What are the different types of squeegees and which should I use for any given scenario?

Answer

Here's what to look for when choosing a squeegee for the printing job at hand:

Handles: When printing manually, choose one that fits your hand comfortably. There are many types from which to choose and include wood, plastic or metal. Some are ergonomically designed.

Blade shapes: There are three different types—square, round and V-shaped.

  • Square (straight edge) blades are most often used by screen printers. They work well for standard or regular ink applications.
  • Round (ball nose) squeegee blades deposit more ink. Use this type for special effects inks such as gel or puff.
  • V-shaped (single- or double-bevel) blades are typically used for printing on irregular or cylindrical-shaped substrates.

Durometer: Denotes the hardness of the blades.

  • A 50-60 durometer is soft blade that will deposit more ink. Choose this durometer for heavily-textured fabrics to lay down more ink (may help with fibrillation) or for use with special effects inks, such as gels and puffs.
  • A 60-75 durometer designation ranks medium on the hardness scale. It is good for general printing.
  • The hardest option is an 80 durometer blade. It will deposit less ink and is great for printing fine detail or four-color process prints.

Composite blades: This type of squeegee blade consists of a couple or several different blades of varying durometers sandwiched together, such as a 60/90 or a 70/90/70. The benefit to using this type is that the harder durometer gives the squeegee great support, yet has the softer edge for printing.

International Coatings