Japanese hard shore rubber from Intaglio Printmakers. It's about 5 years old. I've mashed the heads of the screws that hold the roller to the handle so have to wash it in one piece. The rubber now has a slightly sticky texture, not sure if this was because I used white spirit on it a couple of times, or age or just general abuse *. Oh and the surface is no longer pristine, no major dings just a slight softening of the edges and some shallow texture. However this is still the one I choose.
Just over a year ago I was seduced by the gorgeous glossy green-ness of a durathene roller. It cost me a small fortune. And still I pick up my old rubber roller. Why? you might ask, well lend me your ears...
The durathene roller itself is a beautifully smooth surface and picks up and lays down ink a treat, it's the rest of the tool that irks me.
#1 the screws holding the roller bit in place are loosely fitting, hide water after washing, rust and then when least expected distribute rust powder over my ink
#2 probably because of #1 my roller squeaks. a lot!
#3 the wooden handle, which screws into the roller handle unscrews itself slightly with each rolling action and has to be repeatedly re-tightened.
I could probably deal with these but the last is my real bug bear
#4 it has no built-in rest to keep the freshly inked roller clear of any surface that will foul the ink
Basically this expensive product has the handle of a tool a 1/5 of its price.
Other rollers I have known ....
I have a smaller version of the Japanese rubber roller, I sometimes use this for selective inking. The other tool in the photo is an old rubber roller, I've never used this for inking (the surface is very cracked) but it is useful for hand rubbing prints on fine tissues. In the past I've bought and used these cute little rollers nice smooth action and inking but the small circumference makes them impracticable for larger pieces.
I once bought a cheap black plastic roller. Nasty :-(
* I use Caligo Safe Wash Inks and clean up with soap and water.