Arabic Japanese
Chinese Korean
French Portuguese
German Russian
Italian Spanish

Hand Engraving Glossary - by Roger Bleile -  Sponsored by Steve Lindsay  -  Leave Feedback

HOME  A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

American Engravers
The 21st Century

C. Roger Bleile

Welcome to Roger Bleile's International, Illustrated Glossary of Hand-Engraving Terminology.

In 1980 when I wrote AMERICAN ENGRAVERS for the gun collecting community, I decided to include a glossary of gun engraving terminology. I thought this would be useful for engravers and their clients alike to improve the way we communicate. That glossary helped to standardize the vocabulary used by hand engravers but with only a few thousand books in print it was far from universal.

In discussing this with Steve Lindsay we decided to create a glossary web page, which has the potential to reach vast numbers of those, interested in engraving of all types and to further standardize the vocabulary we use.

Since engraving is practiced around the world and an international audience uses the World Wide Web, I have included many non-English terms for decorative styles and tools. These are words that I have cross-referenced from my extensive library of books related to hand engraving. The non-English terms that I have included are in French, German, and Italian as those are the languages of some of my books and the languages I am most familiar with.

While this is a reference for hand engraving, I have included some terminology relative to various engraving machines and machine engraving to help define the difference between hand and machine engraving. There are also trades like die making and jewelry that use both machine and hand work on the same subject.

A significant percentage of occupational hand engravers, who earn their entire living from engraving, in Europe, North America, and the UK work for the sporting gun trade and gun collectors. As such, many of those interested in hand engraving but unfamiliar with guns may find gun-engraving jargon hard to understand. For that reason, I have included the definitions of numerous words relative to the parts of guns that get engraved and to the styles of ornamentation traditionally found engraved into guns. This is not, however a glossary of gun terminology as that is beyond the scope of this writing.

I would also like to add that some engravers might be familiar with terms not included here. Even though I have included well over 300 definitions and over 300 illustrations, some in the trade may use terms that are unique to a particular employer or master who taught them, or to a to a specific gun maker, die shop, or jewelry manufacturer. If you know of a word or term related specifically to hand engraving that is in widespread use that is not included here, click on the feedback line at the top of this page to provide your suggestion.

I would like to thank Steve Lindsay of Steve Lindsay Engraving and Tools for providing this web page and for his collaboration in its content. Though Lindsay tools are an important aspect of todayís hand engraving field, you will find that a wide variety of tools by other manufacturers are included here as no comprehensive glossary would be complete without them.

I have been a student and practitioner of the hand engraverís art and craft for over thirty years and have found it to be a fascinating and historic subject with far greater depth than is readily apparent to most people. I think if you go through this resource as a learning tool you may be surprised at what you will uncover. Enjoy your visit here.

Anyone wishing to add to this glossary can contact me by e-mail or send a
PM on
C. Roger Bleile

Select a letter from the menu to go to engraving terms that start with that letter. 

HOME  A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z