The Roland EGX 350 is a strong, versatile engraving machine. When you see it in operation, you immediately understand that it’s a powerful workhorse that lets you engrave a wide variety of materials, including metal, acrylic, wood and all sorts of products, like pens, trophies, signage and more.
We rate it as medium duty, for it’s decent speed and power. We had one in our shop and it was always running. I’d call it very reliable from my experience.
The plastic lid is a great addition, not seen in many of Roland’s rotary engravers. It not only keeps the mess contained, it dampens noise and provides protection for your eyes. I love the red emergency stop button, though I have never used it. I imagine it could come in handy if you’ve just noticed a typo on that pricey acrylic trophy.
As with many Roland products, there are several add-ons that you probably want to buy. If you’re financing your machine, you might as well throw them into a first purchase.
When working on plastics and woods, the vacuum accessory is a must have, although it’s possible to make your own with a shop vac and a little ingenuity. That said, the ones that Roland supplies is much quieter and probably more efficient. So why do you want a vacuum? To suck up all those little bits of filings and shavings. They accumulate and can interfere with your design.
If you personalize pens, then you have to have a vice attachment—and they offer options, so make sure you speak with a rep to get the right accessories for the jobs you intend to do.
And when working on flat surfaces, for trophy plates, machine panels, signage and the like, adhesive pads are perfect for just enough tack to hold your material. The ease of use outweighs the fact that they don’t last forever, but there’s a variety of products and they do last well.
Like any engraver, you’ll want to experiment with different bits, which they call cutters. It takes a little time to figure out which works best and it’s not realistic to continually swap out finer cutters for a larger one, though the meticulous and obsessed out there may disagree. Right tool for the right job.