September 1, 2021

Can you engrave with a Dremel? + Video Tutorials

Yes, you can engrave with a Dremel. The rotary tool works on multiple materials such as glass and wood with ease. Master the speed of the rotary tool so that you do not spoil your material. Keep your material steady and your Dremel tool under control. Patience and perseverance are essential when engraving since it takes time to get your desired design. 

How to engrave with a Dremel

Engraving needs patience and confidence. The guide to engraving allows you to run through the whole process using the right materials and Dremel accessories. Below are steps to follow when engraving using the Dremel tool.

Step 1

Choose the proper engraving accessories. The types of engraving accessories include high-speed cutters, engraving cutters, and diamond wheel points. High-speed cutters come with multiple accessories meant for engraving, shaping, and grooving. 

The engraving cutters are for detailed work. The t is possible when the material is not hard. The cutters are ideal for soft materials such as wood and leather. These include wood and plastic as well as brass. Diamond wheel points are also for fine detail work. The bits are inside the diamond particleboard, making them ideal for engraving more complex materials such as glass. 

Step 2

Choose the right attachments for the project. The attachments refer to the parts that help the project run smoothly. There is a Flexible shift, and the 127mm cable gives your Dremel tool comfort and flexibility. That extends your working hours. 

The Dremel is a lightweight tool ideal for engraving wine glasses. The detailer’s grip fits in multiple Dremel tools that have a threaded nose piece. The weight of the Dremel tool transfers to your hand, and that gives you balance and control. 

Step 3

Pick a material so that you start engraving. Choose soft material to make your project bearable. Soft material makes it easy to control the Dremel tool when it is in use, making it ideal for beginners. Brass and copper are soft metals, and hard metals such as titanium need experience. 

Step 4

Pay attention to the shape of the choice you are making. Flat surfaces are easy to work on since they do not involve angles and are continuous. Focus on how the tool feels when in use. The performance has to be maintained. 

Step 5

Take proper safety measures. Gloves keep you safe from cuts and scrapes, and they are resistant to wear and tear. Goggles and a dust mask protect your eye from debris and dust. There are high possibilities of breathing in tiny glass from the material you are working on. Rusty materials are hazardous to your health and in that case, keep away from the material. 

Step 6

Prepare the material you want to cut. If it is glass, make sure it is clean and dry. Grease and washing liquid has to be removed, and you have more visibility of the material. Sand and wipe treated wood. 

Step 7

Transfer your pattern onto the material. Tracing over the material makes the process easy. If you are transferring your design onto metal, use carbon paper. Place the carbon paper onto the material, lay the pattern on top, and trace over using a pencil. 

Glass is easy to engrave. Unlike metal, place the pattern underneath the glass. That allows you to see through the pattern. Use it as your guiding mark. Stick it to the glass so that it does not move. Failure to do so compromises precision. Keep your eyes on your project to avoid missing the angles and the lines. 

Step 8

Use pencil grip, and it comes with the Dremel tool or a Flexible shift. These make you feel like you are holding a pencil, and they are easy to use. You have confidence in the work you are doing. Handling your engraving tool becomes comfortable. Be patient enough to produce good results. The process might not go your way but stick to the process, practice more and give yourself time to develop your engraving skills. 

Step 9

Use a clamp or vise to avoid slipping off the material. Clamp the material in place so that it does not move. A handheld clamp allows you to hold the clamp with one hand with a firm grip, although there are chances of getting cuts. A chisel or hammer requires two hands.


Cut into the design using the tool of your choice. Turn the drawing into an engraving. Apply pressure on the point and keep the end of your Dremel tool at the same angle on your first cut. Engraving complex shapes, finish the straight position first. Move on to more complex positions. 

Can you engrave metal?

Yes, you can engrave metal using the Dremel tool. A firm grip with a loose wrist makes the project bearable. Using the Dremel gives you the flexibility to move in intricate positions, allowing you to make free-flowing shapes. When using higher settings, maintain the grip since the tool is running powerful. 

A loose grip protects you from straining your hand. Be patient when using an electric engraver. It takes time to achieve the perfect look you are trying to copy, and experience is an added advantage. Build up to the depth you would like and avoid taking more metal as you start. 

Mix up your textures and add cross-hatch lines for shading. Tracing a design is not enough. Use a guide and remove the carbon paper when tracing—finish detail to your design. Using a Dremel is straightforward. Without experience, you will find yourself engraving your metal-making styles and improving your skill level.

Engraving Wood with Dremel

Engraving Wood is an easy process that is made possible with rotary tools such as Dremel.  Use a high-speed rotary cutting head. Choose from multiple engraving cutters to the one that suits your needs. Easy-to-use tools are more convenient than complex ones. Engraving cutters come in different shapes and sizes that allow you to customize your work. 


Transfer the pattern of your choice onto the wood using carbon paper and a pencil.

Step 2

Loosen the collet of the Dremel tool and attach the appropriate accessories to the collet. Tighten the collet using a wrench.

Step 3

Switch on the Dremel tool, and switch to the engraving speed. The speed depends on the hardness of the wood and the engraving cutter used. Refer to the manual when not sure. 

Step 4

Follow the traced pattern on the wood and change cutting heads.

Step 5

Clean the dust using a damp cloth and clean the sawdust with a vacuum. 

Also, see our post on How to cut plexiglass with Dremel.

David D. Hughes
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