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Packing Tape 101: Find the Best Packing Tape for Your Package

May 1, 2019 Courier

Did you know the United States Postal Service delivered more than 150 billion packages and documents last year? And that is just one of the many popular shipping companies.

If you have ever tried to ship a package of your own, you know how important it is to ensure the box is taped up well so it won’t fall apart in transit.

But did you know there are actually different kinds of packing tape? In this short guide, we’ll help you figure out what is the best packing tape to send your boxes.


The adhesion level of a kind of tape refers to how sticky it is. You want something that is very sticky and will stay attached to your box.

If the tape is not sticky enough to adhere to the package, it may peel up. That can cause the flaps on the box could open en route and make everything fall out. That is not what you want in a tape.

Adhesion levels do vary, but always get something that adheres well. Tape with a slightly lower adhesion can be peeled off easier and re-positioned if necessary. The ultra-high adhesion tapes are not going anywhere and will most likely need to be cut with a knife.

Why would you want these different adhesions? It depends on what you have planned for the package. If you are just packing a small box to send to Grandma for the holidays, then the adhesion level doesn’t need to be quite as high.

However, if you want to store boxes in the attic for 10 years or so, you probably want more adhesion so the boxes will stay shut and no bugs or dust will get inside.


This one relates to the adhesion level. Some kinds of tape do well under normal circumstances but don’t hold up well in extreme heat or cold.

If you are planning on storing packages in a really hot or cold garage, make sure you choose a tape that will hold up well. If you are going to put boxes in a storage facility with a lot of humidity or extreme temperatures, this is also important to consider.

Even if you are mailing boxes somewhere that is hot or cold, you need tape that can hold up well sitting in the back of a mail truck that is more open to the elements.

Thickness and Strength

Have you ever spent time taping up a box and thought it looked good and sturdy, but when you picked it up, the tape ripped and everything fell out of the box?

That is because the tape was not strong. Even if the adhesion level was fine, the tape was not able to withstand the weight of the contents and broke under the pressure.

That is why you need to use tape that is strong enough for the job.

The thickness of the tape usually determines how strong it is, and is measured in milli-inches. Generally, most packing tape comes in about 2 to 3 mil.

Does this mean you should always buy the thickest tape you can find? That isn’t the case. Thicker tape is usually more expensive than thinner tape, and you may not need it. The better question to ask is how much your package will weigh. 

If you are sending a package with a Christmas card and some cookies, you don’t need something super sturdy, and thinner tape (around 2 mil) should be sufficient. But if you are sending a set of dumbbells to your son at college, you will definitely want something that won’t come apart in the mail. In this case, 3 mil or more would be ideal.


This aspect is not like the others since it doesn’t have any specific requirements. It’s not like wider tape will make a package hold up in the heat better.

However, width is something to pay attention to. You need to make sure the tape is wide enough to fully enclose the flaps on the package. If it covers the slit down the middle and enough space on both sides, you are good to go.

But if the tape barely holds the two flaps together, don’t be surprised if the contents all fall out. Fortunately, most packing tape comes in an adequate width of about 2 inches. But when you go to buy tape, make sure it will work.

Ease of Use

Some kinds and brands of tape are easier to use than others. Sometimes tape can split, be hard to peel off the roll, or make it difficult to find the ends. You might need scissors to cut the tape before you can apply it to the box. Often this results in frustration, especially if you are trying to balance a box, scissors, and tape all at the same time.

Other tapes have nifty little dispensers. You just pull out the tape a little and use the attached raised cutter to easily cut the tape. This makes packing up boxes a breeze.

This aspect may not sound as vital, but if you are going to pack up a lot of boxes, do yourself a favor and get tape that is easy to use. You will be happy you did.

Price and Brand

Most packing tape is pretty affordable, so you don’t need to worry about spending a ton of money. Most brand names are similar in price. You can buy a roll of tape for around $3 or $4 that has 30-50 yards.

The Best Packing Tape Is Only Half the Battle

Even if you get the best packing tape on the market and your box is secured, you need to choose a reliable shipping company. Sadly, package theft is becoming more common these days, and 31% of Americans have experienced it. Other companies may have slow deliveries and don’t allow you to track your shipments.

After you get your cardboard boxes all taped up, you need to ship them with a reputable company. At Need It Now Delivers, we specialize in quick delivery and great customer service.

If you want your package delivered and want to make sure it gets to its destination, use our ship now page, and we’ll help you get started!