Question: Curved Vs Straight Graver

Mar 9, 2016
Thread starter #1
Hello everyone! Just curious as to everyones preference when it comes to curved VS straight gravers. I am using a nGraver system that came with a 90 degree graver that I use for more applications then I probably should. I ordered a 120 degree graver from GRS and its straight. Whenever I use this straight graver I have issues with keeping a appropriate depth to my cut, either being way too shallow or suddenly sinking too deep. :mad:

Im sure with a torch, some pliers and some nerves I could bent the 120 degree graver. Should I just learn to cut with it straight ? I would rather buy gravers that are already curved if possible.Saw some on the GRS site but wasnt sure exactly what they were selling.

Any advice or input is welcomed. I searched this topic and didnt find much. I am using a nGraver handpiece not a air powered system.:thumbsup:
Sep 22, 2014
Hi Evan,
I'm pretty new to the engraving scene and while I have never used a curved graver that sounds like a lot of trouble to curve a graver. It seems like you would have to re harden the graver as well. I use a 120 often it is one of my favorites! With the correct heel angle and a little practice I'm sure you will soon be able to control the depth. I'm not sure if this is helpful at all but that's my two cents.
Good luck!!!

Brian Marshall

~ Elite 1000 Member ~
Nov 9, 2006
Stockton, California & Taxco, Guerrero, Mexico
You can achieve most of the characteristics of the slight curve by experimenting with variations in your sharpening geometry.

Bending most high speed steels in a home shop is gonna disappoint you, because you can't get back the original hardness and temper...

But you can anneal, bend, harden and temper carbon steels fairly easily.

Nov 10, 2006
Christchurch, New Zealand
There's nothing wrong with using a 90 square graver as a cutting tool. A lot of people do.

Not sure why you would want to bend gravers unless you are working inside rings or deeply concave surfaces. The NGraver handpiece makes no difference to anything.

For normal flat or curved surfaces a straight graver is perfectly fine.

What you are suffering from is tool control with your hand. That comes with practice...........what controls the depth and consistent line width is your angle of attack when you first plunge into the work and the angle you hold your graver when cutting (which is directly related to your sharpening angles). That applies to all gravers weather they are straight or bent.

If you have no heel, hold your tool low to the surface. A 15 degree heel, hold at approximately 15 degrees etc etc. A 35 degree heel, hold at approximately 35 degrees..............etc etc etc.

A bit of practice will solve all your frustration :)



Staff member
::::Pledge Member::::
Feb 11, 2007
washington, pa
geometry does it. no, not trig or calculus. a sharpening system is worth its' weight for this. i sort of went crazy with it for awhile. was fun to just experiment. in truth, nearly all my current work is with straight flats and 90 degrees. some times i'll do to a 60 or 70. i have a truckload of gravers. many profiles. 35-50 face, no heel, or perhaps as great as 20 degrees. special geometries are nice, and i feel experimentation is called for. there are times it will really help. i have a few curved ones. many, i bent the tang, and basically end up with a flat. spoons, serving ladles, and such, darn near require bent ones.

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