There are a variety of styles of screen printing frames available.

At the low end of the spectrum are wooden frames. You can buy wooden frames, or if you have basic woodworking skills, and a little bit of equipment, you can make your own. If you are just starting out, you should just buy one or two. I bought my wooden screens at Dick Blick. The benefits of wood screens is they are relatively cheap. Some of the negatives are that they can warp over time, since you are going to be running them under water often. The better wooden frames have jointed corners. The cheaper ones have 45 degree mitered corners, with little metal fasteners. The mesh is usually held in place by cord pressed into a slot. The mesh can sometimes come loose if the cord slips. This can be fixed by removing the cord, stretching the mesh over the frame, and stapling the mesh in place.

A step up from wooden frames are aluminum frames. Aluminum frames have welded corners, and won’t warp. But aluminum frames are more expensive than wooden frames. But they will last longer than wooden frames. The mesh is permanently glued to the frame.

The best frames you can buy are Newman Roller Frames. These are also the most expensive. These allow you to retension the mesh by tightening the rollers. I have read about the process of tensioning the mesh on one of these, and it is quite involved. If you are a hobbyist, or not really planning to be printing lots of shirts regularly, these are probably overkill. The mesh can be replaced on a roller frame if it is damaged, or to use a different mesh count.

When buying frames, you also need to decide on what kind of mesh you want to use. This is because the frame usually come mounted on frames. I use 110 monofilament mesh. Mesh with higher numbers will allow more detail. Mesh with lower numbers works better from printing light colors on dark shirts. 110 is a nice middle ground general purpose mesh.

You will also need to determine the size of the frames you want to use. The larger the size of the frame, the more they will likely cost.