Engraving machines

I’m considering buying some sort of engraving system for my small
retail store; does anyone have any personal experience with
engraving? I’m just starting to research this and so haven’t formed
any opinions yet as to whether I should go with one of the old
hand-held metal systems where you simply follow a pattern or one of
the MUCH more expensive computurized machines by Signature Engraving
or Hermes which lets you engrave practically anything.

I’d especially enjoy hearing from someone whom has purchases one of
the computerized systems–was it worth the initial investment?


Be sure to do your math on this before you purchase. The
computerized systems do some really amazing things, faster and better
than any other method, BUT, can you realistically rationalize the
cost? I have looked into Signature and other systems, and found that
I simply could not spend enough time running the engraving machine to
pay for itself, verses take myself away from far more profitable work
at the bench. If you want to train a low wage hourly worker to run
it, and have enough engraving work to cover machine expense, then
great, but otherwise, I couldn’t rationalize the REAL EXPENSE of not
performing bench work myself.

Other than cost, it depends on what AND how much you want to do. I
have manual and my brother-in-law has computerized(Hermes). I have
several fonts (not cheap). He has many many many fonts and even
logos and pictures. I usually engrave rather than stamp quality
marks and signature very satisfactorily but low volume one-of-a-kind
pieces. He engraves quantity. With both you need to be able to
hold/clamp firmly what you engrave. Remember, your hand can slip out
of the letter grove and make a mess or the computer can hang up (not
common?). Training is also a consideration. If you and your
employees are computer literate, then that is easier. If you just
want to pay for the machine quickly, the computerized one can really
crank out some name plates and signs (if you don’t have a sign shop
nearby). Good luck, Regis