Burnishing is an engraving technique that produces distinctive, highly visible results on metal, particularly color coated metal. Burnishing removes the top layer, or color coating, exposing the bare metal. The best results are obtained by using very light spindle pressure, preferably with an EZ-Rider or Featherweight burnishing adapter.
Choosing the Right Burnishing Tools:
- Diamond & Carbide Burnishing Cutters
- There are two types of burnishing cutters (also known as burnishers). One has a faceted shaped, carbide tip and the other has a diamond tip (these are referred to as diamond burnishers or rotating diamonds). Diamond burnishers last longer and produce a smoother cut than carbide burnishers.
- Burnishing Adapters
- When burnishing, you should use a very light touch. An adapter helps achieve this by using an adjustable spring mechanism to relieve excess downward pressure from the spindle. This allows the cutter to glide over the engraving surface without cutting too deeply. This is particularly important when engraving soft metals.
Burnishing vs. Diamond Drag:
This one you will have to experiment with, since much of the decision is mostly a matter of personal taste and preference. However, we typically recommend diamond drag for bare or uncolored metals such as brass, gold and silver. When working with coated or colored metals, glass, acrylic, or varnished wood a diamond burnisher is the way to go. Burnishing adds a beautiful smooth look to your work.