Getting Started with Lino

At the start of my 100 days challenge I had no idea what was the best lino to use. Fortunately, I came across an amazing starter pack from Essdee. Being money conscious, I done a quick comparison of prices across sites to find the cheapest price which turned out to be Amazon. I was so pleased that this pack contained everything I needed to get started including two different types of lino- traditional hard lino and a soft cut lino. It was also very budget friendly at only £22.35! This let me get a feel for using both the hard and soft lino.

This was a great start but I soon ran out of lino and needed some more to continue with my 100 days challenge. I quickly realised that there is lots of variations of lino or block printing sheets all different sizes and thicknesses and I had no idea what one would be best.

Over the last few weeks I have tried out a few different brands of lino carving sheets and now feel comfortable about what I personally like the best. So, I thought it might be helpful to do a little comparison of 4 different lino sheets and their advantages and disadvantages. That way you can see what each lino sheet is like without having to spend a fortune!

The four sheets I am going to compare are a Rubber carving block I found on Amazon, Speedball, Essdee soft cut and Essdee Traditional which you can see all four of below.

Essdee Tradional

I found the Essdee Tradional Lino to be quite tough to carve. I had to put a lot of pressure down to carve a line with but this did give me quite a lot of control over the cut. This Lino is only one sided and is the thinnest sheet. However this is the cheapest in price at £7.99 for a pack of 2 large sheets (305mm X 203mm)

Essdee Soft Cut

The Essdee soft cut lino is much easier to carve than the normal Essdee sheets. You do not have to put nearly as much pressure on lino, allowing for easy flawless carving. Again this lino is only one sided but is also very good value for money at 8.99 for a pack of 2 large sheets ( 300mmX 200mm).


The speedball lino is excellent quality for extremely easy carving as it is super soft and smooth. The speedball lino is also double sided so you can potentially use the other side if you make a mistake on one side. The lino is considerably expensive in comparison to the essdee lino at £ 21.05 for one large double sided sheet (228mm X 279mm).

Rubber Carving Block

Like Speedball this is extremely easy to carve. This lino is also very thick and could be potentially used double sided. It comes in a variety of cool colours but is only available in a small size at £5.99 per one double sided sheet. Although I don’t recommend it for detailed prints as because it is extremely soft it is hard to be accurate.


Overall Summary

Each of the lino sheets have their own advantage

Essdee: Very budget friendly

Essdee Soft cut: Budget friendly and easy to carve

Speedball: Beautifully soft and extremely easy to carve

Rubber carving block: Very thick so can be used on both sides or great for stamps!

Personally, I love how easy to carve the speedball lino but  I usually prefer to use the Essdee soft cut as it’s easy to use for accurate details and because its affordable  I don’t feel guilty about making mistakes and starting again.

I have made a wee clip below to show you what it is like to carve each of the sheets!




I hope you liked this post, please let me know if you would like to see more like this!


Chloe x


I have provided some links below to the products I have used in this post


Essdee Starter Pack

Essdee Lino Cutting and Printing Kit – 22 Pieces


Essdee Traditional

Essdee Art Print Linoleum (305 x 203 x 3.2 mm Lino Pack of 2)


Essdee Soft Cut

Educational Arts 3.0/SC4 300 x 200 x 3 mm Softcut Printing Block, Pack of 2



Speedball 9-Inch-by-11 3/4-Inch speedy-Carve Carving Block


Rubber carving block

10x15cm Rubber Carving Blocks DIY Your Own Rubber Stamps (Pink)