An Affordable Start in Fossil Preparation
Electric engravers offer an affordable start in fossil preparation, and when fitted with our famous fossil prep styli they become a good tool in your kit! They are noisier and vibrate more than air tools, and are less powerful, but provide an excellent and comparatively cheap way of getting started in fossil preparation. These styli fit the Record Power Engraver, which has been a popular choice for many years.
We do not stock the Record Power Engravers themselves, as these are being phased out and are no longer in production. The remaining stocks are being sold through but there will come a time where they are no longer available. We are aware that many of our customers use the Record Power Engravers, and so we wanted to provide our tungsten carbide fossil prep styli for them to use!
What is Tungsten Carbide and why do I need it?
Stone-grade tungsten carbide (not metalworking grade) is by far the best material for fossil preparation – it withstands the abrasive nature of rock and stays sharp far longer than other metals like steel which will quickly blunt and wear down to nothing. We use the same top quality, high grade tungsten carbide in our Engraver nibs as we do in our air tools.
Keeps its shape well
Less sharpening than other metals/grades of tungsten carbide
Hard and tough!
The compromise is that tungsten carbide can be brittle. A stylus can last many years without requiring replacement when looked after correctly, but always consider the material when you're prepping and the most appropriate shape for the job. We recommend the chisel for instance for matrix removal on softer rocks, but not for harder rocks to prevent chipping of the edges. The short stylus is a much better candidate for matrix removal on harder rocks.
The number one with tungsten carbide is DO NOT DROP! It will break. It can also break if used as a lever to pry open a fissure in a rock.
Will these fit other electric engravers?
These will likely not fit any other engraver model. We do also offer Fossil Preparation Styli that fit the Dremel 290, which a model that is available worldwide.
Health & Safety Advice
When working with rocks and fossils, please always wear a well-fitting medical grade dust mask. The minimum requirement would be a FFP3 or N99 mask (higher grade than FFP2 and N95) or a respirator. This is to prevent inhalation of stone dust, which is known to cause a lung condition called silicosis.
You should also use safety goggles to protect your eyes from flying rock chips, and you may wish to wear ear defenders.
Another condition to be aware of is white finger - where the nerves are affected by vibration over a period of time. Electric engravers vibrate quite a lot, and so should not be used for extended periods. Take frequent rest breaks, and if you have pins and needles/tingling you've done too much. Consult a doctor if you have any questions. Using a shock absorbing surface like a sandbag can help. Air pens vibrate a lot less, and so can be used for longer periods but precautions still need to be taken.