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Spring Loaded Engraving Tool™ - Most Common Questions Asked

Frequently Asked Questions - Spring Loaded Engraving Tools for CNC Machines


 Spring Loaded Engraving Tool Engraves Flat, Curved and Uneven Surfaces

Spring Loaded Engraving Tool on Round Stock for CNC Mill.

Reduce Engraving Cycle Times up to 84%.
  1. What are the main differences between the "STANDARD" and "MINI" Spring Loaded Engraving Tools?
  2. Which diameter Spring Loaded Engraving Tool should I use? 
  3. What are the recommended Speeds and Feeds
  4. How much travel does a Spring Loaded Engraving Tool have? 
  5. What size letters can I engrave using a Spring Loaded Engraving Tool? 
  6. What do I set my Z at? 
  7. Why do I rapid into the part instead of feeding slowly like a rigid tool holder? 
  8. How do I control the engraving depth
  9. How deep will the engraving be? 
  10. How do I get a deeper engraving
  11. What Engraving Tool Bits do I use? 
  12. When is a Depth Control Nosepiece used? 
  13. Quick Ordering Checklist. Do I have everything needed to get started?

2L Spring Loaded Engraving Tools are designed, produced and patented by 2L inc.  We manufacture our Spring Loaded Engraving Tools in our facility in Massachusetts, USA.

The 2L Spring Loaded Engraving Tool is covered by U.S. Patents 6,834,434, 7,093,368, 7,607,871 and a pending utility patent application.



  1. What are the main differences between the "STANDARD" and "MINI" Spring Loaded Engraving Tools?
    • The Standard Spring Loaded Engraving Tools are used for higher volume production engraving. They have larger diameter shafts and can be run at higher RPM than the Mini Spring Loaded Engraving Tools (see below recommended RPM per Tool).
    • The Mini Spring Loaded Engraving Tools have lower recommended RPM and are typically used on smaller CNC machines.
    • The Mini Spring Loaded Engraving Tools hold only 3/16" diameter engraving tool bits.
    • The Standard Spring Loaded Engraving Tools have an integrated 3/16" Collet that holds 3/16" Engraving Tool Bits. Additional Collets can be purchased separately (1/4", 1/8", 4 mm & 6 mm) which can hold these diameter tool bits in the Standard Spring Loaded Engraving Toolholders.  The Collets are custom Collets, designed for the Spring Loaded Engraving Tools.

  2. Which diameter Spring Loaded Engraving Tool should I use?
    • Spring Loaded Engraving Tools are available in 5 different diameter shafts. This variety of sizes allows you to use a Spring Loaded Engraving Tool in virtually any cnc machine.
    • We typically suggest that you use the largest diameter Spring Loaded Engraving Tool your cnc machine can accommodate.
    • It is important to operate the Spring Loaded Engraving Tools within their recommended RPM ranges. RPM ranges are listed below.
    • Review each tools maximum recommended RPM speeds, tool dimensions and other specifications when selecting a Spring Loaded Engraving Tool to be used on your cnc machine and your specific application.
    • Please note the size engraving tool bits that each Spring Loaded Engraving Tool can hold below.

    Standard Sizes
    Designed for High Volume - High Speed Production Engraving
    Mini Sizes
    Designed for Smaller CNC Machines

    3/4" Diameter

    Standard Spring Loaded Engraving Tool
    (most popular size)
    3/4 inch diameter Standard Spring Loaded Engraving Tool

    1,000 - 10,000 RPM Range

    Part No.: 10870
    In Stock!

    20 mm Diameter

    Standard Spring Loaded Engraving Tool

    20 mm diameter Standard Spring Loaded Engraving Tool

    1,000 - 10,000 RPM Range

    Part No.: 10871
    In Stock!

    1/2" Diameter

    Mini Spring Loaded
    Engraving Tool

    1/2 inch diameter Mini Spring Loaded Engraving Tool

    1,000 - 7,500 RPM Range

    Part No.: 10382
    In Stock!

    3/8" Diameter

    Mini Spring Loaded
    Engraving Tool

    3/8 inch diameter Mini Spring Loaded Engraving Tool

    1,000 - 6,000 RPM Range

    Part No.: 10506
    In Stock!

    1/4" Diameter

    Mini Spring Loaded
    Engraving Tool

    1/4 inch diameter Mini Spring Loaded Engraving Tool

    1,000 - 3,000 RPM Range

    Part No.: 10381
    In Stock!
    Integrated collet provided with the tool holds 3/16" diameter engraving tools.

    Additional size 4 mm, 6 mm, 1/8" and 1/4" collets can be purchased to hold other diameter tool bits.
    These Tools hold only 3/16" diameter engraving tools.

  3. What are the recommended speeds and feeds when using a Spring Loaded Engraving Tool?
    • View speeds and feeds and general operating instructions/hints here.

  4. 4. How much travel does a Spring Loaded Engraving Tool have?
    • 0.40".

  5. What size letters can I engrave using a Spring Loaded Engraving Tool?
    • Typically .085" tall letters and larger can be attained fairly easily.
    • 2L has successfully engraved letters 0.030" (0.76 mm) tall using the Carbide Point Engraving Tools in combination with a Spring Loaded Engraving Tool with a Heavy Spring on both steel and aluminum. The engraved lines were approximately 0.005" (0.127 mm) wide and 0.003" (0.076 mm) deep. The engraving depth can be controlled by changing the feed rate or the spindle speed. See Carbide Point Tool and engraving examples.

  6. What do I set my Z at?
    • Set the Z0 plane at the top surface of the workpiece.
    • Set the plunge depth to Z-0.025" for normal engraving on relatively flat workpieces.
    • Set the plunge depth deeper if the workpiece tolerances are greater.

  7. Why do I rapid into the part instead of feeding slowly like a rigid tool holder?
    • Feeding slowly into the workpiece will cause the tool bit to drill down into the material.
    • This may cause the tip of the tool bit to break prematurely.
    • We recommend plunging at a feedrate of 200 ipm or more.
    • Plunging the tool rapidly into the workpiece instead of feeding slow reduces the overall cycle time of the engraving job and increases the life of the engraving tool bit.
    • View speeds and feeds here.

  8. How do I control the engraving depth?
    • By adjusting the spindle speed and feedrate (speeds and feeds).
    • The faster the feedrate, the less deep the tool will engrave.
    • The slower the feedrate, the deeper the engraving.
    • Spring Loaded Engraving Tool Feedrates are approximately 3 - 5x faster than using a rigid tool.
    • View speeds and feeds here.

  9. How deep will the engraving be?
    • When engraving aluminum with a standard tool bit and a light spring, approximately 0.005" - 0.010" per pass.
    • Steel, stainless steel, and harder materials - approximately 0.003" - 0.005" per pass using a Tough Tip Engraving Tool.
    • Greater depths per pass can also be obtained with stronger springs.
    • The engraving obtained depends greatly on the tool bit used. 2L produces many tool bit styles for many materials to be engraved for both shallow and deeper engraving.
    • View most popular tools here.
    • View all engraving tools here.

  10. How do I get a deeper engraving using a Spring Loaded Engraving Tool?
    • Make a second pass (remember: engraving with a Spring Loaded Engraving Tool is much faster than with a rigid tool holder, so making multiple passes is still faster than using a rigid tool).
    • Slow down the feedrate bit. Slower feedrates give the tool more time to cut and produces deeper engraving.
    • Or increase the spindle speed if the machine is capable - this has the same effect and won't alter the cycle time.
    • Use a sharper tool bit (Special tool bits are available for digging deeper in Steels and Aluminums).
    • View most popular tools here.
    • View all engraving tools here.
    • Use a stronger tension spring (stronger springs wear tools more quickly and therefore reduce tool life).
    • View Springs here.


  11. What Engraving Tool Bits do I use?
    • 2L designs, tests, and manufactures our Engraving Tools in house.
    • 2L Engraving Tools are designed for superior performance when used in a Spring Loaded Engraving Tool.  Other producers tools can be used in a Spring Loaded Engraving Tool, however use of a lesser/poor quality tool bit can affect performance and aesthetic end result.
    • View 2L's most popular engraving tools here.
    • View all Engraving Tools we manufacture here.


  12. When do I need to consider using a Depth Control Nosepiece?
    • Typically only when engraving very soft materials, such as plastics, or if you require very precise engraving depths.
    • A Depth Control Nosepiece allows you control engraving depth in 0.001" increments.
    • View depth control nosepiece systems here.


  13. View Quick Ordering Checklist.

 

 

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