Is it duct or Duck tape? It is duct tape (Duck is just a brand of the tape) and the one thing it shouldn’t be used for is sealing ducts! Foil tape is much better for that.
It is however useful for pretty much anything else, from temporary repairs, hanging your Christmas lights or even making wallets! But I noticed recently just how much it varies in quality and price, so I thought it may be useful to do a comparison. Please also check out the video below to see all the tapes in action.
I’m testing 5 brands of duct tape and also Gorilla clear repair tape since it has many similar uses:
|Length (metre)||Thickness (mil)||Thickness (micron)||Cost (pack)||Cost per metre|
|Gorilla Clear Repair||8.2||7||178||£5.90||£0.72|
Gorilla Tape: 32m, 11m, 1″ handy roll
This is over double the thickness of the other tapes and truly stands alone. It’s rips very cleanly, has a very grippy adhesive and is very strong. It’s also releases cleanly from a lot of surfaces if not left too long.
If there’s any criticism of it, for some purposes it’s perhaps too thick. So it won’t conform to tighter radiuses for instance.
This is thicker than the original Duck tape and feels much better quality. It rips cleanly and also releases well from most surfaces.
It’s thin enough to conform well to more varied surfaces and is a good general purpose duct tape.
This is thin as duct tape gets and doesn’t appear much better than the generic tapes available. It doesn’t tear cleanly, but better than the Lidl tape. But it is much cheaper than the premium tapes and also available in lots of colours and with various prints (penguins anyone?)
Lidl Duct Tape (by 3M)
This tape is incredibly cheap but I would avoid it. It’s difficult to tear and sticks to itself very easily. It’s the same thickness as the Duck Original tape but feels thinner. I’m unsure why 3m associate themselves with it.
This isn’t actually duct tape and is by far the most expensive tape. But it’s fairly unique in that it’s a thick clear vinyl tape, also for temporary repairs. It’s designed for fixing tents, air mattresses etc.
It can also be used as a type of helicopter tape for protection of your mountain bike paintwork for instance. I’ve tried it for this and it’s good, but for easy tearing it has small serrations along the edge which may lift over time.
Duct tape in use
Fixing shop vacuum hose
The Duck Ultimate tape was perfect for this repair. It’s strong but thinner than the Gorilla tape, so conformed much better to the hose. This temporary repair was done over 6 months ago and is still going strong!
Braun ear thermometer repair
We’ve had this for years and it’s had some rough treatment including being dropped in the bath – twice!
Recently it developed a fault where it wouldn’t recognise the plastic protective ear filters and therefore wouldn’t switch on. I tore a strip lengthways of the 1″ Gorilla Tape roll to hold the switch down to force it to recognise the filters and now it works just fine.
Overall it’s a close call between the Gorilla tape and the Duck Ultimate tape. I think the Gorilla tape is better value since it’s a much thicker, stronger tape. But for some situations it’s too thick.
The one roll I carry around with me is the 1″ Gorilla Tape roll since it’s the size of small roll of Sellotape and can handle most temporary repairs.
But I think both of these premium tapes deserve a place in your house or shed. If you’re looking for something cheaper, any of the generic 50m rolls of tape should be fine, if a little frustrating sometimes.
If you have found this article useful please consider clicking on the link(s) below. You pay the exact same price and it’ll enable me to keep these articles coming! Any questions, please ask away in the comments section below.