Metal Stamping FAQs

What is the difference between economy, standard and premium metal stamps?

Economy stamps are an affordable way to get started metal stamping. These stamps have no markings on the shank for identification or orientation. All economy stamps come coated with oil to prevent rust (simply wipe clean and avoid contact with water). They are designed for use with softer materials and metals like copper, brass, nickel silver, aluminum, alkeme and pewter.

ImpressArt standard metal stamps have an oil free plated finish to prevent rust. Each shank is engraved with the image of the stamp for easy identification and has an ImpressArt logo to assist in orientation while stamping. These stamps are available in a wide variety of designer fonts and designs. The letter stamps come in storage cases with a marked slot for every stamp to keep them organized. These stamps are designed for use on soft metals including pewter, Alkemé, aluminum, brass, copper, nickel silver, silver, and gold.

Premium stamps are specifically manufactured for use with harder materials such as stainless steel and feature a lifetime guarantee. These sets also come in storage cases with marked slots for each stamp.

What metals and materials can metal stamps be used on?

All the metal stamps we carry can be used on soft metals such as brass, copper, nickel silver, pewter, Alkemé, aluminum, gold, silver, as well as polymer clay, precious metal clays, and leather. For harder metals like stainless steel, only Premium stamps should be used. Using standard or economy stamps on harder metals will eventually wear them out.

What does the metal stamp size refer to?

The metal stamp size refers to the height of the stamped impression (not the size of the physical stamp). For letter stamps the size is based on the average letter height (skewed towards the taller letters). The size of the impressions can vary depending on the material being stamped into and the striking force being used.

What tools do I need to get started metal stamping?

To get started stamping, you can use a household hammer and you must stamp on a hard surface such as a steel bench block or anvil. Though a steel household hammer will work, a brass head hammer will produce better and more consistent results. Steel hammers sometimes create double impressions because the steel head bounces back when hitting the stamp. Brass hammers are softer and will disperse the impact of the hit directly into the stamp focusing it on the blank for optimum stamping performance.

Why do I get double impressions when I’m stamping?

This is a common issue for those using steel hammers and is why we recommend using a brass hammer. Since the steel head of a hammer is just as hard as the steel stamp, the hammer can bounce or vibrate off of the stamp very quickly and sometimes hit the stamp again leaving a double impression. Another reason you may get double impressions is if you strike the stamp multiple times. We recommend trying to hit the stamp hard enough so that you only have to hit it one time.

How can I get my stamped impression to stand out?

There are a several ways to add color to your stamped impressions. The easiest way is to use permanent markers or paint markers where you simply color in the impressions and wipe away the excess ink with a polishing cloth or paper towel. For brass and copper, you can use liver of sulfur to oxidize the metal, which will give the entire piece an antiqued look and emphasize the stamped areas. Acrylic or enamel paint can also be used.

Can the metal stamps be used on stainless steel?

Only stamps labeled as premium quality are rated for use on stainless steel. The heads on the economy and standard quality stamps will flatten out if used on stainless steel or other hard metal.

I'm new to metal stamping. What metal should I start stamping on?

We recommend beginning with softer metals. The softest metals we carry have the Soft Strike label and they include aluminum, pewter, and Alkeme.