Tips of The Trade: Packaging Tape

Are you getting surcharges from your shipper or freight carrier because your boxes are opening in transit? In this video we share tips of the trade on how much tape to use and how to properly secure boxes for different type of shipments using different types of tape.

How to Apply Your Tape Using a Dispenser

First, check the tension on your dispenser and adjust by turning the inside dial on the dispenser. If tension is too high you will not be able to pull or unwind the tape off the roll. If it is too loose, the roll and tape will be difficult to control. Apply the tape on the box and keep your thumb on the roll while you tear it away. This helps prevent the tape from rolling back onto itself saving you time from having to find the end to keep taping.

Types of Packaging Tape

If you are using HP-500 Heavy-Duty Grade packaging tape or something similar, whose thickness is 3 mils, it is usually ok to only use one strip of tape to seal the box, due to the thickness of the product. If you are using the HP-100 General-Purpose packaging tape, with a thickness of 1.6 mils, you may want to tape the box more securely. This is especially true if the box is heavy or requires extra security.

Tape Technique

Avoid putting a strip of tape directly over another piece of tape. Tape has “backsize” applied to it which is what allows it to be unwound from itself on a roll. Therefore, the tape will not have good adhesion to itself. A better technique is to cross-over the piece of tape you set-down on the box.

Long-Distance Travel

If your box is going to travel internationally or long distances or it contains valuable items, you may want to tape the sides also. Place a strip of tape half-over the edge and fold down and all around the edges.

Other Tape Options

Some customers choose to use gaffers tape for waterproof packaging as packaging tape. Gaffers tape is a vinyl-coated cloth tape and is hand-tearable, unlike traditional packaging tape which is film and requires a scissor or razor edge to cut away. One tip to avoid leaving small threads behind when tearing gaffers tapes is to keep your fingers close together and make a slow ripping motion. This way your edges will be clean and thread free.

Find a wide selection of gaffers tapes and packaging tapes at If you’re not sure which tape is right for you, use our Advanced Tape Finder tool to enter all your project specifications and receive instant recommendations. You can always reach us at for technical questions. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel and watch more videos here. Thank you for watching.

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