If you want to have your signs engraved, you're generally going to find yourself choosing between laser engraving and rotary engraving. As you might well imagine, laser engraving uses a focused beam of light to cut into the material. In contrast, a rotary engraver uses a tool spinning at high speed.
Since laser engraving is the newer technology, many people assume that it's the superior option. However, there's a lot that rotary engraving can do that laser engraving cannot; here are just four signs that you should go rotary.
1. You Want a Range of Colour and Material Options
Probably the central problem that comes along with laser engraving is that it only works with certain materials. Rotary engravers can use anything from stainless steel to plastic with equal success, but laser engraving requires the use of special plastics, and not all colours will be available in those plastics.
If you want your sign to use a certain material or, more importantly, use the exact colours associated with your business, you might find that only rotary engraving is suitable. Additionally, that greater range of material options means that rotary systems can usually work with less expensive materials that are easier to process, which might be worth keeping in mind if you have a tight budget to keep to.
2. You Want a Deep Cut
Laser engraving seems like it would be a lot more powerful than rotary engraving, but it actually cannot go as deep. Lasers cannot penetrate nearly as far into a material as rotary tools, which isn't always a problem. However, signs generally benefit from deeper engraving to ensure that they can be properly painted and last for as long as possible.
3. You Want an Authentic Appearance
For laser engraving to work, the laser needs to burn away the top layer of a surface, and its lines tend to look a little too clean, lacking the feel of traditional rotary engraving. Rotary engraving provides a look that is extremely authentic, which is often important to businesses that need their signs engraved. You'll also be able to work with variable depths when you use a rotary engraving system, providing greater versatility.
4. You Have a Larger Order
If you need lots of signs made, you'll find that rotary engraving is usually able to get the job done faster. Simple characters can be engraved a lot faster when a rotary system is used, and only one pass will need to be made. The difference in duration between each method will be minimal with a smaller order, but you might find yourself waiting some time for a larger order if you opt for laser engraving.