One of the most important tools in the art of silk screening is the humble squeegee. Once that ink has been laid down, the squeegee will determine whether you get an uneven and bubbly mess or something smooth, uniform, and beautiful. An ideal squeegee should be sturdy to withstand pressure, comfortable to hold at various angles, and easy to clean. Another thing to keep in mind is each tool’s durometer, which measures the hardness of the rubber and determines the amount of pressure needed to push ink through your screen mesh. The lower the number, the softer the squeegee. Ahead, find our five favorite squeegees for silk screening in a number of materials and styles.
1. Speedball 10-Inch Nitrile Squeegee
With a rigid, properly sanded wooden handle and pleasingly flexible nitrile rubber blade, this squeegee is capable of manipulating inks thin or thick. Its unique feature is the rounded edge of its blade, which helps to move more ink at once while ensuring consistent coverage when pushing the pigment from one end of the screen to the other. It also pulls very smoothly. This blade is 10 inches wide, which fits in most standard-size silk screen frames, and it is rated at 65 durometers—a good medium hardness for general jobs. We also like that it has a hole in the handle so you can hang it up to dry after cleaning.
2. GoldUpUSA Aluminum Squeegee
If you prefer a light squeegee for extra maneuverability, this aluminum-handled option will fit the bill. It is ideal for small jobs, with a 2-inch-long blade that measures just 5 inches wide maximize control and precision. The aluminum handle keeps it light, and it is tightly affixed to the blade with copper nuts and stainless-steel screws. The squeegee is easy to clean fully assembled, or you can remove the screws to release the blade for a more thorough scrub.
3. Speedball Red Baron Squeegee
This squeegee is great for artists who like to screen-print on both fabric and paper. Made entirely out of rubber, it features two blades that also function as handles. One is rounded, ideal for moving ink across subtle textures, and the other is flat, best for smooth and even paper surfaces. The 9-inch tool fits comfortably in the hand and doesn’t skip or get slippery when in use. Given its material, it’s also incredibly easy to clean.
4. Caydo 3 Piece Squeegee Set
Mixed sets that are both reliable and affordable check a number of boxes for teachers, and this set of three squeegees is one of them. The squeegees consist of a wood handle and rubber blade and come in widths of 5.9, 9.4, and 13.7 inches; the measurements are unconventional, but they’ll still work well with standard screens. The rubber blades measure 75 durometers (a bit higher than the 65-durometer option above), balancing ease of use with control in paint manipulation. The wood handles are slightly curved to make them easy to grip and comfortable to hold for extended periods.
5. Stellar Squeegee for Screen Printing
We love the modern-rustic look of this utensil, which features a polyurethane blade firmly lodged in a wooden handle with attractive grain. The handle is gently curved to provide an ergonomic grip, and the PU—in an eye-catching orange—resists abrasion to retain its sharp edges. The 70-durometer blade also won’t absorb solvents and break down as quickly as a rubber version. Choose an 8-inch or 10-inch blade.