Stamp Carving Medium Comparison Table
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Stamp Carving Material Comparison Table
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About this table: My trail name is Bumble and I use various carving materials to carve stamps - some are custom made for the purposes of stamp-making and others are meant for lino-cuts that have been put to this purpose. This table has been created to track and assist others with choosing the right carving material for themselves.Questions? Comments? Concerns? You can get in touch with me via my blog at bumblingacrossletterboxes.blogspot.com
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Last Updated: July 15, 2016
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RankMediumMade byCostThicknessTransferProsConsUse this if...
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1HorunaviSEED$$$$$11 mmYes: heat, pencilThickness makes it perfect for an unmounted stamp - easy to carve, easy release, gives good details - perfect for knife carversCost (due to shipping), availability (due to limited sellers)…you are knifer carver willing to spend more money than other brands to for a fun session of carving to carve a stamp that never needs to be mounted
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2Eraser StampDaiso$$$$$6 mmHeatWonderful for both knife and gouge carving, doesn't pill or crumble, beautiful prints, not hard and a pleasure to carveOriginal version discontinued, difficult to find...you can find it at the original price
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3Unnamed layered material (Sandwich)?? Available on eBay, etc, comes from China$$ 8 mmAcetone works, heat doesn't.Inexpensive depending on shipping, non-crumbly, good inking, not to hard on the hands to carveUneven carving surface, heat transfer doesn't work, strange wet feeling that never goes away, possility of breaking fine details...you're a dedicated pink stuff user who wishes that the new pink formulation weren't so damn floppy and are happy to do a chemical transfer (acetone)
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4Unnamed solid colour material (SLQ)?? Available on eBay, etc, comes from China$$$8 mmAcetone works, heat doesn't.Inexpensive depending on shipping, nice velvty texture, great printsNo heat transfer, not readily available...you know how pink stuff *should* be and are happy to do a chemical transfer
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5Hankeshi-KunHinodewashi$$$$$11 mmHeat, pencilThickness is great for letterbox stamps, easy to carve due to soft slicing, great for gouge carvingCost (due to shipping), availability, enough of a crumble factor to make very detailed positive carving risky...you want a good quality gouge carvable material and don't mind spending the $$$
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6OZ KutStampeaz$$6 mmEverything: heat, pencil, xylene, acetone, wintergreen, parchment...Long lasting, very long-lasting and holds up to abuse, very fine details retained, great for both gouge and knife carversQuite hard and can be hard to use repeatedly if you are prone to sore hands...you want a go-to material that will hold up to just about anything, and you're not prone to sore hands
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7Speedy Carve (2013)Speedball$$7 mmHeat, acetone, xylene, pencilCan buy it anywhere, consistent carving, soft enough that it is not hard on hands, holds up to pretty heavy useVery floppy (needs mounting for large-scale stamps), rubbery texture bends, material can break easily when carved parts are rubbed...you want a great material for gouge carving and don't necessarily need perfectly straight lines
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8Easy-Cut LinoAbove Ground - Studioworks$3 mmHeatPleasurable carving, soft enough for knife and gouge, great inking and printing, good priceThickness means it needs to be mounted to use as a stamp...you want to buy local (Toronto) at a good price for an all purpose stamp carving material
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9Moo CarveNCTC Inc.$$$$11 mmHeatCarves easily, thick enough to grip, does not need to be mountedExpensive, not readily available, kind of feels like you're carving skin...you have it available and want to carve a thick-style carving medium
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10Butter KutStampeaz$$4 mmHeat doesn't work, acetone does.Fairly soft, so no hand cramping, fairly inexpensive. Good impression when stamping.Floppy, needs mounting due to thickness and floppiness. No heat transfer. Rubber quality means that it pulls at knife while slicing....you have a large gouge-carving project and want something soft to use
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11Firm KutStampeaz$$6 mmHeat, pencil, othersLong lasting and holds up to abuseHard on hands, ink can bead up before stamping, may not be available any more...you want a deal on OZ, and only if it's still available!
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12Dick BlueDick Blick$3 mmHeat, pencilInexpensive, non-crumbly, good transfer, good inkingMust be mounted to carve and use, material is hard and can cause hand cramps while carving, sharp knife/gouge needed...you're a seasoned carver with pain-free hands who wants to save $$$
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13Soft KutDick Blick$6 mmHeat Cheap, good transfer, good registrations from stampDifficult to knife carve, very floppy, could be difficult to use to stamp if larger...you want an inexpensive material and primarily gouge carve
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14Unnamed dark grey materialDeSerres$< 3 mmHeat, acetone, xyleneCheap, good transfer, good registrations from stampMust be mounted to use as stamp, darkness of colour makes it difficult to see transfers without a very bright light...you want to save money and have good eyesight
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15Easy CarveDick Blick$$
9 mmAcetone works, heat doesn't.Super soft, cheapCrumbly af, degrades quickly, too soft for detail, any detail you get disappears as it degrates...you want a starter medium to teach miniature humans or if you have enemies you want to prank
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16Crystal BlockLifeMaster$$$$ 10 mmHeat transfer worksCool looking, inks really wellExpensive, comes only in 5 x 5 cm squares, very difficult to knife carve, only just not impossible to gouge carve...you're bored and want a novelty carving material to try to lift your spirits
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17Speedy Cut EasySpeedball$$7mmAcetone works poorly, heat does not workReally, nothing to speak ofExpensive, hard to carve because so soft, pills by rubbing, pills by cutting, transfers difficult, short lifespan due to crumble factor...you want to say you've tried it for comparison purposes
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18Clear CarveJack Richeson$$
< 3 mmHeat doesn't work, neither does acetone{still thinking}Just about everything: the texture, the carving, the inability to transfer, not being able to knife carve, the thickness of the material over the image you're using......you want a bad material to create a set point from which all badness is measured
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19Easy-to-Cut LinoJack Richeson$$3 mmHeat works okayNoneIt doesn't like to be cut, which is obviously a problem for something that specifically has "stamp making" as one of its uses. Misleading at best, avoid....you really have a dislike for your fingers
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Material I'm in possession of, reviews still to come:
OZ Kut B
Material I don't have, but is out there:
Mastercarve
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Speedy Cut
Ezy Carve
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Softoleum
Essdee Mastercut
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Speedy Carve (2012)
Nasco Safety Kut
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Clear Printmaking Blocks
PZ Kut (the dead parrot of carving mediums)
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EZ KutFractis
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SEED Soft/Hard-type
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Karve Majik
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Chinese layer - removable
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