What Is The Difference between Engraving and Etching

The printing industry is one of the biggest industries and it has also become very important for everyone. The good thing about the printing industry is that there are many methods and technologies are available that can use to make different designs and images from a hard surface, metal plate or flat surface. Etching and Engraving are two of the methods that are used for printing.

Things This Article Includes Are:

• What Is Etching and Its Advantages

• What Is Engraving and Its Advantages

• Difference Between Etching And Engraving

What Is Etching?

The etching is a process that is used in printing. Generally, chemical substances are used to make different designs and images on a metal plate. In etching, wax that is resistant to acid is used to cover the material, then the designs or images are created on the metal with a pointy needle and then the material is dipped into acid bath, only the area which is not covered with wax comes in contact with acid and that’s how designs are made on metals through etching method.

Advantages Of Etching

1- Etching is a faster process and it is also a cost-effective option.

2- Etching can be used in many materials.

What Is Engraving?

In simple words, engraving is the process to make designs or converting metal into the desired shape with the help of tools like hammer, knives, etc. Most artists use a tool known as burin to make designs on the metals. In this process, after making the designs, ink is applied on the metal and then the metal is pressed and it forces the ink into the grooves. This is done by both hands and machines.

Advantages Of Engraving

1- Any design or line can be made with the engraving method.

2- The designs made by engraving methods are permanent and long-lasting.

Difference Between Etching And Engraving

1- Physical Efforts

One of the main differences between etching and engraving is the physical efforts that are required in both methods. In the engraving method, everything is done with the help of tools so it requires more effort in comparison to the etching method.

2- Nature Of Both Methods

The nature of both engraving and etching is different, as chemical substances are used in etching to make designs and cutting of line are done with the help of sharp pointy tools in the engraving method.

3- Materials Size

The size of the materials is also different in both methods. Usually, the thin materials are used in the etching method and engraving is more ideal for large materials.

4- Uses of Materials

Materials also differ in both methods. Materials like metal, plastics, and wood are generally used in engraving and metallic materials are used in the etching method.


Both the etching and engraving methods are equally important and have their advantages and disadvantages. It depends on the work that needs to be done. There is no doubt in saying that engraving and etching are both used for the same purposes but the process that is required is different in both. Choosing a method depends more on the types of metal that are going to be used. The differences between both the processes are mentioned and briefly explained above.