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Finding the Right Packing Tape for Your Situation

by Tim Spicer April 24, 2020

Finding the Right Packing Tape for Your Situation

Packing tape or carton sealing tape as it is known is available in many different grades.  For some many reasons, this product is the source of frustration for many users.  People love to comment on how easily it can tear, how it barely sticks, or how hard it is to find the edge to get the roll started.  Rest assured, if you do a little homework, you can have a much better experience without paying that much more.

First of all, look at the mil thickness of the tape.  The thickness is measuring the clear plastic plus the actual adhesive.  Measured by a micrometer, typical economy grades of packaging tape will measure as 1.7, 1.7, or 1.8 mil.  You will pay a little more but try using a 1.9, 2.0, or 2.2 mil.  You will certainly notice an improvement in the tape not tearing as easily.

Secondly, there are three options with adhesive types on packing tape – hot melt, acrylic, and natural rubber.  For everyday use, hot melt works fine  and is very economical .  It also blends best with the tape’s “release coat”.  Meaning all tapes have a finish put on them to allow the tape to come off the roll nicely.  Just because it comes off easily does not mean the adhesive is bad.   Coming off the roll nicely is a good thing.  Acrylic works well in warm warehouse temperatures and also has the longest non-yellowing properties over time.  Finally, the most aggressive adhesive is natural rubber which also performs the best in cold temperatures.

In summary there are many combinations of tape that will suit many different packaging needs.

Tim Spicer
Tim Spicer

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