There’s no single product that can fix every break and strengthen every weak point while also providing a cost-effective and user-friendly solution to major issues around the home and workplace. But duct tape comes pretty close. Affordable, easy to use, available in a wide variety of colors, duct tape is about as close to a perfect product as it gets.
Duct tape is typically thought of as something that helps fix things. Ripped umbrella? Duct tape it. Broken lawn chair? Duct tape it. Leaking pipes? You know the answer. But duct tape can do all this and so much more.
It provides a comfortable and secure grip for things like free weights. It’s an excellent survival tool, whether it’s removing splinters from the skin, fixing torn tents, insulating the inside of hiking boots or being braided into a makeshift rope. You could even use duct tape to support sprained ankles or attach bandages. Duct tape can temporarily fix clothes, including providing a makeshift hem or reattaching soles that have become loose on shoes.
Thanks to the relatively new introduction of color and printed duct tape, it’s now become a favorite item among crafters and hobbyists. Reinforce a notebook with brightly colored duct tape. Create a waterproof phone holder. Decorate a bookshelf or even a wall with a design created by printed duct tape.
Nothing is perfect, but we sure do love duct tape. Check out some of our favorite rolls below.
1. Gorilla Black Duct Tape
For a tape that can help extend the life of broken objects and provide a secure hold, we recommend the Gorilla Black Duct Tape. The heavy-duty duct tape is double the thickness of traditional duct tape and can be used indoors and outdoors. Its weather-resistant shell that can withstand moisture and UV rays. Strong enough to adhere to a wide variety of surfaces, including wood, stone, plaster and stucco, the Gorilla Black Duct Tape can handle smooth, rough and uneven jobs. The tight weave of the tape makes it durable and users can still rip pieces by hand for a more user-friendly design.
Pros: Suitable for outdoor use, works with a variety of surfaces, double the thickness of traditional duct tape.
Cons: The tape can lose its sticking ability in high heats.
2. 3M Multi-Use Duct Tape
For a product that combines strength and flexibility, we recommend the 3M Multi-Use Duct Tape. The traditional silver design is seven millimeters wide and classified as commercial-grade, making it appropriate for light use on construction sites. Featuring a flexible adhesive, the 3M duct tape resist curls and tears and immediately adheres to almost any surface. Perfect for light duties, the affordable duct tape can be used for patching, capping pipe, labeling, or short-term repairs. We also like that it has a water-resistant polyethylene finish.
Pros: Commercial grade quality, adheres quickly to surfaces, water-resistant.
Cons: The 3M is not ideal for hand tearing as this can often cause the tape to split down the middle.
3. Duck Brand Color Printed Duct Tape
Make custom labels for water bottles, add a durable identifier to luggage, create unique decorations and explore other creative endeavors with the Duck Brand Color Printed Duct Tape. Duck Tape has created a huge selection of colorful and printed duct tape that is just as strong and durable as the company’s original model, but with an added playfulness. Choose from prints like mermaid, skulls, cats, tie-dye and palm trees. The heavy-duty duct tape works with a wide variety of surfaces, including cloth, vinyl, leather, plastic, metal and laminates. Users can even make temporary designs on flooring and remove the tape after three weeks without any damage to the flooring.
Pros: Wide variety of patterns, durable, can be used as temporary flooring without damage.
Cons: The printed duct tape has a higher price point than the other options on our list.
4. Gaffer Power Transparent Duct Tape
If you want to use duct tape without looking like you’re using duct tape, try the Gaffer Power Transparent Duct Tape. Although it’s not completely invisible, the transparent duct tape still provides a much less severe finish than traditional silver or black options. Rated for indoor and outdoor use, the tape is suitable for a wide range of surfaces, including wood, plastic, glass, vinyl, brick, stucco metal and rubber. Gaffer Power recommends their tape for use in greenhouses and for other projects in wet conditions. The biaxially-oriented propylene backing with acrylic resin adhesive helps to create a strong tape that is easy to rip by hand.
Pros: Less noticeable than traditional duct tape, suitable for indoor and outdoor use, can be ripped by hand.
Cons: Depending on the project, the translucent tape may not have the same sticking power as traditional duct tape.