How To Sharpen Hand Engraving Tools

Engravings on any surface are a work of art and look amazingly beautiful. But over time, engraving tools lose their sharpness and it becomes impossible to get a good engraving result with them. In this article, we are going to discuss how to sharpen hand engraving tools that give your work a neat and sharp look. These tips will give your engravers a perfect angle and guaranteed sharpness every time. You can use this on your old engraving tools to make them work like new ones, saving you hassle and money on the way. Read on further to learn about how to sharpen hand engraving tools.

How To Sharpen Hand Engraving Tools

How To Sharpen Hand Engraving Tools With Minimum Effort

These simple tips will make your hand-engraving tools sharp in no time without putting much effort. Let’s have a look.

1] Get Rid Of Debris From The Tools

How To Sharpen Hand Engraving Tools

Start by removing any debris from the surface of the tools. Use a steel wire or a brush and pour the cleansing solution or polish to make your work easier. Use a rotating movement to clean as it will get rid of even the stubborn debris, and rust from the surface. Repeat the process on all sides and angles to get an even cleaning.

2] Restore The Sharpness Of The Tool

How To Sharpen Hand Engraving Tools

After properly cleansing the tool’s surface, you must go ahead with sharpening the tools. Use an appropriate sharpening system or a stone to restore the sharpness of the tools. You might require a different system or a similar one depending on the types of tools you have. If you are using a stone, then you must rub on the tool’s blade and surface at an angle several times.

3] Rub On The Right Angles

How To Sharpen Hand Engraving Tools

While sharpening your tools with the help of a sharpening system of stones, it is important to take care that you do not rub along the wrong angles. The proper angle can be determined by the use of the tool. This can make your work more easy and effortless but sharpening on wrong angles will not give you appropriate results.

4] Grinding The Tools

How To Sharpen Hand Engraving Tools

If you are looking for how to sharpen hand engraving tools, this is one important step that must not be avoided. The process of grinding is done to smoothen the edges of the tools and give a sleek finish to them. Whether you need to deburr your tool after cutting, or after welding, deburring tools can be highly effective. Use sandpaper or a sanding stone to achieve a finished look by rubbing it at a slight angle finishing it to the tip of the tool.

5] Lubricate The Tool

How To Sharpen Hand Engraving Tools

It is a recommended that you must lubricate the tools in the process to sharpen them. This will prevent the tools from rusting and also maintain the sharpness of your engraving tools for a longer time. It also helps reduce friction, heat, and wear and make sure to clean off the excess lubricant from the surface and from letting it sit for long.

Some Tips On How To Sharpen Hand Engraving Tools

These are some other tips that will help you to sharpen your engraving tools.

1] Repeat The Process Of Sharpening Of Tool

How To Sharpen Hand Engraving Tools

After completing the process of sharpening your tools, repeat the process again several times or as when required. This is to restore the sharpness and also avoid it from getting worn out easily.

2] Do Not Let The Engraving Tools Wet

How To Sharpen Hand Engraving Tools

To make your tools stay good for a longer period of time, you must avoid keeping it in places of moisture or avoid getting them wet. As the tools can react to outside air coupled with moisture, it can cause rust on the iron surfaces of the tools. This can hamper with sharpness of your tools and you will need to sharpen and smoothen it more frequently.

3] Use A Bench Stone To Sharpen And Smoothen Your Tools

How To Sharpen Hand Engraving Tools

A bench stone also known as oilstones or whetstones helps in enhancing the sharpness of the engraving tools and is one of the best methods if you are looking for how to sharpen hand engraving tools. With the help of this, you can achieve superior results and also costs less and is easier to use than other complicated sharpening tools.

4] Wear Protective Gears While Sharpening Tools

How To Sharpen Hand Engraving Tools

It is important to wear protective gear such as eyewear or gloves while sharpening the tools, to save yourself from accidental injuries.

As you are involved in working with sharp objects, you can cut your hands while sharpening or even small objects can enter and hurt your eyes while smoothing them.


As engraving requires you a lot of patience working with engraving tools, they needs to be sharp and functional.  A properly sharpened tool will make your work easier and more effective. While professional sharpening may cost a little too much and is not feasible as well, you can always do it in the comfort of your home. Our article on how to sharpen hand engraving tools helps you to sharpen your tools effectively and easily. We hope you find it useful.


1] Can I use a grinding machine for sharpening my hand engraving tools?

No, it is not recommended to use a grounding machine for sharpening hand engraving tools as it can overheat the metal due to constant rubbing. It is only used to smoothen out the edges.

2] Why to sharpen engraving tools?

It is important to sharpen hand engraving tools as they get worn out due to constant use and do not provide good results in engraving after using them for certain times. This is why it is important to sharpen the tools from time to time.

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