Hand Stamping - what is benefit of wood stamp vs stamp & handle?
September 30, 2019 12:27 PM   Subscribe

I want to order a stamp to label and sell our local honey. I found this item on Etsy but have no experience with hand stamping. Am I better off with the wood stamp or the stamp & handle? Any experience/opinions to share?

This is the stamp I want to order.

The item detail reflects the differences but all I see (since I have zero stamping experience) is one has a handle and one doesn't but I'm sure there's more to it:

• Commercially molded wooden art mount- No Handle
• Stamped sticker index for easy positioning and identification

• Traditional style rubber stamp with commercially manufactured black handle

posted by hrhcc to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's just a matter of preference. The Handle gives you a bit more control versus the wood block. If you have large hands, the wood stamp is a bit harder to hold and to place precisely.

Looking at the site, I'd actually go for the self-inking. That is easiest, and you don't need to deal with inkpads.
posted by hydra77 at 12:38 PM on September 30, 2019 [2 favorites]

OK so the block stamp (the one without the handle) normally has what you're stamping (ie, your honey label) also stamped onto the back of the stamp -- see the Thank You image as an example. This makes it very easy to place -- you look down and where you see the words Thank You is exactly where they are going to be stamped on your paper. The down side is that the inking can be uneven because everything but the very small wood block ones are awkward to hold and to apply.

The ones with a handle are 900 times easier to ink, hold and apply but also 90 times harder to position.

The best solution IMHO is to get one with a handle and do your stamping on a grid cutting mat -- consistently position the paper on the grid and you'll quickly work out where on the grid to consistently position the stamp, too.

PS For the love of all that is holy, get the self-inking model.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:39 PM on September 30, 2019 [4 favorites]

A woodblock is only going to work well when the surface is really flat. The rubber one will have a bit of squishability and gripyness and easier to apply on not so flat surfaces. Sorta, it'd be easier to stamp a label already on a bottle with the rubber one than it would be with the wood one.

Don't go an watch David Bull's ukiyoe woodblock printing videos and get strange ideas.

I'd get enough of the woodblock style to cover the size of the full thing you're printing on. Mount them upside down. Roll on the ink, align the print surface into the registration notches, run a roller over them, and print a whole sheet at once and cut it up afterwards. But really, I'd go rubber stamp unless this is going to be a large number of prints.
posted by zengargoyle at 3:50 PM on September 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

With a woodblock, you can use a speedball press and get a lot more pressure and contact, and potentially a clearer stamp print. But a rubber stamp has its own unique rusticated look which you may prefer. Looking at the stamp you want, I'd definitely go wood block and press. With a rubber stamp spread over such a large area and thin lines, it looks way too easy to lose crucial information (lose one legible digit of a phone number and it's no good at all).
posted by rikschell at 4:36 PM on September 30, 2019

Thanks everyone! We need 2" stamp and self inking is only available for 1 1/2" (but confirming this) If self inking is not available in 2", we're going with the stamp & handle and ordering a grid cutting mat. Thanks again!
posted by hrhcc at 7:04 PM on September 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

Oh I thought it was a bigger stamp you were using, like a 6" -- a 2" stamp will be fine in the handle version without self-inking, just give yourself a few goes to get the hang of it. Enjoy!
posted by DarlingBri at 4:31 AM on October 1, 2019

Rubberstamps.com has self inking stamps with a long dimension greater than two inches.

If I were in your shoes, I’d check those out. I have lots of printmaking experience, mostly relief (similar concept to rubber stamps). If you need to stamp very many things efficiently, self inking is the way to go. Handle stamp will be next most efficient. The block type with no handle will probably make you crazy.
posted by Sublimity at 9:39 AM on October 1, 2019

Local print shops in your area likely have the ability to create self-inking stamps. Possibly for cheaper and less time, plus the normal benefits of supporting local. They would also have different types on hand for you to choose from and test out preferences.
posted by GoblinHoney at 11:29 AM on October 1, 2019

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