Best Duct Tape

Duct tape is the number one repair material for a wide variety of situations. The combination of strength, adhesion and ease of use duct tape offers has made it literally the tape of 1,000 uses. It has been used for everything including patching clothes, patching wounds, building a cardboard fort for kids to play in and even building suspension bridges. This product has literally become an American icon in the century it has existed.
 
The very first thing that could be called duck tape was strips of duck cloth which were wrapped around the steel suspension cables for the Brooklyn Bridge. By 1910, those strips of duck cloth were coming with adhesive on one side, making it into what we know as duct tape.
 
During World War II, a number of uses were discovered for this “miracle material”. Tape was still a relatively new invention, so people were experimenting with it all over. Johnson & Johnson made an adhesive version of duct tape for use in sealing ammo cans against moisture. One requirement of the tape was that it could be ripped by hand, rather than needing to be cut. Soon thereafter, soldiers in the field started finding a number of ways of using this great tape, including for binding up the wounded.
 
The duck tape name, prompted by the material that it was made from, stuck around until the 1950s, when it started being used for wrapping air ducts in HVAC systems. The silver-grey color of the tape blended ideally with the ductwork and soon heat and cold resistant versions were on the market. Since the workers who make the ductwork were known as tin knockers, the tape became known as tin knocker tape. Later this was changed to duct tape.
 
Duct tape is  a cloth tape coated on one side to make it waterproof with the opposite side coated with a heavy layer of strong adhesive which will stick to just about anything. Besides this, the tape can be ripped straight by hand, either longitudinally or crosswise, making it easy to use without scissors or a knife.
 
Today's duct tape comes in a wide variety of colors and printed patterns. The colors allow you to blend it in with the surface to which it is attached, making the repair job less visible. Not only is it used for repairing just about anything, but it is decorative as well. You can find it printed in your favorite team logo and colors as well as a number of other whimsical patterns.
 
When choosing a duct tape, the two most important characteristics are the adhesion and the physical strength. Most duct tape backing fabric is still very similar to the original duck cloth, so you don't really see a lot of difference in that regard. The adhesive, on the other hand, can vary greatly; with high quality tapes having much more adhesion than the lesser expensive ones, a major factor I've used in selecting the tapes on this list.
 
Keep in mind that regardless of the color shown, most of these brands produce a variety of colors. That's especially true of the "Duck" brand of tape, which has more colors and patterns than anyone. Several of these manufacturers also produce a duct tape that's 2.88 inches wide, for those applications where you need extra width.

Gorilla Tape 1.88-inch x 35-Yard Tape Roll

Gorilla tape lives up to the reputation that their glue began. The double thickness adhesive on this tape makes it ideal for rough and uneven surfaces where other tapes won't stick. Read Full Review

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    Why it's best:

    Gorilla glue is one of the toughest adhesives on the face of the planet. Their tape has been designed and manufactured to keep with that tradition. This tape has double-thick adhesive to make sure it will stick well to rough and uneven surfaces. That means that it's going to stick well, even if you're trying to put it on brick or concrete. The abrasion resistant backing cloth is tougher than others as well, with a tighter weave, but still can be torn by hand. UV and water resistance round everything out, making this tape perfect for just about any need.

    Gorilla Tape 1.88-inch x 35-Yard Tape Roll

    3M 2245 Scotch Heavy Duty All-Weather Duct Tape, 1.88-Inch x 45-Yard,

    The inventors of adhesive tape were also the first to commercially market duct tape. Their high quality standards make all of their products outstanding. Read Full Review

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      Why it's best:

      3M is known for just about anything that requires putting a coating on a substrate. These are the people who originally invented adhesive tape and they still produce more varieties of tape than any other company in the world. They were also the first commercial manufacturer of duct tape for the consumer and industrial markets.This particular tape is designed to be weather-proof with the backing thoroughly waterproofed with a UV resistant coating. It has excellent adhesion strength, bonding to just about any substrate. The flexibility of the backing gives it a tight seal to whatever you put it on. Like all "Scotch" products, this is high quality tape.

      3M 2245 Scotch Heavy Duty All-Weather Duct Tape, 1.88-Inch x 45-Yard,

      Duck All-Purpose Duct Tape

      This one is a personal favorite of mine. Easily repositioned, but once the adhesive sets, it's as permanent as concrete. Read Full Review

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        Why it's best:

        This is a personal favorite of mine and I was very surprised with the first roll I bought. The tape comes off the roll extremely easily and is easy to position on whatever surface and can even be removed and repositioned without a problem. That made me think that I had bought a cheap tape and I was going to have to suffer with it. But when the tape has had a little time to set up, that "easily repositionable adhesive" turns into concrete. You can’t get it off with anything short of a jackhammer; I was truly impressed. Now I use it for just about everything, except in those cases where I need the double thick adhesive of Gorilla's tape.

        Duck All-Purpose Duct Tape

        Nashua 398 Polyethylene Coated Cloth Professional Grade Duct Tape

        Shurtape provides a quality product at a lower price than their competitors. This isn't a second-rate tape, it just carries a second-rate price tag. Read Full Review

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          Why it's best:

          Shurtape primarily manufactures for a wide range of industries. I was first exposed to them when I was looking to save money on our transit bus painting operation in the factory. To my surprise, the environmentally friendly, "el cheapo off brand", Shurtape performed as good as the top dollar, name brand tapes.This duct tape is manufactured to the same high standards that I found when using it in the factory. It’s fire and smoke resistant, something that not all tape manufacturers take into consideration so if you need a duct tape to use where it will get a lot of heat or will be near open flame, this one would be a good choice.

          Nashua 398 Polyethylene Coated Cloth Professional Grade Duct Tape

          Shurtape Industrial Grade Duct Tape PC-618

          Duct tape is probably the best-known brand for this type of tape there is. If you need colors or patterns, they have the widest selection, including camouflage and your favorite team. Read Full Review

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            Why it's best:

            Duct tape has become probably the most popular brand for duct tape, largely due to their name. The biggest thing this company's tape has going for it is the wide range of colors and patterns available. If you need duct tape that will hide on a surface or even decorate it, you're probably better off looking at Duck brand, rather than one of the others. This all-weather tape will do the job for you, regardless of where you need it.

            Shurtape Industrial Grade Duct Tape PC-618
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