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What Are The Best Timbers For Wood Engraving?

Tips & Guides Timber Knowledge
03 August 2023 min read

Wood engraving is much more than just a hobby, it's an intricate art form that requires skill, the right tools and also a suitable timber. But before you buy the wood materials needed for engraving, considerations such as the sap or resin content, the shade of wood and the grain type will all need to be weighed up.

For most laser engraving projects, we recommend a high resin content for a high contrast finish. Choose lighter wood shades so your engraving is clearly visible and a straight grain to prevent streaking issues spoiling your project. We'd also recommend carefully checking wood for knots and other defects before any type of engraving project is started as these imperfections could compromise the quality of the end product.

At Woodshop Direct, our timber materials are sourced and produced with an incredibly consistent finish, making many of our materials highly suited to laser engraving. However, there are some timbers that are better than others. In our latest blog, we'll give you our favourite wood types for laser engraving, helping you to get the best result in your latest project.



Oak is great for engraving, but there's a choice you need to make. Primarily known for its high strength and hardness, at Woodshop we offer two types of oak: American White Oak Timber and European Oak Timber. However we recommend using the American variation for engraving. This is due to the slightly lighter colour tones of American Oak and the straighter grain compared to the darker and more wavy characteristics of European Oak.


One of the most popular choices for engraving, Maple has a great texture, a fine, close grain and a very light surface that will burn dark, giving you brilliant contrast. This really is one of the best timber canvases for a laser engraver.


Plywood once again proves its versatility in woodworking as a brilliant laser engraving surface. Not only is it lightweight and easy to use, it has a consistent, smooth and light complexion. It will of course respond very well to your laser tools in the process.



Although dark in tone with rich, high-end qualities, Walnut timber is great if you want to try something different with your engraving project. We recommend using a Dremel Engraver with this wood and also advise that you take extra care to wear the correct safety equipment and protective eyewear. This is because working with Walnut can cause irritation and allergy symptoms in some people.



Cherry is another very popular engraving choice and is wonderful to work with. Along with its beautiful and distinctive colour, it comes with a straight and subtle wood grain that will accentuate the details of your artwork perfectly.