Poly (lactic acid)/halloysite nanotube (PLA/HNT) nanocomposites have been studied extensively over the past few years owing to the interesting properties of the polymer, PLA, and the nanoclay, HNT, individually and as composites. In this paper, the influence of the screw speed during extrusion was investigated and was found to have a significant impact on the mechanical and thermal performance of the extruded PLA/HNT nanocomposites. To determine the effect of screw speed on PLA/HNT nanocomposites, 5 and 10 wt% of HNTs were blended into the PLA matrix through compounding at screw speeds of 40, 80, and 140 rpm. Virgin PLA was compounded for comparison. The resultant polymer melt was quench cooled onto a calendar system to produce composite films which were assessed for mechanical, thermal, chemical, and surface properties. Results illustrate that in comparison to 40 and 80 rpm, the virgin PLA when compounded at 140 rpm, indicated a significant increase in the mechanical properties. The PLA/HNT 5 wt% nanocomposite compounded at 140 rpm showed significant improvement in the dispersion of HNTs in the PLA matrix which in turn enhanced the mechanical and thermal properties. This can be attributed to the increased melt shear at higher screw speeds.