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Buzz Session

Screen Printers Name Their Best Business Buys for Under $100

Our Brain Squad members share the purchases that delivered the most bang for their buck.




CHEAP DOESN’T ALWAYS mean low quality. What are your best business buys for less than $100? We asked our Brain Squad and their responses run the gamut.

Can you add anything to the list? Feel free to comment below with your own thoughts.

  1. Nail polish for pinholes and noise-cancelling headphones for the crew next to the washout room. — Shannon M, Aisle6ix Industries, Sydney, Australia
  2. Art packages. — Lonny R Willis, Freelance Arts, Caldwell, Idaho
  3. Gorilla Glue Clear for a permanent blockout/mesh protector and $5 magnifying glass from Northern Tool that has a rubberized frame. It’s virtually unbreakable. — John Drake, Quackerbox Creations, Dallas, Texas
  4. Flash unit. — Pete Junior, New Era Apparel, Oceanside, New York
  5. Flip folds and a rocket book for me to stay organized with a checklist. — Joe Ortinau, Ortinau Art, Pemberville, Ohio
  6. Costco fans, Vornados, and Air movers. — Eric Carnell, Independence Printage Corp, Bellevue, Washington
  7. Silicone tack roller (~$25), small microscopes (~$20), cone filters ($23 for 250), and Polyken 221 tape (~$50). — Kyle Baker, Baker Prints, Chicago, Illinois
  8. Gift cards to say thanks for the extra effort for staff. — Keith Abrams, The Decoration Facility, Indian Trail, North Carolina
  9. Noncontact IR temp gun. — Mark Coudray, Coudray Growth Tech, San Luis Obispo, California
  10. Cooling towels. They’re under $3 each and in the absence of proper air conditioning, they keep everyone cool in the shop. — Joshua Rogers, Grunt Style, Carol Stream, Illinois
  11. A Wypall rag that has chemical already on it. Kind of like a disinfectant wipe. — Al Meisser, Team Print, Bourbonnais, Illinois
  12. I bought some all-black ink on eBay once for our Epson film printer. They worked very well, and they lasted a long time. The purchased prices were roughly $30. — Gavin StGeorges, Proud Tshirts, Miami, Florida
  13. Metric ruler. — David Ashenden, QTCo, Kedron, Queensland, Australia
  14. Give every employee a Loupe and a Pantone book. — Edward Cooke, ECI Screen Print, Watertown, Connecticut
  15. Keyboard-sized whiteboard to scribble notes on while on calls and put priority items on. — Jeremy Picker, AMB3R Creative, Denver, Colorado
  16. Too many to list! — Mark Kistler, FireSprint Printing, Omaha, Nebraska
  17. I talk all day and have sometimes up to 10 scheduled calls with clients. Ear buds don’t work for me, so I use a headset. It’s important to have one that has a great battery and also be comfortable. Here’s the one I use – it works great, and at $33, it is well worth the money. — Marshall Atkinson, Atkinson Consulting, Mesa, Arizona
  18. Thermal temperature gauge for end of dryer to insure ink cure. Ink scale. Laser guide to print over pockets. — Bill Bischoff, Bischoff Design/Atomic Tees, Modesto, California

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S.screen-printing business, you’re invited to join the Screen Printing Brain Squad. Take one five-minute quiz a month, and you’ll be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting screen-print pros. Sign up here.



Let’s Talk About It

Creating a More Diverse and Inclusive Screen Printing Industry

LET’S TALK About It: Part 3 discusses how four screen printers have employed people with disabilities, why you should consider doing the same, the resources that are available, and more. Watch the live webinar, held August 16, moderated by Adrienne Palmer, editor-in-chief, Screen Printing magazine, with panelists Ali Banholzer, Amber Massey, Ryan Moor, and Jed Seifert. The multi-part series is hosted exclusively by ROQ.US and U.N.I.T.E Together. Let’s Talk About It: Part 1 focused on Black, female screen printers and can be watched here; Part 2 focused on the LGBTQ+ community and can be watched here.

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