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How to Choose the Right Packaging Tape

Packaging tape is a fundamental supply in all industries involved in warehousing and shipping. As a key component, it's important to make a well-informed decision when choosing which packaging tape you use. Various factors go into the consideration process such as application method, content weight, environmental factors, distribution conditions, tape quality and grade, and adhesion surface/substrate.  Choosing the wrong tape can be a costly mistake, so we've put together this guide to help you select the best tape for your needs.


Which Mil Should I Use?

BOX WEIGHT LENGTH + WIDTH + HEIGHT MIL THICKNESS
0 - 20 lbs. 0 - 40 inches 1.6 Mil - 1.8 Mil
20 - 35 lbs. 0 - 50 inches 1.8 Mil - 2.0 Mil
35 - 50 lbs. 0 - 60 inches 2.0 Mil - 2.6 Mil
50 - 65 lbs. 0 - 80 inches 2.6 Mil - 3.2 Mil
65 - 80 lbs. 0 - 100 inches 3.2 Mil - 3.5 Mil

**For package dimension/weights not listed on this chart, contact our packaging specialists to help you choose the proper tape for your application.

If your packaging is long or heavy (over 35 lbs) a 3" tape may provide a strong enough seal with a single application, a 2" tape may require multiple applications, costing time and additional tape.


Which Type of Tape Should I Use?

Acrylic tape (water-based acrylic) is often used during long-term storage or environments with extreme temperatures such as high humidity or refrigeration. It's used for lightweight box sealing.

Hot melt tape (synthetic rubber) is typically used in most sealing and shipping situations since it has higher adhesion than acrylic. It's also more flexible and provides a more consistent seal. 

APPLICATION PROPERTIES ACRYLIC HOT MELT
Rough/Recycled Corrugated Boxes Good Very Good
Printed Cartons Good Very Good
Adhesion in Cold Very Good Poor
Operating Range (Temperature) 32° - 140° 45° - 120°

Additional Tape Selection Tips

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Browse Our Hand and Machine Packaging Tape

If you have more questions on packaging tapes and what will work for you, call us at 1-800-826-4405!


Test Your Tape Performance

Not sure if you're using the right packaging tape?

If you're using more than one strip of tape to seal a center seam, your boxes are breaking open during distribution, or your box flaps are popping open after sealing, you are not using the correct packing tape. Our packaging specialists can make recommendations or you can utilize our Packaging Test Lab for a data-backed solution. Our lab can perform tests on a tape's shear adhesion, tensile strength, elongation, and peel adhesion while putting your actual packaging through simulated situations. Contact us for more information.