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What is the difference between Acrylic Packing Tape and Hot Melt Tape?

by Jim Stalker January 17, 2019

acrylic vs hot melt packing tape for carton sealing

 Choosing the right packing tape for your packaging needs ensures that your packages are sealed securely and durably. Each type of tape is designed for different applications and surfaces. Hot melt and acrylic tape are commonly used for professional and home packaging.  PackagingSupplies.com carries a large selection of tape to fit any of your packaging needs.  Here is some information to help you choose the right tape.

How heavy are your packages?

Light weight envelopes and mailers use packaging tape less than 2 mil. thick

Up to 70 lbs.: Use a 2-3 mil tape

Up to 100 lbs.: Use a 3 mil packaging tape or thicker


Mil. Measurement refers to the  amount of adhesive that is on the actual tape not the thickness of the tape itself.



  • Use clear acrylic tape for retail packages with printed artwork or logos. Clear acrylic tape is transparent and will not obstruct the prints. Acrylic tape provides a strong bond, so it is suitable for home and warehouse packaging. Hot melt tape provides a stronger bond, seals faster and takes less time to apply than acrylic tape. It is also resistant to tears, scuffing and exposure to some chemicals. Use it for bulk packaging, rough surfaces and going over edges.


  • Hot melt and acrylic tapes are available in various colors, including clear and tan. Hot melt tape yellows with age, while acrylic tape does not. The appearance of acrylic tape does not visibly change with age or sun exposure



  • Hot melt and acrylic tapes are functional in cold and hot temperatures. Hot melt tape works well in temperatures ranging from 45 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, while acrylic tape can be applied in temperatures ranging from 32 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. These tapes may not adhere to your packages outside of these temperatures


  • Acrylic tape is more affordable than hot melt tape. Economy-grade acrylic tape, which is thinner than other types, provides a strong, long-lasting seal and is cheaper than other types of acrylic tape. However, it may not perform as well as other tapes in environments with fluctuating temperatures and should not be used for heavy boxes. The price of hot melt tape depends on its thickness and size. Heavy-duty, or premium-grade, hot melt tape is suitable for sealing heavy loads and is more expensive than economy and general-grade tape.
Jim Stalker
Jim Stalker

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