Engraving a knife blade

I just received my first desktop CNC. As you can guess by the forum, its a Nomad 3. I have been beating my head trying to think of a Christmas gift for my team of 15 Technicians. I am thinking a pocket knife would be great. I want to engrave something on the blade though. Will the Nomad do this? What is the best tool for the job in your opinion? The engraving will be something simple like their name and maybe my initials.

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Hi @DwayneB,

Engraving something on the surface of a metal piece sounds like a job for a diamond-drag bit, like the McEtcher

@peteseyeview apparently did that just yesterday on titanium, so my guess is it would work in pretty much any blade steel.

If you are on Instagram, check out Carbide3D’s post from yesterday, about making a custom belt buckle on a Nomad (alternative gift idea for your team ?)

When one needs to engrave deeper than just scratching the surface, a PCB engraver might be the right tool (example from the store), but steel is probably a bit too much to ask in that case.


Yup, very light engraving indeed, but it looks great.

I’ve engraved tool steel, pre-heat treatment. It might be possible and worth a try to do a very light (but still much deeper than diamond drag) engraving on a hardened blade. I’d say set your zero with a piece of paper (better to start a hair high rather than risk too deep a cut on the first pass) aim for a depth of cut of 0.002" per stepdown until about 0.005-6" total depth of cut. That will survive polishing and scuffs much better.


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