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Duct Tape vs. Electrical Tape

Discussion in 'Wilderness & Survival Skills' started by msiley, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. msiley


    Aug 19, 2006
    I usually have more electrical tape lying around then duct tape.
    So in my PSKs that's what I have been using. I finally bought some
    duct tape a few weeks ago and was wondering what the advantages are
    of duct vs. electrical tape.

    I conducted a simple test. I cut a gash in 2 quart sized ziplock
    bags and sealed each with equivalent sized pieces of duct and
    electrical tape. Then I filled each with water to see how waterproof they are.

    Result: Electrical taped bag leaked like a sieve right away.
    Duct taped bag had no leaks at all.

    I used the Duck brand duct tape and 3M Super 33+ electrical tape.


    Time to stock up on duct tape and redo my kits! :)
  2. MagicDot


    Oct 15, 2008
    ..electrical tape's properties aren't for "sticking". ..it sticks to itself better. ..electrical tape is used for insulating electrical connections. ..it would pretty much prove to be useless in a repair situation unless you're in my line of work.

    ..go w/ duct tape. ..there's also gaff tape, which i prefer, that sticks a lot better than duct tape and leaves less residue when removed. ..it is, of course, more expensive, but will stick w/ more force to different surfaces than duct tape.

    ..then there's there is the 100mph tape.. ..the stuff I've used is kind of like a cross between duct tape and gaffers tape.. ..its got the sticky quality of gaff tape, but the smoothness and less fiberous skin of duct tape..
  3. KuRUpTD


    Aug 5, 2008
    Look at gorilla tape too ... really good stuff
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike

    Aug 30, 2006
    Gorilla Tape, from the makers of Gorilla Glue, seems like it sticks pretty good.

    Also electrical tape will hold up better to long term exposure then duct tape.
  5. GEC


    May 8, 2007
    Duct tape has too many uses! LOL When hiking long distance I use it for mole skin on my feet. It holds up better than athletic, but the glue can be a irritant to the skin sometimes. I keep a roll of it in my car and pack for emergencies/ general use.
  6. orrey45


    Jan 11, 2008
    I like duct tape more. It also tears easier then electrical tape.
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike

    Aug 30, 2006

    Try a knife. :eek:

    Sorry, I could not resist. :rolleyes:

    "If you're not living on the edge, …you're taking up too much space."

    Big Mike
  8. j williams

    j williams Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 14, 2005
    I do understand the limitations of electrical tape, but I use it frequently. I have since I was a kid. Man, my pops used to get ticked at me for using all his electric tape up. :D Duct tape sticks better, but electrical tape is more flexable. I use it on alot of stuff, and I think it is another great multi use tool. :thumbup:

    Great thread, you read my mind! I was just thinking about electrical tape yesterday. :eek:

    It is durable in some aspects too. I have a Louisville Slugger that belonged to my father as a child in the 50s. He applied an electrical tape wrap on it when he got it, and it is still on the bat. That has to speak of its durability to some extent.

    Now, in a survival situation, no doubt I would rather have duct tape. I stock all my kits with it, and keep a roll in each vehicle, but, I still love my trusty electric tape. :)
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2009
  9. Martin Swinkels

    Martin Swinkels Banned BANNED

    Mar 6, 2005
    I'm working in the Lighting Industrie and use gaffertape all the time. Most used is the tape from Nichiban, but there are many other brands that are very good.
    I always have some in the car or out camping coz it's great stuff for all kinds of fieldrepairs.
    Electrical tape is great in tying things down, as it sticks to itself. It's very strong and I can easily imagine it'll be a great help when shelterbuilding, and much more affordable for such purposes then quality gaffertape.
  10. foxyrick

    foxyrick British Pork

    Dec 26, 2006
    Gaffer tape is terrific stuff. I discovered it thanks to the 'A Team'...

    I once had a real scrap car, with a big hole in the outside of the driver's door. I patched it with gaffer tape, about 1 foot square.

    A year later I scrapped the car, and for a laugh tried to get the gaffer tape off. The surface layer peeled off, leaving the fibre/glue layer firmly stuck. Only serious scraping got that to shift. And this is in cold, wet England!

    Electrical tape (which I use a little of, being an electronics nut) is almost useless for anything expect electrical work, and I often prefer gaffer tape for that!
  11. CarpScot


    Jan 28, 2008
    I was once paid in gaffer tape when the company I was working for went belly up and ran out of cash to cover paychecks. It is far superior to duct or electrical tape IMO, but that is reflected in the price.
  12. Watchful


    Dec 8, 2004
    Major problem with electrical tape is that it softens badly when exposed to sunlight. As stated, it sticks well to itself, but gets gooey when attached to your taped object.
  13. MagicDot


    Oct 15, 2008

    ..not the stuff most homeowners get.. ..the sunlight *resistant* stuff is priced well above what most people buy. ..most "electrical" tape people have stocked up on is the cheap vinyl and not the true electrical tape like 33 or straight 66 linerless rubber tape. ..on an exterior splice, rubber goes on and then 33 ontop of that to weatherproof and give the rubber tape a more sunlight resistant covering. ..the vinyl stuff will shrink and crack like the very devil in the sun. ..if you're stuck on using electrical tape for anything, get some scotch 33 tape -- once you buy a couple rolls at that price, you'll go easy on it.
  14. mckrob

    mckrob Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 15, 2007
    3M Super 88 is the only electric tape that performs well in the cold (much better than 33), but it is pricey. I use it all the time at work in the winter (induced polarisation and electomagnetic surveys), but it is really designed to stick to itself.
  15. J_Curd

    J_Curd Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 26, 2006
    3M Extreme Bi-directional tape is the toughest tape I have ever found. It doesnt tear from either direction due to a weave in the fibers, and its super fricken sticky.

    I would recommend everyone pick up a roll just to play some.
  16. MagicDot


    Oct 15, 2008

    ..yeah. i mixed up my numbers. ..it happens.
  17. the lone gunman

    the lone gunman Basic Member Basic Member

    May 29, 2008
    Funny , reminds me of when I went to school to be an electrician,,one of our lessons was to learn to tear electrical tape with our hands.
  18. Garrett Schmidt

    Garrett Schmidt

    May 17, 2006
    Another tape that comes in quite handy is hockey/athletic tape....or as they called it boot camp "recruit tape". It bends and flexes really well and it is great for everything from quieting gun slings to makeshift band-aids. The other nice thing is that you can get it in small rolls that pack into your gear without hardly adding any substantial weight. It probably doesn't come close to duct tape as far as strength or what not but it has a place in my BOB.
  19. Carthage


    Sep 11, 2004
    This seems like as good a place as any to post what I say the other day.
    Ever heard of Nuclear Duct Tape from 3M? LINK to amazon.

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