Makers Mark Stencils Comparison

CDHumiston

Well-Known Member
I know this subject comes up now and then so I thought I may be able to provide some insight.

I recently ordered stencils from three different companies. Bo Grospitch at Big Guy Illustration, T.U.S. Technologies, and IMG Electromark.

All three of these companies were very easy to work with. They were all very helpful in designing and getting the sizes right for me. I have
only received the stencils from Bo at this time so I can't compare them yet. I will update the thread once I have all the stencils in hand.

Bo Grospitch - I received 20 stencils in two different sizes for a total price of $83.48

T.U.S. Technologies - The price for 5 stencils was a total $45.45 shipped.

IMG Electromark - The price for 6 stencils in two different sizes was a total of $59.50 shipped.

These were pretty simple designs of just my two initials and last name as C.D.Humiston in script.

I also ordered a steel stamp from Team Stamp Yours with the same design as the stencils. These people were super helpful in the design and sizing of my stamp. It will not arrive for two weeks, but I'll update when it is here as well. That cost me $191.50

Hope this thread will help some people once I get more details added...
 
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CDHumiston

Well-Known Member
I received the stencils from TUS. They seem to be a tab thinner than the ones from Bo. The stencil material looks brown compared to the blue from Bo.

From the look and feel I don't think they will give different results when used.

As stated above the 5 TUS stencils cost me $45 while 20 stencils from Bo cost me $83

20210823_161710.jpg
 

REK Knives

Well-Known Member
Looking forward to hearing your comparison! Will you keep track of how many times you can use each type before it is used up and you need a new one? I'm curious on durability
 

CDHumiston

Well-Known Member
I have a business trip coming up so this may be a little slower going than I had hoped, but I promise to stick with it!
 

KenH

Well-Known Member
I got mine from IMG. If I am careful and clean them properly, I get 8-10 etches out of each one before I have to go to another one.
What happens to make them go bad? Do they get hot during etching? Do you store them in the dark?
 

Heikki

KNIFE MAKER
What happens to make them go bad? Do they get hot during etching? Do you store them in the dark?
They can get hot during etching. Also, the fine holes in the material can get clogged up if not cleaned. I know mine are at the end of their life when the edges lose their crispness and start to get kinda hazy.
 

BossDog

KnifeDogs.com & USAknifemaker.com Owner
Staff member
good comparison.
I'd suggest also looking at how many impressions you can get before the screen becomes too clogged or the stencil is raggedy.
I use neutralizer to clean a used stencil. Rub it vigorously (both sides) with a paper towel onto another paper towel. I also use windex as a final clean.
 

CDHumiston

Well-Known Member
good comparison.
I'd suggest also looking at how many impressions you can get before the screen becomes too clogged or the stencil is raggedy.
I use neutralizer to clean a used stencil. Rub it vigorously (both sides) with a paper towel onto another paper towel. I also use windex as a final clean.

I'll be trying to post up some comparisons of actual use soon. I'm starting a new job on Monday and I'm going to be super busy with training.

I have a bottle of your Neutralyte. Will that work on stencils as well as metals?
 

mike miller

KNIFE MAKER
Last IMG I used I etched over 120 blades with one stencil. I dip in soapy water in between each etch and rub with a q-tip to make sure there is nothing left on stencil. I changed stencils and now have over 30 etches on this one.
 

CDHumiston

Well-Known Member
Last IMG I used I etched over 120 blades with one stencil. I dip in soapy water in between each etch and rub with a q-tip to make sure there is nothing left on stencil. I changed stencils and now have over 30 etches on this one.

Wow, that's great! Thanks for the cleaning advice.
 

Brad Walker

KNIFE MAKER
They can get hot during etching. Also, the fine holes in the material can get clogged up if not cleaned. I know mine are at the end of their life when the edges lose their crispness and start to get kinda hazy.
I agree with Boss Dogs comment. I don't always clean them as quick as I should. The other reason is when pulling off the tape it pulls off some of the top layer and that has caused etching to happen where it's not supposed to. I think I could get more out of each if I took better clean up care after using
 

billyO

Well-Known Member
Now, I just started etching my mark on blades, so don't have too much experience yet.
They can get hot during etching.
But can't this be minimized by lowering the amps(voltage?) and/or using more, but shorter, periods of time with the etcher actually etching, and giving the blade and stencil more 'rest' periods allowing them time to cool down as well as perform the off-gassing from etching?
 

Heikki

KNIFE MAKER
Now, I just started etching my mark on blades, so don't have too much experience yet.

But can't this be minimized by lowering the amps(voltage?) and/or using more, but shorter, periods of time with the etcher actually etching, and giving the blade and stencil more 'rest' periods allowing them time to cool down as well as perform the off-gassing from etching?
Yup. All those things help.
 

KenH

Well-Known Member
The current drawn by the etching process depends on the amount of open space on the stencil, as well as voltage. You're right about the "off-gassing", the pad has to be removed every few seconds to allow the built up gas to be released, and this allows for cooling of the stencil. Properly done the IMG stencils should last well over 100 etches. Of course cleaning between etches is important also.

When the etch is completed a darkish color will be seen in the design (open) part of the stencil. This is the oxides deposited during the darkening portion (last part of etch). Turning the stencil over and a few seconds of DC etch will remove the oxides nicely leaving the design clean. As said before the stencil needs to be cleaned in a cleaning solution (soapy water, windex, etc) then stored in dark.
 
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