Can I dub a flat ?


Elite Cafe Member
Sep 16, 2013
I'm cutting some relatively tough SS and breaking the corners on my flat a lot. Can I dub the end of a flat ? I've been dubbing my v gravers and it helps quite a bit. I did try dubbing my flat but it changes the way it cuts. And I've also been reading some about grinding a radius on the tip. Is that radius on the face or the heel and , what does it help?
Thanks for your help, Mark


Staff member
::::Pledge Member::::
Feb 11, 2007
washington, pa
there's been several posts dealing with this situation. i've never had the need to do this, so cant answer you directly. there's a few modifications one can do. check the tips section, your answer/s may just be there waiting. good luck.

Andrew Biggs

Nov 10, 2006
Christchurch, New Zealand
Yes you can dub a flat. I do it sometimes. I simply wipe the two corners over a ceramic lap. Sometimes it works and sometimes not, depending on the metal.

This works for hogging out background metal but I wouldn't recommend it for lettering where you need sharp corners.

Rocking a flat between 5 and about 20 degrees will give you a rounded heel.........that improves clearance (ripping out walls of the engraving) when hogging out backgrounds. Not sure if it does anything for strength :)

Changing the face to about 55 degrees can also help......also, a smaller flat can sometimes work better on harder steels because there is less resistance to the graver.

What are you using??........carbide or HSS/Glensteel??.............HSS/Glensteel can be more forgiving than carbide. Carbide flats can shatter a lot on harder steels.

If you want a really durable flat then you can make one out of a V point (square graver)............I use a 120 with parallel heel and then put a lat on the bottom to whatever size is needed. This works great for block lettering and background removal.

There is also an older variation of that which is extremely durable and you only need to sharpen the face. It's on the forum here somewhere and in the book " Engraving on Precious Metals. It's also is made from a square V graver. Here's the link


~ Elite 1000 Member ~
Nov 3, 2011
Haida Gwaii
I keep a tool in my arsenal that I imported from slate carving. Basically a flat with rounded corners. I use it for effect, and kind of a safety against gouging when I am working really fast sculpting. Serves similar purpose for me in metal. But it would be like a dub. Just go ever so slightly at it.