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Best Packing Tape 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]

Last Updated December 1, 2018
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Billy JacobsHi there, I’m Billy Jacobs. After spending over 36 hours comparing at least 22 packing tape, I am recommending the best packing tape of 2018

In this article, I will be categorizing the items according to their functions and most typical features. You see I’m an average member of the public just like you and the main reason I decided to publish a review website on packing tape is because I was looking for one not so long ago.

Best Packing Tape of 2018

After carefully examining the reviews and ratings of the people who have used them earlier this listicle has been made. Here, I will review 3 of the best packing tape of 2018, and we will also discuss the things to consider when looking to purchase one. I hope you will make an informed decision after going through each of them. If you get well acquainted with these basics, you shouldn’t have a problem choosing a packing tape that suits your need. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your comfort, style, or accessibility, we have picks to fit a variety of needs and budgets.

Test Results and Ratings

Rank №1 №2 №3
Total 4.8 4.5 4.3
Ease of use
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Awards 1
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№1 – Sure-Max Premium Carton Packing Tape 2.0 mil 330 Feet

Sure-Max Premium Carton Packing Tape 2.0 mil 330 Feet

Multi-purpose, heavy duty, premium quality clear tape
Superior low VOC adhesive keeps boxes closed
Suitable for home, commercial or industrial use in any climate
We’ve been using it for 4 months and didn’t notice any flaws.

Why did this packing tape win the first place?

I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I was completely satisfied with the price. Its counterparts in this price range are way worse. The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing!


Ease of use










№2 – VIZ-PRO Packing Tape

VIZ-PRO Packing Tape

High quality clear packing tape
2 Inches Width x 50 Yards Length, 6 Rolls
2.1 mil thick. Not thin, not flimsy, real commercial grade general purpose packing tape
Exterior build could be improved.
It got crumpled after a couple of months of use..

Why did this packing tape come in second place?

I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money. I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price. This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office. Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture.


Ease of use










№3 – Scotch Heavy Duty Shipping Packaging Tape

Scotch Heavy Duty Shipping Packaging Tape

40X stronger than acrylic tapes (in shear adhesion holding power, compared to acrylic tapes based on ASTMB)
Provides excellent holding power for heavy-duty packaging and shipping
Strong seal on all box types, including hard-to-stick-to 100% recycled boxes
Extremely expensive.
Length might be an issue with some customers.

Why did this packing tape take third place?

This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. We are very pleased with the purchase — the product is great! It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment.


Ease of use










Packing Tape Buyer’s Guide

If you keep the before points in mind, you can easily go out to the market and buy packing tape, right? No!

How to choose packaging tape

Packing tapes generally have two applications: sealing storage boxes and sealing shipping boxes. It makes a difference what kind of tape you use in either case. There are three factors to consider when choosing your packaging tape:

Tape dispenser size

Your packaging tape roll needs to be the right size for your dispenser.

This Packaging Tape Buying Guide will help you find the best packaging tape for your office. 

Do you need packaging tape for storage boxes or shipping boxes?   

Acrylic packing tape  is your best bet for storage boxes. Acrylic adhesive can handle a variety of temperatures and setting, including warehouses, garages and storage facilities. Plus, acrylic packaging tape can maintain it seal for more than three years.

Hot melt shipping tape  is the best for shipping boxes because of its superior holding power. Shipping boxes are typically subjected to rough handling in transit. Hot melt packaging tape ensures your boxes stay sealed. You can also use hot melt tape to strap boxes together.  

What you’ll need

Begin filling your boxes with items you won’t be using before your move. Some suggestions include photos, books, out-of-season clothing, linens, fine china and board games.

Here are some packing suggestions gleaned from expert movers:

You’re now well on your way to your new home with all your belongings in the same condition as they were at your previous residence.


B.    How Many Products Do You Estimate Shipping

This can be very difficult to determine in the beginning. This is something that can be done after a few months of baseline sales are established. Once baseline sales figures are gathered more accurate forecasts can be made. We recommend forecasting out sales and production levels for two to five years in six month increments.

For established sellers, an estimate in the number of products being snew and shipped is much easier to obtain. Looking at past sales figures will allow easier and more accurate forecasting. 

Proper and accurate sales and shipping forecasts are important for future purchases. Accurate shipping and sales forecasts can save money by ordering materials in bulk. The right machinery can save time and increase efficiency. In Part 6 and below, we will explain in detail the benefits of bulk packaging material purchases and the proper machinery.

C.    What Commonly Bundled Items Ship Together

This can be another difficult question to answer if only beginning to sell online. Knowing common complimentary products that often ship together will help determine the right packaging materials to buy and what carrier to ship with. The ability to ship two separate products as one saves on shipping costs.

If there are clearly defined sales records of two products often being shipped together, an exterior box to accommodate both products should be invested in. If there are two products often shipped together but vary in size, there are a few packaging options to consider below. •    Corrugated Boxes – The most popular and preferred way to bundle multiple products together. Corrugated boxes can be printed on to increase company branding and advertising.

The main drawback of corrugated boxes are costs. Purchasing enough boxes to accommodate a variety of complimentary products can be costly. Boxes too large do not offer the best presentation and can cause damage in shipping without proper void-fill. •    Strapping – Aside from corrugated boxes, strapping is one of the most common ways to bundle one or more products. We recommend checking UPS strapping guidelines before sending strapped products. FedEx and USPS do not allow exterior strapping. •    Shrink Wrapping – An excellent option for bundling multiple products together. Bundling multiple products together with shrink wrap saves on shipping costs and presents a professional looking package upon arrival to the customer. Shrink wrapping is accepted by FedEx, UPS, and USPS as long as the bundled boxes are uniform.

We recommend nothing less than a 100 gauge shrink wrap thickness for polyolefin shrink wrap and up to a mil polyethylene shrink wrap depending on the size and weight of the products being bundled together. •    Tape – An affordable bundling option for lighter uniform products. Taping two or more boxes together does not offer the best presentation, but does get the job done. We recommend tape if there are no other options available.

B.     UPS

UPS is the second most popular shipping carrier. They offer better options for shipping expedited packages and are often more reliable that USPS. Below are some helpful links for shipping UPS. •    An All-Inclusive Guide For Shipping UPS – A long 18page guide for shipping UPS. Includes everything in detail needed to ship UPS.  •    UPS Packaging Guidelines – A real brief explanation of UPS packaging guidelines. •    A Step-by-Step Packaging Guide From UPS – A multi-page packaging guide for preparing shipments to ship via UPS

C.     Fed Ex •    An All-Inclusive Guide For Packaging FedEx Shipments – A 4page guide detailing how to package products for shipment when shipping FedEx. •    FedEx Restrictions – Since FedEx is often used by sellers to ship international, becoming familiar with international shipping restrictions is important.

D.     DHL •    General Shipping and Packaging Page – A general page with several different links for packaging and shipping via DHL. •    Prohibited Products for International Shipping – A long list of items DHL will not ship internationally.

B.     Secondary Packaging

Secondary packaging is often the first line of protection for a product. For retail brick-and-mortar sales, secondary packaging can be a variety of materials. For online sales, corrugated cardboard is the most commonly used form of secondary packaging.

Corrugated boxes are the most frequently used form of secondary packaging because they provide protection during transport by major carriers. The shipping guidelines for the four major carriers we linked to in part all require a corrugated box for the exterior packaging.

The type of corrugated boxes and the option of customization are important for a seller to consider. This is discussed in further detail in part – A. The external box or envelope is the very first thing customers see when the package is delivered.

We recommend printed boxes if viable, but a good looking, more affordable alternative is branded stickers. Branded stickers with company logos, contact information, and any additional information are inexpensive. Below are a couple online sticker companies to consider. •    Sticker Giant •    Sticker Mule •    Sticker You

One more thing to consider when discussing secondary packaging; secondary packaging is any packaging that is not primary packaging. The external box is secondary packaging, but often sellers use a chipboard carton or something similar within an external corrugated box as another form of secondary packaging. This container can be branded as well to enhance the customer experience and increase brand awareness.

C.     Void-fill

Void-fill is used to fill the empty spaces within the secondary packaging. It works as a shock absorber and cushion to protect products during transport. Probably the two most well-known forms of void-fill are: packaging peanuts, and bubble wrap. Though these two are the best known, there are many other options available.

So why is void-fill included in presentation and branding? The type of void-fill a seller chooses should not contradict the brand and the message being presented. If a company selling environmentally friendly products is using packaging peanuts as a void-fill option, it is directly contradicting the message the company is sending. If a company is attempting to be the lowest costing product on the market, the lowest costing void-fill would help in accomplishing the message. Below are some void-fill options to consider that may help further the message a company is trying to present.

Foam Packaging Peanuts – Popular low cost option, not environmentally friendly.   Bubble Wrap – Air-filled plastic bubbles often available on rolls. Affordable and effective, but not eco-friendly.  Starch Packaging Peanuts – Environmentally friendly option often costing more that foam peanuts. Completely biodegradable within months.  Kraft Paper – Available in recycled paper and completely biodegradable. An affordable and effective packaging option.   Shredded Paper – The repurposing of a product for environmental concerns. An affordable and biodegradable option. Can be messy for customers opening products.

A.     Corrugated Packaging Options

Essentially all of the major carriers prefer parcel shipments to be packaged in a corrugated carton. Corrugated containers can be expensive and difficult to source multiple sizes. An easy way to reduce or remove the cost of corrugated containers is shipping via USPS flat rate. The post office allows you to order flat rate boxes online or pick up at a local hub at no cost.

Sometimes flat rate boxes are not an option for shipping and purchasing boxes is the only option. We recommend sourcing corrugated boxes from the closest source possible. Shipping charges for corrugated products often cost as much or more than the cost of the boxes themselves. A local corrugated supplier will save time and money.

A great way to brand shipments is with printed corrugated boxes. If the same box sizes are used often enough, the use of printed boxes can add a professional touch. A plate fee is often required to get started, but costs are fairly reasonable after the initial run depending on quantities ordered. Most local corrugators have printing capabilities to fill large and small orders. The association of Independent corrugated converters has a great directory for finding nearby corrugators that can offer printed box quotes. 

B.     Mailers and Envelopes

Envelopes and mailers are an inexpensive way to ship smaller products. Determining the best type of mailer or envelope to properly protect products during shipping can be trial and error. We recommend if you are unsure, go with a bubble mailer for added protection. Below are some mailer and envelope options to choose from. •    Standard Envelopes – Available in different sizes and colors. Often the cheapest external packaging option for supplies and shipping costs. •    Flat Envelopes – Envelopes typically larger than standard envelopes with a variety of closure options available. Flat envelopes are inexpensive in cost and inexpensive to ship.

C.     Flexible Packaging •    Poly Bags and Tubing – A very popular and common flexible packaging option for sellers. The bags can be sealed, taped, stapled, or come in re-closable form. Poly products are commonly available in thicknesses ranging from 1-mils. Printed poly bags are fairly easy to source to add extra branding to product packaging. •    Heat Shrink Film – Available in a variety of forms, thicknesses, materials, and colors. Heat shrink film is used for primary packaging, secondary packaging, and a bundling option. For packaging with direct food contact, polyolefin shrink film is required because it is FDA approved.

Colored shrink film is easier to source in a PVC material. PVC has the same consistency as cellophane prior to heat being applied. For bundling two or more products as explained in section – C a polyethylene or polyolefin shrink film is recommended depending on the size and weight of the products. The polyethylene is required for heavier products with sharp corners. •    Vacuum Packaging – An excellent way to preserve and extend the shelf life of perishable items. Vacuum packaging also protects products from moisture, dust, and any other exterior elements.

Vacuum packaging is most often used as a primary packaging. The difference between vacuum packaging and shrink wrapping is the way air is removed from the package. Shrink wrapping uses vent holes in the film to allow air to escape when the film shrinks. The small holes keep shrink wrap from being completely sealed off from exterior elements. Vacuum packaging uses suction to remove air from a package and then seals the package completely from exterior elements.

D.    Rigid Containers

Rigid containers can be made of glass, plastic, wood, rubber, and a variety of other materials. Below is a list of popular rigid containers used for primary packaging by online sellers. •    Bottles – Plastic or glass, bottles can offer great branding and presentation to customers. Bottles are normally tapered towards the top and are available in many different sizes. •    Jars – Like bottles, jars are available in plastic or glass. Jars have a variety of closure options available. Customized Mason Jars are very popular with Etsy sellers. Many Etsy sellers use mason jars for primary packaging as well as sell customized mason jar products

E.    Carton Closure

Carton closure often deals with secondary external packaging closure. The most popular carton closure option for online sellers is tape. Tape can come in a variety of forms and is also used for primary package closure as well.

Other carton closure options include: string/twine, strapping, and staples. Below are a couple popular tape varieties and explanations of other carton closure options.

Packing Tape – Clear and tan packing tape are by far the most common packing tape for sellers shipping online. Clear packing tape is most commonly available in and inch widths. There are multiple thicknesses available depending on the product weight and size

Kraft Reinforced Packing Tape – A very popular packaging option for online sellers. Reinforced packing tape use fiberglass yarn to create a strong and durable seal. Reinforced packing tape is most commonly water activated.

String/Twine – Recommended for primary packaging to add extra presentation of products. All major carriers do not allow string or twine for secondary carton closure.

Staples – Commonly used for heavy products. Often coupled with double or triple walled corrugated boxes and strapping.

Strapping – Used to assist in heavy carton closure and bundling of more than one product. Strapping kits are available online for minimal costs.

C.     Bag and Pouch Fillers

Bag and pouch fillers are commonly specific machines for small products and liquids. Bag and pouch fillers are designed to ensure a pre-set amount of product fills the same every time. Bag and pouch fillers also reduce headache from manually filling products.

Like any packaging machine, fully automatic bag and pouch fillers can attain amazing efficiency levels. Larger fully automatic fillers can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the size of the line and production levels. Smaller manual and semi-auto fillers can range from a few hundred dollars up to a few thousand dollars.

D.     Conveyors

The conveyor industry is a multi-billion dollar industry in itself. Aside from packaging applications, conveyors are used all over the world for production. Conveyors have a very large range in size. An accurate definition of a conveyor is a horizontal, inclined, or vertical device for moving or transporting bulk materials or objects in a path predetermined by the design of the device.

For packaging, a conveyor can be used to transport unpackaged products into a machine or packaged products out of a machine or production area. Conveyors used to transport products into a machine are referred to as infeed conveyors. Conveyors used to transport products out of a machine or area are called exit conveyors.

An infeed conveyor in the packaging industry is almost always powered with adjustable speed settings. Infeed conveyors are commonly used with fully automatic machines. Infeed conveyors allow products to maintain a consistent speed when entering the machine.

An exit conveyor can be powered or gravity controlled. A gravity conveyor is simply placed at an angle to allow gravity to carry the product down the conveyor. Workers or an exit bin are placed at the end of the conveyor to catch the packaged product.

View some images of commonly used packaging conveyors below. 

Tape Width

Here’s the story for tape width by the numbers. Packing tape manufacturers typically offer a dozen different tape widths, ranging from something like.37” to 4.0”. That said, the most widely available and commonly used packing tape tends to stay around 2-inches wide. The best, simplest advice is to pick the narrowest width for which you’ll feel comfortable using only a single layer of tape….

If you have cardboard boxes that are brand-new or still in very good condition, if you’re not moving very far or very long, and/or if it’s simply not a big deal if one or two boxes flap open, then you can likely get away with ~2-inch wide tape. Otherwise, we recommend the average person skew toward 3-inch tape. That way, you’re sure to be comfortable using only a single piece of tape for most box seams.

The difference between moving tape & shipping tape

To explain this tale of two stickies, we asked Kathy Magill, global portfolio manager for Scotch® Package Protection Business to highlight the differentiating factors of each product:

Moving and storage packaging tape features a long-lasting adhesive that works well in both hot and cold temperatures. Acrylic adhesive survives extreme temperatures and is best for storage and moving. If the box is going to be stored long term, it would be best to use moving and packaging tape.

Shipping tapes are best for mailing and shipping packages that may experience multiple touch points or rough handling. The adhesive provides the shear holding power to keep the box sealed and its contents intact.

The relationship between tape & your brand

Admittedly, the packages you move and store may never be seen by customers. But the shipping products you use are part of your marketing program. Flimsy or low-adhesive tape may result in damaged goods, high returns, dissatisfied customers and loss of business.

Other Supplies You’ll Need

We all know that when moving, the boxes aren’t all that you need.

In all likelihood, you will also need packing tape, markers, and maybe even bubble wrap — depending on how many breakables you have and if you want to wrap them in clothing or something else you have on hand to save money.

One way to help save on moving costs is to purchase your moving boxes and other supplies online.

There are moving kits that you can order online that have a set number of boxes, along with packing tape, bubblewrap and markers. These moving kits can be delivered the next day, sometimes with free shipping. If you need the boxes and supplies right away this can be a godsend.

Another option is to visit your local dollar store. These days, you can find all sorts of things at dollar stores, including moving boxes, packing tape, markers, and even bubble wrap. While the items may not be only a dollar, generally speaking they aren’t more than a few dollars apiece. And while you get what you pay for quality-wise, if all you’re going to use them for is to pack items to move then this could work for you.

Scotch Magic Tape Pack

We’re going to start off with office, or Scotch tape. This is the kind that sits in a dispenser on top of your desk or in a drawer and is typically used to hold paper documents together. When you’re in the market for tape, keep an eye out for value packs- they’ll save you money and sometimes they come with a free dispenser. Who doesn’t like FREE? You can either purchase office tape in plastic disposable dispensers or by the roll if you already have a dispenser. You may not have to think too hard when making a tape purchase but you do have a few options.

Invisible Tape: Invisible tape (or Scotch Magic Tape) disappears on contact. This is a very popular choice as it’s writable with a ballpoint pen. Also available in the Universal brand.

Transparent Tape: This is a clear tape with a glossy finish. One of the benefits of this tape is the long lasting holding power, making it great for label protection.

Greener Tape: This tape made by Scotch is available in both invisible and transparent types. Being made with 65% plant based or recycled materials, this is the greener choice.

Double Sided Tape: This tape is sticky on both sides making it ideal for presentation purposes. It serves as a quick no-mess alternative to glue for light-weight tasks.

Removable Tape: This tape is able to securely hold documents while providing the option to reposition the tape as many times as you want. Like invisible tape, removable tape can also be written on.

Pop-Up Tape and Dispenser: This takes taping to a whole new level of easy. The Pop-Up Tape is 2” pre-cut tape strips that are dispensed one at a time.

When choosing a size for office tape, look at the width of the roll. You have a few different options here: ½”, ¾”, and 1”. You will also notice a core measurement of either 1” or 3”. This indicates the size of the center of the roll. Pay attention to sizing as not all will work with your dispenser. Most dispensers have a 1” core and will take tape with up to a ¾” width.

Scotch Sure Start Packaging Tape

Shipping (or packaging) tape is used for securing packages for delivery. It’s often confused with storage tape which is used to secure packages to be stored for long periods of time. The difference between the two lies in the adhesive. Shipping tape uses a hot melt adhesive which provides strong holding power. Like office tape, shipping tape comes either in disposable dispensers or rolls to put on a dispenser. Look for value packs as they are available as well. There are many types of shipping tape available, each with unique features to make your life easier.

Heavy Duty: This shipping tape is 20 times stronger than storage tape. Being split, burst, and moisture-resistant, this one is made for long-lasting performance.

Recycled: This commercial grade tape comes in a greener option made with over 50% recycled materials.

Commercial Grade: This tape provides superior performance and is able to secure heavy boxes in a wide range of environments.

Envelope/Package Sealing Tape Strips: These are pre-cut strips of tape (2” x 6”) used to seal envelopes and small packages conveniently.

Sure Start: Ever get your tape stuck to the roll and have an impossible time peeling it off? Well, Sure Start shipping tape prevents this from happening. It’s easy to start every time and it’s easy to unwind, ideal for quiet office settings.

Decorative: As mentioned in our Coolest Office Supply blog, Scotch tape has a line of decorative tape which includes designs like polka dots, leaves, and diamonds.  These allow you to express yourself while sealing boxes securely.

Tear by hand: No dispenser (or scissors) needed for these rolls! Simply tear with hands in a straight line. It may be easy to tear but don’t let that fool you,  its super strong adhesive seals boxes securely.

General Purpose: When heavy duty isn’t necessary, use the general purpose tape. It’s designed to seal lighter weight boxes.

Color Coding: These commercial grade tape rolls come in blue, green, red, and yellow which allow for color coding inventory.

There are measurements to focus on when sizing shipping tape: width, core, and thickness. The width of the roll is almost always 1.88” across the board. The core, or center of the roll ranges from ½” to 3” and the thickness of the tape itself is anywhere from 1.mil to 3.mil. Heavier duty tape will have a higher mil while lighter weight tape will have a lower mil. Pay attention to what size tape your dispenser takes before making your purchase.

Scotch Moving & Storage Tape

Storage, or moving tape, is similar to shipping tape but is made with an acrylic adhesive making it ideal for storage purposes. This acrylic adhesive is UV-resistant and is designed to withstand a variety of temperature ranges. Scotch has two types of storage tape available: recycled and long lasting.

Long Lasting: This tape is great for long term storage and can withstand extreme temperatures.

Recycled: With the same qualities as long lasting storage tape, this is your greener option. It’s made from over 50% recycled materials.

You will notice the sizing for storage tape is very similar to that of shipping tape. Typical width runs 1.88” and with a core of 3”. The thickness ranges from 2.mil to mil. As mentioned earlier, be aware of the sizing needed for your dispenser when making your purchase.

Custom Shipping Bags

Custom bags, bows and fillers create a fully pulled-together look

If you’d like a bit more sophistication for your products, look no further than Bags and Bows. From simple merchandise bags to high-end fabric bags and gourmet bags, you can ship your product in style. Bags and Bows also includes all the trimmings to complete the look, including crinkle-cut fillers, tissue paper, ribbons, bows and much more. Many of their products are eco-friendly as well.

For when you need something a bit simpler, take a look at Plus Packaging. They provide security packaging, poly foam bags, and poly mailer packaging. Custom runs have a minimum of 10,000 pieces where regular non-branded versions have a 3,000 piece minimum.

Keep Your Customer Informed

Communicating clearly with your customer throughout the order process is arguably as important as how you pack your items. For starters, set clear expectations about how long it will take you to prepare and ship an order within your item’s processing times. For example, if it takes three days to personalize, package and ship an item, and it takes the postal carrier three to five days to deliver, you’ll need to communicate to customers that it will take up to eight business days to receive their purchases.

Make sure your shop policies spell out whether you’ll accept returns and exchanges. If so, explain who is responsible for shipping costs and the length of the return window. “I’ve also added FAQs to address common inquiries about things like overnight shipping, cancellations and what happens if a customer supplies a wrong address,” explains Julia. “And I’ll update my FAQs and policies if I think of something I haven’t covered.”

When your item sells, the customer receives an email, which includes your Message to Buyers if you’ve written one. After you’ve shipped the order, notify the customer that the item is en route. You can do this quickly by going to Your shop > Orders > Orders. Click the Mark as Shipped button next to the appropriate order, which will send a notification to the buyer. When possible, it’s helpful to provide tracking information, so buyers can monitor their item’s progress and troubleshoot any delivery issues directly with the carrier. If you’re worried about the additional cost sometimes associated with the service, consider offering tracking as a shipping upgrade, so buyers can choose to pay the additional cost if tracking is a priority.

Pack Your Order

Once your item sells, it’s time to ship the order safely and securely. In addition to packing materials like bubble wrap, adding a few other ingredients will make the package feel more complete and professional. Many sellers like to include a packing slip and a quick thank-you note for the buyer. (If you have a business card or other branded material that includes your shop name, you can include those, too.)

While you’re likely familiar with the general packing process, it’s important to take additional care when shipping more delicate items. “Writing ‘Fragile’ or ‘Do Not Bend’ means nothing if a 25-pound box falls off a belt onto your package — and it will,” cautions Julia. She suggests double boxing fragile items in order to leave “crush room,” filling the space in between the boxes with packing peanuts mixed with newspaper. Similarly, Donna recommends leaving at least 2” of padding on all sides of fragile items once in their container.

If you’re shipping an unusually sized item, consider customizing your own box using cardboard, a knife and packing tape. Read How to Ship Anything for more tips on building your own boxes and shipping oversized items.

Doug Mahoney

After dropping, extending, and scrubbing the blades of 1different tape measures with 60-grit sandpaper, we found that the best one is the classic 25-foot Stanley PowerLock Tape Measure. It’s our pick after 4hours of research and three annual updates to this guide, including another 1hours of work this year testing against new tools. That’s because the PowerLock delivers the best basic combination of durability, ease of use, and accuracy—and all for a very low price. In fact, the PowerLock is one of the least expensive tape measures that we’ve looked at.

How we picked

After reading what we could, talking to our experts, and taking years of experience using tape measures into account, we found that the most important features of a tape measure are blade durability, case durability, tang (the metal hook at the end of the tape) size, stand-out, and ease of locking lever. Accuracy is important too, but all of the tapes we looked at fell within an acceptable margin of error. Both Clement and DeBoer warned against tapes loaded with additional features like pencil sharpeners. Clement summed things up: “Go simple. Keep it clean.”

Pull Quote

DeBoer and Clement agreed that a tape measure that can stand out unsupported for 7-feet is more than enough for at-home use.

The stand-out of a tape is the distance that the blade can extend unsupported from the case and not collapse. In the industry it has become a bragging right to have the tape with the longest stand-out. The current champ appears to be the Stanley FatMax Xtreme which, according to Stanley, can be extended 1feet. This mega distance can be helpful on a jobsite, but it’s really unnecessary for the home. Both DeBoer and Clement agreed that a tape measure that can stand out unsupported for 7-feet is more than enough for at-home use. While DeBoer doesn’t advocate always going for the longest stand-out, he also uses stand-out as a quality marker. “If your tape breaks downward at just 5-feet then it’s likely going to be a product that doesn’t last long in other areas as well.”

Join our virtual study group.

The ARE Boot Camp offers a syllabus, a schedule with deadlines, people to study with, and accountability. To help you study for the Architect Exam, the program is organized similarly to a design studio.

We recently started accepting applications for sessions that are beginning in January and February 201for both ARE 4.0 and 5.0.  It’s time to get started with making progress on the Architect Registration Exam. 

Your architecture model is only as good as the glue that holds it together.

A few months ago I wrote a blog post called Building Great Architecture Models, I mostly wrote about a lot of tools, techniques and habits that really took my model building to the next level.

After I wrote that blog post I realized I could go on for a really long time about all the glue and tape that I use to build architecture models.

Believe it or not I actually use tape to hold my architecture models together just as much as I use glue.

Using the Right Tool for the Job

Part of what I think really helped me architectural model builder was that I had a very good understanding of when to use one product versus another.

You could be the best architect in the world, but if you are using the wrong glue then it then you are wasting your time building models. “The quality of your work is a reflection of you as a person.”

In my second year of architecture school, another student shared with me that this is how they thought about their work and look at their peers. Crappy design work and sloppy half ass models and drawings say to everyone that you’re sloppy and half ass with the rest of your life.

This is bad advice and I shouldn’t be sharing this kind of thinking with young architects. I also don’t agree with it.  BUT, even though I don’t agree with it, I still bought into this thinking when I was in college.

If I look at it positively, this concept really inspired me to work a lot harder during architecture school.

If I look at it negatively, this concept allowed me beat myself up a lot about what I “thought” the work should be, rather than just trusting in the process.

Nevertheless the only reason I share this silly concept is because I truly believe if you understand how, when and why to use adhesive appropriately it WILL make you a better model builder. Thus helping you succeed in architecture school. (….and in life.)

A few quick rules of thumb.

Always buy 3M products when you can. I have had the best luck with 3M and thought they make superior quality adhesives over everyone else.

Continually and constantly test every adhesive with every material. Some glues work better with some materials than other. Trial and error is the only way to learn this. Having this knowledge is powerful when considering what is possible with certain materials.

Discover what works for you. I don’t care for some products that works great for other people.

Always and only spray mount outside. When you spray glue adhesive tiny glue particles instantly get everywhere and it is also extremely toxic.

Don’t lend out your tools. Sure I will always help a friend in a time of need, but generally speaking I was really uptight about lending out my tools in the studio.


Tacky glue is an awesome all-purpose model building glue for almost everything.

Give me a syringe filled with SOBO white glue, a sharp knife and a pile of Bristol board and I will take over the world. Seriously. Tacky glue is the way to go.

I wonder what OSHA thinks of this commercial.

Krazy glue or Zap-A-Gap isn’t that great for building architecture models, in fact it’s all crap. It’s better for fixing broken junk around your house, just like in that commercial. What I don’t like about it is that I leaves a stain around where you used the glue. I also don’t think that it’s that strong compared to Cyanoacrylate (see below)

Crazy Glue works awesome for hanging bonehead construction workers off I-beams from their hard hats, but I wouldn’t use it for anything else.

I discovered Cyanoacrylate by accident one day when I was at a model railroad shop buying dimension basswood for a model. This glue really upped the ante on the way I build models and their craftsmanship.

Drafting Dots

Whoever invented draft dots was a genius. Draft dots are drafting tape that are precut into a circle that just easily peel off from a piece of paper.


Double sided Tape

Double-sided tape is an alternative to spray mount or glue. It applies like normal tape and then after it is applied to the first surface, you can unpeel it to expose the second side of the adhesive.

Many years ago I met an architect who uses mostly double-sided tape to build his beautiful models. He swore by the stuff and he had different types of double-sided tape he used to build models. He got me hooked and I actually use this double-sided tape more then white glue.

Duct tape is the rednecks answer to solve any problem.

I actually have more useful experiences using duct tape while I’m backpacking and bike touring. I’ve used it fix broken tent poles, hold my tent down to concrete and even put duct tape on my feet to stop my hiking boots from giving me blisters.





How to save up to 86%? Here is little trick.

You must visit the page of sales. Here is the link. If you don’t care about which brand is better, then you can choose the Packing Tape by the price and buy from the one who will offer the greatest discount.



Final Word

First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.

Most important, have fun and choose your Packing Tape wisely! Good luck!

So, TOP3 of Packing Tape



Questions? Leave a comment below!

Chatting about Packing Tape is my passion! Leave me a question in the comments, I answer each and every one and would love to get to know you better!

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