Everything you need to start marking with your MK12 marking machine

Electrolytic marking is a straightforward and simple process, especially when using MK12, our practical marking machine for different types of metal surfaces.

Even so, the preparation of various components and consumables may be somewhat challenging If you have only just purchased your machine.

In order to eliminate any potential confusion, we have decided to give you a detailed overview of all the important points you need to cover before even turning your machine on.

So, let’s begin.

Different types of marking stencils and how they are produced

The MK12 Machine Set contains most of the materials you need to start marking.

However, this does not include one of the essential components of the electrolytic process – marking stencils.

The reason is simple.

They are always custom-made according to your design and branding needs.

But how exactly are marking stencils made?


This depends on their type. There are two basic types of stencils you can use during the electrolytic marking process:

  • Durable multi-use stencils are ordered from your distributor or directly from Cougartron. Made of high-quality fabric, they are intended for long-term use (approximately 2000 times). Multi-use stencils are ideal for projects where you need to transfer a unique design (e.g. your logo) to a number of different metal components. You can order them in virtually any size which, naturally, affects their final price. For custom-made durable stencils, please send your artwork to sales@cougartron.com (along with the desired dimensions) and we will send you the final design back together with pricing.
  • Disposable single-use stencils are most commonly used and are, at the same time, the easiest to make. Namely, disposable stencils are produced in-house and on the spot using the correct label printer. Since this type of stencil preparation does not need to be outsourced, it gives you additional flexibility but also reduces the overall cost of your production. Single-use stencils are great for marking parts where the information keeps changing (e.g. dates, part codes). As their name suggests, disposable stencils can only be used once (maximum two times in certain cases).

As noted above, single-use marking stencils are produced from appropriate stencil tapes using label printers. The tapes come in different sizes, each of them compatible with different printer models (see different available combinations within the ‘Stencil printers’ section below)


Some printer models are more advanced and offer more options than others, so it is always a good idea to pre-consider the requirements of your projects.

Display type, tape size, and connectivity to external devices are just some of the features that make the difference between various printer models.

It’s important to note that the printers are not part of our MK12 machine set so you have to purchase them separately in order to prepare your stencils.

Luckily for you, our product range contains a variety of practical models to suit various types of production. This also applies to all MK12 parts and components which can be easily repurchased online through our website.

Here are some basic information about different printer models:

TTP-245C Thermal Printer w/ Full Cutter Installed

Compact and reliable thermal stencil printer with an incredible printing speed of 6’’ per second. It can only be used with a PC.

Compatible with the 4” x 330′ etching roll (sold separately).

Brother Marking Stencil Printer – PT-D600VP – 0.7-0.9” tapes

Portable stencil printer with full-color display and USB-connectivity.

Compatible with 0.7’’ and 0.9’’ Etching Tape Cassette (sold separately)

Brother PT-H500 handheld label printer

Practical handheld label printer with PC-connectivity and a durable rechargeable battery.

Compatible with 0.7’’ and 0.9’’ Etching Tape Cassette (sold separately)

PT-800W – Marking and Etching Stencil Printer – 0.7-1.4” tape

Convenient and reliable stencil printer with a user-friendly keyboard and 360dpi print resolution.

Compatible with 0.7’’ and 1.4’’ Etching Tape Cassette (sold separately)


Once you have prepared your stencils, direct your attention to the preparation of appropriate marking fluids and other pieces of equipment.

Different types of metal surfaces require the use of specialized marking fluids

Our MK12 machine set contains CGT-S1, an effective fluid for marking stainless steel surfaces.

If you work with other types of metal, we recommend that you get one of our specialized liquids with carefully developed formulas for aluminum, steel, brass, zinc, copper, and titanium marking.

Clear, permanent, and fast results can only be achieved if you use the right liquids for different types of metal surfaces.

You can easily restock any of these fluids using our website or by contacting us via phone or email.We can also help you develop a special marking fluid formula for your application if you work with materials that are not listed above.

Other considerations for successful marking results

Neutralization is an important aspect of electrolytic marking and is performed twice during the process – before and after marking.

The surface should be cleaned before the marking itself so it is absent of contamination. After you have finished marking, neutralizer is used to eliminate the traces of acidity and to restore the pH neutrality of the surface.

Therefore, it is important to prepare sufficient amounts of the neutralizing fluid before you even start working.

The MK12 machine set contains a small amount of our CGT-N1 neutralizer, but you definitely have to consider buying a larger quantity if you plan to mark more often.

Weld Cleaning Fluids

CGT-N1 Neutralising Fluid


If you mark on a regular basis, the most practical way to apply the neutralizer is to use a spray bottle. This is something you need to take into consideration while preparing your equipment.

Any clean bottle with a sprayer will work but you can always get our official 1Pint Cougartron Spray Bottle with Sprayer for thorough and consistent application of the neutralizing fluid.

 Want to know even more about MK12?

If you want to know more about the MK12 and the components of the machine set, watch our useful unboxing video with all the instructions below.


Should you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time. We are always happy to help!

Tel: 404-591-8920 | E-mail: sales@cougartron.com