Choosing the Correct Packing Tape for Your Business

Until you’re using it for your business, packing tape doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. To most people it’s something they only use when they’re moving or sending a package to a friend. It’s not that big of a deal to work with an inferior product for a few hours or a few days. But when it comes to your business, the packing tape you use could cost you or save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. If you use packing tape for your business, the following information could save you money, time, and frustration.


There are basically two different types of packing tape on the market. Most people are used to pressure sensitive packing tape. It’s the stuff you’ve probably used during a move. It’s most often clear and sticky. The other type is water activated. This type is much more common in a business setting. Pressure sensitive packing tape is the most popular because it’s the least expensive and easiest to use in many settings. There are several types available, however, many of them are very poor quality. Cheap pressure sensitive packing tapes often have a brittle carrier (also called the backing) that breaks during use or have very low tack, meaning they’re not sticky enough to do their job. Sometimes businesses will choose these tapes because of the price tag, not realizing they’re most likely going to spend more money on the tape in the end. Every time your tape breaks in the wrong place or needs two or three strips because it has such low tack, you’re using two or three times the amount of tape. That means you’re spending two, three, four, times the amount. When you work with a high quality tape, it does not break during application, and it stays on strong with one strip. This saves you money on the actual product because you’re not having to compensate for an inferior tape by using more tape. It also saves you labor dollars because your employees can do their job much more efficiently. Because of these things, a high quality packing tape also ends up saving a lot of frustration.


Walker Tape Converting has two options of pressure sensitive packing tape. Both options are very high quality and made in the USA with a strong carrier and a very tacky adhesive. Both are BOPP tapes. BOPP stands for Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene which is a fancy way of saying the the polypropylene is stretched in both directions. Polypropylene is a thermoplastic polymer that is malleable when heated, allowing it to be stretched and then return to a solid. This stretching increases the strength, and transparency. It’s strong, durable, wrinkle and shrink proof, non-toxic, resistant to temperature changes, and UV and humidity resistant. The adhesive is then coated on the polypropylene backing. The difference between the two we have available is the coat weight (meaning the amount) of the adhesive. One has 1.8 mil and the other has 2 mil of adhesive. If those numbers mean nothing to you, all you need to know is that one has more adhesive so it’s a little stronger. Our 2 mil product is the most popular, as it’s the stronger of the two. If you’re using packing tape for shipping items in regular boxes that are lighter in weight, and are generally filled appropriately, this could be a great option for you. If your boxes are very heavy, bursting at the seams, or are under-filled, you’ll want to look into using a water activated adhesive.


Water activated adhesive tapes are the most common for businesses doing a lot of shipping. They are made with a reinforced brown paper backing and an adhesive that is not tacky until it is exposed to water; like the adhesive on envelopes. Water activated packing tapes are much stronger than clear tapes. They are excellent for companies doing a lot of shipping and/or companies shipping boxes that are heavy or bursting at the seams. They are also more effective than clear tapes for boxes that are under-filled because the tape will stay intact even if pressure is put on a box that has extra space. When you receive items from companies such as Amazon or even Walker Tape you’ll notice this type of packing tape. Companies who use water activated tapes receive far less complaints about shipping because their shipments have far less issues with damage. Water activated packing tapes are also more eco-friendly as they’re made with natural and renewable paper and adhesive. We also have the ability to print on our water activated tapes. This is an excellent way to customize your packages and is a huge trend in shipping right now. Printed packing tapes are an easy and inexpensive way to add custom marketing to your shipments and make your company look and feel even more put together.


To use water activated packing tape, you’ll need a machine that will wet the tape for you as it is dispensed. These machines are readily available online. You can purchase a manual machine starting around $250 or an electric machine (which is what we use in our business) starting around $1000.


All of our packing tapes are extremely high quality and made in the United States. We offer some of the lowest prices you’ll find on USA made packing tapes. We also offer free shipping on orders of $2500 or more. Lead time is as little as 1-2 weeks depending on the product you choose.


Let’s recap.


Pressure Sensitive Packing Tape Advantages


-Inexpensive (but BEWARE, you get what you pay for so be sure you get a high quality tape like those available from Walker Tape Converting or you could end up spending even more money in the end)

-Easy and convenient, no machinery required

-Easy to automate with machinery if desired

-Excellent for companies who aren’t doing much shipping


Pressure Sensitive Packing Tape Disadvantages


-Not as strong or durable

-Ineffective for heavy shipments

-Less effective for under-filled shipments

-Not as environmentally friendly

-Harder to customize


Water Activated Packing Tape Advantages


-Much stronger

-Extremely durable

-More environmentally friendly

-Save money in the long-run by reducing damage during shipping

-Easy to automate

-Easy to customize with printing

-Excellent for companies shipping a lot of product


Water Activated Packing Tape Disadvantages


-More expensive initially

-Requires machinery


Things to Consider When Choosing a Packing Tape


-Cost of tape and machinery

-Weight of items being shipped

-’Fullness’ of boxes (boxes under-filled and boxes bursting at the seams both do better with water activated tapes)

-Volume of your shipping department


At Walker Tape Converting our number one goal is to make our customers happy. When our customers are happy and successful, we’re happy and successful. If you’re using an inferior product, let us help you to find a product that suits you needs and in turn helps your business to run more efficiently. If you’re just starting out, let’s get you started out on the right foot. Contact us below if you have questions or are ready to get an order started. We look forward to working with you for all of your adhesive tape needs.