CO2 vs. Fibermark Engraving on Stainless Steel Cups

So you have a Stainless Steel cup (or maybe you have hundreds of them...) and you're looking at options for engraving. Lets go over the top 2 processes for marking your stainless steel tumblers.

CO2 Engraving vs. Fibermark Engraving

Each process has its positive points. They both lend themselves to beautiful markings on Stainless Steel. Is one better than the other? Simple answer? No. One process is not better than the other, but they do have their differences. And after reading this, perhaps you will have a preference for one over the other?


First a visual comparison:

PROS: This process creates a dark black mark on the stainless steel. A lot of people really like the stark contrast of the black against the stainless steel.

CONS: CO2 is a surface marking, but it can last a long time with proper care. The laser beam on a CO2 lasers is not strong enough to cut into stainless steel. (Don't blame the laser. It works amazing on many other materials.) If you are using this process for tags or labels... this is not an issue for you. We do this all the time and the labels last years and years. If you are getting a stainless steel cup engraved, take into consideration that this isn't something that you put on display and touch maybe once a week or so. This is something that you're handling day after day carrying with you everywhere. The CO2 engraving will last a long time, but it can eventually show wear due to the oils in your hands and the constant handling. 

PROS: The laser is actually strong enough to etch into the stainless steel. It is a very light etching - Enough to feel on the surface with your fingers, but not enough to harm or compromise the strength of the metal. This will not harm your stainless steel cup's magical temperature capabilities. Your engraving on the stainless steel will never fade.

CONS: With the fibermark laser, you can never get a true black marking. This isn't the laser's fault. Its the way that the stainless steel engraves. Different materials "burn" differently. The darkest you will get is a charcoal color, but still has plenty of contrast to stand out. This doesn't seem to bother a lot of people given that it is a permanent engraving. Its actually a really nice marking on the cups. You also can get a gradient effect on the cups with a 2 tone engraving.

There you have it. Hopefully this helped you get a better understanding of the capabilities of our 2 most popular processes for Engraving Stainless Steel cups. If you have more questions, feel free to comment or Contact us. We're happy to help and we're here for you... It's just what we do.