It is pressed in and not cut. We call it "Lizzard Skin" checkering. I experimented with carefully going over the lines with a checkering file and it does clean up quite nice but is very time consuming. I did this to my 308ME Remlin----as a matter of fact I also stripped it and did a nice Tru Oil finish on it. I don't like the Poly finish they use as it looks dry----like there is no finish in it.