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Duct tape comparison

Joined
Dec 2, 1999
Messages
12,249
There was an extensive duct tape thread in the survival forum. I got curious and dug up a bunch of duct tape specifications from the web. It's not a complete list, but it's what I could find.

Some notes:

- Thickness generally but not always corresponds to greater strength and adhesion.

- Tape numbering systems have no relationship to the quality of tape.

- Gaffers tape and some others are specifically design not to leave residue. Something to consider, but it's not usually important to me.

- Ranking is approximate, I gave higher weight to higher tensile strength.

- The clear duck tape from 3M sucks badly, I can't figure out why people think it's great.

- I personally like gorrila tape because it almost near the top in strength and it's much more sticky as the next stickiest tape.

- Several tapes labeled as nuclear grade where neither that strong nor that sticky. I assume there's some kind of resistant to radiation or some other requirements that makes them that grade.

- I made three general groups, Best, OK and don't buy.

- Shown in parenthesis are ( Thicness in mils / tensile strength in lbs per inch / adhesion to steel lbs per inch)

======================
Results Sorted from best to worst


Top 3
=====
Gorilla - (17/58/112)
T-REX - (17/47/110)
Permacell 672 Prof Gaffer ( 12/65/60)

Very Good
========
Nashua 357 - (13/43/50) _ I moved this one up because it's easy to find and does a very respectable job
JVCC MAX-DT - (18/50/110)
3M 390 - (12/50/73)
Pro-Tape Pro Gaffer (12/48/60)
Shurtape PC-628 - (12/46/50)
Permacell 665 Gaffer (12/45/60)
3M 6910 - (12/45/45)
Scapa 225 - (12/44/50)
JVCC DTP-01 Duct Tape Patch - (13/43/50)
Shurtape PC-625 - (13/40/60)
Nashua Gaffers - ( 12/40/55)
ISC Racer's Tape - (12/50/35)

OK
==
Nashua 398 - (11/45/49) <- moved down as I have some and it's not as nice as it's numbers say
3M 392 - (12/36/60)
3M 8979 - (12.6/36/52)
3M 6969 - (10.7/32/61)
JVCC CAM-01 Camo - (12/29/60)
Nashua 345 - (12/29/50)
Shurtape PC-618 - (10/27/45)
Nashua 354 - (13/26/52)
3M 3939 - (9/25/55)

Don't Buy
=======

polyken 223 - ( 10/24/50)
nashua 300 - (10/23/49)
Nashua 396 - (10/23/49)
Scotch Clear Duct Tape (9/24/34)
Duck Brand Tape ( ??, but much like 3M clear )
3M 3900 - (7.7/22/56)
Scapa 441 - (7/20/50)
Nashua 394 - (9/20/40)
3M 3903 - (6.2/14/16)

Found a new site:

Gaffers tape: http://www.findtape.com/product199/...ape.aspx?cid=14&idx=6&tid=1&info=Gaffers+Tape

Duxt Tape: http://www.findtape.com/category/duct-tape-multi-purpose-waterproof-duct-tape.aspx
 
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I like Gorilla. Always have. Just hard to pull off the roll, which I don't mind, because it's the stickiest.
 
I like that Gorilla stuff, too.

Didn't realize that the Permacell stuff was so good.

Wonder where "100mph" tape would place.

Thanks for the comparison.
 
Thanks Dave. This is great stuff. I recently went to the Depot and bought an assortment of different tapes. Wish I had this information prior to breaking open the wallet.

Best,
Razz
 
Edit:

I updated the ranking above, I foudn several new entries at www.findtape.com

The example of racers tape had high tensile strength but about 1/2 the adhesion of similar tapes. The camo tape on that site seem to put it in the middle category.

I bought some of the permacel tape over the web, it's pretty good stuff but I like gorilla better.

I have a bunch of different Nashua tapes I bought at home depot, I could never make sense of the number designation they give it. I bought some good nashua tape a while back, probably nashua 357, then I pick up the wrong kind from what I wanted from there on.
 
i had a roll of duck brand tape, and found it to be very plasticky, and not that sticky. i make sure to avoid it now.

i recently bought a roll of camo duct tape from teh local sporting goods place, and i love it. i don't know what brand it is though...probably noone special. the only problem i have with it is that it won't stick to its own back. that makes it very easy to pull off of teh roll, and the adhesive is really strong, adn the weave is quite strong and thick. also, the camo pattern is pretty good, not so "muddy" as another brand taht i had...

one thing i like about duct tape is the way i can tear it length wise, to make long thin stips. great for when you only nead a little bit of tape here or there, or when i don't have string but i do have a roll of ducttape.

i will have to pick up a roll of that gorrilla tape soon, it sounds really good.

by the way, i was under the impression that gaffer's tape and 100 mph tape is the same thing.
 
A great tip about duck tape I heard from a militery forum was to iron it to make it stick better. It melts and becomes nearly permanent.
 
Ooooohhh man. Thank you for the above suggestion. Sounds interesting. I'll have to experimant with that.

I feel it's very important for tape to stick to itself.

Difficulty pulling tape off the roll is a really good sign to me. It means the tape will stick to itself.

Also, tape is wrapped around stuff a lot and it seems that adhereing to itself, in addition to the item being wrapped, is an important quality as well.
 
i had a roll of duck brand tape, and found it to be very plasticky, and not that sticky. i make sure to avoid it now.

I don't plan to get anymore of the stuff, but I find it useful for lifting off dust from clothes and small screens faster that I could with masking tape and for making "sheathes" to wrap around wires when moving electronics. Sometimes it's useful to have that plastic backing for stuff you don't want to stick together long term.
 
I don't know what kind of duct tape i use, but i get it from a friend that uses it for pool costruction. Whatever the hell it is, it's the best duct tape i've ever used
 
Kick it back up... This thread is way too good to let die just yet. Thanks to Couger for dredging it up.
 
Need a tape that is sticky but not at all stretchy and having tried a couple of duct tapes find them too stretchy (boath along the length of the tape and across it). Off to look at some other tapes tomorrow but ideas welcome.
 
While not a "duct tape" I have found the X-Treme tape from Duluth Trading Company to be amazing stuff. I have repaired several pipes with the stuff and it has held for several years and looks like it will last forever. It fuses to itself completely in 24 hours and will withstand temps up to 500 degrees. I now keep a couple rolls handy at all times for emergencies.

http://www.duluthtrading.com/search/searchresults/96825.aspx?feature=Product_15&kw=tape
 
Need a tape that is sticky but not at all stretchy

Fabric based tapes are generally stretchier, like gaffers is pretty stretchy. Gorilla, T-REX and Nahua 357 are less stretchy.

Thanks for the bump.

I have some more info. Suretape has a new line called T-REX tape, it's pretty darned good too. quite similar to Gorilla tape but a little smoother.

Note that with both T-REX and Gorilla tape you gets less length of tape on a big roll, as it's thicker AND the price is more like $9 a roll. Also both Gorilla and T-REX tape can be more sticky on the sides of the roll then regular duct tape. I emailed and called the gorilla tape people several times, they're a nice bunch.

If you have a duct tape habit, looks on ebay you can get good deals on T-REX and Gorrilla tape that works out to be near $5 a roll, which is standard Nashua 357 tape prices. One vendor is boomas paint, but you have to buy like 6 rolls or more.

One thing I tried recently is making some cordage out of tape, yeah silly but if you don't have rope... What I did is spilt the tape in 1/2 length wise and put the sticky sides together then twisted each half. It's pretty strong.

Suretape bought permacell tape line so that the older permacell Gaffers tape has limited availability. The price has also gone up quite a bit for gaffers tape.
 
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Since buying my first roll of Gorilla tape , IMO duct tape is a relic of the past.
 
Thanks for the review Dave. Gorilla Tape is indeed good stuff. I just wish it were a little thinner so I could fit more in my survival kit. :)
 
While not a "duct tape" I have found the X-Treme tape from Duluth Trading Company to be amazing stuff. I have repaired several pipes with the stuff and it has held for several years and looks like it will last forever. It fuses to itself completely in 24 hours and will withstand temps up to 500 degrees. I now keep a couple rolls handy at all times for emergencies.

http://www.duluthtrading.com/search/searchresults/96825.aspx?feature=Product_15&kw=tape


I used that tape all the time when I was in Air Force it was orange.
Good stuff.
-Eric
 
Thanks for the info. Long time duct tape junkie here. I'll try Gorilla tape. BTW, as a one time gaffer I wonder why Permacel is in the top three? It's very specialized for Film/Video and makes a useless emergency 'binder'.
 
The same company often makes more than one kind of tape. Permacel makes a gaffer's tape as well as their original Permacel splicing tape.
 
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