When it comes to screen printing, the quality of your prints is heavily influenced by the tools you use. One of the most essential tools in this process is the squeegee. But with various types of squeegees available, how do you determine which one is the best for your needs? The answer lies in understanding the durometer, or hardness, of the squeegee blade.

What is a Squeegee Durometer?

In screen printing, the durometer refers to the hardness of the squeegee blade, measured on a scale from 0 to 100. A lower number indicates a softer blade, while a higher number indicates a harder blade. The durometer affects how much ink is pushed through the screen and the overall quality of the print.

Types of Squeegee Durometers

1. Soft Squeegees (50-60 Durometer, Orange)

Soft squeegees have a blade that is more flexible, allowing for a thicker layer of ink to be deposited. They are ideal for:

  • Printing on Textiles: Soft squeegees work well on fabric as they can accommodate the uneven surfaces and textures, ensuring a good ink deposit.
  • Underbase Printing: For creating a solid underbase layer, a soft squeegee ensures the ink fully covers the surface.

2. Medium Squeegees (70-75 Durometer, Yellow)

Medium squeegees strike a balance between flexibility and rigidity, making them versatile for various applications. They are best for:

  • General Printing: Suitable for most substrates, including paper, cardboard, and fabric.
  • Detailed Prints: The balanced flexibility allows for fine details while still providing a good ink deposit.

3. Hard Squeegees (80-90 Durometer, Green)

Hard squeegees have a rigid blade, resulting in a thinner layer of ink. They are perfect for:

  • Graphic Printing: Ideal for printing on flat, smooth surfaces such as glass, metal, and plastic.
  • High Detail Work: Hard squeegees are excellent for intricate designs that require precision and fine detail.

Choosing the Right Squeegee for Your Project

When selecting a squeegee, consider the following factors:

1. Substrate

Different substrates require different ink deposits. For porous materials like fabric, a soft or medium squeegee is preferable. For non-porous surfaces like glass or metal, a hard squeegee is more suitable.

2. Ink Type

The viscosity of your ink can influence your choice. Thicker inks work better with harder squeegees, while thinner inks can be managed with softer blades.

3. Print Design

The complexity of your design should guide your choice. For high-detail work, a harder squeegee will help achieve clean lines and sharp edges. For solid areas of color, a softer squeegee ensures full coverage.

4. Print Quantity

For large print runs, a medium to hard squeegee is more durable and will maintain consistent print quality over time.

Maintaining Your Squeegee

Proper maintenance of your squeegee can extend its lifespan and ensure consistent print quality. Here are some tips:

  • Clean Regularly: Remove ink residue after each use to prevent build-up and blade deterioration.
  • Store Properly: Keep squeegees flat in a cool, dry place to avoid warping.
  • Inspect Frequently: Check for nicks or damage and replace blades as needed to maintain print quality.


Selecting the right squeegee for screen printing depends on various factors including substrate, ink type, and design complexity. Understanding the durometer and its impact on your prints is crucial for achieving the best results. By choosing the appropriate squeegee and maintaining it properly, you can ensure high-quality prints for all your screen printing projects.

So, which squeegee is the best? The answer lies in matching the durometer to your specific needs, ensuring that your prints are always sharp, vibrant, and precise.

Svara Horejsi