Best Wood for Engraving

Wood engraving is considered an art itself that has evolved with time significantly. It’s much valued since it isn’t easy to carve shapes or write quotes in pieces of wood. It has also become popular as engraved wood looks beautiful and can provide plenty of meaning.

Many different tools are used for engraving successfully on a wood. However, you’ll have to work with the best kind of wood to engrave on it, especially if it means something to you. The quality of the engraving will depend on the quality of the wood, so you must pick an excellent wood that’s sturdy and durable.

We’ve made a list of the best wood types, so you’ll know which of them works perfectly for wood engraving.

Best Wood for Engraving

If you want to get engraved wood as a gift or a showpiece for your home, you must choose the right type of wood. The engraving won’t be as excellent as it should be if the wood itself isn’t sturdy or qualifiable. You wouldn’t know too much about wood engraving, especially if it’s your first time. Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a list to tell you the best wood for engraving.


This piece of wood is considered the best wood for engraving due to its versatile properties. The most significant feature of basswood is that it belongs to the hardwood family, but it’s soft and lightweight to work with.

This makes basswood an easy wood, especially if you have no experience with wood engraving. Another excellent feature of this wood type is that it’s easily manipulated, making it an ideal piece of wood for first-timers. Basswood comes in a range of colors, from pale to light to neutral shades. Hence, basswood makes it to the top of the list of the best woods for engraving.


Another wood we recommend you work with for engraving is boxwood. The best part about boxwood is that it’s super durable and sturdy, giving you a smooth experience. This wood comes in light cream and yellow colors, so making a gift from it will be ideal as it’ll have a pleasant appearance.

Wood engraving requires the wood to be solid and long-lasting, so we recommend boxwood. However, you should also know that working with boxwood might cause minor allergic reactions, such as itchy skin and irritable eyes.


Walnut undoubtedly makes the best wood for engraving as it’s an excellent wood to work with. Walnut is also very expensive, so they’ll automatically know how valuable it is if you’re gifting someone a walnut-engraved piece.

If you can look past the cost of this wood, you’ll most certainly have one of the best woods on the market. Walnut’s durability and stunning appearance are what sell it effortlessly. However, be aware that this wood can cause allergic reactions, including itchy skin.


If you have a flexible budget, investing in oak for engraving will reasonably suit you. Oak comes in different types, including red oak, white oak, bur oak, black oak, English oak, brown oak, etc. Each of these oak types has unique features, varying from one another.

People go for oak for engraving because of its strength, longevity, and aesthetic qualities. So, if you want a gorgeous piece of engraved wood, we suggest you look into getting some oak as you will undoubtedly not be disappointed.


Softwoods are generally easier to work with as they’re easier to engrave on. This includes pinewood as it has a smooth texture, making it convenient to engrave on. Softwoods with excellent sturdiness and durability, while easy to cut and engrave, are considered one of the best woods.

However, one minor drawback of pinewood is that it includes plenty of knots, which can interfere with the design you’re trying to achieve. So, you’ll have to plan your design carefully so that it doesn’t have to pass through any knots.


Maple is a popular wood type as many people use it for numerous purposes, including furniture-making and wood-engraving. This wood can be soft and hard, depending on which variant is used. You should know that maple has excellent finishing properties, making it a commonly used wood for engraving.

This piece of wood has a uniform texture with smooth grains. However, maple wood is relatively costlier than other woods, so only invest in it if you have the funds for it. Overall, this wood type will be an excellent choice as it offers numerous benefits.


Cherrywood is a stunning wood type, given the finish it provides. Many people who prioritize physical appeal over everything else choose cherry as their choice of wood for engraving. Black cherry is one of the most popular cherry species, having unique features.

If you want a stunning appearance and a beautiful color, we suggest you go with cherrywood for engraving purposes. A bonus of this wood includes its strength as it won’t break into pieces as quickly as other woods. Hence, cherry will significantly benefit you.


Choosing Alderwood will be ideal if you’re looking for a flexible, durable, and solid wood piece. This wood type has straight grains and a smooth texture, giving you an aesthetic piece of wood perfect for engraving.

However, alder may have knots that might interfere with the engraving and designing. You might face a few problems. Overall, alder will provide you with several benefits as this wood will last pretty long. We forgot to mention that alder is softwood, so it’s much easier to work with than other pieces of wood.

Our Final Thoughts

Wood-engraving is a precise art that requires skill, precision, and the best wood. If you want to engrave something on a piece of wood, you must pick an appropriate one. All of the woods mentioned above will serve you pretty well if you consider engraving on them. As long as you don’t compromise on the quality, your engraving will look beautiful.

About The Author

Scroll to Top