How to engrave your seed phrase in 10 minutes

Engraving the seed phrase on your Hodlinox plates is very easy using a hand held engraver such as the Dremel 290 (sold on Amazon for $17).
You must do this yourself, do not ask someone else to do this for you.


 Step 1: write the words with a permanent marker

Step 1: write the words with a permanent marker

 Permanent marker

Permanent marker

Set up with a permanent marker

With a permanent marker write down your seed phrase on the plates.
The first plate has a grid that is numbered from 1-12 and the second plate 13-24. For simplicity we only show the first plate on this page.

Next, check and double-check that you have made no mistakes.

Tip: because the first 4 letters of the words in your seed phrase are unique, you may also choose to engrave only the first 4 letters in the plates. It is not required to write the whole word.
It is not recommended to engrave only the numbers that correspondent with the words on the list because this increases complexity without adding security.
See the BIP39 word list.

 
 Step 2: engrave the seed phrase into the metal

Step 2: engrave the seed phrase into the metal

 Engraving pen

Engraving pen

Trace with the engraving pen

Engrave the words onto the plates with an electric engraving pen such as the Dremel 290 ($17 on Amazon).
This is very easy and takes about 10 minutes to complete for a 24 word seed phrase. Using the engraver is like writing with a large pen and does not require any special skill, practice or additional tools.

Not recommended:

  • Punching in the words in with a letter punch set because this requires much more skill and might deform the plates.

  • A battery operated engraving pen because these make a too superficial impression.

Tip: when you’re done engraving you can optionally remove the permanent marker with hot water.

Important: test the recovery procedure of your wallet before transferring funds to make sure everything works as expected.

 
 Step 3: lock both plates together

Step 3: lock both plates together

 Phillips screwdriver

Phillips screwdriver

Lock with security seal

Double plate: join both plates together with the provided screw (tighten firmly) and cap the screw head with the security seal.

Single plate: no tools are needed. Just slide the plate into the case and hook the padlock seal through the hole in the plate.

Record the unique number on the seal (or make a photo) in a safe place such as a password manager. Do not store the seal serial number in the same location as your plates.

Hodlinox seals are tamper evident, can only be used once, are numbered sequentially and can not be removed without damaging them.
With the seal in place you can allow trusted third parties to handle the plates on your behalf while you will always be able to ascertain that the seed phrase is uncompromised.

Store the plates somewhere safe (e.g. a trusted family member) on a different geographical location than your hardware wallet.
Why we recommend using 3 sets of plates.