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    Laser engraving vs Laser etching

    Jul. 30, 2019

    Laser engraving vs Laser etching


    Laser marking is the process of highlighting the marks on the surface of materials by using the heat property of laser. Where Laser engraving  and Laser etching are the two methods of laser marking.

    Laser engraving and Laser etching are the two ways of adding details on the object using laser. Both methods are used to change the object's physical property. By using this both imprinting methods we can add letter, print images and also highlight designs on the surfaceusing laser's heat.

    Engraving and etching used to make permanent mark on materials.

    When it's come to the term laser cutting this both methods are used to come interchangeably. Although in some aspect they have similar characteristics, they both hold dissimilarities on view point of technology. On the material to which it is used each of these methods has different effect on them and on the basis of cut depth both laser method comes up with different range.

    Difference between laser engraving and Laseretching.

    Engraving : Engraving is the method of laser marking which cut the cavity through the materials surface leaving the cavity that reveals an image at eye level which is noticeable through touch. It is very useful method to imprint on the material. This method of laser marking goes deeper than the surface of material by penetrating at the same area over and over again. This cause thecone shaped indentation on material. The depth of the material depends upon the laser you are using and the material you used.

    Engraving method use high heat laser which cause the metal tovaporize hence it is very accurate method to highlight a details onobject.

    Etching : It is the subset of engraving but only the difference is of depth. Etching allows to burn or melt the top layer of material surfacegoing no more deeper than 0.001" leaving the texture impression on material with high contrast.

    Depth difference

    Engraving : The depth property depends upon the material and thelaser you are using. Engraving method remove more surface of material hence it go more deeper and digs surface deep. Engraving depth can be vary from 0.02" in metals and 0.125" in harder metals.

    Etching : As it only sweeps the upper layer of material surface it doesnot go more deeper than 0.001", but marks with usually high contrast.

    If it goes more deeper than the given value then the metal can be expand due to its high heat laser and can affect the material. It is very supreme for thinner material.

    Materials on which laser engraving and etching canbe used.

    Laser engraving, due to its wide range of depth capabilities it can beused in any type of material. It work best on wider-denser surface andare most commonly used for metal, plastic, wood, rubber, leather,acrylic, glass and even soft material like paper.

    As the given value of laser etching it is the most suitable option for thin materials and small projects such as jewelry. It is best method foradding details on more fragile material like glass and precious metal.

    Laser etching work best on the harder material and the material withtwo or more layers, coated metals, anodize aluminium, engraver plastics common stainless steel, polymers and ceramics.

    Advantages of engraving and etching


    1) It is quick process and create a crevice that is noticeable to eye ortouch.

    2) This is best method to highlight deeper mark on any material and is precise method.

    3) It provides durability, speed, cost efficiency, used for numerousmaterial.


    1) It is material saving friendly method and provide high speed of realisation.

    2) It is the best method to highlight details with high contrast on thin material and small project like jewellery.

    3) Provides speed and also very accurate for thin materials.


    Laser engraving and laser etching are the method of laser markingand cutting line into hard surface such as metal. But the primary difference between them is that engraving is the physical process and etching is the chemical process. Engraver machine used special tool to cut the line directly into the surface while etcher uses acid to meltthe line into the surface. Also the main difference between them is that they hold their own depth capabilities with their different ideal depth values.

    Engraving can be used for any type of material. It is durable for long time, making permanent mark on material, while etching is use for thin and fragile materials and the marks may not be last for long time (not durable).

    Use of laser

    Engraving and etching are the methods that comes to use from many decades but the Laser technology make this method more easier as it speed up process and provides variety of designs. It also provide more option for customization because of different heat densities and beam sizes of laser. Business owner and big brands prefer lasertechnology over other because it provides wide range of specialities.

    So this was small article for you to make aware about the difference between these two methods of laser marking, so that when its come to your product for marking then you should be choose correctly between China laser marking  brand.

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