Different Types of Tape and Their Uses
Using tape is an essential activity in many crafts. From handymen to woodworkers and even plumbers, all of them may eventually need to use some kind of tape in their work.
This means there are several options to choose from when it comes to using tape. Depending on the craft and job, you’ll want the one that meets your needs.
Here we are explaining all the different options you’ll have so you can pick the ideal tape for your requirements. Excited to learn more about the many kinds of tape out there? Then take a step further and find out!
1. Duct Tape
The duct tape is one of the usual go-to options and probably the most popular you’ll find.
Many people also know it as the “Duck tape” because the Duck Corporation was one of the first brands to sell it.
Duct tape consists of fabric and polyethylene mesh, giving the tape enough strength and flexibility to work in all kinds of jobs.
It is also waterproof and provides one of the most long-lasting effects. You can quickly expect duct tape to last several years after using.
Most people use duct tape to fix all kinds of stuff. From plumbing to HVAC and even construction or carpentry, duct tape has several applications that give it tons of versatility and convenience.
The only problem is that duct tape is not a permanent option. Most of the time, it works as a quick fix for objects or different jobs. You can still get a lot of top-notch results using one of these.
We recommend having duct tape in your toolbox if you are a plumber, woodworker, or carpenter. As a general handyman, this tape will give a lot of handiness as well. Don’t dismiss one of these when arming your toolbox.
2. Masking Tape
You could say masking tape is the preferable choice of painters. But in reality, almost anyone can use it.
Thanks to a durable polyester or polyethylene with fabric build it provides an elastic and resistant enough capacity to work in a wide array of jobs.
It is not as long-lasting as other types of tape, making it very cheap but also versatile. You could say it is a disposable version of duct tape.
Painters, especially amateurs, use masking tape to “mask” different parts of a wall, vehicle, or furniture to cover parts they don’t want to paint over.
But many people also use it to repair or fix small objects quickly. You could get a lot done with one of these in your toolbox.
If you want a more durable and resistant version, you can get a heavy-duty industrial masking tape that works in powder-coating, sandblasting, and plating or etching jobs.
And for those in the decoration market, there’s also colorful masking tape. It’s ideal for decorations of all types.
Whatever you find more useful, masking tape is almost always pretty affordable and easy to use.
3. Invisible Tape
This is another of the most popular options in the market. The Scotch tape or magic tape is an incredibly helpful type of tape for a wide array of uses.
It consists of a cellophane backing build that works with pressure and typically leaves an invisible or transparent effect. Not the strongest, but it’s still pretty reliable overall.
It is normally waterproof as well, making it an excellent choice for a wide array of applications. But it is not a permanent option apart from a few specific uses.
You could also find it in different colors with tons of transparency, including brown, yellow, or red – each one with its own set of advantages.
Most people use transparent tape in paper products such as sealing cardboard boxes or envelopes. But there are many other applications, including binding paper or wrapping all kinds of objects to protect from scratching.
Despite its transparency, the non-adhesive part of the tape allows users to write over too. It helps to identify things without damaging or covering any part.
There are many different applications to consider, as it is one of the most popular in the market. In almost any household and business, the invisible tape tends to be a standard tool to have around as it works for nearly anything.
However, it is still a pretty expensive product despite its popularity and simplicity.
4. Packing Tape
This is a combination of transparent tape with duct tape. It is probably the sturdiest option for those who want something durable and reliable overall.
The tape activates with pressure, which allows it to be more effective for many different purposes. And it’s all thanks to its polypropylene with polyester construction.
This also means it is clear or close to invisible, with no color most of the time. You may still find some alternatives with solid colors such as red, blue, yellow, or green. Most of the time, the color doesn’t make any difference, but in some brands, it could.
As its name says, it helps to pack all kinds of stuff, especially cardboard boxes. But people may use it for all sorts of jobs, including fixing all kinds of things.
In industrial environments, packing tape may be thicker and broader than usual. This allows it to provide a stronger & more reliable performance, ideal for working with automatic machines or packets for fast application.
But it’s still a rather inexpensive option. So, having one of these can come pretty handy for any packing or covering job in many different areas.
5. Strapping Tape
It is thicker than packing tape but narrower. You could say it looks like a small version of the former but offers excellent results when it comes to strength and durability.
The adhesive on this tape tends to be really strong and practical. Yet, its construction is also made of propylene or polyester, sometimes adding fiberglass filament that helps to increase overall strength.
It is nearly impossible to tear up, so it is almost necessary to use it along with scissors or any cutting utensil. But this also makes it a widely reliable option for many applications.
When people use strapping tape, it’s mostly for reinforcing boxes or other seals. It is also pretty reliable when covering heavy or fragile stuff along with cardboard boxes.
Its name refers precisely to this, as it is very secure to wrap things around. Even in industrial uses, this tape is almost the same and still delivers outstanding capabilities.
In the shipping industry, this is the most common tape around, and it is also the most useful. As a plumber or woodworker, you can use it to protect fragile objects when carrying them around.
6. Double-Sided Tape
This is probably the most unusual kind, but also one of the most useful. Not many people use it, but as its name says – it offers tons of versatility due to its double-adhesive construction.
It is normally thinner than other tapes, yet it offers the same kind of strength and durability.
The construction of this tape is usually polyester with heavy-duty plastic, so it can hold tons of weight and bind things together strongly.
This tape is useful in a wide array of applications including mounting stuff on walls, attaching things together, and much more.
People of many crafts such as arts or carpenters tend to use this tape for small jobs. It is not exactly the most durable option out there, but it’s useful enough for most uses.
As a plumber or woodworker, you can use this one to secure all kinds of things without having to use bolts, screws, or soldering.
7. Electrical Tape
If you’re an electrician, you surely have this one in your toolbox. But it’s also widely known as insulating tape.
It comes in different constructions and protection grades. The usual black color is the most common, ideal for small jobs or fixing wires quickly. To do this, it is generally made of rubber or vinyl, two non-conductive materials to prevent electricity from passing through.
You find it in a wide array of colors accordingly. Each one will have its own set voltage ranges depending on its specific application or build.
Its whole purpose is to prevent electrical wiring or contacts from being exposed. Whether it is piecing together different wires or preventing them from staying out in the open, electrical tape is the way to go.
Electricians are the most common type of worker who uses this tape, for sure. But as a plumber or general handyman, you could also get a lot done with it.
8. Drywall Tape
The backing of drywall tape is typically fiberglass, cloth or paper. It is two inches wide, and it’s pretty easy to use.
The color of drywall tape typically resembles the same shade of drywall or paint. But the backing depends heavily on the decision of the user.
It’s made to last and offers ideal tear resistance despite its seemingly weak construction. And what’s even better, drywall is still pretty affordable.
The main application of drywall tape is to seal joints and cracks in drywall, hence its name.
Thanks to its color, it usually feels invisible and needs no additional tweaking to pass inadvertently in walls.
A variety of drywall tape made of paper is strong and more durable than its standard version. This works really well to keep things together firmly and help achieve a long-lasting effect.
Plumbers and contractors can get rid of common setbacks with this tape. It’s not an essential tool to have but can come in handy in many situations.
9. Carpet Tape
There are many kinds of carpet tapes, yet they all work in carpets as the name says. The construction is obviously cloth or fabric, and sometimes it doesn’t come with an adhesive.
It is not the toughest option out there, but it’s still reliable enough for its applications. Most people who use this kind of tape are general handymen or carpet-makers.
Among the many applications, you can find attaching carpets to the floor. This is with the fabric tape with a double-sided adhesive that helps to piece things together.
Another application is with a different option, the one where it helps to piece two carpets from the bottom.
And the last option is the one with only one side with adhesive, ideal for masking tears or breakages in carpets or thick upholstery furniture. Some carpet tapes are even waterproof, suitable for outdoor use.
It is not the most useful tape of all, but it’s still an option to consider depending on the situation and your line of work.
10. Cloth Tape
Cloth tape, as its name says, is made of cloth. You can find this type in many different places and for various purposes.
But of course, the cloth can vary enormously. Most people use standard cloth tape, but it can be vinyl, polyester, sometimes even velvet or more extravagant types.
Users of cloth type can vary from tailors to construction workers and more. It is one of the most adaptable options out there.
The most common use for cloth tape is in art projects. Artists and craftsmen tend to use to fix tears and making small fixes in projects.
Tailors may use it for sewing, furniture makers with the same purpose or add protection or reinforcements to objects.
Construction workers, electricians, and plumbers may use it to seal walls, wires, piping, and more.
You may even find it in hospitals or clinics, working as a pressurized tape to cover wounds or fractures.
11. Surgical Tape
This is the ideal tape for surgeons as it comes with a completely hypoallergenic cloth build. It doesn’t irritate the skin, it doesn’t produce a rash, and it’s entirely safe for use over any kind of wound because it is also soft.
It prevents infections and has an utterly uncolored appearance. When it comes to medical usage, no tape compares to surgical tape.
When it comes to covering wounds or bandages, holding tubes or medical appliances, surgical tape is the only safe and reliable option.
But of course, it may also come with different backings that could make it either waterproof or more elastic. Sometimes, it may even come with zinc-oxide backing, ideal for preventing infections.
Many people also use it to produce pressure in wounds and prevent blood loss and much more.
12. Gaffer Tape
It looks like regular duct tape and almost like electrician’s tape. But this one offers a stronger construction than these two.
It activates with pressure and offers a very reliable cloth backing, making it highly secure and elastic.
You may find it in many different colors, but it usually comes in black matte. This happens because this way, it doesn’t reflect light and makes it useful for its purposes.
It works similarly to both duct tape and electricity tape. You could use it to bundle cables or wires. To attach things together or make quick fixes due to its strong adhesive.
However, the original purpose of this tape was to resist heat more effectively than its alternatives. This makes it especially useful for air conditioning or heater experts.
Plumbers and working contractors may also get a lot from it. The resistance and overall strength it delivers are unique, and it’s still versatile to be used in many different ways.
13. Friction Tape
You will also find it as Grip tape. It is one of the most unique options out there. But you could say it is virtually electrical tape but with a cloth build. This increases its strength and overall durability.
The unique factor this tape offers apart from its similar options is that both parts are adhesive.
However, one side is more adhesive than the other, which makes it ideal to leave sticky patches anywhere you use it.
You’ll find mostly in black, and it is distinguishable for its protuberances or small gripping mounts on its backing. So, you could say it delivers excellent grip this way. Thus, it gets such a name.
The majority of users for friction tape come from the sports industry. From baseball to biking, motorcycling, and tennis – it offers the chance to improve overall grip in places where it’s needed.
Baseball players use it in bats, bikers in their handles, and tennis players in their rackets, and so on.
But handymen may also use it in their tools. Plumbers, carpenters, woodworkers, and even electricians may cover their hammers, mallets, screwdrivers, pliers, and other tools with this tape.
This helps to achieve a better grip to prevent dropping or just losing strength when using them.
14. Floor Marking Tape
As its name says, it is a sort of tape that goes on floors. There are many sub-types of this product, but the most common is the one with the traditional black and yellow design.
It is not the sturdiest or the most flexible of all, but it is reliable enough to support steps, heavyweights, and scrapping.
The most exciting part of this tape is the adhesive, as it is one of the toughest out there. It can last several days, months, or even years stuck in the floor.
This all comes from its PVC and vinyl construction. It even holds forklifts and other vehicles passing over. You won’t ever experience a floor-marking tape breaking or tearing easily.
But all this also means it is one of the thickest. So, it’s not useful for typical tape applications like quick fixes and the like but works wonders for its original purpose.
It goes on floors or walls. This often belongs in industrial or warehousing facilities to keep people off certain areas. Sometimes it may just work as a warning sign.
Other uses are routes or paths. In some of its less standard colors, this tape may work as a way to mark a trail in places like hospitals, airports, or construction sites.
Some colors may even come with glowing or reflective design, ideal to use in roads or paths in dark places.
So, despite being one of the most unusual, it can be useful for almost any user, including plumbers, electricians, or construction workers.
15. Self-Amalgamating Tape
Some types of tapes don’t have any adhesive. And the self-amalgamating tape is one of those.
It is made of rubber, silicone or both together. Making it one of the most elastic out there, but also one of the hardest to cut or tear.
It is probably the most reliable non-adhesive tape you’ll find. The construction resists everything from water to sunlight, prevents heat and fire to damage it, and still delivers excellent electrical insulation.
People use it for almost anything, including wrapping pipes and wires, hoses, and so on. Thanks to its sturdy construction, it delivers one of the most reliable seals in the market, ideal for plumbing and electrical applications.
But many other industries like the aerospace and the aviation markets also use amalgamating tape for its strength and durability.
It often offers the chance to reuse as it is easy to remove as well. So, you not only get one of the strongest but also the most convenient options. Yet, it is one of the costliest you’ll find.
16. Speed Tape
This is another of the less-known options in the list. Not many people use it apart from the vehicle industries, including aviation and aerospace.
That’s because it comes with an aluminum build with a laminate backing, ideal to resemble proper metal in a single tape.
It is entirely resistant to water and heat, yet it delivers excellent adhesiveness, perfect for sticking it almost anywhere without problems.
As said before, you’ll mostly find this tape in the vehicle industries, so it’s not very common to use around.
But for its metallic build and overall strength, it delivers excellent results for any job that demands that kind of application.
As a plumber, you may use it to repair metal pipe leaks. It may also work to seal metal boxes as an electrician, or just make temporary fixes in metal objects as a general handyman.
Get the Right Tape for Your Needs Now!
The ideal tape will be the one that matches all your demands as a worker. Whether it is electrical tape as an electrician, plumber’s type as a plumber, or masking tape as a painter, or just whatever – you should go for what matches your requirements.
Once you have the right tape figured out, then you’re ready to get it. And why not, you may even get several of these options and become an even handier worker.
You should be aware that it all comes down to being more prepared, depending on the situation. And for that, all these tapes will always be there to consider. Get yours now!