Engraving Tool Selection Assistance

Choose the Best Tool Bit for the Material Being Engraved with our Extensive Engraving Tool Selection Help

2L’s Solid Carbide Engraving Tools, End Mills, and Cutting Tool Bits are made from a Premium Ultra Fine Submicron Grade Solid Carbide for maximum tool strength and durability. 

We design and test our tools on many materials and manufacture in house to ensure we produce the finest cutters available.

Our Engraving Tools to engrave with: CNC Milling Machines, Standard Holders Such as Collets, End Mill Holders, or Shrink Fit Holders, 2L Spring Loaded Engraving Tools, Table Top or Top Loading Engraving Machines, and many other Industrial Engraving and Marking Equipment. 

The type of tool bit used and the material you are engraving or cutting will affect your end result. Our list below indicates the materials our cutters are frequently used on and is based on both our in-house testing and customer feedback. As the end result is strongly influenced by several factors you may need to try a few different tool styles or sizes to determine which fits your application best.

To choose the best tool for your application start with the following questions.

1.  Are you using a Spring Loaded Engraving Tool or are you you holding rigidly with a collet or end mill holder?

2.  What material are you engraving or marking?

3.  How large/tall are the letters to be engraved and what is the desired depth?

Try our Engraving Tool Selector to choose an Engraving Tool by the Material being engraved.

Engraving Tool Selection Help - Find the best tool bit for your application
Engraving Tool Selection Help:
Most Commonly Used Engraving Tools With A Spring Loaded Engraving Tool
Hard Materials Tough Tip Engraving Tool for Steels/Hard Materials Standard Conical for Harder Materials Single Flute Conical Ball Nose 2 Flute Conical Ball Nose
Stainless Steel 1 2 3 4
Carbon Steel 1 2 3 4
Tool Steels 1 2 3 4
Gun Steels 1 2 3 4
Cold Rolled Steel 1 2 3 4
Woods (Hard Woods) ——– 1 3 4
Inconel 1 2 3 4
Hastelloy 1 2 3 4
Soft Materials Tough Tip Engraving Tool for Aluminum Standard Conical for Softer Materials Single Flute Conical Ball Nose 2 Flute Conical Ball Nose
Aluminum 1 2 3 4
Aluminum – Standard Anodized 2 1 3 4
Aluminum – Hard Coat Anodized 2 1 3 4
Acrylic – Engraving, 3D Engraving & Reverse
Engraving
——– 2 1 3
Brass 2 1 3 4
Plastics – Generic 3 1 2 4
Copper 3 1 2 4
Small Engraving (under .100″ Tall Letters) Diamond Tip Engraving Tool Carbide Point Engraving Tool
All Materials Use in a Spring Loaded Engraving Tool
with a Heavy Spring.
Engraving Tool Selection Help:
Commonly Used Engraving Tools Held in a Rigid Tool Holder (A Collet or End Mill Holder)
Material/Application Cutting Tool Selection
General Purpose Engraving
  1. Standard Conical – General Purpose
Very Small Engraving

  • Smaller than 0.100″ (2.5mm) Tall Letters
  1. Profiler
  2. Micro Profiler
  3. Diamond Tip
  4. Carbide Point
  5. 2D Data Matrix Tools
  6. Pyramid
3D Engraving
  1. Conical Ballnose – Single Flute
  2. 2 Flute Conical Ballnose
  3. Tough Tip Engraving Tool With Radius
Aluminum

  • 2024 Aluminum
  • 6061 Aluminum
  • 7075 Aluminum
  • Aluminum – General
  1. Standard Conical for Softer Materials
  2. Conical Ballnose – Single Flute
  3. Tough Tip Engraving Tool for Aluminum
  4. Quarter Round for Softer Materials
  5. Profiler for Softer Materials (for very small/fine engraving)
  6. Diamond Tip (for very small/fine engraving)
Aluminum – Anodized
  1. Standard Conical for Softer Materials
  2. Tough Tip Engraving Tool for Aluminum
  3. Conical Ballnose – Single Flute
  4. Diamond Tip (for very small/fine engraving)
  5. Carbide Point (for very small/fine engraving)
  6. 2 Flute Conical Ballnose
  7. Burnishing
  8. Profiler for Softer Materials (for very small/fine engraving)
Aluminum – Hard Coat Anodized
  1. Standard Conical for Softer Materials – 90 Degree included angle with a .015″ tip and larger
  2. Tough Tip Engraving Tool for Aluminum
  3. Conical Ballnose – Single Flute
  4. 2 Flute Conical Ballnose
  5. Profiler for Softer Materials (for very small/fine engraving)
  6. Diamond Tip (for very small/fine engraving)
    7. Carbide Point (for very small/fine engraving)
STEELS

  • 1018 – Low Carbon Steel
  • 1045 – Medium Carbon Steel
  • 4140 High Strength Steel
  • A36 Tool Steel
  • Carbon Steel
  • Cold Rolled Steel
  • Gun Steel
  • Nitinol Steel
  • P-20 Tool Steel
  • Tool Steel
  1. Tough Tip Engraving Tool
  2. Standard Conical – General Purpose for Harder Materials
  3. Conical Ballnose – Single Flute
  4. 2 Flute Conical Ballnose
  5. Quarter Round – General Purpose for Harder Materials
  6. 2D Data Matrix Tools (for very small/fine engraving)
  7. Carbide Point (for very small/fine engraving)
  8. Profiler for General Purpose (for very small/fine engraving)
STAINLESS STEEL

  • 17-4 Stainless Steel
  • 303 Stainless Steel
  • 304 Stainless Steel
  • 316 Stainless Steel
  1. Tough Tip Engraving Tool
  2. Standard Conical – General Purpose for Harder Materials
  3. Conical Ballnose – Single Flute
  4. 2 Flute Conical Ballnose
  5. Quarter Round – General Purpose for Harder Materials
  6. 2D Data Matrix Tools (for very small/fine engraving)
  7. Carbide Point (for very small/fine engraving)
  8. Profiler for General Purpose (for very small/fine engraving)
Painted Metals – Prone to Chipping
  1. Standard Conical for Softer Materials
  2. 2D Data Matrix Tools (for very small/fine engraving)
  3. Carbide Point (for very small/fine engraving)
  4. Diamond Tip (for very small/fine engraving)
OTHER HARD METALS

  • Hastelloy
  • Inconel
  1. Tough Tip Engraving Tool
  2. Standard Conical – General Purpose for Harder Materials
  3. Conical Ballnose – Single Flute
  4. 2 Flute Conical Ballnose
Armor / Armor Plate
  1. Tough Tip Engraving Tool
  2. Armor Mill – this tool should be held rigidly and is not recommended for use with a Spring Loaded Engraving Tool.
SOFTER/GUMMY METALS

  • Brass
  • Bronze
  • Copper
  • Titanium
  1. Standard Conical for Softer Materials
  2. Conical Ballnose – Single Flute
  3. Tough Tip Engraving Tool for Aluminum
  4. Quarter Round for Softer Materials
  5. Profiler for Softer Materials (for very small/fine engraving)
  6. Diamond Tip (for very small/fine engraving)
STONE, ETC.

  • Granite
  • Marble
  • Stone
  • Brick
  1. Tough Tip Engraving Tool
  2. Standard Conical – General Purpose for Harder Materials
  3. Armor Mill – this tool should be held rigidly and is not recommended for use with a Spring Loaded Engraving Tool.
ACRYLIC

  • Acrylic 3D/Reverse Engraving
  1. Conical Ballnose – Single Flute
  2. Standard Conical for Softer Materials
  3. Quarter Round for Softer Materials
  4. Profiler for Softer Materials (for very small/fine engraving)
PLASTICS

  • Engraving Plates
  • HDPE
  • Nylon
  • Plastic – General
  • Polycarbonate
  1. Standard Conical for Softer Materials
  2. Conical Ballnose – Single Flute
  3. Quarter Round for Softer Materials
  4. Profiler for Softer Materials (for very small/fine engraving)
COMPOSITES

  • Carbon Fiber
  • Epoxy Composite
  • Glass Filled Fiber
  • Graphite
  • Honeycomb Materials
  • Modern Composite/Laminates
  • PC Boards
  • Wood Composite
  1. Composite Tool
  2. 2D Data Matrix Tools (for very small/fine engraving)
  3. Tough Tip Engraving Tool
Glass
  1. Diamond Tip (for very small/fine engraving)
  2. Carbide Point (for very small/fine engraving)
  3. 2D Data Matrix Tools (for very small/fine engraving)
  4. Tough Tip Engraving Tool
JEWELRY APPLICATIONS

  • Gold
  • Platinum
  • Silver
  • Wax
  1. Profiler for Softer Materials (for very small/fine engraving)
  2. Standard Conical for Softer Materials
  3. Conical Ballnose – Single Flute
  4. Diamond Tip (for very small/fine engraving)
  5. Pyramid
Corian
  1. Standard Conical – General Purpose for Harder Materials
  2. Profiler for General Purpose (for very small/fine engraving)
Wood

  • Hard and Soft
  • MDF
  1. Standard Conical – General Purpose for Harder Materials
  2. Profiler for General Purpose (for very small/fine engraving)