Etched Glass vs. Engraved Glass

etched glasses

Etched glass and engraved glass are both beautiful presentations of glass and mirrors. On the surface etched glass and engraved glass are the same thing but, in reality, they are not. The differences between the two processes are few but noticeable. The article that follows will help to explain the differences between etched glass and engraved glass as well as the good and bad points of each.

1. Commercially Produced

Etched glass and engraved glass are both produced in mass quantities with exacting standards. In this they are evenly matched but the way they are each made differs greatly. Etched glass that is produced in a commercial setting is done so by using a combination of stencils and a sandblaster. Etched glass is often done by hand so it takes longer to produce than engraved glass. Machines are used to create engraved glass using a rotary stylus to create the lines.

2. Differences in Quality

a glass etched with a flower design

When you look at etched glass or engraved glass they will look to be of similar quality. They are both beautifully manufactured, designed, and styled. Upon closer inspection, however, you will notice that glass engraving is generally of poorer quality. It lacks the style and crispness of design that etched glass possesses. Glass engraving is typically done on machines that are programmed with a specific design and a rotary tool is used to create the actual design. A popular way to create engraved glass is to utilize laser engravers. Though much faster than a rotary tool the quality is much less. Etched glass, on the other hand, is produced mostly by hand using mechanical means. This may take longer but the finished product is usually more impressive.

3. The Cost of Style and Design

Etched glass as well as engraved glass are both highly styled and designed. The cost for either item varies greatly based on those two factors. Essentially, the more style and design that goes into it the more it will cost. That is only half of the issue as etched glass is often more expensive than engraved glass. This does not always have to do with the style or the design but with the size of the piece. Etched glass takes longer to create and the cost will reflect that.

4. It's in the Customization

flower design etched into glass

There are many kinds of etched glass and engraved glass products on the market but many people want to customize either of the two products. With engraved glass you are often given several designs to choose from and then add words to the product from a stock set of fonts. Etched glass, because it uses stencils, can be more customized than engraved glass. Laser engraving, however, can be more customizable and more unique than etched glass.

5. Hobby

Engraving glass is something that is done with specialized tools and is not meant to be done as a hobby in your home. Etched glass, on the other hand, can be a good hobby to get involved with. You can use a small rotary tool to etch the glass or utilize etching cream.