How Much Does Engraving Cost?

This is a familiar question we are asked. Most commonly it is asked in the form of, “how much does the engraving cost per letter?”

The cost of a custom engraving varies greatly and is largely dependent on three main things – the dimensions of the area engraved, the difficulty of being able to engrave the item, and the size of the font or imagery being chosen for the engraving.

Leather knife sheath engraved with bighorn sheep sketch.

The per-letter-cost hearkens back to days when engraving was painstakingly done by hand with a rotary diamond bit. The letters were in typeface, much like an old printing press, and it was easy to calculate the cost per letter. Predetermined letter spacing had a specific height that made it very easy to calculate the total man-hours it would take to complete a piece. Now, with the addition of computer-aided laser engraving, we can engrave imagery as well as text and that type of calculation is not the easiest way to figure out the total cost for custom laser engraving.

At Engraved., we calculate based on the final dimensions of the engraving. We create a design proof with the text/imagery laid out according to scale and we are able to accurately figure out the total cost of the custom engraving easily. 

Green stemless wineglass with 'g' laser engraved on it.

Another factor in calculating total cost is the curvature/unwieldiness of the item. With laser engraving, we are required to have a flat, level surface in order to achieve a consistent engraved result. Usually, this is achieved with what is known as jigging. Jigs can be made from wood, metal, or plastic and in our case, they are often comprised of scrap materials. Our lasers do have a rotary attachment, so we can engrave smaller areas on curved items (such as wine glasses, bottles, or even urns). However, there is a certain amount of set-up time required to reach that precise leveling so the end product is a beautiful, crisp engraving.

Brass bowl engraved with Mandarin.

We have engraved all sorts of interestingly shaped items and we definitely enjoy those projects that make us think outside of the box!

Lastly we come to font and/or imagery choice. Fonts will have different letter heights and per-spacing options. We have narrowed down customer-favorites to three main styles: Serif, (Which means “dash or line” in late 18th century Dutch origin. Serif has the decorative feet and more traditional typeface look, such as Times New Roman.), Sans serif (Without the decorative feet and more computer-esque looking.  Arial is a Sans Serif font.), and Calligraphy or Hand Lettered. (Calligraphy is similar to the style you would see on a very important certificate of achievement. Hand Lettered is a newer type of font with a less mechanical look to it and more of an artistic flair.) We’ve compiled a list of fonts here that encompass those three main types.
Imagery choice is all about what you envision! We can engrave almost anything except for trademarked images/logos.

Laser engraved deer skull with combination bow and arrow

The cost of engraving can vary greatly from project to project, but a good starting point is $30 for a smaller than 3" engraving. We are always happy to provide a quote for any custom engraving project. You can enter your information on this custom order form, or feel free to give us a call at (719) 600-3110.

We look forward to helping you create a gift that makes a statement!

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