Screen Printing Squeegees

Your Stop for Name Brand Squeegees

If your new to screen printing, you’ll soon come to realize just how important squeegees are in the process of printing garments. In fact, if you don’t have a squeegee, you won’t be able to screen print at all.

Squeegees are used for pushing and pulling ink as well as transferring the design from a stencil to the actual garment. Your best bet is to learn as much as you can about them in order to improve your printing.

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Why Choose Garston for Your Screen Printing Squeegees?

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Affordable Prices

When it comes to our products, we always believe in offering the best screen printing squeegees for a low, affordable price.

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Customer Satisfaction

Squeegees play an important part in screen printing. That’s why we only stock and recommend the best brands for our clients.

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Name Brand Products

Screen printing products can be hard to choose. That’s why we’ve narrowed down our inventory to some of the most well-known brands.

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Types of Different Squeegee Blades

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Square

Square screen printing squeegee blades (straight edge) are the most sought-after and used type of squeegee for screen printers. You can use them for standard and regular ink applications.

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Round

For screen printing squeegees that deposit more ink, you can use a square blade otherwise known as a straight edge. This type is mostly used for special effects inks like gel or puff.

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V-Shaped

There are also v-shaped (single or double-bevel) blades that are mostly used for printing on cylindrical-shaped substrates or irregular styles.

Finding the Right Screen Printing Squeegees

Every screen printer needs to have the correct tools handy, and you shouldn’t choose just any screen printing squeegee for the job. There are a variety of different options for you to choose from, and it’s best to understand how each type will affect your outcome.

1. Consider the Shape

The first step in choosing the right squeegee comes from deciding on a shape. You can find screen printing squeegees in three common shapes:

  • Square (also known as straight edge) are squeegee blades will flat bottoms. This is the most well-known screen printing squeegee in the industry, and can be used for most screen printing jobs.
  • Round (ball-nose) squeegees are more reliable for heavy deposits of ink. This is especially useful for heavy substrates or specialty inks.
  • Beveled squeegees have an angle on either one side or both sides of the blade. Having a beveled blade is great for printing on substrates that are curved or uneven
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2. Understand the Rigidity of a Squeegee

Because there are a variety of different squeegee types, each will have its own durability or rigidity features. A squeegees rigidity is measured by a durometer which will denote the hardness of the blade. The higher the durometer, the harder the blade will be. You need to understand that a higher squeegee blade will sheer the ink, while softer blades leave a heavier ink deposit behind.

The durability of blades can be separated into a few different categories:

  • 50-60 durometer – This is a soft blade that will end up depositing more ink. You should only use this durometer count for heavily-textured fabrics that need to lay down an excess amount of ink. You can also use it with special effect inks which can be found in gels and puffs, and it’s recommended for controlling fibrillation.
  • 60-75 durometer – Lean toward this amount if you’re looking for a harder (higher durometer) squeegee. This type is good for most screen printing jobs, and a majority of screen printers will use 70 durometer blades.
  • The highest durometer amount you can find for a screen printing squeegee is an 80 durometer blade. This will deposit less ink, but is a great squeegee for fine detail or four-color process prints. You can also find squeegees in a 90 durometer blade and can be used for light ink deposit and higher mesh count screens.
  • Composite squeegee blades – You can also use this blade type that include layers of durometers. The printing edge will have a lower durometer that can smoothly move across screens and a higher durometer layer which helps to prevent your squeegee from bending or losing shape.

3. Choose Your Material Wisely

Squeegees come in a few different material types which includes natural rubber, neoprene and polyurethane.

  • Natural Rubber – From the beginning, squeegees started out with natural rubber material because it’s less expensive. The only downside comes from its feature of absorbing solvents and breaking down quickly, making it more expensive.  
  • Neoprene – Compared to natural rubber, neoprene is more expensive but it is cheaper to polyurethane blades. The best quality of a neoprene blade comes from its durability in relation to natural rubber, making it last longer.
  • Polyurethane – This is the most expensive screen printing squeegee type, but it doesn’t lack in the areas that natural rubber and neoprene do. This is the most durable type meaning that the blade can last even longer than its competition and is good for automatic and semiautomatic presses.
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4. Think About Your Handle Type

For manual screen printers, a reliable handle is important for your squeegee. If you want to make sure you’re buying a durable handle that stands up to multiple uses, then it’s good to look into the handle types available.

  • Wooden Handles – This type of handle is comfortable and easy to get a grip on, but they will absorb more moisture and solvent than other. This quality makes them harder to clean, and you’ll sacrifice more time changing from wooden handle to wooden handle.
  • Plastic or Aluminum Handles– You might decide that you want to try a plastic or aluminum handle which is much better during clean up and can usually be switched out quicker and easier.

5. Other Qualities to Consider

There are a few other qualities you need to consider for your screen printing squeegee.

  • Blade Width – Your squeegee blade needs to extend about one inch on both sides of your screen, but it should stay clear of your frame. If you run a squeegee over the frame, it can eventually destroy the tension of your screen.
  • Blade Condition –  A squeegee blade can easily develop a nick or become warped, so it’s best to make sure before your screen printing job begins to notice these imperfections.

When you go to select a screen printing squeegee for your next print job, consider these tips and take them into consideration.

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Screen Printing Squeegee FAQ

How Do I Properly Take Care of My Squeegee?

Most screen printing squeegees will absorb moisture and solvents. There are a few ways that you can make sure your squeegees will last.

  • To help minimize swelling and warping of your squeegee, make sure to clean them immediately after use.
  • Don’t let your blades sit in cleaning solution. After using them, make sure to clean off your blade quickly, and make sure to rotate the use of your squeegees. This will ensure that your squeegee has enough time to dry out between print jobs.
  • By storing your squeegee correctly, you’ll be able to help them retain their shape and last for a longer duration. Squeegees with fitted handles should be stored with the blade up in a holder or simply on a shelf. Squeegees without fitted handles should be stored flat.
  • Blade looking a little dull? You could simply throw away or replace your squeegee blade while its wearing down or you can sharpen the blade to increase its durability and overall use. Squeegees can be sharpened anywhere from 25-50 times before you replace them.

How Do I Pick Out the Right Squeegee Size?

In relation to the size of your image, you should only use a squeegee that will cover the entire image and overlaps the screen by an inch or so. If you don’t purchase a wide enough squeegee, you’ll have a hard time producing quality images and could result in blurry or smudged results. This is because of how much pressure is being exerted on the center of the image during the printing process rather than the outer edges.

What Screen Printing Squeegee Can I use for Different Substrates?

For different substrates, it’s recommended that you use a 70 durometer squeegee. This type of blade is good for printing on any textile, while a 80 durometer squeegee is better formatted for paper.

Garston, Sign Screen & Digital

Honest, Fair Prices on All Screen Printing Squeegees

Garston is proud to offer our clients the best name brands in screen printing squeegees alongside our excellent customer service. For the past 60 years, we’ve been a leading supplier of multiple items that will make your screen printing jobs quicker and easier. Have questions? Feel free to drop us a line or call us at 800-966-9626.