-drills, drills, straight grinders. These are tools that work on the principle of rotation: the engine turns the spindle, a chuck is attached to the spindle, into which the equipment (attachments) is installed. The peculiarity of such a device is the abundance of attachments for it, they can be either purchased or made by hand. They can perform a huge number of operations - grinding, polishing, drilling, milling, sharpening. The devices within this huge group differ depending on the structure of the case, the method of power supply. But all of them are united by miniature size and processing precision.

Network tools work from the electrical network, more than others they look like a small drill. As a rule, they are made in a plastic case. The group is very large, the field of application is very wide. Most of the cheap Chinese models with rather modest characteristics belong to this type of instrument. A special cable with a tip - a flexible shaft - and a special stand allow expanding the functions of such devices, turning them into an analogue of suspended machines.

Sturm engraver
Sturm engraver

Electric engraver Sturm. Flexible shaft included for greater precision

Suspended machines

The tip of these devices is connected to the body by a flexible cable. The number of revolutions is regulated not by a switch, but by a pedal.

Dremel Electric Hanging Engraver
Dremel Electric Hanging Engraver

The speed of the Dremel Fortiflex pendant electric engraver is adjustable with a pedal

Mobile electric engravers

The peculiarity of such devices is that they receive power not from the network, but from batteries. You can work with them anywhere. Such a device is especially useful for a master working with wet material - a battery-powered power tool is the safest in such cases.

Dremel Cordless Engraver
Dremel Cordless Engraver

The Dremel 7700-30 can be used even where there is no mains power

Which electric engraver to choose

Weight, noise, power, number of revolutions - these are the main characteristics that directly affect the quality and convenience of work. As with other tools, there is no perfect engraver. Powerful models lose rpm, fast models lose power. A heavy tool is not so convenient to perform long operations, a light one is often characterized by low quality of materials from which parts and a body are made.

Key Features Affecting Performance

In order to make it easier to decide which parameters can be waived when choosing a machine, and which not, the list contains not only the technical parameters of the tool, but also the relationship between them:

  • power. The power gap of the machines on the market is very large - from about 12 to 350 watts. Very often, weight is directly related to power. The higher the power, the heavier the apparatus. Power is also directly related to torque. This parameter is measured in Newtons per centimeter. It's kind of the power of the car. Manufacturers often do not indicate it at all, limiting themselves to power. Among other things, torque affects how the machine will perform with large tool diameters. The larger the diameter, the larger this indicator should be. The torque depends on the size of the motor. The larger the diameter, the higher the indicator will be. The higher the engine speed, the lower the torque;
  • number of revolutions. This is the speed at which the nozzle rotates. The run-up is also very large, reaching an average of 35,000 rpm at maximum, at minimum - from zero. The speed control function is very useful, the vast majority of models are equipped with it;
  • collet. Accessory holder. The ability to mount different sized chucks and collets will be an advantage - you will be able to attach tooling from different manufacturers to the tool. Pay attention to how standard the thread on the chuck is.

Collet chuck and collets affect the versatility of the electric engraver. It depends on the type of cartridge whether it is possible to install nozzles with different shank sizes

Table: types of materials and optimal tool parameters for working with them

Plastic It melts easily. You cannot work with it at high speeds - from heating the material will soften, deform, and begin to stick to the tool. Very viscous. The machining torque must be high
Bone Bone at high speeds also deteriorates, burns, clogs the surface of the instrument. It is extremely important to choose the right tooling - a small notch clogs up very quickly, a too large one spoils the material, tearing out pieces. At low speeds, it is processed poorly, chipping off, a torn surface is obtained. The tool can even jump off, "go" - and this is fraught with injury. RPM for work with bone - 10,000-35,000. High torque is not needed
A rock The speed indicator does not matter much. But the effort required for processing is large. Need a powerful tool with high torque
Glass It is a very fragile material, you cannot make great efforts to it. High torque is not needed, but high revs are needed. At low revs, there is a danger that the glass will burst
Wood Depends on the type of wood. It is better to study this topic separately - each type of tree requires its own parameters and its own equipment. For example, for loose rocks, more revolutions and not very high torque are required.

It is also important what exactly needs to be done with the tool. Engraving, Cutting or Grinding? Or maybe polishing? Cutting requires high RPM and polishing requires more power. The more difficult the task the master sets for himself, the less chances that one universal tool will perfectly cope with it. If you plan to process wet material, you should only use a battery or flexible shaft machine - this is a matter of your safety.

It is best to choose one - expensive and high-quality - tool for basic work and the second - cheaper and easier - for what you are going to do not so often


Engravers, as a rule, are equipped with a storage case, as well as various sets of attachments. When buying your first engraving machine, do not chase an abundance of consumables and overpay for something that will never come in handy. Take a standard kit. Of the additional equipment in the package, you can pay attention to the flexible shaft - it will give more opportunities for precise work - and a stand in order to hang the engraver itself when working with the flexible shaft.

Rack engraver
Rack engraver

The stand and flexible shaft will help you work with an electric engraver with greater accuracy

For complex tasks, for various types of work with materials of different properties, you will need an extended tool.

Suitcase "Dremel"
Suitcase "Dremel"

The extended complete set of the electric engraver includes not only attachments, but also an additional accumulator unit, a handle for fine work, a compass and other devices

Engravers are produced under many brands. These are Zubr, Caliber, Whirlwind, Intertool, Hammer, Bosh, Watt, Wortex, Ryobi, Sturm, Einhell, Proxxon and others. The most famous brand, Dremel, is named after Albert Dremel, the inventor of the small electric motor high speed tool. Now this word has become a household word - any electric engravers are often called dremels.

Reviews, opinions about electric engravers

There is no ideal tool - it has been tested in practice. But reviews, both positive and negative, can still help with the choice: it is always useful to know what you may encounter when using the machine. Here are some reviews for the various models.

Electric engraver nozzles - types, methods of application and do-it-yourself modifications

Most often, a set of accessories is supplied with the tool. You can buy the necessary ones later. Ideally, the attachment should be of the same company as the engraver - only then the manufacturer guarantees the quality. But if the "native" attachment is not on sale or it is too expensive, you can use analogs or even homemade ones. The main thing to look for is that the tail diameter (shank) of the nozzle matches the cartridge in the engraver. Inexpensive nozzles, especially those made in China, most often have a shank with a diameter of 3.2 mm.

The attachments are usually easy to change. It is necessary to press the stop button, thereby blocking the spindle. Using the key that comes with the tool, loosen the collet chuck, then unscrew it and remove the nozzle. Insert a new one. For a thicker or thinner bit, you will have to change the collet. The jaw chuck makes this easier - depending on the size range, nozzles with different shank diameters are installed there.

Jaw chuck
Jaw chuck

Universal chuck allows quick installation of different shank diameters

Engraving bits, burs

They are produced from various alloys, with different types of coatings, and various shapes. Designed mainly for drawing a pattern on a surface. The type of boron depends on the material to be worked with. So, the following are most often used:

  • hard-alloy - very durable, high-quality and expensive nozzles, a special type of hard-alloy burs - in the form of a peak, they work well on plastic, bones, they make tracing with these burs - they display the main lines of the drawing;
  • steel - the main cutting tool, come in various shapes and configurations;
  • combined - the base is steel, and the head is tungsten;
  • diamond-coated nozzles - very productive; they can be bought at a medical equipment store, they are also on Chinese sites - of quite acceptable quality.
Diamond coated burs
Diamond coated burs

Diamond coated engraving bits - these types of burs are of good quality even in inexpensive sets

Sometimes manufacturers color-code the burs. The color also indicates the degree of sharpening. Burs with black markings are very productive, but the sharpening of blue and green ones is weaker. Burs with yellow markings are well suited for finishing.

Handcrafting boron - triangular lance

If there is no suitable nozzle on sale, you can make it. For example, boron in the form of a triangular peak. Factory (Kazan) options are thin, elongated, with a high pyramid, but their tip has some rounding. It is quite possible to eliminate this disadvantage at home. You can re-grind the factory ones, or you can make it yourself on the basis of an old boron - a truncated cone. Sharpen on a diamond disc. Before sharpening, you need to find the middle of the working part of the workpiece bur and sharpen it at an obtuse angle. After you get a kind of bullet, you can direct the edges. After sharpening, the nozzle must be checked on the material, and then, with the help of sandpaper, bring it manually.

Video: making a nozzle - a triangular peak with your own hands

Other types of attachments

In addition to engraving with a machine, you can perform a huge number of operations. It is for them - cutting, drilling, grinding, polishing - that other types of attachments are intended.

The entire array of equipment can be divided into groups. Here is some of them:

  • drills - like burs, there are carbide and steel;
  • brushes - steel, muslin fabric, thread;
  • rubber cylinders - often the craftsmen "bring them to mind", putting them on the spent burs, grind the tip with an abrasive, giving the shape of a bullet, a good grinding attachment is obtained;
  • grinding stones - differ both in shape and material;
  • grinding discs - emery wheels (they can be cut out of ordinary sandpaper and glued to the base, attached to the disc holder), diamond rings;
  • special holders on which felt is screwed; they very often come in tool sets along with the tool; instead of such a holder, you can also use an old bur, and attach the felt pad with superglue;
  • nozzles "Hedgehogs" made of tungsten carbide, these are burs with spraying with needles and chips; they can be used to work with plastic, artificial stone, wood; require special care when using - you can get hurt.

How to work with an electric engraver

Before you start, it does not hurt to think over the organization of the workplace. You will have to deal with small details, elements, precision is required. Therefore, take care of the lighting in advance. When working, dust and small particles are likely to fly - cover the table surface, furniture with something.

Step-by-step instruction

  1. First, create a blank - what you will end up engraving on. Many operations, especially on wood - cutting, grinding - can be done with an electric engraver.
  2. Then secure the stencil. You can draw lines on paper by placing a drawing on a surface. And you can transfer directly to the material using, for example, a carbon copy. The surface must be degreased before drawing. If you have a ready-made stencil drawing, secure it to the surface with tape. If you work with gloves, there will be no marks on the degreased surface. For engraving on glass, the pattern must be placed under it.
  3. Start with the outline and only then move on to the small details of the drawing. Mark complex lines with dots, and then connect them. Chiaroscuro in the picture, tone, if any, is best done last.

Video: making an engraved wooden shelf

Safety engineering

These rules will help keep you healthy and enjoy your work:

  • be sure to wear glasses;
  • start at low rpm - this is less likely that the tool will jump out of habit;
  • when drawing a line, guide the engraver away from you if possible;
  • take breaks, ideally every 10-15 minutes, this will help not to overheat the instrument; if the device has a good cooling system, it is possible to interrupt less often, but remember about your own fatigue - it will be a shame to spoil the work just before the finish;
  • before starting work, be sure to inspect the tool and attachments: the power cord must be in good working order, attachments - no damage or chips; the damaged ones must be replaced.
  • consumables, discs, nozzles must correspond in their parameters to the tool, first of all, this concerns the dimensions of the shank.


Less repair costs and a more enjoyable work experience - this can be achieved with proper tool care. Moreover, especially laborious maintenance and cleaning is not needed.

The engraver can be used, as they say, out of the box - the tool does not require any special tweaks before the first use. But after use, you need to clean it - just sweep the dust from the tip and body. Particular attention should be paid to the ventilation slots. You can use a paintbrush or brush.

Repair - what you can do yourself

In case of serious breakdowns, of course, it is better to contact a workshop. But in many cases, you can handle it yourself. If we are talking about a Dremel tool, then it is easy to disassemble it - just unscrew the screws and pry off the parts of the case with a screwdriver. They disperse easily.

Electric engraver device

The machine consists of a motor (stator, anchor), a spindle (shaft), brushes, a cooling system, a tip to which the equipment is attached. Some models are equipped with a speed switch, impact force, electronics (display showing the number of revolutions). But the general principle remains the same.

Electric engraver from the inside
Electric engraver from the inside

The electric engraver is easy to disassemble - just unscrew the screws and, prying with a screwdriver, separate the case

The internal structure of the electric engraver: 1 - speed switch, 2 - brushes on the sides, 3 - engine, 4 - "fan" at the anchor, 5 - stop button; 6 - tip.

Photo gallery: components of an electric engraver


Stator - external, stationary part of the engine


Anchor, or rotor, is the inner, movable part of the engine


Bearings mounted on the edges of the armature

The device emits an uncharacteristic sound, the air flow from the fan increases

Perhaps the armature clings to the stator. One of the reasons is the failure of the rubber ring - the coupling, over time it can wear out or even break. In order to replace the clutch, you need to disassemble not only the housing itself, but also the engine.

Video: disassembling the electric engraver engine, replacing the clutch


If the machine heats up too much and too quickly, the bearings may be clogged with dirt and need to be cleaned and lubricated. It is necessary to remove the anchor, it is not necessary to remove the bearings from it. First, using an awl, carefully remove the anthers, then rinse the bearings with kerosene. Rinse very thoroughly. For this, as for lubrication, you can use a syringe. If the anthers are deformed during disassembly, they need to be straightened - a small flat screwdriver is convenient for this.

Video: cleaning and lubricating bearings

Poor speed switching

The switch may be faulty due to clogged dust - small particles flying during operation. To do this, you need to disassemble the device and clean it. It is very effective to blow the interior of the instrument with compressed air from a small cylinder. Remove remaining dust with a brush.

Video: cleaning the speed switch

How to make an electric engraver yourself

A tool designed for simple tasks can be made by yourself using various foundations. Household appliances with a motor, such as a blender, are perfect. The hand blender is also good because its handle is anatomically shaped, comfortable to hold, and the motor in this device is powerful enough. To do this, you need to purchase a collet chuck and a switch so that you do not have to manually press the button all the time.

Step-by-step instruction

  1. Disassemble the blender body.
  2. Remove the printed circuit board, motor.
  3. Measure the spindle - you will need a collet chuck for this diameter.
  4. Clean the parts, especially the old engine.
  5. Slide the chuck onto the spindle.
  6. Install a switch lever instead of the blender button. To do this, you need to remove the button contacts from the printed circuit board, and instead solder the wires for the switch.
  7. Drill a hole in the housing for the lever.
  8. Install the board and switch, replace the motor.
  9. Assemble the case.

Video: do-it-yourself blender engraver

An electric engraver is a versatile tool that can perform a huge number of operations, not limited to drawings and inscriptions. The choice of models is very wide, and the most famous brand Dremel has worthy competitors. The machine should be selected for the type of work and for the main material with which you are going to experiment. There are a lot of nozzles for an electric engraver, but if you couldn't get the right one, you can make some yourself. At home, you can also repair the machine and even make it from another household appliance, such as a blender.

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