Lino printing can be quite a cheap printmaking technique to start learning, however it is hard to find the right equipment to get started with and produce lino prints that look good. We have chosen to review some of the cheaper and also the more expensive all in one lino printing kits that we found on Amazon to help you make an informed decision on what to buy.
What are we looking for in lino printing kits?
There are a few basics that we will be looking for in each of the lino printing kits that have been reviewed which are listed below.
We will look at whether the lino printing kit includes a block of lino for printing and to see what type of lino is included in the kit. You can get different grades of lino which are harder to cut, which also allow some more detail to be carved into the lino.
Lino Printing Inks
Lino printing inks are essential for lino printing, depending on whether you use water-based or oil-based inks will determine the quality of your final lino print. Most kits featured will use water-based inks, which are still good for printing but can be a bit thin depending on the quality.
Lino Cutting Tools
Lino cutting tools come in a variety of shapes and sizes, some are tools fixed with specific cutting heads which are Japanese styled cutting tools and others can be changed on the fly such as Essdee lino cutting tools. Out of personal choice, I would recommend the Essdee tools so you use a variety of cutting heads for lino.
Lino Printing Roller / Baren
To print your lino print you will need a roller to roll out your ink onto your block of lino, most lino rollers included in these kits do the job just fine. You can get more expensive weighted rollers that help to disperse the ink evenly without having to apply pressure.
A barren is used to apply pressure to the back of the paper when printing, this then squashes the inked lino block against the paper and prints your design. Professionals would use a printing press, such as a nipping press to print blocks of lino. Most kits came with a baren or recommend a wooden spoon as a cheap alternative to print with.
Lino Printing Paper
One of the essentials of lino printing is the paper that is used when printing, some kits recommend paper to use and others came with paper. There are a myriad of papers to choose from when lino printing, so a plus if the lino printing kit comes with some. We would recommend getting specialist printmaking paper to get the best results form your lino print, such as Fabriano papers.
1. Essdee Lino Cutting & Printing Kit (23 Pieces)
The 23 piece lino cutting kit by Essdee is good to get you started with lino printing, it offers a variety of tools for you to experiment with along with a tube of half-decent printing ink.
The kit also has 2 types of lino, useful so can experiment with more professional graded lino and get more detail with your lino print. One other key bit of kit that I really found useful was the 3-in-1 Baren, Stamping tool and also desk tidy for lino cutting heads.
The main let down of this kit was the lack of paper that was included in the lino printing kit, this is one key component of lino printing. We do recommend using a paper such as Fabriano printmaking papers.
2. Artway Printmaking Kit
The Artway printmaking kit was chosen to be one of the kits higher in this list as it was one of the only kits to contain printmaking paper designed for lino printing. It did not contain a starter guide which was fine for myself, however, if you are starting to learn it can be handy (I do have a lino printing process guide to help)
The kit does not contain a baren, however you can use a wooden spoon to print with. The lino quality is good, there is only 1 sheet of lino though. The lino cutting tool included is the same as the ABIG lino cutting set shown below, which is quite a good lino cutter I would choose a Essdee lino cutter if I had a choice.
I would say this kit is worth the money and suited to all, just not not younger children as you have to cut the lino which is quite tough.
3. Essdee “Carve A Stamp” Kit
Essdee offer a great all in one stamp carving kit which comes with all of the needed tools to get you started with lino/stamp printing.
This would make a great gift set for anyone you know who is creative and looking to learn printmaking!
4. Zieler Lino Cutting & Printing Set (30 Pieces)
This 30 piece lino cutting kit by Zieler makes an ideal choice for lino printers to get started from home, it also includes a handy book to get your creative buds flowing.
The lino cutting tool that is included in this kit is not as good as the Essdee lino cutters, however, they are still good enough to get the job done. The roller and ink that are included are adequate for the job, however, I would advise trying to get a better set of ink if you choose to pursue lino printing. This kit also does not contain a baren or paper which was slightly disappointing.
Overall the lino printing kit is a good buy, just not suited if you want to get a high quality print due to the lack of a baren.
5. Speedball Deluxe Block Printing Kit
Speedball is well known for supplying great starting kits for both lino printing and screen printing. The kit itself is fairly good as it offers a variety of tools to get you started and also a set of different coloured inks which many lino printing kits don’t offer.
The ink roller that is contained was not really that great though out of personal choice, sadly this kit did not contain any paper too!
Overall the kit is good, just a bit too pricey for a starter/taster kit, you can get a cheaper option with the same or better quality.
6. ABIG Complete Lino Cutting Set
The ABIG complete lino cutting set offers a set of a basic set of tools that are good to get you started with lino printing, good for the money but could have offered a little more.
This lino printing kit did not offer a baren to help with printing your lino, you can use a wooden spoon for this. There are also not any tools for stamp printing, which are not essential but can make a good addition if you want to experiment with stamp printing lino.
The ABIG lino kit can be a good kit to help you get a taste of lino printing, however, if you pay a few extra pounds more you can get the Essdee lino printing kits which have more lino printing tools.
7. Essdee Lino Cut Taster Kit
This Essdee lino printing taster kit is very much the same as the other Essdee lino printing kit in this article, however it is quite stripped down. It does not include the 3-in-1 Baren, Stamp and lino tool storage tool or variety of lino types to choose from. It also has a roller that is of a lesser quality, however still useful some what for rolling ink.
The kit would make a good present for a birthday or if you want to whip up some Christmas cards.
8. Sntieecr Block Printing Starter Tool (21 Pieces)
The Sntieecr 21 Piece Block Printing kit offers a range of very basic tools, for the price you cant go wrong. Suited for beginners and those who want to a get a taste lino/stamp printing, please note that the roller is not that great for rolling out your ink to print with.
The lino cutting tools are cheap Japanese styled cutting tools, not suited for all people such as those who have issues with muscles in their hands.
9. Essdee Printing Kits For Kids
This Essdee block printing kit for kids is a cheap kit to experiment with, however, would advise to get another kit which has better quality materials.
It is ideal for junior creatives starting out and to peak their interest in printmaking art.
Additional Lino Printing Tools
- Abig Wooden Handle Lino Cutter & 5 Blades
- Essdee 10 Lino Cutters and Handle Set (Lino Cutters Styles 1 to 10)
- Essdee Self-Adhesive MasterCut Printing Stamps (For use with Lino Cutter and Stamp carving kit)
- LINO Assorted Cutter Set, Metal, Black, 2 x 7.5 x 9 cm
- Essdee 3 in 1 Lino Cutter and Stamp Carving Kit (10 Cutters and 5 Carving Stamps)
- Essdee 3 in 1 Lino cutter and Baren Kit (5 cutters styles 1 to 5)