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Why Is Gaffers Tape More Expensive Than Duct Tape?

I'm often asked what the difference is between gaffers tape and duct tape. After all, gaffers is more expensive, and duct tape seems to be adequate for many types of jobs. Duct tape is a good option for projects that require tape to permanently hold something in place. But if the tape is only intended to be in place temporarily, gaffers may be the better choice.

Gaffers tape is preferred by people in the theater, event, and audio/visual industries because it can be removed without leaving behind an adhesive residue, but another benefit is that it doesn't reflect light.

Some applications for gaffers tapes – such as the Polyken 510 Premium Grade Gaffers Tape – include protecting and anchoring wiring in the photography and film industry; bookbinding; vinyl school bus seat repair; wrapping or bundling of wire, metals, and plastics; protecting and anchoring electrical wiring; and moisture and dust-proof sealing of equipment cases and film canisters. This is a high-tack tape that works well in both low and high temperature applications, and has a clean removal adhesive.

Other gaffers tapes, such as the Pro Tapes Cable-Path Tape or the JVCC Wire-Line Cable Cover Tape, have an adhesive-free zone in the center of the tape which allows for cable and wire to be easily pulled through – and there’s no adhesive left behind after removal. This tape is perfect for events and productions where you need to tack running wires onto floors and need the flexibility of adjusting length.

Duct tape is well known for its versatility and strength. It will hold together almost everything, making it a very reliable tape to use when you want to be sure that your project doesn't fall apart. Polyken 231 Military Grade Duct Tape is used for military and aerospace packaging and other demanding applications. Nashua 357 Premium Grade Duct Tape is the duct tape professional contractors choose when they require a consistent, trouble-free product. Its uses include HVAC (heating, ventilating, air conditioning) and refrigeration applications, the sealing of seams and joints in metal air handling systems, and the manufacture of flexible duct equipped with metal collars – among many others.

The high adhesion properties of duct tape means it typically will leave behind residue, so it's not the best choice when you need to remove the tape once your job, event or project is over.

Watch the video below and I’ll show you the difference in adhesive residue left behind by each tape.

Why FindTape.com Is Supporting Military Families

Operation Homefront For many of us, war seems a distant prospect. But for millions of U.S. military men and women and their families, it is an ever-present and lasting reality. More than 2.5 million people have served in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11, and more than 50,000 have come home wounded. On the homefront, their families bear the brunt of the war's implications, including economic hardship and health issues. For many, it's a daily struggle.

These men and women and their families need our help, and I'm very excited to announce FindTape.com's support of Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit that provides emergency and other financial assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors.

But before I tell you what we have planned, I'd like to explain why our support of military families means so much to me.

Many divisions of the U.S. military are customers of FindTape.com, and we're proud to serve them. But the decision to support military families is a very personal one, for several reasons.

Both of my grandfathers served in combat in World War II, and the stories they told about the war and the heroism of our soldiers always filled me with a strong sense of pride.

Until one of my closest childhood friends, Robert Valley, joined the 82nd Airborne, war was a distant prospect for me too. As a veteran of both Operation Just Cause in Panama and the Gulf War in Iraq, Robert made war a reality for me too. (As it happens, Robert also has close ties to FindTape.com. He's the owner of JV Converting, the primary tape converter we work with.)

I started FindTape.com while I was still living and working full-time in New York City, and I was working in lower Manhattan during the attacks on 9/11. This experience heightened my appreciation for the men and women who have defended the causes of freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan. I'm grateful for their courage and the sacrifices they and their families have made in defense of our nation.

It's in honor of these connections – my grandfathers, my childhood friend, and all of those who have served and are serving – that I've dedicated our charitable efforts at FindTape.com toward supporting military families.

I've chosen to partner with Operation Homefront because the support offered by this nonprofit organization makes an enormous difference for military families. In 2014, 92% of Operation Homefront's expenditures - $49 million - were spent on programs for military men and women and their families. This remarkable focus on making the lives of military families better is very inspirational.

So how do we plan to support Operation Homefront?

During the month of May, we'll help Operation Homefront raise awareness about the needs of military families due to financial hardship, death, injury, or physical or mental detriment as a result of service since 9/11. Follow this blog and our social media accounts – Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest – to learn more about the efforts Operation Homefront and others are making to improve the lives of veterans and military families.

We’re also pledging to donate a percentage of our merchandise sales – up to $10,000 – over Memorial Day week to Operation Homefront. From May 22 to May 28, 2015, for each purchase a customer makes on FindTape.com, we'll donate 10% of the total merchandise price to Operation Homefront.

It's our way of saying thank you for the courage military servicemen and women show and the daily sacrifices they and their families make in service to our country.

About Operation Homefront

A national nonprofit, Operation Homefront leads more than 2,500 volunteers with nationwide presence who provide emergency and other financial assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. Operation Homefront has provided assistance to thousands of military families since its inception in 2002. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity watchdog groups, nationally, 92 percent of Operation Homefront's expenditures go directly to programs that provide support to our military families.

Double-Sided Tape Adhesion Testing

Will This Adhesive Tape Hold? Testing the Adhesive Strength of Double-Sided Tape.

You may not believe it, but double-sided adhesive tape has remarkable – even Herculean! – strength. Some pressure-sensitive tape is even used as a replacement for rivets in buildings or in manufacturing. In other words, it's not just for mounting frames and other wall hangings.

Double-sided tapes are available in different backing or carrier types such as film, tissue, cloth, paper and foam and they are available in a range of peel adhesions and tensile strengths. Our least adhesive double-sided film tape, the JVCC DC-4109RS product has a peel adhesion of 29 ounces per inch and is comparable to a general-purpose masking tape. It's perfect for mounting lightweight items, such as nameplates.

But that's just a start. Some of the other double-sided tapes we offer at FindTape.com have very impressive strength and adherence qualities. A double-sided film tape like Scapa S301 Double Coated UPVC Tape is adhesive enough to be used in product assembly, while 3M 4950 VHB Tape is used in both interior and exterior structural bonding applications.

But rather than tell you about the adhesive strength of our double-sided tapes, I'd like to show you. In this video, I test four double-sided tapes to see which one can support the most weight. Check it out.

Best Adhesive Tapes for Scrapbooking

Mark Twain was a scrapbooker with a big appreciation for adhesive. In fact, he was so passionate about scrapbooking that in 1872 he invented a scrapbook with preinstalled gummed strips. It turned out to be one of his most profitable inventions.

Scrapbooking became popular in the 19th century with the explosion of newspapers and magazines, according to Ellen Garvey, author of Writing with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance. People clipped articles and pasted them into books to keep track of interesting news and information.

But scrapbooks also have a place in civil rights history. Women suffragists and African-Americans created scrapbooks as a way to express their political viewpoints, Garvey says. (Check out her more detailed discussion on this topic at a program hosted by the American Antiquarian Society here.)

More than a century later, the appeal of scrapbooking hasn't diminished. On May 2, thousands of crafters will celebrate National Scrapbooking Day. Of course, today's scrapbookers have many more design options, with dozens of adhesive tapes to choose from.

As you prepare for National Scrapbooking Day, here are a few adhesive tapes to help add patterns, colors, and texture to your scrapbooking project.

Easy Application

Acid-free ATG tapesMany scrapbookers use ATG dispensers to make it easier to apply adhesive tape to pages. JVCC ATG-7502 ATG Tape offers good adhesion to paper. Plus, it's acid neutral, which is essential for securing photographs without harming them. Another great tape is Scapa T002 ATG Tape, also acid or pH-neutral with an acrylic adhesive and is very easy to work with.

Duck Brand Prism TapeMany scrapbookers favor electronic cutting machines such as those from Cricut®. The Duck Brand Prism Crafting Tape works well in these, and it features a unique holographic / prismatic effect to add shine and dimension to projects. Patterns include small stars, squares and lots of dots.

Decorative Design

Duck Brand Printed Duct TapeImaginative projects require dozens of colors, designs, and textures, and these adhesive tapes offer no shortage. Duck Brand Printed Duck Tape is a patterned duct tape that tears easily by hand without curling and conforms to uneven surfaces. It's available in patterns such as ACU digital camouflage, black and white checker, blue tie-dye, dragon, hot rod flames, hardwood camouflage, leopard, orange tie-dye, paint splatter, pink zebra, skulls and zig-zag zebra.

For more, shall we say, illuminating projects, Duck Brand Glow-in-the-Dark Gaffer Tape Sheets provide a decorative element. They’re available in 8-1/2 inch x 10 inch display cards (the material area is approximately 4-1/4 inch x 10 inch) and are photoluminescent after the tape is activated by an artificial or natural light source. Sheets are available in a variety of shapes including numbers, letters, stars and moon, and circles and stripes, as well as a plain sheet.

Duck Brand Fabric Crafting TapeTo add texture to a project, Duck Brand Fabric Crafting Tape is a good choice. It’s a cloth fabric tape, available in several patterns: yellow speckled dot, pink with brown dots and white squares, coral multi stripe and blue pin dot.

We discussed Washi paper tape in a previous blog post, here, but it too is a popular option for adding patterns, color, and texture to your scrapbook page.

Duck Brand Duckling RollsDuck Brand Ducklings Mini Duct Tape Rolls are perfect for trimming because they are very small. They're available in a multitude of colors and patterns, including black, blue surf flower, blue leopard, chrome, neon pink, neon lime green, pink zebra, rainbow, zig zag and paint splatter.

Working with Photos

When working with photographs, an acid free/pH neutral adhesive is essential. Acid can cause the tape's adhesive to yellow over time thereby ruining the image. 3M Scotch 908 ATG Gold Tape is photo safe in accordance with both Black and White Photographic Activity Tests and Color Photographic Activity Tests (per ANSI IT9.16).

3M 108 Foam Mounting SquaresThere are times when you'll want your photos have a bit more pop. One way to give them a bit of dimension is to use double-side foam mounting tape. 3M Scotch 108 Removable Foam Mounting Squares are approximately 1/16 inch thick and add just enough lift to make your photos stand out.

National Scrapbooking Day

Celebrate National Scrapbooking Day by joining a scrapbooking event or group. You can find an event near you using community sites such as Meetup.com. In the meantime, make sure you order your scrapbooking supplies well in advance, so you have everything you need.

Top Trade Show Trends for 2015

GES Trend Tracker

Each year, GES, the global event marketing company, releases its Trend Tracker white paper, identifying 50 emerging trends in the trade show and event industry. The 2015 report was released in January, and it covers four areas: budgeting and planning, marketing, technology, and design.

This year, the report noted one very big overarching trend: Brand Experiences. Marketers are aiming to connect and engage attendees with their brands and with each other. As a result, GES says, "marketers will go 'all in' on experiential with bolder budgets, bolder strategies and bolder experiences that tie together creative, execution and data analysis."

High-tech, including gamification, drones, and next generation audio/visual, will also be front and center during 2015. In a post-report follow-up blog post, Paul Wedesky, the senior vice president of Audio Visual Services for GES, describes several additional audio visual trends for 2015.

Here are a few of our favorite insights both from the report and from Paul's post.

A Moveable Exhibit

Exhibit booths are being designed both to incorporate technology and to be re-purposed. According to GES, designers are being challenged by clients to create experiences that can be taken on the road after the event, to be used by the sales team. This includes not only product display elements such as digital catalogs, but also exhibit booths.

Helping your salesperson recreate this experience on the road is a lot easier if you have the right adhesive tape to tamp down wires and secure media equipment. We recommend packing a roll or two of JVCC GAFF30YD Gaffers Tape, an economical and popular general-purpose gaffer tape, along with the booth.

Open Floor Plans With More Media

With clients looking to create more inviting spaces, exhibit structures are becoming more open. At the same time, they're demanding interactive features, including more LED displays, touchscreens and tablets.

To keep wires under control and out of the way, but also have flexibility of movement, you can use JVCC Wire-Line Cable Cover Tape. The adhesive-free zone in the center of the tape allows for cable and wire to be easily pulled through, and no residue will be left behind on your cables.

An Artist's Space

More marketers are forging partnerships with artists, incorporating more creative and cultural elements into their events. For example, GES noted that "TD Bank commissioned artists to turn its storefronts into mini art galleries."

In case you're wondering, you can create some amazing artwork with adhesive tape. Check out some examples HERE. And to see a list of tapes used in the examples click HERE.

3D & 4K Monitors

More high-tech monitors are reaching the trade show floor in 2015, according to Paul Wedesky. He has noticed 3D and 4K monitors being using at medical and pharmaceutical trade shows to enhance the brand experience, and he believes that 3D eventually will become the norm.

For protecting and anchoring the monitors' electrical wires, we recommend Polyken 510 Premium Grade Gaffers Tape, which has a softer adhesive than most other gaffers tapes so it adheres better to carpets.

Projection Mapping

Another trend in audio visual Wedesky has noticed is an increase in projection mapping, in which special software is used to spatially map a design or scene onto an object, such as a building. The design usually fits the shape of the object.

When constructing your object, an ultra-high bond tape will help keep your structure together and stable. The 3M 4941 VHB Tape is a good multipurpose option, as it's ideal for use in many interior and exterior structural bonding applications. It's strong enough to replace rivets.

Low-Res Prototyping

As a way to test ideas and manage budget more effectively, event planners are creating prototypes of their space. "It allows decision makers to visualize the concept, and for changes to be made quickly without impacting the budget," GES says.

A good all-purpose duct tape will work for temporary structures. We recommend Polyken 2280 General-Purpose Duct Tape, which is often used for bonding and holding applications and bonds well to a wide variety of smooth and rough surfaces. It's easy to unwind and tear, so it's perfect for manual applications. The tape is also available in a variety of colors.

Electronic Brochure Kiosks

Printed product brochures have long fallen out of favor, but show attendees are still interested in receiving more information. Kiosks designed to deliver electronic brochures can be incorporated into the exhibit or as a standalone. Attendees can download only the material they want.

Robotics Technology

Creating and deploying a robotic attendee, as EventMobi did at IMEX, might be on every event planner's list now. If you plan to have your robotic ambassador travel the show floor, you can create a suspension system using double-sided sticky tape. By attaching the wheel servos using double-sided sticky tape such as Scapa S301, all four wheels will remain even on an uneven plane.

 

Finally, when you're packing up your exhibit, be sure to have plenty of Shurtape HP 500 on hand to seal your boxes. This tape is ideal for sealing cartons, and is recommended for overstuffed or underfilled boxes. It's perfect for trade shows, when you're likely to be re-packing older cartons or taping up bulky or odd-shaped materials.

Adhesive Tape Manufacturer Price Increases (2014)

The tape converters we work with have received correspondence from most of the major adhesive tape manufacturers announcing new upcoming price increases. Below we've included links to copies of each letter which includes details about the percentage increase and which of that manufacturer's product line it will affect. The prices on our web site will typically be changed the business day before the manufacturer's increase goes into effect (or soon thereafter) so please use this information to plan accordingly.

* last updated 5/1/2014

Uses for Drafting Tape

For most professionals in the engineering or artistic disciplines, ideas and concepts begin on simple sketches and drafts. The paper on which you work needs a solid and steady environment for rendering your ideas. For architectural and engineering drafts that required some degree of accuracy, the paper needs to be secured to the surface to allow for proper and accurate first renditions. The use of masking tape partially fulfills the requirements of the process, but presents some notable disadvantages. Drafting tape, especially manufactured for this express purpose, increases your efficiency as a draftsperson.

Drafting Tape Over Masking Tape

As an engineer, an architect or artist, you know that your draft needs to be secured to the surface in a flat, immobile manner while maintaining the integrity of the paper, which means that the edges and the corners should be held fast to the drafting board or the surface in use with an adhesive tape.

Masking tape comes in various sizes according to one's needs, and can easily secure your paper to the desired surface with sufficient tension. There are however, some disadvantages that come with using masking tape to securing your renditions to a surface:

  • Sometimes can leaves track marks of the adhesive compound.
  • Does not separate well with paper, and can often cause a tear when attempting to remove.

Drafting tape adhesive adheres to most surfaces, but is designed to not leave any marks on either the paper or the surface which allows you to quickly remove the draft for review and paste down a new one with the drafting tape. It is easy to peel off the tape, thereby preserving the integrity of the paper.

Drafting Tape Compared to Artist or Console Tape

Console tape, also known as Artist or Board tape, is similar to drafting tape because it is easy to remove or reposition, but it differs in usage. Console tape is mainly used for labeling various projects and since it is printable you can write on it using pencils, markers and pens. It also comes in various colors in case you also need the tape to stand out; especially when you are color coding certain aspects of your projects. Drafting tape is specifically designed to be relatively obscure and made to hold down or mount up your projects without compromising your working surface or your paper. Board or console tape uses synthetic rubber for increased bonding effect while drafting tape uses natural rubber as its adhesive agent, attributing its ability to bond with quite a number of surfaces.

Other Uses of Drafting Tape

Drafting tape allows for easy setups and removal, making it the ideal solution for all your drawings, artwork and drafts, and especially those that have been done on newsprint paper. You can therefore use it to put up your children's drawings on your art wall, or securing their work on the table to allow them to work with ease. It will also not leave marks on the wall, window, door or table surface.

3M Scotch 230 Drafting Tape3M Scotch 230 Drafting Tape is the version we sell online and like masking tape and board tape you can tear it off easily for convenience, and is pretty useful for holding up lightweight paper on horizontal or vertical surfaces and everything in-between, with the added advantage of easy and painless removal from the surface and from the paper without compromising the integrity of the paper. It comes in 60 yard rolls and in either 1/2, 3/4 or 1 inch widths.

The Rugged Fastening Power of 3M Dual Lock

3M Dual Lock60 years ago, when ground breaking Velcro fabric was invented, how things were fastened was revolutionized. Over the last six decades, Velcro fabric has been used in an endless amount of applications. Since the time it was introduced, this product has continued to improve through advances in engineering and technology. However, 3M has revolutionized fastening again with their Dual Lock line of re-closable tape fasteners.

Dual Lock tape has four times the gripping power of Velcro fabric and its self-adhesive backing strips will stubbornly not release even under intense temperature applications. The adhesive strips are also designed to bond well with slightly textured or irregular surfaces. These are major improvements over Velcro fabric, which is comparatively weaker and does not remain stuck to objects as firmly as 3M Dual Lock tape. The adhesive backing on Velcro is notorious for loosing its bond to surfaces when temperatures rise. 3M Dual Lock tape will remain bonded in these situations where Velcro fabric cannot.

Unlike Velcro fabric, 3M Dual Lock tape does not use loops and hooks for fastening. Instead, this product uses small plastic "mushroom-like" plastic stems to provide secure fastening. This allows for the handy feature of 3M Dual Lock tape being able to universally mate with most any other piece of Dual Lock tape. This works because where Velcro fabric required mating two different types of fabric strips, there is only one type of Dual Lock tape strip. Also, when pieces of 3M Dual Lock tape are joined properly, an audible snap is heard that gives you assurance the pieces are properly fastened. All of these additional features not found in Velcro put 3M Dual Lock well ahead in durability and reliability. 3M Dual Lock tape is also solvent and flame resistant.

Standard 3M Dual LockStandard 3M Dual Lock tape comes in three types, 170, 250 and 400. The number refers to the amount of fastening stems in a square inch. Thus, the higher the number, the more thorough the fastening. Some of the different types can be inter-mated. For example, type 170 can mate with types 250 and 400. Additionally, type 250 can mate with type 400. However, types 175 and 400 should not be mated with itself. But it is fine to mate type 250 to type 250, which is the most commonly used type and is sufficient for most applications. 3M Dual Lock tape is also available in a wide variety of widths.

Low-Profile 3M Dual LockIn addition to standard Dual Lock, 3M also offers a low profile Dual Lock that has a massive 700 stems per square inch. The stems in low profile Dual Lock are comparatively shorter than standard 3M Dual Lock tape, thus the jointing between strips is thinner. When mated, standard Dual Lock is about 1/4 inch in thickness, whereas low profile is approximately 1/10 inch. Since the fastening stems in low profile Dual Lock are shorter, the fastening strength is reduced when compared to standard Dual Lock tape. Low Profile Dual Lock can only be mated with itself.

If you need to mount heavy (or light) objects with an adhesive backed tape, 3M Dual Lock tape is the best product to use. It is highly functional, versatile, durable, comes in several variations. It can also be used in countless applications, such as attaching toll tag monitors, seat cushions in boats, computer accessories and removable medical equipment. Dual Lock can be used to reduce vibration and dampen sound, as well. Uses for Low Profile Dual Lock include attaching carpet and tiles, seat cushions, trade show exhibition graphics, point of purchase displays and small electronic devices, such as garage door openers.

3M Dual Lock is sold at FindTape.com in several of the varieties mentioned above.

Uses for Gaffers Tape

gaffers tapeGaffers tape, which is also referred to as gaffer tape, is a form of adhesive tape that has numerous uses. Gaffers tape can be purchased in rolls that come in varying lengths as well as widths. The traditional color of this tape is a matte black but you can find them in several other colors such as blue, white, burgundy, gray, fluorescent pink and so on.

Gaffers tape is quite similar to duct tape in the sense that it can be useful in an array of applications. However, unlike duct tape, this tape will not leave any adhesive residue when it is peeled off a surface plus it offers a matte finish.

So, what are some of the numerous uses of gaffers tape?

Mark Positions
A common use for gaffers tape is in positional marking. It is commonly used in the theater industry to mark positions on the surface of the floor that will indicate where props are supposed to go. It is often used in the theater and TV industries to mark actors' starting positions. What’s great about this tape is its durability. It won’t easily wear down due to foot traffic. In addition to marking starting positions, it can also be used to coordinate props since it comes in a wide variety of colors.

Manage Cables
Production studios, and convention halls also use gaffers tape to manage cables. Many cables in one area can prove to be a hazard as people could easily trip over them and have a nasty fall. With this tape the cables can be firmly affixed to the floor thus lowering the chances of any accidents happening. And when it is time to remove the cables and wires the tape will not leave them sticky like a duct tape would.

Bus Seat Repairs
Since this adhesive tape is a vinyl-coated cloth product it pairs nicely when covering tears and rips in vinyl seating like on buses. It comes in wide widths like 3 and 4 inches wide and in colors such as burgundy and dark green which works great for matching common bus seat colors and making repairs.

Book Binding
Gaffers tape is also widely used when binding books since its matte appearance is preferable to the shinny look you would get back with a duct tape. Its cloth backing also makes it very conformable so as to wrap nicely around a book binding. Typically a high tensile strength gaffers with good adhesion is used for book binding applications such as Shurtape Professional Grade (P-672) gaff.

Other Uses
Gaffer tape is not only used for positional marking in the theater industry, it can be used in plenty of other places. For example, it can be used to mark a hazard area, an incline, flights of stairs, and so on. FindTape.com sells gaffers tape in all its varieties.

New Selection Of Printed Designer Tapes Available For Purchase

JVCC SLPT20 Designer Packaging Tape JVCC SLPT20 Designer Packaging Tape offers custom designs or patterns printed on standard polypropylene film carton sealing tape. This tape is great for projects such as crafting, hooping, fashion and others; but is also exceptional at basic box and carton sealing or for just grabbing attention. Patterns include boat flags, chain, color bars, dashed-line road, purple circles and scissor cut.

Duck Brand Printed Duck Duct Tape Patterns Duck Brand Printed Duck Duct Tape Patterns is patterned duct tape with high performance strength and moderate adhesion characteristics. Excellent for repairs, color-coding, fashion, crafting and imaginative projects. Patterns include ACU digital camouflage, black and white checker, blue tie-dye, dragon, hot rod flames, hardwood camouflage, leopard, orange tie-dye, paint splatter, pink zebra, skulls and zig-zag zebra.

Duck Brand Printed EZ Start Packaging Tape Duck Brand Printed EZ Start Packaging Tape is a 2.6 mil thick high performance packaging tape loaded into a disposable dispenser. The tape offers a wide temperature range; doesn't split or tear; and offers ultraviolet resistance to eliminate yellowing and to increase shelf life. Patterns include black olives, peace sign, pink zebra and tie-dye.

Platypus Designer Duct Tape Platypus Designer Duct Tape comes in 14 patterns which include Argyle, Candy Cane, Denim, Diamond Plate, Grass, Houndstooth, Jolly Roger, Leopard, Paisley, Polka Dot, Snowflake, Wicker, Wood Grain and Wool Stocking. It's the perfect tape to use for your next duct tape project. The polyethylene coated cloth is 10.5 mils thick and offers 32 ounces per inch of peel adhesion.