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Screen Printing Squeegee, all you need to know

The Squeegee Handle

The best handles for our Screen Printing Squeegee are generally made of aluminium, wood or plastic. Wood, unfortunately, is not the best choice because they are more difficult to clean and do not always stay straight, as they are usually pinched or even glued in.

Wood Squeegee Holder

Wood Squeegee is still used today, but I would not recommend this type of holder. See why.

Aluminum Squeegee Holder

Aluminium is an excellent choice because it is easy to clean, very light, and easy to replace, turn the side. Because a squeegee has two sides that you can use. If one side is worn out or even has notches on it!

Plastic squeegee holder

The new plastic grips are not the wrong choice, but an aluminium grip would be preferable. Aluminium is certainly a longer-lasting choice.

EZ Grip Screen Print Squeegee
Watch this video on YouTube.

The squeegee should be 100% straight in any case. You should always check if this is the case. A wood handle is properly cheaper, but think about the long term, and Aluminum Handle will last for life.
When you buy an Aluminum handle, just oil the screw before you attach the squeegee to it, you will understand this, after time, the screws will be easy to open again. Otherwise, it can be tuff with time.


Squeegees are made from?

Squeegee Centrifuge Cast Machine
Centrifuge Cast

Good squeegees are made with polyurethane ((PUR and PU) is a polymer), which has the advantage of chemical resistance, wear-resistance and retains its dynamic elastic properties.

Produced, either in a centrifuge or with individual flat form tools.


The Squeegee colour

What it indicates?

  • Red – soft single layer (65 durometers)
  • Green – single layer (75 durometers)
  • Blue – single layer (85 durometers)
  • Yellow – Triple-layer (70/90/75 durometer)
  • Red – soft triple-layer (65/90/65 durometer)
Different Squeegee Colors

Means the color should indicate the grade (durometer) of the squeegee.

But the fact is, you need to see with your supplier, what colour have what durometer.

As a different company, have their own colour direction, a standard of squeegee colours, does not exist.

Please, ask your supplier, what he has and what is the durometer number for it, it should be written on the squeegee if it comes from a serious source! But one thing is clear, the higher the durometer number, so harder it is.


How to buy:

Squeegee Roll

You should be able to buy squeegees in meters, or properly cheaper in rolls.


Why is Durometer is a squeegee reference?

In this paragraph, I will speak about the term durometer. The durometer is the unit used to measure the hardness of a squeegee. The hardness of the squeegee can be used to determine how much ink is applied to the textile to be printed. The squeegee plays an important role in printing, as it determines how much ink is applied and how sharp the print will be.

In conclusion, which Durometer is the best for us screen printers depends on what we are printing, spot color or dot designs, which colors we are using, and what stability they have.

If the design has fine details, for example, it is better to print with a harder Durometer between 80-90, less color will be applied.

The softer the squeegee is, the more colour is applied.

But also here it depends on the shape of the squeegee used, sharply edged or rounded—a squeegee with a softer Durometer, between 50 and 60. More color is pressed through the screen. To understand which Durometer to use, consider what ink is used and what you like to archive, high ink deposit or less.

A tip, try to use a soft durometer screen printing squeegee for the under-base and harder for the top colors.

Squeegee pressure, so harder you press so better it is? No, it’s ideal to have enough pressure to shear off the ink and clear the mesh. And not by pressing the ink through the garment.


How to test the Durometer Hardness of a Squeegee?

Here again we have a special screen printer tool.

Durometer Tester

Hardness Testers – Durometer, a unit of measurement that indicates the resistance value of a material to permanent indentation. This tool removes the guesswork again!


Squeegee Shapes

Squeegee different Shapes

Squeegee comes in different shapes, But also here it depends on the shape of the squeegee used, sharply edged or rounded, which will give a different ink deposit. The Conclusion is, a round squeegee edge, will lay down much more ink, than the sharp edge.


Why we have single, double and triple layers Squeegee?

Single Dual Triple Layer Squeegee

The squeegees with dual and triple hardness range usually have as double soft/hard or as the triple soft/hard/soft structure. They are designed to overcome the problems normally encountered when using too much pressure with a simple soft or medium hard squeegee.

For screen printing, we work mostly with single, double and triple layers squeegees.


How to Stoke with Squeegee as a Screen Printer

Squeegee Stroke Push or Pull

Push or Pull, and I spend time talking to Charlie Taublieb (opens in a new tab), what is the best way. The main idea about it is that you are less tired by pushing, as pulling.

I’m not sure, pull or push, do what you like to do and what fit’s your best. I started printing with the pull version; I try the push version, I have been tired at the end of the day, in any way. Perhaps it is like people like Mac and other PC. It’s with what you have grown up, I guess. But please try it yourself and see what is for you easier.

But whatever, try what you prefer. Pull the squeegee to you or push it away from you.

Principal stays the same, you should hold it at 75 degrees angle. This is a good starting point!

Now you like to get more ink on the garment, and you would lower the angle, you like to get less ink through the mesh, you will print a higher angel. Same is for manual printing or for automatic, same rules apply.

TIP, Especially for water-based inks, Soft squeegees work best for flow and a fast; the double stroke is better than a slow single stroke.


Squeegee and Take Care

How often have I seen workers throw the equipment down for cleaning.
Mix them in a box where they touch each other or fall on hard corners. Firstly, take care of your squeegee; any damage to the blade will have a direct impact on the print. Your edge condition is critical!!

Screen Printer Squeegee, How to store them

Squeegee and how to store them

The ideal position is that the squeegee does not touch anything. So this picture above is not that wrong, too dirty yes, and too old (squeegee is banding), but the squeegee is hanging free.

A Squeegee Handle Stand by himself
Squeegee Handle stand without support

This Squeegee I really like, the ergonomic shape seems to be handy, and the best is, you can store them upside down, great.

Simple Squeegee Holder made from wood

However, the goal is to protect the squeegee, and you should store them in a way, that in one glance you see, which squeegee you are looking for, that will fall under lean production. But more about that in another article.

But normally, we have for the squeegee, special fixtures, whether purchased or designed by ourselves, no matter. Just have a look at this Google search, and you will get the idea.


Tools for Squeegee

Here is a list of tools we have for the squeegee, to keep in shape or cut them.

  • Squeegee cleaner, an automatic machine to clean fast the squeegee
  • A clipper, to round squeegee corners, prevention of wear of the mesh
  • A knife cutter to cut the squeegee cleanly to length
  • Squeegee sharpener automatic or manual version exists
  • Manual tool for grinding the squeegee edges
Screen Printing Squeegee Sharpening
Watch this video on YouTube.
How to make a screen printing squeegee sharpener cheap, fast and effective
Watch this video on YouTube.

Environmentally Friendly Screen Printing Squeegee

Environmentally Friendly Recycled Skateboard Screen Printer Squeegee
Recycled skateboards screen printing squeegee

Yes, we have, I found this one, look at this beauty, made with recycled skateboards.

Source (opens in a new tab)

And don’t miss the Tip of the DAY for your Squeegee

FAQ

What is the best Squeegee Handle for Screen Printing

A Squeegee Handle Stand by himself

We always advise going for an Aluminum Handle, as it is easy to clean and last a lifetime.

Screen Printer Squeegee are made from

Squeegee Roll

Good squeegees are made with polyurethane ((PUR and PU) is a polymer), which has the advantage of chemical resistance, wear-resistance and retains its dynamic elastic properties.

Why Squeegees have different Colors

Single Dual Triple Layer Squeegee

The colour indicates the durometer it should have. But as we have no worldwide standard concerning squeegee, it’s up to the Manufacturer what colour code he gives for the durometer.

What squeegee shape is best for screen printing

Squeegee different Shapes

The squeegee shape, insurance the amount of ink it lay down. We in screen printing, use mostly the round or sharp squeegee. Round for more ink deposit and the sharp for less deposit.

What means durometer by a squeegee

Durometer Tester

The durometer indicates the hardness of the squeegee, so harder it is, so higher the durometer. Screen printer work in a range of 65 soft to 90 hard.

More on Screen Printing Equipment

More than 30 Years in the Screen Printing Business. Living in Mauritius Island in the Indian Ocean, Nationality : German, Married, two children.

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