McClain's Catalog
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Engraving Tools
Collection of Engraving Tools

From left to right: 5.5" and 9" Sandbags, Arkansas Stone, a Crocker Sharpener with an India Combination Stone and Sharpening Stone Oil in the background; and McClain's Six Engraving Tool Set in the red box plus a variety of open stock tools.

These high carbon steel tools are the ones you need for engraving. Engraving tools are made to carve end-grain wood and alternative hard substrates like Polystyrene, Corian and Sintra. They will not work on plank wood or plywood; for these surfaces, you need wood carving tools.

The blades on the Angle Tints, Elliptic Tints, Flat and Round Gravers, and Multiple Line tools are 2.75" long; total length with the handle is 4.6". The blade on the Burins is 3.2" long, total length with the handle is 4.9". The smallest marks are made with Size 1 tools; the larger the size, the wider the mark the tool makes.

What the Tools Do

  • Angle tint tools cut straight lines easily, often to give tone to areas of the print.
  • Use elliptic tint tools for drawing or outlining.
  • Multiple line tools are all 1/8" wide, and create multiple parallel lines with one stroke.
  • Clear areas of the block with the broader round gravers or flat gravers.
  • Burins are traditionally used on copper plates, and also work very well cutting Resingrave. Use to make lines of varied width.
  • The stippling tool is excellent for raising a burr as well as making dots.

Engraving tools come from the manufacturer "factory sharp," which means they are given a basic shape, but they need to be sharpened in order to carve well.

For more information about engraving materials and sharpening engraving tools, please go to Learning Center and look under "Engraving."