Should I choose hand engraving or mechanical engraving?

For many friends who like to play, machine carving and hand carving will always be an inescapable topic. At present, most of the mechanical carving works are processed by machine and then manually refined. This is so that many collectors can not distinguish, worried about the high price of the carved art is actually a batch of machine processing crafts! So today to talk about the core difference between manual engraving and machine engraving, so that we can better choose.

First of all, we have to understand that, whether it is hand-carved or machine-carved, the fundamental difference is not only the different ways of carving, the effect is also different. Therefore, we can not generalize that hand-carved works are more valuable than machine-carved.

Hand carving often pays attention to the details of the carving. However, machine carving can not complete the details of the carving, many details are not manually carved in place. Hand engraving takes a very long time to complete, while machine engraving can generally be completed in half a day. Machine engraving can achieve full automation of engraving. Mechanical engraving has a better performance in terms of engraving speed, engraving precision, engraving precision, and so on. It can easily and quickly carve realistic and delicate objects on a variety of materials. Machine engraving has no labor cost, so the price is cheap. The cost of hand carving is very high, especially the master carving, so the price is much higher than the machine carving.

The craft of manual engraving is smart and elegant, on the contrary, the machine engraving is dull and rigid. Pure hand-carved artisans are carvers with the soul of the sculptor. The computer engraving again fine is also unable to reach the carving craftsman’s carving knife smoothly, can not make the carving craftsman’s carving knife elegant, especially the details of the machine engraving are fuzzy.

So how do we distinguish hand engraving from machine engraving at the product level? It’s not that complicated. There are three basic things we can do to make a good distinction.

Engraving marks are different

Hand carving is one of the oldest traditional crafts. The presentation of good or bad work depends entirely on the hands of the carving master. This process requires not only creativity and aesthetics but also a high technical level. According to the nature of a piece of material, different carving techniques and carving techniques should be adopted. Therefore, each piece of work condenses the efforts of the engraver and also makes the sculpture full of human touch. The works created by some masters have a very high collection value, so many consumers are willing to pay for them.

Hand carving and machine carving in the works left on the carving marks are different. In the process of hand engraving, the engraver has to use different tools, such as a pneumatic engraver, and the size of the force when engraving is not the same. Therefore, the carved marks left behind have changes in depth, thickness, width, and narrowness. The machine engraving is based on the computer set template through the rotation of the mechanical wheel on the material pattern, the traces left are smooth and consistent. Sometimes, computer engraving will not adjust the height of the grinding head according to the depth of the plane but just copy and paste the general operation according to the picture sample. So sometimes waiting for the plane carvings often appear as part of the blurred lines.

The appearance of the artwork is also different

In contrast to machine carving, hand-carving is a highly skilled and artisanal process that imparts a unique dynamism and three-dimensional quality to the finished piece.  The edge of a hand-carved design typically exhibits a slightly indented arc, a testament to the master carver’s deft manipulation of the tool as it works, resulting in a more fluid and organic line.  This technique not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of the carving but also imparts a sense of life and movement that is often lacking in machine-made pieces.

On the other hand, machine carving tends to produce a more uniform and planar effect, lacking the three-dimensionality and dynamic quality of hand-carving.  The lines created by machine carving are often stiff and unyielding, lacking the flexibility and vitality found in hand-carved work.  As a result, the overall appearance of machine-carved pieces can appear stilted and uninspired, with lines that are typically thicker and lacking in finesse.

Furthermore, the nature of machine carving, which involves a computer-controlled engraving head working perpendicular to the surface, results in straighter, less curved edges.  This approach, while efficient and precise, lacks the artisanal touch and unique characteristics that are the hallmark of hand-carving.

In summary, while machine carving has its own utility and efficiency, hand carving remains the preferred method for creating pieces that exhibit a higher degree of artistry, dynamism, and three-dimensionality.  The unique qualities imparted by hand-carving, such as its curved edges and flexible lines, are not easily replicated by machines and are the essence of what makes hand-carved work so distinctive and coveted.

The design of the work and the use of color are different

This is the most helpful distinction. The level design of machine engraving is generally relatively simple and regular, while manual engraving is not restricted to design and creation according to the characteristics of different raw materials. This is the preserve of hand carving. As small as a leaf and the lips of the characters can use their unique colors to present a more realistic artistic conception, which is completely beyond the reach of machine engraving.

But on the contrary, machine carving also has advantages. It can not only save time but also increase productivity and save costs. In addition, it has a wide choice of subject matter. So most businesses are very fond of machine carving. The common method of machine carving on the market is computer fine carving. Computer engraving is to enter the engraving pattern on the computer so that the machine engraves. Its accuracy is also very good.

However, from the perspective of finished effect and personalization, I still recommend hand engraving! There is another important reason why manual engraving is generally optimistic in the field of collection: from the technical level of the carving master, manual engraving makes it easier to implant personal emotions so that the sculpture has a unique artistic value. Machine engraving can not achieve this effect, because any machine engraving can only complete 80%, and the rest must be completed by hand.