Tool Etching – This one’s MINE!


For work I purchased a few sets of combination wrenches and adjustable wrenches from Harbor Freight. Not wanting to get my tools mixed up with others at work and to reduce the likelihood of them walking off I decided I would place a mark on them identifying them as mine. I initially wanted to engrave my initials but I don’t have an engraving bit for my Dremel and my engraving machine is not at my apartment. I got thinking about the time I used electrolysis to remove rust from steel and figured that it is very similar to etching and must be possible. A quick Google search confirmed this and it is even easier than electrolysis.

Using common table salt, tap water, cotton swabs, and a bench power supply I was able to etch an ‘S’ identification mark  in my tools. I also got carried away and etched MINE! in the adjustable wrenches. It was very simple and there are countless websites and videos showing in detail how this is accomplished for anyone interested. Just search for salt water etching.

To produce the best looking etchings you will need a stencil of some kind. For my purposes I had a label maker available and just printed off labels which I would then cut out with an Exacto knife. Not the fastest method but it cost me nothing extra.

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