Stencil Your Gear
Stencil Your Gear
Stenciling is something the Navy hammered into our brains as a way to distinguish our equipment from the next guy. It worked most of the time, even though I lost several pairs of skivies during laundry… go figure.
In the Navy they had a large stencil cutting machine that would punch letters and numbers out of card stock making a perfect stencil. You’d then use Texpen Fabric Markers to color in the stencil on whatever you’d need your name on. There were times that the stencil markers just didn’t cut it (crap out) and you’d resort to a Sharpie.
The problem with both of these options is that some surfaces won’t hold the Texpen or the Sharpie… What then? Well, after investing heavily in Magpul’s revolutionary PMAGs and coupled with my OCD, I bought a Dremel Engraver.
The engraver comes with a carbide tip and functions similar to a Tattoo gun, which makes short work of any stencil job. Clothing should still be left to a Texpen or Sharpie, but most things I truly value now get engraved.
I use the standard ID number the Navy taught us which is the first letter of your last name, followed by the last three digits of your SS#. Use whatever works for you.
There’s a small stencil square that comes with the engraver which I started out using. I traced what I wanted in pencil, then ran the engraver over it. The more I did this, the more I noticed the pencil lead was staying in my engraving marks and making it more difficult to read. After that I just started free-handing everything, and with some practice it comes out quite nicely.
Here’s a photo of the engraver markings on a PMAG that I’ve done as an example (top of the image). I also use a DecoColor Paint Marker to mark my Magazine numbers so that if I have an issue I can isolate that magazine easier.
I’m definitely sold on the engraver, and it’s worth way more than I paid for it… It’s also come in quite handy around the house.
What do you use to stencil your gear?