Etching Vs Engraving: Things You Should Know

Do you have any questions regarding etching and engraving? If yes, then you have come to the right article. There is no doubt in saying that etching and engraving are two of the most popular printing techniques. They both are used to make designs on the metal surface. In this article, you will get to know all the important information regarding etching vs engraving. Along with this, to help you understand better, major differences between both will also be mentioned. So if this sounds compelling, then stick to this article. Now without wasting any time, let’s jump into the main deal.

What is Etching?

The etching is a method of printmaking, it is a procedure of making prints from metal sheets, into which the designs are incised with the help of chemical substances. In the etching process, acids are used to etch the design on a metal sheet/plate surface. In other words, you can say that only a part of a metal plate is etched, which needs to be printed and drawn. A drawing tool is used to draw designs after the metal sheet is applied with either hard or soft ground. After that, the metal sheet is dipped into acid with the acid only affecting the exposed metal. The remaining ground is then cleaned and ink is applied. Then it is pushed into a damp paper to create the print. The best thing about etching is that it is less expensive as compared to other options.

What Is Engraving?

Engraving means cutting any material such as wood, metal, stone or any other material into the desired shape with the help of a physical tool. Some of the most common tools that are used in this printing technique are knives, hammers, axes, and chisels. In this technique, a designer makes different designs on the metal plate by using a burin. Nowadays, machines are also used to make printing a little easier. The best thing about engraving is that it can be used to create any kind of designs you want and all the designs made by it are permanent.

Difference Between Etching And Engraving

• Generally, the wax is used to create designs in the etching method whereas, in engraving, a designer uses different tools to make designs on the metal surface. In short, engraving requires more efforts in comparison to etching

• The etching method is used to create designs in small objects. One the other hand, the size of the objects is very huge in the engraving method

• In the etching method, the depth of the cut is less deep as compared to the engraving method.


Though etching and engraving are used for the same purposes but the method of executing things is different. Some people say that engraving is more effective but this is not accurate as both are equally important and cannot replace each other. All the main information that you should know about engraving and etching is mentioned above. Hope this article will clear some of your queries and give you some helpful information.