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Tips for Choosing Packing Tapes

Ironically, getting them wrong could also cause a massive delay in fulfilling deliverables and great inconvenience not only to customers but also to the employees.

Packing tapes are an example of seemingly inconsequential materials that, in truth, have a significant impact on a business’s productivity. At first glance, packing tape doesn’t amount to much: they connect two separate pieces of materials, keep boxes closed, seal the edges of cardboard or plastic containers, etc. For this reason, most people buy the cheapest ones they can find on the shelves or catalogs.

Buying the cheapest packing tap is a mistake many businesses make at the beginning: spending money on low-priced but also low-quality tape. Any savings they made from the affordable purchase quickly becomes moot because problems soon emerge:

  • The adhesive is unreliable at best (employees need to double- or triple-layer the tape) and ineffective at worst (the unsticks quickly at the lightest pull).
  • Employees end up using more tape than necessary to keep a package well sealed.
  • Employees spend more time and effort than necessary in taping packages (e.g., someone has to dispense the tape manually while others seal boxes).
  • The adhesive weakens when the tape is exposed to extreme temperatures.
  • The tape quickly tears when it comes in contact with something sharp.

It would be wiser to invest in quality packing tape from the get-go than to try and maximize a bad purchase (and suffer inconveniences and quality setbacks in the process).

Which Tape Is Best?

While its tempting to always select the “best” product, when it comes to packing tape, its smarter to buy the best tape for your needs. The ordinary, clear, plastic tape would suffice for taping items in place inside their boxes, for example. But when sealing corrugated, flat board boxes for shipment, you’ll need more durable tapes with higher bonding capacities.

There are two types of tape you’ll find on the market:

1. Plastic or Pressure-Sensitive Tape

These are more widely used, not just in businesses but also in households. This is the typical clear plastic tape you find in school and office supplies stores. As the name suggests, users need to press on top of the tape to achieve maximum adhesion. Packing-quality pressure-sensitive tapes are also malleable and resistant to heat. They will hold well even if the packages are exposed to heat en route to the recipients. This tape is best used for:

  • Small, lightweight packages
  • Packages with customized or molded inserts that ensure all items fit comfortably inside the box
  • Takeout food containers

2. Water-Activated, Kraft Paper Tape

Also known as “gummed tape,” water-activated paper tape with kraft backing is more prevalent among businesses. Versatile and with a high adhesive strength, Kraft paper tape can offer more value than simply holding together two flaps of a cardboard box.

This type of kraft paper tape is ideal for:

  • Aesthetic packaging (e.g., subscription boxes for hobbyists, limited-edition products with custom packaging)
  • Boxes filled to the brim
  • Boxes that are under-filled and don’t have structured inserts
  • Large and heavy packages

Kraft Paper Tapes: Quality Tape with Aesthetic Advantages

Kraft paper tape is uncommon in households and arts and crafts, but it is one of the preferred types of packing tapes among retailers, sellers, and businesses that offer deliveries. To use it, you need to moisten or run a wet sponge or cloth on the adhesive side before taping it in place (the adhesive is similar to how the seals in mailing envelopes work).

Water-activated kraft paper tape offers many benefits:

1. Dependable adhesive strength - Kraft paper tape has the seal of approval from the U.S. Postal Service and UPS, thanks to its sufficient adhesive coat weight and reliable strength. Animal- or starch-based adhesives may be used, depending on the brand of the tape. Kraft paper tape bonds very well with most packing materials, including corrugated boxes and plastic surfaces. It doesn’t fall apart, nor does the adhesive give way when there’s unequal pressure pulling on opposite sides of the tape.

2. Durable backing - Other types of paper tape, like masking tape, are not ideal for sealing the exterior sides of packing boxes because they fall apart when exposed to water. Kraft paper tape, on the other hand, has water-resistant and very durable backing. The tape remains intact, and the adhesive stays strong even in moist conditions.

3. Customizable backing design - Yes, you read that right! ou can customize the backing design for your Kraft paper tape, which is an incentive if you’re looking for creative and aesthetic ways to seal packages before sending them off for delivery. Adding your brand’s colors, logo, slogan, and other visual elements on the packing tape makes packages from your store look well put together. It gives your business a professional and credible image since customers often have an elevated perception of branded materials versus generic ones.

4. Easy to use - One of the best things about water-activated paper tape is they’re not sticky until you moisten the adhesive side. This makes it a lot easier to use because you can freely measure the length of tape you need and not worry about the adhesive sticking the wrong way. It’s a small advantage, but it’s a welcome convenience for employees who must keep wasted materials at a minimum and meet your business’s quality standards for packing.

5. Saves time - Kraft paper tape doesn’t tear easily; that’s why it needs automatic dispensers that cleanly cut the tape according to the length you choose. The option to use a dispenser is very helpful and a timesaver. It might only take a few seconds or minutes to find the end of the tape when it sticks back on the roll, but the disruption to the workflow and the accumulation of those minutes could set your employees back by 30 minutes or more per day.

6. Offers extra security - Besides its high-strength adhesive, water-activated tape with kraft paper backing offers another layer of security. It is a tamper-evident seal, which means recipients will know if the package has been opened without consent or suspiciously manhandled. It encourages couriers to be extra careful in transporting and delivering packages to your customers.

If you prioritize any of these, consider using kraft paper tape in the packing segment of your business.

The Boxery will give you more information about the uses and applications of water-activated kraft paper tapes and pressure-sensitive tapes. Get in touch with our Customer Support team, and when you’re ready to buy, call us so we can offer you a bulk discount.