12 Types of Tape That Serve Every Need You've Ever Have
Author: Jen Worst | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
Ever since some genius realized we could stick adhesives to a thin strip of paper or plastic, the world hasn't stopped rolling out new types of tape. From bandaids to Scotch tape and stamps, we all use it daily.
Tape is one of mankind’s best inventions. Sure, there's several discoveries and inventions that compete with it, but tape (or the concept of adhesives on a cloth, plastic, or paper strip) have made life easier in many different ways.
12 Types of Tape
Tape is useful in the medical field, in criminal investigations, at manufacturing plants, and even for working on your child’s school projects. There are different types of tape for every need. Let's look at them now.
1) Duct Tape
Duct tape is a highly effective option that will stick to practically anything and is great for carrying out repairs around the house. While duct tape is usually the gray roll of tape you should be able to recognize anywhere, they are now available in a variety of different colors as well.
These tapes are pressure sensitive and are made stronger by the use of a polyethylene coating. Interestingly, the original name for the product was “duck” tape since it was made of cotton duck fabric and also because of the phrase “like water off a duck’s back”. But over the years the usage of the term has evolved. And despite that phrase, duct tape isn't waterproof, just water-resistant.
2) Floor Marking Tape
This is a very strong tape that is put to use in busy spaces like loading docks or warehouses. It's a durable tape that can be used to demarcate areas. It's easier to use than paint and also lasts for a long time. Most importantly, it's fluorescent and can be seen even when it's dark.
Floor masking tape has an important job. If, in case, the tape moves from its place it could result in something going wrong in the loading process or some other streamlined process at a factory.
It's also used to alert you that stairs are ahead of you and are especially needed if stair measuring tools weren't used and the depth of the stairs aren't standardized like they should be.
The job of the masking tape is to ensure that everything goes to the right place and in the right direction. It tends to be very durable and quite the effort to clean up without some kind of chemical to dissolve the bond first.
3) Double-Sided Tape
Double-sided tape, as the name suggests, is a tape that works from both sides. It has adhesive on both sides and is perfect for holding two items together. It's the most unique of the adhesive tape types.
For example, if you're working on a home project and need to hold a sheet of paper, easel, or even foam or cloth in place, you can hold them in place on your canvas or desk using double-sided tape.
Double-sided tape is also useful when you don’t want it to be apparent that you have used tape. Most other tapes will be visible if you want to place them on the object in a way that they have the maximum effect. Double-sided tape, when used correctly, will not be visible.
4) Fashion Tape
This body tape is a must have if you work in fashion or are generally someone who likes to wear some type of fashion style that threatens to reveal more than you intended to. It has several names, but its main purpose is to ensure a certain article of clothing stays in place.
If a certain outfit is loose and you want it to stay in shape or if you are wearing a certain dress for a night out on town, fashion tape will be able to hold the cloth in place. These are special types of tape that doesn't damage delicate fabric nor does it irritate the skin.
5) Masking Tape
Masking tape is something that is very popular with painters and artists. These different kinds of tape is easy to remove but is very strong and can hold things in place for a long time without losing effectiveness.
They're typically placed on areas where a painter wants to get a clean, straight line—similar to a stencil. The masking tape can be placed, covering a certain area out where the types of paint are not supposed to go. Once the painting is done, the tape is removed and a clean line is visible.
Masking tapes are available in a variety of different strengths, rated from 1 to 100. There are also decorative masking tapes that are great for creative projects and to decorate a scrapbook, for instance.
6) Electrical Tape
Electrical tape is one of the most important things to have in your tool kit. These types of tape are used to insulate wires, though it can also be used on other objects that conduct electricity.
This tape is typically available in colors like black, green, red, and yellow to help you keep track of various connections. They're also made from different types of plastic materials but vinyl is certainly the most popular.
The tape stretches easily and is also easy to wrap around wires without the fear that it will stick to itself. Anyone that's ever encountered anything remotely resembling electrician's work has used this tape.
7) Packing Tape
If you are packing boxes in preparation for a big move, box-sealing tape is your best friend. Box-sealing tape is available in various widths, but the two-inch wide box-sealing tape is usually good enough for a standard moving process.
This packing tape is very strong and typically you only need to use it to seal the opening of the box but you can also use it on other parts of the box to better secure it.
Wherever you feel the box needs more reinforcement or is not strong enough, be generous with the tape, especially if shipping boxes through the mail.
8) Friction Tape
Friction tape is used largely on the floor but can be used on the surfaces of desks or workshop tables to keep items from sliding around. These tape types or sometimes called anti-slip tape too.
Some are closer to electrical tape and can be used to insulate from electricity or wrapped around baseball bat handles or hockey sticks to increase friction so you don't lose your grip on them so easily.
Some are made out of rubber materials and others have a grit and bumps on them to keep your feet from slipping when walking. You'll see it used on the edges of stairs a lot of times.
9) Security Tape
If you want to send something expensive or important through the mail, it may be advisable to cover the box or package with security tape. The tape is an indication that the package should not be tampered with when it's being shipped or stored.
If the tape has been torn or removed, you'll know that the package has been opened. The tape has different security features that make them tamper evident.
If someone tries to open the tape and then repack the box, it'll be obvious. Some types of security tape may look different but their security feature is the most important thing about them.
10) Holographic Tape
Holographic tape is an incredible type of tape that shines in the sun and creates a glare that keeps birds away from your precious herb garden or vegetable patch. Since the tape is holographic, it creates impressions when light hits it, making the surface of the tape shine in the sun and flutter in the breeze.
This is a great gardening hack because it scares birds away without causing them harm and also saves you money on erecting a scarecrow in your yard. You can simply cordon off the area that you want to protect from birds using this tape.
You can find what is called Washi tape that has all kinds of designs printed on it. It doesn't just have to be holographic. Any kind of simple design you could imagine printing on tape, you can find in a Washi tape style.
11) Flagging Tape
Flagging tape is a bright tape that, quite literally, flags something off by drawing attention to itself. It is an excellent way to mark an area—great to mark directions on a hiking trail, for example.
This tape is very light and can be removed easily so it's good for marking temporary directions, like during a cycle race or marathon. Just don't forget to go back and clean it up. Too many people leave their mess behind.
Since it's so light, it also flutters in the wind, which allows people to spot it from a distance because of the movement. Once the event is over, the tape can be removed with ease without leaving any remnants that could cause confusion.
12) Surgical Tape
A surgical tape are types of tape that are used in hospitals and in medical situations. The tape holds in place dressings and bandages, ensuring they don’t slip from the wound area.
The tape is very strong but it doesn't irritate the skin. The adhesive has also been designed such that it can be removed without aggravating the wound.
The tape is also hypoallergenic so there's no chance of causing infection to the wound or triggering any latent allergies of the patient. The tape is also breathable so it allows the wound to heal.
Types of Tape for Every Need
The tapes that have been described above are some of the most popular. Each of them has a specific purpose and usually can't be used interchangeably.
It is, in fact, incredible that there are so many different types of tape that have a hyper-specific usage. These twelve are also easy to find and are not obscure, even if their uses are not for everyday purposes.
You just need to figure out what types of tape will be of use for the task at hand. Rest assured, the stickiness of most tapes will prevent any task from meeting a sticky end.