Pakka Wood engraving settings

What are the settings to engrave on Pakka Wood? I have a Japanese knife handle I would like to engrave on.

Welcome to the forum! AFAIK you’re only the 2nd person to ask about pakka, and sadly the 1st never came back with their results. The answer is, you’re going to have to test!

Once you find some good settings, report back so the next person has a better starting point :slight_smile:


Jeez!!! Thanks for that. This knife costs $300 so I can’t practice on this! Lol!

I just updated that reply that you pointed to with an important caveat: I’ve heard that some resins contain PVC, which would be very bad to laser. Something to keep in mind as you decide what to do with the pakka wood.


Thank you! I’ll do more research!

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The best suggestion is to run a test print on a small piece. Search the forums, there are lots of good test patterns.
And since settings for non-proofgrade material is only supposed to be talked about in the Beyond the Manual category, I’ll go ahead and move this post.


… unless you think it might contain PVC, in which case don’t do that. I briefly googled for wood stabilizing resin composition and wasn’t able to get a good answer.


Thank you so much!

Engraving the handle will somewhat defeat the purpose of the wood they use, as it would then attract and hold bacteria and such in the engraved areas.

Custom engraving on high-end knives is typically either on the bolster, or on the blade face - using a rotary machine (think CNC Dremel). I’ve never seen a dealer offer engraved handles on quality knives.


Thanks for the info. The knife will not be used. It’s simply a commemorative piece on a plaque.

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My first Shun (8" chef) always puts a smile on my face when I use it.

The way I would approach an engrave like this is to make a jig so that alignment will be perfect, then to “sneak up” on the setting and just repeat if it needs to be deeper.


Thank you for that! How do I create a jig?

And wow! You’re on point! It’s a Shun! Idk how you figured that out but that’s impressive! Lol

To make a jig, just cut the shape of the handle from a piece of cardboard with your text centered but set to ignore.

Without moving anything, replace the knife, ignore the cut, and set the text to engrave.

The butt end of my 8" Shun is 0.86", so that’s too tall to work with without removing the tray. You’ll probably need to raise it up about .75 of an inch - just use spare material (again) make sure the jig cannot move - tape everything down.

What you can also do is put a piece of tape/masking on the handle and run a very light engrave to check alignment, but you’d need to ensure the knife goes back in the exact same spot.

I have Shun and Global (also Japanese) plus one handy Heinkels 5" chefs.


This is amazing information!! Thank you so much!! You have no idea how much I’ve been agonizing over this. Would you happen to have settings? I still haven’t learned how the settings work, meaning what speed is for and what power is for, etc. I only use the GF settings unless I use ones that other ppl have given me. Any advice is appreciated!

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There is a comprehensive write-up on custom settings (“manual mode”) on the support pages.


Thank you for this! I was looking for it but didn’t know what to look for!

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Another option is to do a Score instead of an Engrave. Score will let you create nice thin, dark lines. It can look nice for something like initials.

The problem with engraving is that when you find the right settings you may still find that the contrast is poor. Not all colors of wood take an engrave well. Medium-dark wood might be a bust. Super light or dark wood tends to work.

I just did a bunch of fruitwood pens for a friend’s wedding. After experimentation I guided them to a design that used scoring.


If engraving is necessary I think working up to the right settings as @eflyguy said is the way to go. But before even that, I would see if I could get scraps from the manufacturer to test on.

Another option is to leave the knife alone and put all your decorations on the plaque.

And yet another option is to use Cermark to decorate the blade. Those settings are more well understood.


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