Pneumatic (or air) engraving pens are used to create permanent and precise designs in hard surfaces like wood, metal, plastic, and the like. Inside the pen, there is a piston that pumps a stylus with air, to chisel away at the surface so that you don’t have to use both hands to do it in a less precise manner, with a whole lot more effort. While it might be preferred by many to the more traditional and timeless classic of a chisel and hammer, not all pneumatic engraver pens are created equal. Some have more power, others more chisel options, and some still are more comfortable to grip as you create. Ahead, find the top five pneumatic engraving pens, as chosen by ARTNews.
1. Chicago Pneumatic Industrial Engraving Pen
At only a quarter pound, this pneumatic engraving pen is one of the lightest on the market, lightened due to its aluminum frame. But that doesn’t make it any less powerful. In fact, with 32,400 bpm, it’s actually just as high powered as any of the other industrial pens out there, working beautifully on everything from stainless steel to brass, ceramic, glass, and more. Included are a single tip as well as a carrying case to house the 6.5 feet of cord and 5.8-inch-long pen.
2. Si Fang Scribe and Engraving Pen
Crafted of aluminum and alloy steel, this pen is lightweight and easy to maneuver. The kit comes with two carbide tips that are easily replaceable, made of durable tungsten carbide. The strong metal allows for the pen to work flawlessly on everything from hardened steel to glass and everything in between. And, at less than $84, it’s a great price for the durability and strength of the pneumatic pen.
3. Proline Amazon Air Scribe Engraving Pen
With this pneumatic air scribe, you get the pen, a tip, and a clear carrying case. While it packs a strong punch, it is specifically engineered to use less air pressure (at one cfm), which means that your compressor won’t be working on overdrive, no matter how hard the job. The pen weighs a mere pound, and measures only six inches in length, making it particularly easy to maneuver.
4. Sioux Air Engraving Pen
This pen is slightly heavier than others, weighing roughly three pounds total, but it’s easy to grip and sturdy to use, making it one of ARTNews’ favorites. Made of high-quality stainless steel, there are two separate textured grip points that aid control when maneuvering the pen along your surface of choice. It is slightly less powered than some others, delivering 13,000 bpm, but is excellent on slightly softer surfaces, like plastic and ceramic. The kit also includes three carbide tipped points: 45°, 30°, and 15°.
5. Gison Air Engraving Pen
This might be the most expensive of the bunch, but it’s the most powerful as well. Clocking in at a stroke speed of 34,000 bpm, it takes less effort and time to chisel into harder surfaces as you work. This particular model includes only a medium point, but a small and a large can be purchased separately and easily swapped out. The pen itself boasts a tough stainless-steel housing and a textured grip right before the tip to ensure that you get a good hold on it as you work.