Gouges and knives cut the block. Speedball gouges are good and sufficient (their #1 set outsells the rest), Flexcut and Lyons offer a higher grade set, Flexcut in a rollup carrier.
Brayers spread the ink. Printmakers know that an ink is appropriately drawn when the sloppy hissy sound of tacky ink subsides to a more gentle hiss.
Brayers are either hard or soft. Soft brayers are sometimes more desirable because they flex into imperfections or print a warped surface more complete than hard brayers can. Hard brayers can hold more detail.
Barens offer a slightly rounded firm but soft surface that applies the right pressure for good hand prints - if you can't find a spoon.
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