GraverMax vs Gravermate

Dear Orchid World, I am considering buying either a gravermax or
gravermate. I plan to use it to set stone, carve metal and/or stones
and eventually engrave in that order. Price is a consideration
unless you all definitely say I need a gravermax. Would the
gravermate suffice? thanks, Vince, Eugene, OR.


Sorry, been so long since I sat down to the “Mate”, I forgot it does
have a port for an airtool - it only has one port for handpieces…
so maybe there is not all that much difference…

Brian Marshall


In my opinion, the Gravermax would be the tool of choice because of
the variable rate of impact. If cost is a consideration, try the
Magnagraver II with Vari-pact, from Ngraver Co. The machine a does not
need an air supply, it uses a geared-head flex shaft, and is an
excellent piece of equipment. I have used both of the above

Contact: The Ngraver Co. 1-860-823-1533


Chuck Long
Certified member Firearms Engravers Guild of


i have used both the gravermate and the gravermax. the gravermate
uses its own power source (a vacuum pump) that makes a fair amount of
noise. the gravermax requires a separate compressor, but is smoother
and (i think) easier to use. i own the gravermate, because i use it
only occasionally and like the fact that i can easily carry it to
different benches.

if you already have a compressor, or plan to get one, and plan to use
it only at your stonesetting/engraving bench, the gravermax is the
hands down choice.

Doug Zaruba

Vince, I went thru the same wondering process about 6 months ago… I
spoke to many people and all said Gravermax!!! I bought it and I won’t
ever regret it. I use it every day to set stones, among other things…
The major difference is the adjustment on the gravermax to be able to
adjust from a low range of beats to a high range. The graver mate does
not have this adjustment it beats at a constant all the time. I do
use the adjustment, I think it is needed. These units are VERY sturdy
mahcines. you will buy one in your life probably… buy the gravermax…
it isn’t that much more… And trust me… you won’t be sorry…Ask
Elaine at Gesswein… she will give you all the reasons in the world to
buy the Gravermax… Gesswein’s number is 1-800-243-4466. Ask for
Elaine. Tell her I made you call her… lol

Marc Williams, MarcCo jewelry Mfg.

Hello Vince!

If you followed the rolling mill thread I suspect the answers you
will get will run the same. Spend for the best you can afford. The
gravermeister has less range when considering the adjustment for
beats per minute. It has a small (fairly powerful) self-contained air
compressor. I haven’t used one honestly; but I do have a gravermax.
My suggestion to you is to call GRS 1-800-835-3519. This won’t be the
first time they have had this question. They can send you videos,
maybe a couple shops with either piece of equipment in your area.
They have demonstrations at the major jewelry shows. Several of the
tool suppliers also have demonstrators. Try them both out if
possible. Whatever you buy that is what you will be happy and
adaptable with. When you get GRS info and have decided which to buy
throw your business to your tool supplier. GRS respects their market
and you won’t save money buying direct. Support those that are
supporting you. Good luck! Tim


If you are gonna seriously set stones, having multiple handpieces
with the quick-change collets as well as the quick-change airline
tubing connectors, is more than worth the extra cost. You can do this
with the GraverMate as well as the GraverMax… The biggest
difference is in that the GraverMax you have two places to connect
the two handpieces - and a port to attach a highspeed airtool, versus
only one connection for a handpiece - and no port for an airtool on
the GraverMate. I use almost every tool ever made for both machines,
and I would take the Max hands down, given the choice. (and a few
bucks more!) Sometimes one will come up for sale used if you are not
too much of a hurry. (You may also be able to do light setting with
the “System 3”.)

No, I am not a salesman for GRS - I’ve just put their stuff to the
test for 26 years, and I have yet to wear out even my old
GraverMeister - which is manufacturers’ number 173 - and used
daily… I have put 3 rebuild kits into it, over a quarter century,
and replaced the tubing once - after a shop fire.

Lemme know if you need to know anything else about 'em.

Brian P. Marshall
Stockton Jewelry Arts School
708 W. Swain Rd.
Stockton, CA 95207
209-477-6535 Workshop/Classrooms

Vince, The gravermax is more versatile and allows a wider range of
control. I have used the gravermax for 12-13yrs with ease and
pleasure. I recommend the buying the best with your extensive use
plans. Its well worth the investment. Also the heavy weight
engravers block is vastly superior to lighter units I have used in
the past. Marcus Amshoff

Vince, GRS offers 4 machines: GraverMax, GraverMate, GraverMeister and
System 3. The GraverMax offers a greatest range of strokes per minute,
400 to 4,000, and can be set at an infinite, desired strokes/minute
setting. The GraverMate is preset at 2,300 strokes/minute. The
GraverMax has two impact handpiece ports versus one impact handpiece
port for the GraverMate. Both have air-driven, rotary handpiece ports.
The GraverMeister, a third machine, has a self-contained air system so
you don’t have the compressor requirement (GraverMax and GraverMate).
You can vary the strokes per minute by moving a lever on the front.
The range is 1600 to 2400 in perhaps 5 presets. I believe you can
attach only one impact piece and there is no rotary handpiece port.
The System 3 is basically a regulator, handpiece and footpedal that
has to be attached to a compressor. The regulator and footpedal
provide its control. I tried it and did not care for it as it does not
approach any of the above three machines.

Basically, you’re paying for greater, more subtle control (slower,
harder strokes to faster, lighter strokes) and the convenience of the
second impact port when you buy a GraverMax. The single impact port on
the GraverMate can be compensated for by putting on quick connect
adapters to make switching handpieces relatively easy. But, given the
GraverMate is preset, I don’t think you can get as much out of the
large impact handpiece accessory which you would tend to run at speeds
slower than 2,300 spm. The GraverMeister is expensive and not as
flexible as the GraverMax so you would only buy it if you didn’t want
to buy a compressor or if you wanted a compact, portable system (since
doesn’t need compressor) and didn’t need the rotary port or infinite
setting control. The System 3 is not for the serious/production
engraver or stone setter and it does still require a compressor.

Personally, I like the being to adjust the strokes per minute because
some applications require slow, heavy strokes (hogging metal) while
others require lighter, faster strokes (delicate texturing, some
plannishing). Here are prices out of catalog #45 Gesswein, the most
current available:

GraverMax w/ small impact handpiece					$875.15
GraverMax w/ #710 quick change handpiece			$967.00

GraverMate w/ small impact handpiece					$518.75

GraverMeister w/#712* quick change handpiece		$964.29

GraverMeister w/#812* small quick change handpiece	$936.00

*uses handpieces different from those for Max and Mate so if you
upgrade to a Max in the future, I don’t think you can use your Meister

System 3/quick change handpiece						$298.00

As you can see, the Max and Meister are comparable in price so if you
have the compressor and don’t require easy portability, buy the
GraverMax. If you’re serious about engraving or stonesetting, don’t
buy the System 3. If you want economic price, but without variable
control, there is the GraverMate.

I have a GraverMax. It’s great. With the exception of the System 3,
I’ve liked just about everything put out by GRS.

Hope this helps you.

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