Laser etching is a technique that lets you sell personally engraved products for a wide range of purposes. Many customers today are looking for personalized gifts and keepsakes for their own families. Laser etching promotional products are especially in demand around the holidays but are also popular year-round. Let’s look at how to get the most out of custom laser etching products.
Laser Etching vs. Laser Engraving
Laser etching is a process that uses a laser beam to melt surfaces and create marks and designs on metals and other materials. Laser engraving was used as early as the 1970s and has gradually gotten more popular over the decades. In 1996, the process became more advanced and automated when software that integrates with lasers was invented.
While laser etching and laser engraving have similar processes, there are some key differences. Etching is faster and, therefore, more commonly used for creating a large volume of products. Whereas laser engraving creates a deeper mark on the surface, resulting in a more durable design. Engraving is more often used with aluminum and steel, while etching is done on many other surfaces, such as lead, zinc, magnesium, and others.
Uses of Laser Etching
If you want to create unique and high-quality gifts and promotional products, laser etching gives you many options. Among the products that are suitable for laser etching:
- Wearables —T-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, pullovers, hats, hoodies, more.
- Drinkables — Mugs, tumblers, wine glasses, beer steins, coasters, thermoses, cups, more.
- Tech — Flash drives, USB hubs, mouse, speakers, cell phone cases, adapters, power banks, car chargers, wall chargers, more.
- Health & medical — Masks, face shields, pillboxes, first aid kits, latex gloves, hand sanitizer, thermometers, more.
- Desk & Office — Magnets, clipboards, notepads, calendars, pens, stress balls, sticky notes, more.
- Bags and luggage — Backpacks, tote bags, suitcases, carry-on bags, laptop bags, messenger bags, more.
- Sports — Golf balls, golf clubs, soccer balls, basketballs, hockey pucks, footballs, more.
- Trophies, plaques, medals, and awards.
Laser etching can be applied to thousands of products in many categories, making it a great choice for businesses in almost any industry. At the same time, like any other type of printing or engraving, there are pros and cons of laser etching.
Advantages of Laser Etching
If you want to create quality promotional products, there are many processes you can use, such as screen printing, digital printing, silk screening, and more. The following are some laser etching advantages compared to other processes.
- Fast and simple. Setup and production are fast, with minimal cleanup needed.
- Permanent designs. If you want designs that won’t fade or rub off after frequent use or washing, laser etching is a good choice. You can create items that will last for many years.
- Good for small surfaces. Lasers are effective when you want to engrave a design on small surfaces.
- Green and environmentally friendly. Laser etching doesn’t require paints, solvents, or other potentially toxic substances.
Is Laser Etching the Right Choice?
Laser etching is suitable for creating many quality promotional products. At the same time, it isn’t ideal for all uses. There are times when you may be better off using another process such as screen printing or embroidery. Here are some points to consider.
- What materials are you using? Screen printing is appropriate for just about any material, including fabrics. While you can also use laser etching on many materials, it isn’t always economical. If you want to create a large number of t-shirts, for example, laser etching may not be the most practical option.
- What colors do you need? Color options are limited with laser etching to black, white, or shades of gray. If you want a multicolored design, you should consider an alternative such as screen printing.
- Consider the equipment and skills you need. If you want to do your own laser etching or engraving, you need the right equipment as well as a certain amount of technical ability. A laser etching machine is a significant investment. Of course, you also have the option of outsourcing the process to a company that specializes in this type of work.
Tips to Get the Most Out of Laser Etching Promotional Products
Promotional products are useful for building your brand and cultivating relationships with customers. The following are some ideas to help you benefit from laser-etched products.
- Create personalized gifts for your employees. Laser-etched items make great gifts that also help to promote your brand.
- Make an impression at trade shows. At a trade show, it’s common to give away promotional items. Quality laser-etched products can help set you apart.
- Make industry-related products. You don’t always have to create products that match your industry. However, if you are in a field such as fitness or tech, it makes sense to create promotional products that are relevant to the industry.
- Create personalized gifts. Show your appreciation to top clients or your best employees by giving them custom laser etching products such as awards, wearables, or other gifts.
- Use branding with discretion. For some items, you may want to feature your logo or company tagline. However, for more personalized items, keep in mind that not everyone wants to display a company logo everywhere they go.
Create Memorable Promotional Products
Laser etching can help you build a more distinctive brand, engage with customers and show your appreciation for employees. When choosing a method for creating promotional products, you need to consider your needs and budget as well as the preferences of your target audience. If you want to create long-lasting and distinctive products, laser etching is always worth considering.