Seeking advice on engrave vs score

So I’ve almost got a custom coaster holder finished, but I’m looking for wise suggestions on how to make my design darker (ie stand out more).


  • using 0.23 in Red Oak hardwood (not PG)
  • base engrave setting: 600/52/225lpi/1 pass
  • score setting: 125/11/1 pass

I tried a few different things and the #4 engrave came out the best of these.

I noticed, though, that my scored numbers came out looking the way I want the engraved design to look: dark, sharp and clean. When I added wood stain to these engraves, the design almost completely disappears. So! My question:

Should I keep trying to change the engrave settings to eventually get a darker engrave, or should I score the whole design? I haven’t done a whole lot with scoring so I’m not exactly sure how this would go.

Advice please!!

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Pretty simple, really. If the number is the effect you are looking for, then repeat that on the rest of the design.

You could certainly get a much darker engrave, but scoring would be much faster.


Scoring would be a lot faster for a single line design like that. It might get a bit burnt in the middle at that same power where all the lines are close together, but for scoring you can always adjust the power and speed to get some type of balance. I think for this design, you’ll be happier with a score, just in speed alone.

What you can do is make the scoreline wider by making it less focused, If you go to the individual layer and make the focal distance 0.50 (or 10mm) it will not affect or be affected by the set focus but the score will be wider and not as deep so you might want to decrease the speed some.

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Would you mind posting your actual file? I would like to see what detail you have to engrave vs score vs cut. I would also like to see the left side of your GFUI for all of your #4 print.