Engraver inquiry ... Any suggestions for a setup?


I have made jewellery for several decades and produced a number of items over the years with the use of hand engravers. I have a reasonable variety of simple engraving blanks that I shaped with my GRS power hone , but I have never been very successful with this art.
I am hoping to invest in some sort of power engraving system, be it air managed or CO2 perhaps

I see lots of different graving systems for sale … for 100’s $ to 1000’s$$$

Can anyone lead me to a source of information so that I can buy a setup that will be functional and excellent.

Many thanks in advance … I love this place


TerryV from Vancouver Island

I personally use a GRS GraverMaxSC, with a Silentaire compressor, and like it very much.


(I think i have the 50-15 model…)
(Remember to “blow out” the tank frequently…)

Here is another great website…Steve Lindsay

I did see an interesting electric engraving machine that does NOT need an air compressor, being used in a setting video by Peter Keep on his training website (it was a video on Fishtail Setting)
For what I could see, it worked quite well…


here is a website for the PulseGraver…


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After nearly 50 years of making jewelry, I decided to give engraving a try. I did a lot of research and found Steve Lindsay Engraving. I started with Steve’s hand engraving set up so that I would get a feel for what was happening, but knew that I would quickly graduate to pneumatic engraving. A few months later I bought Steve’s Air Graver and a number of templates and have been having a ball ever since. I had a noisy pancake compressor that I used for a couple months, but eventually bought a California Air Tools compressor to use as a dedicated engraving air compressor. It is fairly quiet. I now realize that getting any good at engraving takes a lifetime. You can also look at Sam Alfano… He and Steve do wonderful work. They also have a large number of very talented artists who follow them. I have found that you need to decide where your interests lie. Gun engraving is a big part of the engraving world. I am fascinated by the work, but have little interest in pursuing it. At nearly 73, I will stay with trying to cut artful lines in metal knowing that I will never be as good as Steve, Sam and many of the artists that they influence and especially those who came before them. Recognize that engraving is a very old art form with a rich history. Take some time to study it. Finally, be prepared to spend some money as it can get a bit expensive. Good luck…Rob



and, here is an interesting decibal chart, for reference when researching air compressors…
I believe my Silenteaire is about 40 decibals…


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I am almost totally deaf, so it really doesn’t matter to me, but the noise that my pancake compressor made was a real problem for others in the house. I researched noise vs expense and chose the California Air Tools model 2010A. I originally bought a smaller, quieter one, but it would not keep up with my air turbine. I believe that the 2010A is rated at 55 dB. More importantly, no one complains about the noise.



Oh, I meant to post Steve Lindsay’s website too…

Beautiful air gravers…


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If you go to my blog, you will find many tutorial essays on the topics of gravers. This is a great guide in how these are used & maintained.
There are now 145 essays on graver cutting, their usage and how they are polished.
The cost are minimal and not in any large amounts. I suggest you read my blog and get well acquainted with these blades.
I’m writing to you from my hospital bed, but your letter is very important to me.
Here is my blog address & read the spelling and all words are joined together.
This blog is for FREE. Write back to me if you find it interesting.

“Gerry, on my busy iPhone”


Hey Gerry

Great resource … you are a GEM, sir! In the first 5 minute dive on your blog I learned so much!

Thank you … Its going to take some time to get through it but I will

Sorry to hear you are feeling ill … Get well soon

TerryV (Vancouver Island)

I can hear quite well so a constantly running loud compressor would drive me nuts … But the quieter units are $$$$ … Mind you most of the tools to make jewellery are costly (especially anything of quality)

Thank you for your input … I very much appreciate this!

Cheers and all the best


Hi Julie

Many thanks for the info and links … The art of engraving is truly many different things depending on what ones chooses to engrave and what style, etc. Its amazing how many different air powered engravers are made (And I was reading that they can be run on a CO2 cyllinder as well … silent running!
I tried to sign up to Steve’s website but no luck yet in getting an email link word pass.
Hope to find my way in there ASAP
Thank you again for your help … Its so very appreciated

All the best from Vancouver Island


Compressed air is quite interesting as a media, much like electricity and water.
The source (compressor) do not need to be in the same room you are working in,
if you have facilities to house it elsewhere that is.



Thats a great point

Why not invest in a good length of hose and run a louder unit outside (would be a lot less expensive than a quiet compressor)

In my case the carport is next to my workshop so it can be housed there … I also keep and run my kilns there! A lot less smoke inside :wink:
Thanks for you’re input


Unless you live where the temperature goes down to minus 20. I would rather not have condensed water in my air reservoir, lines and regulator freeze. If that weren’t a problem, I would use a long hose. I also like be able to shut it off when not in use. They do tend to leak and the compressor would run on and off for days if we’re away. I might forget to do this if it were outside of my shop. Large shops do have permanent shop air installations with automated control systems.


I actually built my own out of one of those emergency 12v tire inflators. Was a fun little project! I think the total cost was right around $100, including the cost of the ammo can I put it all in.
It works pretty well. Has a speed control, and after I 3D printed some little flexible supports, it’s really dang near silent. Only thing I’m kind of hunting for now is a way to modify the handpiece I got (a $20 one from China) to be a bit heavier, as well as needing to fine tune the weight of the hammer a little.