Steel Marking Tools

SCHMIDT has been manufacturing steel marking tools since it first opened its doors in 1895. For over 125 years, SCHMIDT has supplied virtually every industry with the highest quality and most reliable steel marking stamps and dies, type holders and numbering heads.


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SCHMIDT Steel Marking Tools Information

General Marking Guidelines: Character Faces, Character Size and Spacing

Indented Characters: The character size should be determined by measuring the face of the tool, as indicated in the character sketches below. Sharp Face and Aerocut tools are measured at the apex of the engraved face. Flat Face and Outline style characters are measured to the outside edge or overall dimension of the engraved face.

Embossed Characters: These are the exception and are measured from the impression rather than the face of the die. The size is determined by the height of the impression at the point where the raised portion meets the background.

Debossed Characters: The size of a debossed character is measured at the point where the bevel of the male die meets the background.

SCHMIDT's steel marking tools are available in one of the following five faces.

Sharp Face:

Sharp face characters use a sharp edge where the tool comes in contact with the part. A sharp face tool penetrates more easily than other styles.

Aerocut Face:

The Aerocut engraved face produces a specially designed rounded face for marking impressions with minimum stress at the point of contact.

Flat Face:

Flat face characters are used in order to produce a wider impression. This face is often used on brass or other nonferrous metals or when the impression is to be color-filled.

Outline Face:

These have two sharp face lines to produce the double line impression of an outline character. This style is often used to emphasize trade names or designs.

Aerocut Dot Face:

These faces have specially rounded interrupted faces for the lowest possible stress. They are recommended for high pressure fittings, aircraft and other parts where sharp tools might disturb the molecular structure of the metal.


Character Size and Spacing

Determining Character Size Requirements for Your Mark:

There is a natural tendency to select a larger character size than required. This will result in a die that may be too long for the marking area or tonnage requirements may be increased unnecessarily.

Each letter or figure occupies a space as wide as it is high.  Fractions (1/2, 1/4, etc.) are made with the characters in line - not above one another. A fraction will occupy space equal to letters or figures of the same character size. 

For example, 1/8" characters are spaced 8 to the inch. Marking the word "TEMPERED" using an 1/8" character would occupy one inch.  The same reading in 3/32" characters would yield a mark 3/4" of an inch long.

Where there is a specific requirement, our logotype, dies or type can either be extended for a large area or condensed to permit stamping the legend in a confined area.


Standard Type Spacing:  
Diagram for determining the spacing and steel marking tool type size

Standard type spacing is easily determined. The blank is the same as the character size multiplied by the total number of characters in the reading. (i.e. If a 1/16" character is used, and eight character word will be 1/2" long.) Condensed and extended style characters will decrease and increase these measurements respectively.


Straight Logotype Spacing:  
Diagram for helping to determine the spacing on steel type

Straight logotype spacing is determined in the same manner as the standard type spacing. Each character occupies an amount of space equal to the character size.


Knurl Logotype Spacing:  
Steel Tooling drawings for determining space and type size Knurl logotype spacing is calculated the same way as straight logotype, except that a space equal to one half a character is added before and after the reading. Thus the knurl logotype blank is one character longer than a straight logotype with the same reading.

General Marking Guidelines

Depth of Engraving (GTS Standards)
Character Size Depth
3/64" .012"
1/16" .014"
3/32" .018"
1/8" .023"
5/32" .028"
3/16" .031"
7/32" .033"
1/4" .035"
5/16" .040"
3/8" .050"
7/16" .055"
1/2" .060"
5/8" .062"
3/4" .078"
1" .093"


Extra Deep Engraving: Required when material is removed from a
part after marking and an abnormally deep mark is required. Branding dies
are engraved extra deep and with a flat face so the background of the hot
die will not touch the material.

Controlled Depth Engraving: In some applications, engraving may
be shallower than standard depth. Trademarks and other lettering layouts
are often irregular, which can result in an uneven impression. By engraving
all characters and border lines somewhat shallower, the die can “bottom”
(that means the die will penetrate to the background so that the whole mark
is uniformly deep.

Bevels. The angle or bevel of the sides of engraved characters can be
variable depending on the specific application. However, most dies for
marking mild steel are engraved with 45 degree bevels. Branding or
embossing tools are cut with straighter sides and flat faces. Heavier bevels
and extra deep engraving are sometimes specified for particularly tough
marking jobs.

Pressure Requirements for Marking

Pressure to mark one Sharp Face character (in tons)

In order to estimate marking pressure requirements, multiply the single character tonnage by the number of characters to be marked. To mark half depth, multiply tonnage requirements by 0.75; to mark two times the depth, multiply the tonnage requirements by 1.33; to mark three times the depth, multiply tonnage requirements by 1.7.

Mild Steel Soft
Tool Steel Character
1/16” 0.25 0.15 0.38 .003”
3/32” 0.50 0.3 0.75 .004”
1/8” 0.75 0.45 1.13 .006”
5/32” 1 0.6 1.5 .007”
3/16” 1.88 1.13 2.82 .008”
1/4” 2.1 1.26 3.15 .010”
5/16” 3 1.8 4.5 .013”
3/8” 4 2.4 6 .016”
7/16” 4.75 2.85 7.13 .016”
1/2” 5.7 3.42 8.55 .017”
5/8” 7.5 4.5 11.25 .020”
3/4” 9.25 5.55 13.88 .020”
7/8” 11 6.6 16.5 .020”
1” 13 7.8 19.5 .020”

Click to download the Pressure Marking Chart as a PDF.

SCHMIDT's standard procedure for stating blank dimensions on all type and dies.

Straight Step Type
L = length
W = width
H = height
Hs = height from step to bottom of die
D = depth of step
Wb = overall width of blank
(L x W x H)
step: (Hsx D)


Straight Groove Type
L = length
W = width
H = height
Hg = height is from the middle of the
groove to the bottom of the die
Wg = width of groove
D = depth of groove
(L x W x H)
groove: (Hg x Wg x D


Dimension drawing for knurl groove type

Knurl Groove Type
L = length
W = width
H = height
Hg = height is from the middle of the
groove to the bottom of the die
Wg = width of groove
D = depth of groove
A = angle
(L x W x H)
groove: (Hg x Wg x D angle: A)


Dimension drawing for knurl step type

Knurl Step Type
L = length
W = width
H = height
Hs = height from step to bottom of die
D = depth of step
Wb = overall width of blank
A = angle
(L x W x H)
step: Hs x D angle: A)


Dimensions drawing for shank style rectangular die

Shank Style Rectangular
L = length of die
W = width of die
H = height of die
Ds = diameter of shank
Ls = length of shank
(L x W x H)
shank: (Ds x Ls)


Dimensions drawing for shank style round die

Shank Style Round Die
L = length of body
D = diameter of body
Ls = length of shank
Ds = diameter of shank
(D x L)
shank: (Ds x Ls)


Dimensions drawing for lettering knurl round die

Lettering Knurl (Round Die)
D = diameter
W = width
Db = diameter of bore
K = width of keyway
K/2 = depth of keyway
(D x W x Db x K x K/2)

Steel Marking Tool Brochures

Steel Marking Tool Guide Catalog

Steel Marking Tool Guide Catalog

This catalog discusses our full line of steel marking tools. It also covers general marking guidelines, pressure requirements and our standard code & design chart. It gives detailed information about our steel type & hand stamps, steel stamps & marking dies, type holders, numbering heads, and fixturing available for our roll marking and press marking machines.

Numbering Head Brochure

Numbering Heads Brochure

This brochure discusses our numbering heads available for any press marking or roll marking application. Whether it is hand-held, non-automatic or automatic, SCHMIDT offers a wide range of straight, barrel style and combination numbering heads.