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Whether you want to keep track of a bunch of stuff or tell people who made it, there isn’t much simpler than using a number and letter stamping set. These hardened steel stamps can be used on wood and softer metals like brass and aluminum.

You probably want a 36-piece set, which usually has stamps for A through Z, 0 through 8 (9 is 6 upside down), and an ampersand. The stamps sets come in several different character sizes such as 1/8″, 1/4″, or 3/8″.

The 36 piece 1/4″ letter and number stamping set from Harbor Freight will run you $11, while online similar sets will run you $25 or more.

Stamping Set [Harbor Freight]
Street Pricing [Google]
Amazon(B00315BCEO) [What’s This?]

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12 Responses to Leave Your Mark

  1. Mike says:

    I love my set. Crazy cheap compared to other similar sets. Here’s what the 1/8″ letters look like: http://www.tinkeringmonkey.com/site/wp-content/gallery/knuckle-duster/IMG_8823.JPG

  2. Phil says:

    Our Family has been manufacturing Steel Stamps for over 100 years with domestically sourced tool steels and state of the art heat treating. I can tell you from 25 years of experience that cheap import steel stamps are fine for marking wood and leather, but be VERY careful if you want to mark anything harder. IMHO…spend a few extra dollars and purchase something that will last you a lifetime and supports the USA

  3. Chris says:

    Make sure, when you buy from Harbor Freight, that the set is complete, and that nothing is missing and replaced by, say 2 “B”‘s, as happened to me.

  4. Andrew says:

    A good set should stamp forged steel tools like wrenches and hammers. But I would not count on a Harbor Freight set doing so.

  5. tmib_seattle says:

    These are pretty handy when blacksmithing if you want to stamp a name or other word on an item. While they probably wouldn’t work well on steel when cold, I’ve found the Harbor Freight ones work great on items fresh out of the forge and still glowing orange. I chuck one in a pair of vise grips, set it on the hot steel and give it one good whack with the hammer.

  6. Bennicus says:

    I recently buggered up a sign with these. Operator error for sure – quick tip -mark the up direction on every bit.

  7. craig says:

    phil is correct.
    i have a set of old miller falls that will mark everything i’ve tried so far.
    the hf stamps i now use for copper and brass.

    if you need to stamp a longer line of text, cut a slot the same width as your stamps in whatever you like. set the stamps in the slot and pound. you’ll end up with a more or less straight line.

  8. Gary says:

    @ Phil and mods

    Phil, can you post contact info for your company? Do you have a web site?

    There’s a lot to be said for a US firm still manufacturing something after 100 years.

  9. @Gary:

    If you go to the actual post on Toolmonger, you can click on Phil’s name on the top of his comment to go to his company.

  10. @craig:

    Thanks for the tip about cutting a slot to align your stamps.

  11. Pirana says:

    I work in a fab shop & we have to use metal stamps all the time to mark beams etc. The best tool i’ve found for holding the stamp is a pair of vice grips made for rounded off fasteners, 7LW I believe. They are NOT the regular vice grips with teeth. Fortunately, my pair was made in Nebraska & i’ve been using them almost daily for over 15 years. The tools made for stamps don’t last anytime as the threads get stretched.

  12. Rob says:

    This short article on the Home Medal Club web site about using hand stamps is really worth reading:

    http://www.homemetalshopclub.org/news/apr03/apr03.html#stamping

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