A Guide to Packing Tape: Introduction
There are some items we sell where it’s perfectly understandable that a newcomer to the world of packaging materials might struggle a bit. Heat sealers, for example, or plastic strapping. But surely, one would think, packing tape is packing tape? You unroll it, attach it to the lid of your cardboard box and it holds it down. Job done!
Well, yes and no…
Because when you take a few minutes to wander round the Tapes and Dispensers section of our website, you could find that it’s a little more confusing than you might have been expecting.
At first glance, the straightforward, low cost solution would appear to be polypropylene parcel tape, and in many cases it is. But even that’s not the end of it because, once you’ve got that far, you need to work out the relative advantages and disadvantages of acrylic, hot melt and solvent tape. Is it worth paying that little bit extra to buy branded products, like Vibac and Scotch tape? And why would anyone not choose low noise tape if there was an option?
And, of course, polypropylene isn’t always the right choice, otherwise that would be the only tape on offer. So in what circumstances is vinyl, gummed, or even glass reinforced filament packaging tape a better route to follow?
And is there really any practical difference between the clear and brown packing tape?*
There are more questions than answers (so far!)
Over on our Google+ page, I shall try to answer all the questions I’ve raised above, so that anyone tasked with sourcing packing tape for the first time will hopefully be able to make a fully informed decision. And once you’ve got your head round all that, I might even throw a few more irons into the fire. Like tape dispensers; we have almost twenty on offer, so how do you choose without just closing your eyes and picking one at random? And how about printed tape to make sure everyone knows that your contents are fragile; or even custom tape, printed with your company logo? Are they cost effective possibilities or luxury packaging solutions only for businesses with money to burn?
I’ll even describe some of the other tapes we do, not generally good for sealing cartons, but each with very particular and practical applications around the workplace – duct tape and masking tape, for example.
The first part, though – already posted and ready for you to peruse! – takes a look at branded tape, ie that made by household names such as 3M Scotch, to see if it’s worth the extra money.
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