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Packing Tape: What is the Best Tape to Seal Your Package

9 min read

Many supplies are crucial to an ecommerce business’s daily operations, including everything from packaging to paper for shipping labels. However, one subject that isn’t discussed often enough is packing tape.

After all, ecommerce involves a lot of packaging, which means tape will be a regular need.

However, there are several types of packing tape, each with its own practical applications.

So, which one is the best or most efficient for your specific needs? Well, there is actually a lot more to packing tape than one might think, which is why we have compiled the guide below.

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What is the Best Packing Tape?

The first question most people probably have is, what is the best packing tape?

The answer to this question can vary, as the basic answer is, well, packing/shipping tape. However, there are plenty of subcategories for packing tape, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.

Types of Packing Tape

Let’s get into the individual types of packing tapes and where each one shines.

Clear Packing Tape

Clear packing tape is the most common form and a reliable go-to.

Clear Packing Tape

Image source: Amazon

Also commonly known as polypropylene tape, it is affordable and versatile. It offers ample adhesion to seal up boxes and withstand temperatures quite well.

Hot Melt Tape

For those looking for heavy-duty packing tape, hot melt tape is a good choice.

Hot Melt Tape

Image source: Amazon

This tape is designed to have an extremely strong adhesion to various surfaces. It offers a quick bond and easier release compared to clear acrylic tape. However, it is more expensive.

Paper Packing Tape

Brown packing tape is an excellent choice for ease of use. Paper packing tape is designed to be torn by hand for easy opening when the package arrives.

Paper Packing Tape

Image source: Amazon

Despite this design, it is still durable enough to withstand rips and tears during transit. Paper tape can be written on or marked easily, which can be an advantage for notifying carriers of fragile products or other information.

PVC Tape

PVC tape is currently considered a specialty or premium product. It is not currently utilized as much as other tapes, but it is increasing in popularity.

PVC Tape

Image source: Amazon

PVC tape offers significant advantages, including flexibility, adhesion to uneven surfaces, and high performance under extreme temperatures.

Custom Packing Tape

A great way for ecommerce companies to separate themselves from competitors is by using custom packing tape. There are multiple options for this, but it could include colored packing tape or branded packing tape.

Custom Packing Tape

Image source: Amazon

Using tape that has the company’s name or brand colors on it is a unique way to make an impression on customers.

Type of Adhesive

The type of adhesive used on the tape is one of the most significant factors in its quality and usability. The three common adhesives are:

  • Acrylic: Acrylic tapes tend to be a bit more expensive, but they are pretty resilient to extreme temperatures. This is a common choice for plastic materials and packages that remain in a storage warehouse for some time. Acrylic can take longer to bond than other adhesives, but it tends to be longer lasting.
  • Solvent: Solvent adhesive thrives when used for heavy-duty packages and in high humidity and temperatures.
  • Hot melt: As mentioned above, hot melt adhesive thrives in heavy-duty situations, making it a good choice for heavy packages or larger boxes.
  • Natural rubber: Natural rubber is highly adhesive to rough surfaces and recycled carton material. It also holds well in cold temperatures, making it ideal for refrigerated or freezer packaging.

Avoid Duct Tape!

Unfortunately, packing is one of the few places where duct tape is not a good fit.

Compared to actual packing tape, it doesn’t adhere to cardboard very well and will tend to peel off. This could lead to products being exposed or contents spilling out.

Duct Tape

Image source: Amazon

In fact, many shipping companies will even reject packages sealed with duct tape.

Best Packing Tape Dispenser

Let’s take a quick look at the types of packing tape dispensers. They make the packaging process so much easier and faster.

Base Tape Dispenser

As the name implies, a base tape dispenser sits on a base similar to masking tape dispensers.

Base Tape Dispenser

Image source: Amazon

It is the most simple dispenser out there. Simply pull out the desired length and use the serrated lip to cut it.

Electric Tape Dispenser

Electric tape dispensers are similar to base dispensers, except they dispense electronically.

Electric Tape Dispenser

Image source: Amazon

This is much easier than pulling the tape out manually, but they will also be more expensive.

Handheld Tape Dispenser

The most efficient and best tape dispenser is probably the handheld version. It offers the convenience of one-handed use, so the other hand can hold boxes closed.

Handheld Tape Dispenser

Image source: Amazon

Moreover, it is much easier to use one of these when packing multiple boxes instead of pulling out one piece of tape for each box.

What Size of Tape Should You Use?

Another factor to consider when choosing packing tape is the width of it.

Most standard packing tapes will come in 2-3” options. However, some can be found with widths up to 4 inches. Realistically, most applications will not need 4” wide tape, but it can be a good choice for heavy-duty applications.

The expanded width means more holding power to keep boxes sealed shut, even over long transit.

Eco-Friendly Options

The boom in ecommerce has produced more waste than ever from packaging and products, leading to environmental concerns.

Fortunately, there are plenty of eco-friendly packaging and tape options these days that can help reduce an ecommerce business’s footprint.

eco friendly packing tape

Image source: Amazon

Moreover, using these materials will help an ecommerce business resonate with environmentally conscious customers.

Choosing the Right Tape

When it comes to choosing the suitable tape for your ecommerce needs, it is essential to take several factors into consideration.

It will come down to whether the package will see extended exposure to extreme temperatures, the size and weight of the package, and how long it will be in storage.

We hope this guide helps you to navigate packing tapes better and find one that suits your needs.

Ecwid Can Help You Launch Your Ecommerce Store

Ecommerce can be an incredibly exciting journey, and Ecwid is here to help. Our selling platform is easily integrated with several other online platforms, including Etsy, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, TikTok, and more. You can even connect multiple stores, making it easy to see everything you need at a glance.

The best part is you can get started today for free.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best packing tape to use?

The best packing tape can vary depending on the particular circumstances of the packages. Standard packing tape is a versatile option for most packages.

However, packages that will be exposed to high temperatures or sit in storage locations for extended periods may do better with alternatives like hot melt or solvent-based tape.

How many options for packing tape are there?

Several packing tape options, including clear, hot melt, and paper packing tape, can work for ecommerce purposes. Custom packing tape with branding or colors can also be an excellent choice for making a customer impression.

Can I use duct tape for packing purposes?

It is common to hear that duct tape is usable for virtually any purpose. However, it is not recommended for shipping. Duct tape doesn’t stick very well to cardboard, which means it can peel, and contents may spill out. Many shipping companies won’t even accept packages sealed with duct tape.


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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

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