Contact details

Trade Etching Direct Ltd

Unit M Edison Courtyard

Brunel Road

Earlstrees Ind Estate


NN17 4LS

Call us

Tel: 01536 203813




You can also use our contact form.

Opening times 8.30am to 5pm


Trade Etching Direct: metal engraving specialists

Trade Etching Direct is an etching company using the latest technology to etch a variety of metal signs for a growing customer base in the UK sign industry. The motto “it’s like having your own etching department” best describes the company’s desire to form long term relationships with clients who can expect a fast and competitively priced service.


Trade Etching clients can confidently offer a fast high quality service to their own customers and prospective new clients are welcome to get in touch to see how adding etched products to their existing product line can grow their business without any capital outlay





When it comes to signage we understand that quality is the most important thing. We often get asked to send orders direct to their customers because they know the signs will be of the highest quality. To insure this we have very strict procedures in place we will also send photos to our customers as they won’t get to see their order.



Chemical milling


We have a lot of experience when it comes to chemical milling working with thicknesses as low as .008 of an inch. There are many advantages with this process it leaves the parts burr and stress free we can also etch fold lines into the material so the parts can be formed my had so there is no need for expensive hard forming tooling.





When it comes to equipment we always make sure we have the best this is why we have recently installed one of the most powerful etching machines available on the market all our equipment is also double sided unlike old and out of date equipment. This gives many advantages when etching signs it means we get a better etch and can go deeper into the metal giving the signs a much better look. This is also a necessity when producing etched procession parts.  

Advantages of working with us

  • 100 % quality guarantee
  • Prices that give you an excellent margin 
  • Fast turnaround 
  • Emergency turnaround available as little as 2 hours depending on specifications
  • Training chemical etching skills to clients worldwide

Interview: Trade Etching Direct


Directors background

I started work for the family business, Masteretch Services, fourteen years ago. Masteretch manufacture etching equipment for a variety of industries and my job function was to work in the R&D department working on developing processes for customers around the world. The job involved travelling to meet customers both in the UK and the USA. After leaving Masteretch I worked for a leading company in the etched sign business for two years before starting my own company Trade Etching Direct. I realised there was a opportunity for a company to offer a first class service to the etching industry and my previous experience has put me in an excellent position to do this.

Trade etched floorplan

What is the difference between Etching and Engraving?

With engraving the engraver has to cut each individual word and also, with stainless steel, pay attention to keeping the tools sharp etc. This is time consuming and makes very detailed work difficult. With etching, a photosensitive film allows us to etch any image that can be printed as artwork and as the plate is etched with a high pressure acid spray the amount of detail does not affect the etch time.

What kind of research have you been involved in?

A wide variety of projects for sign, automotive, aerospace, medical, lighting companies and these include:

  • Embossing dies for laminate flooring
  • Stainless steel gobos for projected signs ( this is a service we will shortly be offering at TED)
  • Etching of amputation tools for a surgical instruments company
  • Heating elements for airframes to ensure that ice does not build up on wings etc.
  • Etching of Dichroic filters used in stage lighting
  • Steel pad printing clichés for high volume pad printing of ceramic transfers
  • Developing a 'lathe' etcher for etching cylinders used in printing
  • Magnesium and Zinc etching systems for hot foil stamping

Do you feel that Etching is a viable added revenue stream for enterprising sign makers? Why?

A wide variety of outdoor signage is produced in stainless steel, brass etc. and offering this service is easy for sign companies because it does not involve capital investment - they merely produce the artwork and email it to an etching company who do the rest.

Clearly it is essential to hook up with an etching company who can do a fast service, offer a first class product and most importantly set the price at a rate that allows a trade customer to make a good margin - all of these things are available with Trade Etching Direct. We want to develop long term relationships with customers who will come to think of us as 'their own etching department'.

Holy Quran cover that has been chemical etched.

What are your top 5 tips for sign makers who want to get involved in Etching?

  • Hook up with an etching company who can offer a fast 'trade' service
  • The price should allow the sign maker to build in a decent profit margin
  • The quality should be first class and a no quibble guarantee that anything that is not perfect is put right
  • Look for new business outside the traditional sign makers market - engineering companies who require rating plates for equipment , elevator signage, consider offering the projected signs available from TED
  • Remember that this is an opportunity to increase your turnover without any capital investment

For more information please email or call 01536 203 813 to speak to Anthony.

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