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Choosing the Right Tape for the Job

    With any job, having the right tool makes all the difference. Understanding and using industrial and packaging tape is no different. With hundreds of options, choosing the correct tape for the job at hand can sometimes be challenging. I’d like to start by breaking down the different tape categories; hand packing, machine packing, water activated, cloth backed, reflective-informative, containment, masking, and specialty tapes.

    Hand Packing Box Tapes are what most people are familiar with when they think of self adhesive tapes. These are used for sealing boxes for mailing or moving. They usually are found as 2” wide, 110 yards long rolls. The majority of these tape rolls are found to be clear, however there are now many colors available for marking boxes at a glance or just for fun. Smaller rolls, ½ inch wide and much thinner, are usually found on your desk at work. With either the larger 2” and 3” rolls, or the small rolls, Hand Tape Dispensers or Automatic Tape Dispensers make applying this tape much quicker and easier.

    Similar to hand packing tapes are Machine Packing Tapes. The simplest explanation is that they are longer, 1000 – 1500 yard rolls, designed to be used with Carton Sealing Machines. Great for sealing cartons and boxes for shipping, this tape has become an industry standard.

Vibac 2" x 1000 yard Machine Length Case Sealing Tape

List Price $90.87

PTI Price $77.01

$12.84 per Roll

2" x 110 yard Vibac Box Tape - Case of 36 Rolls

List Price $65.55

PTI Price $55.55

$1.54 per Roll

Standard Electronic Tape Dispenser

List Price $665.00

PTI Price $598.00

    Water activated or Gummed Tape isn’t used by most people outside of the workplace, however it can improve carton strength, packaging security and decrease material waste. Once wetted and bonded with a corrugated carton this tape quite literally becomes a part of that box. This type of tape is great for creating a secure, professional looking seal. For application one of our Gummed Tape Dispensers is required to wet and sometimes heat the tape.

    Containment tapes have been designed for tensile strength. Capable of securing extremely heavy loads, Filament Tape has fiberglass filament running down the length of the tape, making it virtually impossible to break. Strapping Tapes are similar to filament tapes, but instead of using that fiberglass filament they are made from a different material. This tape can be great for moving or bundling certain items, but for boxes, stick to using hand or machine packing tape.

    Cloth back tape, more commonly known as Duct Tape has a wide variety of uses as everyone knows, some functinoal and some whimsical. This type of tape boasts excellent adhesion with an extremely durable cloth design, making it great for repairs, construction, marking, and of course duct work. Usually this tape is found in a silver color, but now there are many color options available. Duct tape has a well earned reputation for being flexible and durable, leading to products being constructed of only duct tape! A lesser known brother of duct tape is Gaffers Tape. It has a very similar construction, but designed for use in theatres and production. Gaffers tape has a non-reflective backing so as not to stand out under lights, as well as a weaker adhesive so that it doesn’t leave any sticky residue when removed. Gaffers tape can also be found in a wide variety of width, lengths and colors.

Load Containment Tape

List Price $163.88

PTI Price $132.12

$0.92 per Roll

2" AC30 Heavy Duty Poly Hanging Duct Tape

List Price $223.83

PTI Price $201.99

$8.42 per Roll

Premium Painters Tape

List Price $181.39

PTI Price $150.68

$6.28 per Roll

    Masking Tape is also quite common, used for school projects, painting and many other applications, this tape has a low adhesion that is easy to clean up. This tape has been designed to be applied before painting and removed after, creating clean lines, or protecting certain areas. There are many quality levels of masking tape, with actual blue Painters Tape being one of the best for paint protection. Graphic artists also us a very similar tape called lithograph tape for working with negatives and other artistic materials.

    There are many tapes also designed for displaying message or clearly marking certain items or areas. Hazard Tapes are usually found on vehicles or trailers, having been DOT approved, an extremely strong adhesive makes marking a vehicle or any object to be visible at night an easy task. There are also Barricade Tapes for marking off dangerous areas to the public, and Floor Marking Tapes designed to adhere to cement and create walkways within warehouses or factories, again keeping people safe. Pre-Printed Packaging Tapes are also available for putting a message directly on a box while sealing it shut like a hand packing tape would. With the newest printers and manufacturing techniques almost any message can be printed and attached to almost any surface.

    Some of the most interesting tapes are specifically designed for certain jobs. Like Glow in the Dark Tape, made for highlighting escape routes in public places in case of emergencies. Heat Sealing Tape, also known as teflon tape, is quite amazing, it’s made to cover extremely hot wires on shrink wrapping machines, keeping the plastic from melting straight onto the heating element. Aluminum Foil Tape has been designed to work even better than duct tape in duct work, and is safe to use even around the heater as it reflects heat. The truly amazing Tamper Evident Tape has been made for your most secure packages, only part of this tape can be removed, always leaving a mark showing that the package has been opened. And of course there is Electrical Tape, insulated to be safe even when applied directly to electrical wires.

Warehouse Striping Tape

List Price $132.73

PTI Price $112.48

$7.03 per Roll

Tamper Evident Packing Tape

List Price $36.58

PTI Price $31.00

Safety Line Tape

List Price $21.18

PTI Price $17.95

Wire Insulation Tape

List Price $112.10

PTI Price $95.00

$0.95 per Roll

    Hopefully this brief description about a wide variety of adhesive tapes and their uses has been informative and helpful. Remember, using the proper tape for the job can make all the difference, and that duct tape, however useful it may be, is not the proper tape for every application.

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