Duck tape, also known as “duct tape” has been in use since the early 1940’s. Believe it or not, it was first manufactured for the military and called “duck” tape, because it was waterproof. It wasn’t until the mid-1940’s that it became popular for HVAC use and thus was called “duct” tape because of its ability to effectively seal HVAC duct seams and joints.
Duct tape comes in a wide variety of types, a multitude of colors and patterns. Many fairs feature duck tape contests or displays and there’s even a duck tape festival.
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Possible Uses for Duct Tape
There are unlimited uses for duct tape. For specific uses, check out 95 ways preppers can use duct tape for survival. You’ll find tips and tricks for using duct tape in a variety of categories including:
- Shelter Building
- First Aid
- Clothing Repair
- Survival Cordage
- Temporary Auto Repairs
- Color Coding and Labeling
- Miscellaneous Repairs
Best Duct Tape Brand Features
Regardless of what you call it, if you’ve always thought one brand of duct tape was as good as the next, you may be surprised. Features vary by brand when it comes to duct tape. When thinking of ways preppers can use duct tape for survival, it’s critical to know the differences between the brands so you can choose the right duct tape to get the job done right.
Adhesion is a primary factor when choosing duct tape. If you want a long lasting sticking power, look for a tape manufactured with a hot-melt adhesive. Rubber based adhesives are more versatile than hot melt tapes. Sticky Ass Tape offers a duct tape that can withstand 200 MPH winds.
Tensile Strength or how well the tape holds up to mechanical stress. The backing of the tape will be the strongest if it’s made from synthetic materials, like polyethylene. You want a tape with strong creep which can withstand high impact, so it will bend without breaking.
Thickness of the duct tape is important too. Thicker tape will be harder to bend or wrap around an object or corner. Thinner tape won’t be as strong.
Adaptability to Surfaces is also something to consider when choosing the best duct tape. Choose a tape that will stick to your chosen surface even if it’s rough or uneven.
Weather Resistance is definitely something to consider when choosing duct tape, especially for outdoor repairs or for projects that will be subjected to rain, snow, ice, or direct sunlight. Some manufacturers, such as 3M, sell “all weather” tape which use natural rubber to increase its resistance to all kinds of weather.
Temperature Resistance is important when choosing a duct tape, especially if it will be used in an area where high humidity, high heat, or below zero temperatures are predicted. Tape King manufacturers a duct tape that is heat resistant up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to Choose Duct Tape
There are several questions to ask yourself when deciding which duct tape to use for your project. Your answers to these questions will help you to choose the best duct tape for your needs. We’ve listed some of them below:
- Do I need a long-lasting or temporary repair?
- Will I need a tape that tears easily?
- Do I need duct tape that is resistant to water and high heat?
- Is a tight fit or irregular shape needed?
- How important is a reflective surface?
- What will the amount of duct tape I need cost?
- Do I need the duct tape to remove cleanly?
Even though duct tape is known for its ability to stick to a variety of surfaces, there are some surfaces which will prove problematic. If your project involves one of these types of surfaces, you will need to select your duct tape more cautiously and may need to do some surface preparation prior to applying the tape.
If you plan to use duct tape in a survival or bug out situation, you may want to do some test runs with your brand so you know it will work reliably when you need to depend on it.
- Very wet surfaces
- Uneven surfaces
- Corrugated cardboard
- Dirty or dusty surfaces
- Surfaces in direct sunlight (UV Light)
- Very cold surfaces
- Hot surfaces
- Painted surfaces
- Non-stick surfaces (i.e. teflon)
Best Brands of Duct Tape
Just like with any other product, duct tape is manufactured by a wide variety of companies. The brand and manufacturing process can be a very important factor in the effectiveness of your tape for a project or survival task. Below are some of the best duct tape brands along with product highlights and features.
DUCK brand Duct Tape
- Often less expensive than other duct tape brands
- Has a more shiny color to it
- May lose adhesiveness over time
- Great for uneven surfaces
- Comes in a large variety of colors and patterns
- Offers a very popular all weather duct tape
Quick disclosure: If you visit a link in this article and then you buy something, I may earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. You can read my full disclosure here.
Get the DUCK brand Duct Tape on Amazon.com.
3M All-Weather Duct Tape
- Uses natural rubber
- Can be painted if needed
- Great for repairs and patching
- More water resistant than other tapes
Get the 3M All-Weather Duct Tape on Amazon.
Nashua Duct Tape
- Natural rubber adhesive
- Polyethylene cloth backing for high tensile strength
- Amazingly durable and strong
- Great for indoor or outdoor projects
- Comparable in strength to Gorilla brand
- Not suitable for extreme heat as adhesive may melt
Get the Nashua Duct Tape on Amazon.
Sticky Ass Tape
- Three layer thick adhesive
- Made to withstand heavy winds up to 200 mph
- More expensive than other brands
- Sticks to just about any surface (not plywood)
- Great for outdoor projects
Tape King Duct Tape
- Use real rubber
- Safe for temperatures up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit
- Easier to remove than other tapes
- Great for craft projects and temporary home repairs
Gorilla Black Duct Tape
- Double thick adhesive, twice that of other brands
- Great for any type of surface
- Reinforced backing
- Tight weave reinforces strength and boosts water resistance
- Black rather than gray color
Buy Gorilla Black Duct Tape from Amazon.com.
Is duct tape included in your bug out bag or survival supplies? Which of these duct tape brands are your favorite? How have you used duct tape for your projects or survival tasks? Do you have a unique way of using duct tape that works for you? Let us know in the comments below.
A mother of four and grandmother of nine boys and one girl, Megan is living the lifestyle any prepper would want. Gardening, homesteading and constantly planning for emergencies big and small, she’s a beacon of knowledge in the prepping community.
7 thoughts on “The Most Reliable Brands of Duct Tape Money Can Buy”
We most often use cheap duct tape for one off disposable projects; but, use a better foil tape for real ductwork repair and assembly.
We’ll also often use wide packing tape in some places; but, something we’ve found to be really versatile are the Flex products, since Flex Tape sticks to almost anything. It’s double sticky and we’ve used it to put a board on a brick wall for attaching lighting and a doorbell, used layered with cloth, cardboard, or duct tape for holding and sealing a package.
Their liquid or spray cans have been used to patch leaks in roofs, and to waterproof a thin corrugated cardboard cover for some outside equipment.
One of course cannot discuss duct tape without mentioning the king of duct tape & WD-40. As Red Green said: ”You need only two tools: WD-40 and Duct Tape: if it doesn’t move and it should, use WD-40; if it moves and shouldn’t, use the duct tape.”
“If the women don’t find you handsome, they can at least find you handy!”
Duck (Duct) tape can also be used as a fire starter. It burns very readily.
Actually that depends on the type of tape, since really good ”Duct” tape, used for HVAC is foil backed and doesn burn at all. I’ve found that the really inexpensive (cheap) cloth base tape usually birns quite well and keep a roll of it in my kit, both for makeshift repairs (like shoes, tents, or coats) and fire starting.
If you can’t fix it duck (duct) it……LOL
The black Gorilla tape doesn’t stick too well, over time it comes off. We used it at work for packing artwork for shipping for a long time, and finally the Fed Ex guys told us it comes unstuck, so we use just the clear tape now. I’ve seen it do that at the shop while the packages are waiting for shipment, too so I know it’s true. Just a PSA.