A Buyer’s Guide to Types of Packaging Tapes

When it comes to packing tape, there are plenty of different types to choose from. Whether you’re sealing boxes for shipping, bundling items together or securing loose wires, you’ll find there’s a specific tape for each use that will ensure optimum performance.

To help you navigate your way through our range of packing tapes, we’ve created a buyer’s guide that details the types of tapes and their different uses, ensuring you have all the information you need to make the correct purchase. From your typical parcel tapes for mailrooms, offices and warehouses to those better suited to industrial applications like aluminium foil, gaffer and warning tapes, we’ll cover the whole lot.

Parcel tape

Also referred to as packaging tape, parcel tape covers a broad range of options and makes the ideal companion for sealing cardboard boxes and parcels ready for storage or shipment. For heavy duty uses, a standard brown PVC or vinyl tape provides strong and permanent adhesion to surfaces, ensuring packages remain securely sealed on route. 

Other alternatives include polypropylene tape with acrylic adhesion that’s primed for general, light and medium use for sealing boxes, postal bags and bundling items together. Available in a choice of clear or brown, as well as low noise variants, this parcel tape provides a cost-effective solution for sealing all kinds of packages. You can also make use of printed fragile tape when shipping delicate products to clearly identify that the package should be handled with care.

Duct tape

Duct tape, also called gaffer tape is an incredibly strong and versatile adhesive tape that’s primarily used in the film industry, as well as in construction and industrial applications. However, duct tape and gaffer tape have subtle differences in properties and uses, so it’s important to understand this to ensure you choose the right type to suit your purpose.


Both tapes come in a choice of white, black and silver and are manufactured from cloth with a polythene backing that’s designed to be tough, durable and highly adhesive. But, duct tape is better suited for long-lasting or permanent applications and can be used both indoors and outdoors - making it the perfect choice for construction sites and industrial applications. 

With exceptional adhesion and strength, gaffer tape is designed to deliver a temporary fix and works most effectively indoors, which is why it's popularly used in the film and theatre industry to secure loose wires or strapping filming equipment together. 

Masking tape

Masking tape is an essential piece of equipment for painters and decorators. With its medium adhesion that sticks to most surfaces, this tape can be applied and easily removed without the risk of damaging the surface underneath. 

Whether it’s used for protecting other surfaces from paint splashes or as a guide for drawing straight lines during a painting project, masking tape is a must have in a decorator’s arsenal - and is available in varying sizes and with UV resistant options, too. 

Specialist tapes

Within our range of tapes, you’ll also find a number of specialist tapes such as aluminium foil, underground and warning tapes that are specifically designed for use in the construction industry and industrial settings. 

Aluminium foil tape is typically used to seal joints on heating and cooling systems and can withstand temperatures as low as -30°C and up to 120°C. Using a rubber based adhesive that’s pressure sensitive, this tape is highly effective for sealing in vapours as they can be moulded to the shape of irregular surfaces.

Warning tapes and underground tapes are an ideal way to optimise the safety of a specific area by alerting people to a potential hazard or danger. This could be standard red and white warning tape to cordon off entry to a particular area or using tapes with a specific warning such as ‘electric cables below’ to ensure workers and the general public are made aware of hazards. While most commonly used on building sites, these warning tapes can also be used in offices, retail spaces and warehouses.

We hope this buyer’s guide gives you all the information you need on packing tape purchases to ensure you find just the right solution for your business. 

However, if you have any questions or specialist requirements, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert team, they’re always happy to help to ensure you find the answers you need. 

A Buyer’s Guide to Types of Packaging Tapes