A well-chosen address embosser can give you a lifetime of use and give all of your correspondence an elegant touch. When choosing an address embosser, there are several factors to consider. Among the things to determine are how often you will use it, the orientation you want, the items you want to emboss and whether you want a handheld embosser or a desktop embosser.
The most important thing to understand is that a personal embosser will not give you the same crisp, uniform look that professionally embossed stationery has. For the professional process, the paper is subjected to heat and pressure between two dies — one right-reading and one reversed. As you might imagine, this is a time-consuming and costly process. Embossing with your custom embosser will yield similar results but won't be quite as crisp or precise. Still, if you are using your address embosser to emboss items such as greeting cards and bills, like most people, you will probably find that the convenience and cost-efficiency more than offset the quality.
After you understand the limitations of a personal embosser, determine how many times you will be using it. If you will be using it to emboss addresses only occasionally or for a one-time event, such as an announcement of a birth or a special party, you will not have to get the most heavy duty model. In fact, although most embossers are made with brass plates, there are more inexpensive models constructed with plastic plates. They will not last as long as brass, but if you are not going to use your custom embosser frequently, plastic might work for you.
The next thing to understand is the orientation of your embosser. The plates on an address embosser generally cannot be rotated. That is, the embossed image can come from only the top, bottom or one of the sides. Choose a top orientation when you want your embossed image to come from the top of the page, such as personalized stationery. For an address embosser, you will want to choose the bottom orientation to emboss envelope flaps in the proper direction.
If you want to emboss both stationery and envelopes, you will need to order two different plates if the plates are interchangeable, or two separate embossers if the plates are fixed. For most people, interchangeable plates are a better choice. You can get assorted plates for many needs, such as monogramming napkins, embossing library books, making gift tags in addition to embossing addresses.
Next you should consider whether you want a handheld embosser or a desktop embosser. As the name implies, you hold the handheld model in your hand as you use it. This type of embosser is fine for light work and occasional use. If, however, you are going to be embossing thicker paper or have many address labels to emboss at one time, you should invest in a desktop embosser. These have the advantage of being easier to use, because you are embossing using the desk or table as resistance as opposed to your own grip strength, and easier to assure consistent results.
Finally, when ordering an address embosser, you might work with a specialty shop that resells embossers or work directly with an embosser manufacturer. Using the Internet, you can go directly to the manufacturer. This will save you money and time.