What are the differences between manufactured and handcrafted Tactical Tokens?

So, you want to get super into the nitty gritty details of the differences between manufactured and handcrafted tokens. Buckle up.

TL;DR: they’re both excellent quality, but Dave doesn’t have to make the manufactured ones.

Overall Quality4.5/55/5
Thickness3.62mm (0.1425in)3.88mm (0.1528in)
Dry Erase SafeYesYes
Wet Erase SafeYesYes
Chalk Marker SafeYesYes
Stack-able-ness / Stickiness5/54.9/5
Image Quality4/55/5
Image Output Resolution (DPI)6003200
Coating Quality5/55/5
Image Alignment Precision+/- 0.04in+/- 0.002in
Full Bleed CapabilitiesYesYes
Can Have Borders?Not RecommendedYes
Tactile Satisfaction4/55/5
Color ProfileMore ContrastMore Depth
Construction Quality5/55/5
Cold Tolerance5/55/5
Heat Tolerance4/55/5
Yes, we actually used a micrometer.

Much of this chart & the below details are Tactical Dave’s personal opinion and completely subjective.

Overall Quality

Both types of tokens are great. You’ll hardly notice a physical difference between them. The key differences are in the image quality.

Shape & Weight

Virtually no difference between the two.


Manufactured tokens are an indistinguishable amount thicker than handcrafted tokens. We measured a slight difference, but your fingers would have a tough time finding the difference.

Dry Erase, Wet Erase, and Chalk Marker Safe


Stack-able-ness / Stickiness

The handcrafted tokens use a slightly more malleable coating, making them just a tad more stick-able and stack-able.


Both types are strong and can take a beating – we tested.


They can take it all; soda, juice, salsa. You name it. They’ll be fine.


While we don’t recommend storing the tokens this way, both methods are unaffected by being submerged water (at least for 7 days as tested).

Image Quality

Handcrafted tokens still look great, but manufactured tokens are on another level. Probably due to the…

Image Output Resolution (DPI)

The effective resolution of manufactured tokens is over 5x more detailed than handcrafted.

Coating Quality

The coatings that seal the token surfaces for both tokens are self healing and of the same resin material.

Image Alignment Precision

Handcrafted tokens as you can guess, aren’t perfect and sometimes suffer from minor misalignment.

Full Bleed Capabilities

Want a cool background for your token? No problem – both methods can be full bleed.

Can Have Borders?

Borders depend heavily on perfect alignment precision, so if you require a border on the token, manufactured is the best choice here.

Tactile Satisfaction

The manufactured tokens bend and flex a bit more than the handcrafted ones do, which makes them more fun to hold and play with.

Color Profile

Handcrafted tokens tend to have harder lines and darker colors, while manufactured tokens feature richer more vibrant colors.

Construction Quality

Despite having completely different construction processes, both types are rock solid.

Cold Tolerance

Cold doesn’t affect the tokens much at all, but my freezer can only get so cold.

Heat Tolerance

We don’t recommend keeping either of the tokens in hot environments, but manufactured tokens performed a bit better in extreme scenarios – like being left in my hot car for too long.

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