What’s the best Packing Tape?

Often times we believe we’re putting something in storage temporarily when it could wind up being stored for a long period of time.  To be on the safe side, be sure to seal the boxes well.  You want your stuff to be safe from the elements and bugs, don’t you?  Ever wondered what’s the best tape for sealing boxes?

Packing Tape

Standard packing or shipping tape is usually thin and either clear or brown, waterproof and sticky. We like this one because it fits well on those packing tape dispensers.  You can even buy it already on the dispenser, which usually has a built in cutting edge for fast cutting.  It’s cheap and easy to use.

Duct Tape

Duct tape is usually grey, waterproof and really sticky.  We prefer this one for long term sealing of boxes, because it doesn’t seem to be weakened as much by humidity.  The stickiness of the tape will increase the probability that it will stay put for a long time.  However, it tends to be more expensive than packing tape.  The most efficient way of using it is probably to tear it, rather than cutting it.  But it’s likely to provide the best long term protection on boxes.  [Note that if you plan to reuse your boxes, the duct tape will probably damage them a bit when you try to remove it.]  Because it is STICKY!

Masking Tape

Masking tape is generally beige, has a paper-like quality and is less sticky.  You can buy wider masking tape to seal boxes and fully cover the seams, but it isn’t typically sticky enough to seal well.  The best use of masking tape may be to label the boxes.  That way you can remove the tape and reuse the boxes without having them be permanently marked up to say ‘Jake’s sock drawer’.

Filament Tape

Filament tape is usually clear tape reinforced with plastic ‘threads’.  This tape is definitely sturdy, but it isn’t as wide as we’d like in a packing tape.  And it definitely doesn’t tear well for quick sealing of boxes.  If you use it, you’ll need to keep the scissors nearby. This tape might be best to reinforce your taped up boxes that need extra protection.

Packing up things to put in storage is one of those times it pays to be thorough – your future self will thank you for the effort!

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