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#133361 - 05/20/08 08:16 PM Re: What's the best Duct tape and Electrical tape? [Re: Ors]
Art_in_FL Offline

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
A few notes just to put things into context.

Duct tape:
No matter the brand all duct tape adhesives degrade with age. Almost all are rubber based adhesives. Higher temperatures, excess ventilation, and petroleum vapors and ozone all take their toll. The tape will store longest if wax paper, or other non-stick material is applied to the sides of the roll and the whole thing is tightly sealed in an air tight bag that is kept in a cool location and well away from chemicals or ozone producing machinery.

Most duct tape failures come from poor application, cheap tape or good tape stored too long and/or under less than ideal circumstances.

Every time you unstick the tape, including when you take it off the roll, you lose some stickiness and bonding ability. If your fingers touch the adhesive the oils on your skin will make the adhesive in that location less effective. Your best bet for eliminating the problem is to keep the tape on the roll until final use.

To get maximum adhesion the surfaces where the tape goes have to be clean, dry, and completely free of oils or wax.

When you apply the tape, if possible, round the corners off. The square corners always lift first and once the tape starts to lift it goes quickly. Just cutting the corners off to create a forty-five degree angle can make a big difference.

When applying tape spend your time getting the first layer to stick as well as possible. A 50% overlap is usually as good as it gets. Adding more layers doesn't usually increase the strength of the job.

Gorilla Tape is good but very expensive. Mostly because they use a double-thick layer of good quality adhesive. Old Guerrilla Tape poorly stored is not much better than the discount store brand. High-quality commercial duct tape is almost as good as new Guerrilla tape if you buy it from a supply house which goes through a lot of it so it is fresh. It is about half the price and will store for years in good conditions. Also watch the lengths on the rolls. Guerrilla tape has a much thicker adhesive which means there is less of it on a typical commercial roll.

Electrical tape:
This stuff is also time and storage sensitive. Good tape become bad tape as it gets old. Pretty fast if you store it where it is hot and exposed to petroleum vapors.

The key to a good job is the start and finish. Getting the first wrap on smooth and tight on a clean and dry surface is a good start. Winding evenly with an even stretch, a 50% overlap and working center to side to center pads the splice. Finish by cutting, not tearing, the end off about three inches long. Once cut allow the tape to contract for a bit. Then stick it down. Rounding the tips or just cutting them off at forty-fives, along with allowing the last wraps to relax, eliminates most of the tendency to lift and snag.

3M Super 33+ is pretty much the gold standard. It's ability to stay flexible when it is cold, firm when hot, strong elasticity, tough body and durable adhesive keep it easy to work with and popular for high-quality work.

3Ms Scotch 700 is a good quality general-use electrical tape. Good for pull-heads, wire control, binding and less important work. 3M 88 is thicker so it makes padding out wear points and strain reliefs faster.

Buy quality but know when and where it is worth the extra expense. Store what you buy well so it doesn't degrade. Use proper technique when you use it so you get the most from what you have. A single short piece of tape well applied is usually better than a whole roll applied haphazardly.

#133368 - 05/20/08 10:09 PM Re: What's the best Duct tape and Electrical tape? [Re: Art_in_FL]
climberslacker Offline
Youth of the Nation

Registered: 09/02/07
Posts: 603
I have to ask, were did you learn all of that??
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
impossible is just the beginning

though i seek perfection, i wear my scars with pride

Have you seen the arrow?

#133374 - 05/20/08 11:17 PM Re: What's the best Duct tape and Electrical tape? [Re: climberslacker]
Art_in_FL Offline

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
I've done a lot of work with both materials working on jobs and spent time thinking about why some applications and techniques failed and others didn't. There is a lot of lore and various tricks shared among tradesmen.

Over the years I have gone to the trouble of asking for advice from several major manufacturers and otherwise look into what the manufacturers say. One of the best, but least used, resources out there for any material or device are the manufacturers. Every reputable manufacturer wants their product to work well so they can sell you more. Only crooks want to sell junk that doesn't work. Every major manufacturer I have asked has a customer service department, many have pamphlets or informational booklets they will send you, often for free, that have tips to get the most out of their products and many have web sites which offer good advice.

I have also had the mixed joy of spending hours training people to do jobs that often involve both materials. If you want to learn something try teaching it.

As with all things on the internet, and forums in particular, if what anyone write makes sense consider using it. Seek other sources. Give it a try and draw your own conclusions. If what anyone writes doesn't make sense, don't use it. But consider posting something telling me others some detail what you disagree with. That way all of us will be better informed.

#133382 - 05/21/08 12:55 AM Re: What's the best Duct tape and Electrical tape? [Re: Erik_B]
OldBaldGuy Offline

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
Based on the recommendations of so many here, I broke down and bought a roll of Gorilla Tape today. Now I just need something (other than my arm hair) to tape up...

#133548 - 05/22/08 07:59 PM Re: What's the best Duct tape and Electrical tape? [Re: Ors]
Erik_B Offline

Registered: 08/10/07
Posts: 315
Loc: Somewhere in my own little wor...
Originally Posted By: Ors
Originally Posted By: BillLiptak
+1 on gorilla tape, and I too have found it in black. I have removed it from items only to have it pull the paint off :))

-Bill Liptak

Be very careful with Gorilla tape around arm hair... cry

Originally Posted By: scafool
Camping teaches us what things we can live without.

Originally Posted By: ironraven
...Shopping appeals to the soul of the hunter-gatherer.

#133583 - 05/23/08 12:19 PM Re: What's the best Duct tape and Electrical tape? [Re: Erik_B]
MartinFocazio Offline


Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
Duct-Style Tapes (really cloth-backed water resistant high-adhesion high tack tape):
Hands down, Gorrilla brand for the heavy duty stuff.
As an alternative, thinner product, 3M makes - in general - the best flexible adhesive products around.

Electrical: Scotch 33, 35 and/or 66. But Scotch for sure, high flex, high strength, good low tem performance.

#133710 - 05/25/08 07:01 PM Re: What's the best Duct tape and Electrical tape? [Re: Erik_B]
Crowe Offline

Registered: 12/03/07
Posts: 88
I think I'm a certified Scotch addict.

Electrical Tape: Scotch 33 at a minimum. Super 88 is my preference though. Advantage is that 33 comes in different colors, 88 is black only as far as I can tell. Readily available at Home Depot.

Duct Tape: Black Gorilla, decently priced at Cheaper than Dirt, Though I have to look into the Nashua Tape as sometimes Gorilla is TOO sticky.

Packing Tape: Scotch Extreme reinforced packing tape: found this stuff at Staples. Heavy duty stuff yet cuts, sticks and lays well.

Masking Tape: When I want a light duty tape, I have a roll of 2" 3M Masking Tape. Cheap versatile, and leaves little residue (important when tacking temporary cables on a customers floor). 2" is handier IMHO than the more common 1".

#133900 - 05/28/08 02:09 PM Re: What's the best Duct tape and Electrical tape? [Re: Crowe]
SouthDakotan Offline

Registered: 08/09/07
Posts: 20
Man, I must be the only person who wasn't impressed by gorrilla tape. It's strong but wasn't very flexible which sometimes caused it to come off. Also it just wouldn't stick very well if the surface I was applying it to wasn't completely free of any dust or dirt. I know that tape and dirt never get along, but it seemed like gorrilla tape had a harder time dealing with dirt than regular duct tape. The tape I reallly liked was some military duct tape my dad got out of sportsmanguide years ago. He taped up an atv seat and it held pretty good for quite a while, unitl we tried replacing it with gorrilla tape, which is still holding, but isn't holding up as well. I guess until I can get some more of that good military stuff, I'll just stick to 3M brand tape.

#269176 - 04/17/14 05:25 PM Re: What's the best Duct tape and Electrical tape? [Re: ducktapeguy]
jenfore6 Offline

Registered: 04/17/14
Posts: 1
Spam removed.


Edited by chaosmagnet (04/18/14 02:20 PM)
Edit Reason: spam

#269211 - 04/18/14 03:35 AM Re: What's the best Duct tape and Electrical tape? [Re: Erik_B]
2005RedTJ Offline

Registered: 01/07/09
Posts: 475
Loc: Birmingham, Alabama
I used Gorilla Tape on my bricks for GORUCK events. They've been carried in my ruck for an ungodly amount of miles already and are still wrapped just like the did I put them together.

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