Best Metal Engraving Books 2021 [Updated]

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List of Best Metal Engraving Books For Beginners & Experts 2021 [Updated]

metal engraving books
Detailed metal engraving methods can be learned from books

Metal engraving is very niche craft that can produce a variety of beautiful work for different purposes. Although this craft can appear very intimidating, that are many resources available to make this craft more accessible for those who would like to learn more about it.

Reading books about metal engraving can be a great way to establish a solid amount of knowledge of the craft and can be help you get started on some engraving projects. Books can provide technical details and tips from experienced engravers that may not be easily founded in other sources.

While hands-on practice is critical to this type of craft, it is also important to understand the basics of how engraving works and how tools are used. Experts in the field could also afford to learn more about techniques that other professionals and experts have used in their craft.

The following list of books highlights the features that can be beneficial for those learning more about metal engraving and those who would like to draw inspiration for their own projects. These books have been written by experts in their fields and can provide a wealth of knowledge for anyone who wants to start engraving.

1) Art of Engraving: A Book of Instructions

Art of Engraving: A Book of Instructions
50 Reviews
Art of Engraving: A Book of Instructions
  • Magnificent, deluxe book with nearly 1400 photos
  • An instant classic on which no effort was spared
  • Gives you complete instruction in the art of engraving

Recommended for: Beginner to Expert

Art of Engraving: A Book of Instructions by James B. Meek is a fantastic book about engraving that will teach you how to to engrave from beginning to end. This book is great for people who have no or little background knowledge on the subject and would like to learn more about it.

The great part about this book is that it teaches you how to draw practice scrolls and layouts prior to more advanced techniques. After establishing basic engraving skills, the you will learn how to apply the designs you made to an actual workpiece.

Cutting metal is a very creative process that requires a good foundation. This comprehensive book is great for learning the basics, but it can also promote the development of existing skills with better technique. Advanced engravers can benefit from readings this book or having it in their arsenal.

Although this particular book caters to gunsmiths and bladesmiths, any metal craftsman will find that the information in this book can apply to any sort of metal engraving project. In fact, many metalsmiths highly praise this engraving book in terms of information and usability.

The author is incredibly experienced in the field and the content he provides within the text is invaluable. Aside from descriptive language and clear instructions, the book features over a thousand photographs, designs, and illustrations to help you follow along. The binding of a book is especially designed so that it may lie flat while you read and reference its pages.


Pros Cons
  • Detailed information
  • Photographs and illustrations
  • Great design
  • Great reference book
  • Provides solid foundation in engraving
  • Does not solely cater to advanced engravers

2) Engraving on Precious Metals

Engraving on Precious Metals
36 Reviews
Engraving on Precious Metals
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Hardcover Book
  • Brittain, A. (Author)

Recommended for: Beginner to Expert

Engraving on Precious Metals by A. Brittain and P. Morton is a precious metal engraving book aimed at professionals, but can also be useful for people who would like to learn more about this craft. However, professional or commercial jewelry engravers will be able to glean a wealth of knowledge from the experienced authors.

The book provides a comprehensive overview of the craft itself as well as any practices or techniques that may not be well known. Although hand engraving is certainly covered, the use of machine engravers are also included in the text. This content is great for people who would like to learn how to use different tools or different techniques to produce a similar result.

Over 250 drawings are included in the book that allow the reader to follow along with the projects described in the text. The tips and hints that accompany these drawings can be extremely helpful to those who are trying to progress in their engraving career.

Although the craft can be daunting, the text is written in a very easy-to-understand manner while tackling very specific technical subjects. The book does a great job of communicating these difficult subjects to those who may not have that much experience in the craft.

Despite the main focus on engraving, the authors also took the time to include a general description of other related practices, such as soldering, polishing, and inlaying. This added information truly makes the book a complete guide to previous metal engraving.

Pros Cons
  • Great for beginners
  • Over 250 drawings and illustrations
  • Written by experienced commercial engravers
  • Discusses many different techniques and equipment use
  • Some information may be repetitive for the expert or professional engraver

3) The Jewelry Engraver’s Manual

The Jewelry Engravers Manual (Dover Craft Books)
167 Reviews
The Jewelry Engravers Manual (Dover Craft Books)
  • Hardy, R. Allen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 160 Pages - 06/22/1994 (Publication Date) - Dover Publications (Publisher)

Recommended for: Beginners

The Jewelry Engraver’s Manual by R. Allen Hardy and John J. Bowman is another great book about jewelry engraving that engages beginners and can appeal to professionals. This books provides good background information about engraving that is easy to follow.

In fact, the standout feature of this book is that it includes step-by-step instructions and illustrations for readers to actually follow along every step of the process. The illustrations are incredibly detailed, including specific information about cutting initials and inscriptions in different writing formats and alphabets. Some of these formats include script, block letters, and monograms.

In addition to lettering, the book also depicts how to correctly decorate and embellish your engraving, which is important to the finished look of your piece. The maintenance of any tools and equipment you use is also addressed, teaching you how to properly care for your instruments.

The glossary of the books another great format of information included in the book that will allow readers to quickly look up terminology and learn the trade’s jargon. The question-and-answer section of the book can also be very helpful, as it includes common questions with corresponding answers that beginners may have about the craft.

Pros Cons
  • Great for beginners
  • Step-by-step instructions with illustrations
  • Glossary of terms
  • Question-an-answer section
  • Not directed at experts or professionals

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