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tape vs glue smackdown


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I'm not in business yet, but I have a little experience with taping boxes. Basically, how far are the packages going? If they are being delivered by you or a distributor I think the cheap clear packing tape will do. If they are being shipped by UPS or FedEx then I'd say the expensive clear packing tape is good, but as I said you'd be surprised at the cost of dam packing tape. Now this will probably work if you are only doing one stripe down the center, so it looks clean when it arrived to the customer, as opposed to tons of clear packing tape all over the place keeping it closed.

The best method is buying a packing tape machine dispenser, the manual kind. It has a water bath and a roll of that brown pre-glued tape. You pull a length through and it moistens the the tape and you apply it directly to the package. I've seen videos of the company that is the largest supplier of that stuff and they do a comparison, there is no comparison. When applied properly the brown glue tape is literally 50 times stronger than ANY clear packing tape. I'm not sure how much the rolls are, but the machines new or used seem to be really expensive. It's not that complicated of a design but I guess they are worth it. My brother bought one used and beat up a couple of years ago when a store was going out of business and sold it on eBay for like $90. I would invest in one of those, get it as cheap as you can off eBay.

They also make fancy ones that have a couple of set points so when you pull the handle, like normal, it will deliver the length you need. Obviously you set it to how long you need it before hand and then every strip comes out the same length. These ones usually have different set points so you can have preset length and don't have to guess at how long they are every time.

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If the question is Tape vs Glue, the paper, not just paper but the reinforced type, is like gold verses the clear type. Also, contact your carton supplier to look for a good deal on appropriate tape for your carton. Ask even for an old applicator machine. They all have a room full of these things. The tape sold in the big retail stores will be useless. The flaps will slid out from under the cheaper tape. For six packs of 750mls tape is fine. But 12 packs for liters I recommend a real heavy tape or glue on the bottom. In my past experience in packaging, 30 lbs boxes, we glued the bottom with a simple brush and glue bucket. We taped the top. Actually tape the top, fill the cartons upside down, glue the bottom and set on the pallet upside right for the weight of the product to set the glue. Think of who will be handling the product beyond your delivery.

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+1 on the reinforced water activated packaging tape. We use this kind of tape when we ship heavy parts to our customers. The shipping companies don't really read the "fragile" or "this way up" labels so the water activated tape is the way to go - particularly when closing boxes that have heavier contents.

Glue doesn't really come into the picture until you get into automatic case erectors / drop packers / and other forms of automation on the back end of the line. The glue is usually heated - Nordson is the primary brand used on these types of machines.

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