The Metal Engraver and the Jewelry Industry
Every industry has its “go to” tool that never fails to serve the manufacturer using it well. In the jewelry industry, that tool would have to be the metal engraver. Available in both a hand-held model for homemade jewelry as well as incorporated into machinery that mass produces metallic accessories, metal engravers are a special type of marking machinery. Able to engrave a metal surface with words or designs, the limitations of a metal engraver number only two. First, it is not used to cut through a surface completely, only mark the surface permanently. Secondly, metal engravers are only used for metal, since they are designed to penetrate those types of surfaces specifically. For plastic or stone jewelry, a different type of tool must be used, although the plethora of metal jewelry on the market attests to the fact that it is the most popular material for jewelry today.
Although metal engravers are meant for metal alone, there is still a wide variety of metallic materials with various characteristics that need to be met and dealt with by this marking tool. Different models of metal engravers are used for different purposes. For example, as was stated before, there is a difference between a metal engraver being used to make homemade jewelry and a metal engraver being used to mass produce jewelry. One used by hand is called a burin, which looks like a chisel. It is often attached to some sort of power source so that it has enough force to pierce through the surface of the metal, but can still be guided by hand rather then a CNC machine. And a CNC machine is exactly what runs the larger production lines of mass produced jewelry. While a burin attached to an engraving machine is marking the metal piece of jewelry on a conveyor, the CNC computer system is dictating that design. It does this for every piece so that all the jewelry is identical, until the machine is told to change the design.