One of the most common ways of personalizing or branding leather articles is by engraving. While the engraving technique requires a lot of precision, using the right engraving tools helps to make engravings professional looking and extremely enjoyable as every art making process is supposed to be.
So for this article, I researched the best electric leather engraving tools and also put together a buying guide to help you make an informed choice.
So, what are the Best Electric Leather Engraving Tools? The best electric leather engraving tools in no particular order are:
- Uolor Engraver – (Best Kit with Versatile Tips and Pattern Design)
- Tidal pool Original Easy Etcher – (Best Lightweight Engraver)
- Dremel Stylo+ (Best Most Versatile High Quality Engraver)
In addition to my overall list of electric leather engraving tools and what each particular one is best for, I’m going to further break each one of these tools down taking a closer look some of their key features, pros, cons, and a few other important factors. But first, what’s Leather engraving?
What is Leather Engraving?
Leather engraving is basically a decorative technique of removing the top layer of the grain surface of leather using engraving tools. Basically, what the leather engraving process does is to remove parts of the top grain layer and allowing the underlying fibrous layer to show.
Leather engraving, also known as incision or etching is very similar to leather embossing. So, often times people get them mixed up. But the simplest way to distinguish between the two is that with leather engraving, you’re going to be removing parts of the leather by cutting or scraping, while embossing compresses the leather.
When it comes down to it, the most important tip I will give you when it comes to doing leather engraving is using the right engraver tool – in which case the electric leather engraver is your best bet!
I have personally handmade a lot of leather engravings back in the day using all forms or razor blades and a whole bunch of tools I would never use again. So, I can tell you for a fact that the depths of the engraving are not going to be accurate, you will sometimes ruin the leather by cutting too deeply, your fingers will hurt like @&$%, and you’ll cut yourself eleven times out of ten.
But even so, here’s what I could do. So you can imagine what you can do with the best sets of leather engraving tools!
If you want to learn more about leather engraving, you can read my Complete Guide on Leather Engraving Here in an earlier article I wrote!
Buying Guide: Electric Leather Engraving Tools
Here’s a quick guide for the Best Electric Leather Engraving Tools. This guide is a walk you through the ideal thought process for choosing the very best engraving tool that suits your needs and most importantly budget.
Type of Power
There are certainly two ways to go with the type of power you might want to consider – The corded leather engraving tool and the battery powered tool.
The battery-powered leather engraving tools are fantastic if you’d be working on smaller pieces or will only do minimal engraving at a given time. One major advantage you will have with a battery-powered leather engraving tool is that you will not be limited in terms of where you can work.
While the battery powered leather engraving tools will offer extreme versatility, flexibility, and freedom, you will run out of power especially with larger projects or extended usage.
For you to enjoy the use of a battery-powered leather engraving tool, you must get a high-quality battery-powered leather engraving tool – which often is going to weigh heavily on your budget because they are a little more expensive than corded ones.
The corded leather engraving tools gets its power from an electrical outlet. The main advantage of getting a corded leather engraving tool is that you will have consistent speed and you’re not going to have to deal with ever running out of power.
The downside, however, is that you will be limited by the length of the cord of the tool. Solution may include getting an extension board to give you a bit more room to operate in.
The electric leather engraving tool will be versatile based on the variety or assortment of bits and burrs it will come with or possibly being able to upgrade with other accessories that will be available to a brand. So the more interchangeable nibs, tips, or burrs it has, the more versatile the tool’s purpose will be.
All you do is to mount or fasten an interchangeable tip to the tool and you will in addition to engraving, do activities like burnishing, polishing, etc.
You will often have the best leather engraving tools offering a variety of speeds to work with. The importance of getting an engraving tool that offer a variety of speed is being able to adjust the speed to work on finer details or cover a larger area.
While some tools will come with a single speed setting, having a variable 3 speed settings is ideal and will allow you achieve unique positioning for the best precision for your engraving work.
The very best leather engraving tools will come with an adjustable feature that allows you to switch between tips for engraving wider grooves to much finer ones. The most common adjustments may come in the form of simple knob and interchangeable nibs.
Weight & Comfort
Since these tools are handheld, there are two key things you would want to consider – the weight and how comfortable it is to hold.
When it comes to the weight of the tool, you would want to consider the weight as against – the average duration you would use the engraving tool.
Generally, getting a lightweight engraving tool is best so that you don’t render your hands fatigued while you do your engraving work.
Also, the ergonomic design of the tool that enables comfortable grip even for extended use is also key.
Best Electric Leather Engraving Tools – Reviews
In no particular order, here’s my researched reviews on the best electric leather engraving tools:
3. Uolor Engraver – (Best Kit with Versatile Tips and Pattern Design)
The Uolor Engraver Tool is an awesome kit that includes all kinds of accessories you will need for every kind of engravings on your leather work projects and other miscellaneous use you will deem fit.
The power type for this engraver tool is corded meaning you’re going to have the most consistent power workflow. It also has the following power specifications:
- AC Input: 100V~240V , 50~60Hz
- DC Output: 9V/1000mA
The Uolor Engraver can be used on leather and a lot of other materials such as metal, plastic, glass, ceramic, diamond, wood, and many others. Based on how versatile this tool is, there’s simply no limit to what you can do with it.
Some of its common uses includes creating personalized leather gifts, arts and crafts like id tags, custom leather jewelry, key chains, pet tags, signatures and so much more!
You will be able to achieve greater precision with it’s variable speed range from 3000 to 20000 RPM (Revolutions per Minute).
Has a 2 in 1 rotary button that turns the tool On/Off and also controls the speeds of the engraving tool. It also comes with interchangeable burrs or tips that are also compatible with most rotary tools.
Weight and Comfort
The Uolor engraver weight around 14 ounces and although it’s not the most lightweight engraving tool, it’s very compact and has a pen-like design which makes it very comfortable to use – so much that you can comfortably achieve very precision cuts.
- Very steady
- Allows for greater control and extra comfort
- Comes with a year warranty
- Comes with an assortment of accessories
- Versatile use like Carving, Sanding, Sharpening, Drilling, Cutting and more
- Comes with a very helpful instructional guide
- It’s cable is relatively short
If you’re interested the Uolor Engraver tool, you can check it out over here on Amazon!
2. Tidalpool Original Easy Etcher – (Best Budget & Lightweight Engraver)
The Tidalpool Original Easy Etcher is a super lightweight Engraver that helps you achieve high professional precision on different kinds of materials.
The Tidalpool Original Easy Etcher is can be powered by 2 triple A batteries.
This tool is very portable and has wide applications in leather, Jewelry, Metal, Glass, Wood Carving, etc. It’s comes with a diamond tip bit that makes its use very easy for almost every type of surface. There’s an extra diamond shaped nib included.
The tool has its motor purposely enhanced to run at a lower Revolutions per Minute (RPM) – about 12,000 for superior precision, control, crisp, clear, cuts on nearly any surface. Plus slow RPM helps to keep the battery running for a longer period.
It runs at a pretty much standard speed so it’s easy to control and because of this it doesn’t require any high or low adjustments.
Weight and Comfort:
With weight around 3 ounces, the Tidal pool Original Easy Etcher is super lightweight and also features an ergonomic tri-lobal grip which offers precise fingertip control that helps to give you the most comfortable usage and mobility just like you would with a regular sharpie. It’s length, 6.3 inches long makes it ideal for people with either big and small hands.
- Great for beginners
- Super durable but lightweight
- Precision engraving
- Very easy to use
- Long battery life
- Reliable and high performing
- Comes with 10 free stencils
- Doesn’t come with batteries
If you’re interested in the Tidal pool Original Easy Etcher, you can check it out over here on Amazon for additional information.
1. Dremel Stylo+ (Best Most Versatile High Quality Engraver)
Dremel is a well known brand and their range on electrical engraving tools are simple the best on the market. With this engraver tool being a Dremel tool means you’re going to have a wide variety of nibs and tips for anything from leather engraving through to burnishing, sanding, polishing, all the way to making drills, etc.
The Dremel Stylo+ engraving tool is corded purposefully with the intention of optimizing your use and not having to worry about battery run time. Another important reason Dremel chose to render this tool corded is so it could shed off the weight that the cordless alternatives come with.
Dremel, however, designed the cord to be very thin for enhanced maneuverability and precision of the tool.
This Dremel tool is the most versatile engraver tool on this list not only because of the variety of tools it comes with but also the wide range of nib upgrade you could do to get the very best out of this tool.
It has project applications in leather engraving, leather burnishing, glass etching, jewelry making, polishing, woodworking and so much more.
The Dremel has a variable speed from 5000-22000 RPM and this makes the Dremel Stylo+ the best tool for both heavy duty and light-duty projects.
It comes with a variable dial the gives you optimal control for all manner of activities you will want to apply it to.
Weight and Comfort:
The Dremel Stylo+ is about 7 ounce a fairly good weight and offers a very comfortable grip. This tool compared to most other Dremel products has a narrow and sleek design making it great and easy to handle.
- Very thin cords to enhance control
- Great for all skill levels
- Very quite and doesn’t vibrate so much
- Has a recess collet lock that makes it safe to use and when replacing tips and other accessories
- Easy to use
- Has 2 years warranty
- Comes with a user manual
- You get a nice storage case
- Slightly pricey for people on budget
If you’re interested in the Dremel Stylo+, you can check it out over here on Amazon!
Safety Accessories for Leather Engraving
The electric leather engraving tools can have their nibs or tips spinning up to 30000 RMPs and so with such speeds, taking precaution is highly necessary to prevent any form of accidents. Here are a few accessories you can buy and wear while using your engraving tool.
Goggles: The goggles keeps small particles from entering your eyes while working on your engraving. This one from DEWALT is an affordable pair of safety goggles that you could use for other projects around the house that require eye protection, too.
Mask: You will need a mask because engraving cause dust. Especially if you’re engraving chrome tanned leather, you wouldn’t want to breath in its particles because of the chemical treatment chromed tanned leather is given. This 50 in a pack disposable dust mask is a bargain, and you can stock up for future leather engraving sessions.
A Magnifier with Light: The magnifier and light tool will allow you to basically examine the engraving work so you can work more accurately avoiding mistakes and accidents. This one by Carson optical has a good combination of both a magnifier and an LED lighting.
Tips for Leather Engraving
Leather engraving is a technique that involves a great deal of precision. In order to get the most out of your engraving tool, here are five tips to keep in mind.
- Make Sure Your Working Area is Well Lit: Poor lighting can weigh heavily on the quality of work you produce. So for the best results, always make sure your lighting is on point without any shadow casts on the main work.
- Use Templates: No wonder most engraving tools come with templates. Templates are absolutely fantastic even if you have a great deal of confidence in your freehand skills. Templates, whether your own creation or pre-made removes all forms of possible errors and allows you to render your work more accurately.
- Clamp Down Your Material: To avoid slips and work tossing around, you would want to find a very suitable position you’re comfortable with and secure your material. You wouldn’t want a small slip to ruin your work after working on it for hours.
- Dust from time to time. This is important so you don’t obscure your design. You can blow off or brush off accumulated dusts from time to time.
How To Do Leather Engraving
Here are some videos to inspire you on how to do an engraving on leather!