3M Packing Tape

Keep your boxed packages properly sealed by securing them with a 3M™ packing tape. This brand offers a number of carton-sealing tapes with strong pressure-sensitive adhesives. They include general-purpose sealers and tapes with properties that make them suitable for certain applications. Staples® carries a wide selection of these packing tapes from 3M as well as Tartan™ and Scotch™, its sister brands.

Choose the Right Type of 3M Packing Tape for Your Boxes
There are two broad categories of packing tapes: those meant for shipping boxes and those made for storage boxes. Shipping box-sealing tapes use hot melt synthetic rubber resin as adhesive while storage packing tapes seal with acrylic adhesives. Both types of adhesives do have very strong holding powers. Acrylic tapes can handle a wider range of temperatures (32 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit compared to 40 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit for hot melt tapes). They can also maintain their seals for more than three years and do not yellow with age. These properties make them ideal for boxes that sit in garages, warehouses, and other storage facilities. Hot melt shipping tapes have stronger holding power and can withstand rough handling better. Their high resistance to abrasion and tear make them perfect for boxes in transit.

Factors to Consider When Selecting 3M Packing Tape
After selecting the right type of packing tape for your boxes, you need to consider features like thickness, width, and color. 3M and other brands specify tape thickness in mils. A mil is one-thousandth of an inch. The thicker the tape, the higher the mil and the stronger it is. Consider the weight of your package when choosing tape thickness. You should use a packing tape that is less than 2 mil in thickness for sealing envelopes and lightweight mailers for packages weighing 20 pounds or less. You need a sealer that is 2-3 inches in thickness for boxes carrying loads up to 70 pounds. For shipping boxes weighing up to 100 pounds, get a 3-mil tape or thicker.

Most packing tapes are 2 or 3 inches wide. Pick a 3-inch tape if you regularly use large boxes. Make sure to match the width of the tape with the size of your dispenser. A roll of 3M tape with a 3-inch core requires a tape dispenser with the same core size. Although clear, tan, and white are the most popular options, tapes can come in any color. You should select the color that most compliments your box. Choose clear tapes if you do not want to cover up labels on shipping and storage boxes.

Are There Water-Activated 3M Packing Tapes?
Yes. This brand also makes water-activated tapes. Also known as gummed tapes, these use water-based adhesives activated by moistening. They rely on capillary action to bond to cartons and are dust-resistant as well as unaffected by extreme heat and cold.

Should You Get Printed Message 3M Packing Tapes?
Printed packing tapes have warnings imprinted on their backings. These include messages stating that box contents are fragile and requires careful handling as well as instructions to recipients to check that seals are not broken before accepting their packages. Choose such packing tapes if you would like to warn couriers and/or recipients.

Do Hot Melt 3M Packing Tapes Require Heat Guns?
No. You do not need to apply heat to use hot melt tapes. The term, hot melt, refers to their thermoplastic nature. You can apply such tapes by hand or with dispensers.

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