Duct Tape Buyer’s Guide

What is duct tape used for? What are the different types of duct tape? 

Duct tape is the go-to heavy duty tape for making household repairs, securely fixing things to surfaces and many other practical uses. An essential addition to every tool box, it is strong, highly adhesive and versatile. 


Our buyer’s guide will help you decide which duct tape you need. 

What is duct tape?

Duct tape is a highly adhesive, water-resistant tape which can be used for an almost limitless number of purposes. 

It is made of a strong polycloth material which sits between a synthetic rubber layer and a coloured backing (often silver). The combination of the cloth and backing is what gives duct tape its strength and durability. 

What is duct tape used for?

Duct tape is used in industries from TV, film and music production, to manufacturing, logistics, heating and air ventilation, for household repairs and more. 

It has many practical uses around the home and in professional environments, including:  

  • Patching holes

  • Packing boxes

  • Sealing joints

  • Waterproofing

  • Strapping

  • Asbestos removal

  • Fixing cables to the floor

  • Repairing broken windows

  • Colour-coding 

  • Repairing car upholstery

There are some other, more unusual but practical uses for duct tape that you may not have heard of:

  • Removing splinters

  • Removing lint and fluff from clothes

  • As insulation in boot insoles

  • Protecting floors from furniture

  • Making a bandage

Who invented duct tape?

Duct tape has a long history, but the tape that is generally referred to as duct tape today was invented by Vesta Stoudt in World War II. Vesta proposed that ammunition boxes could be sealed with a waterproof tape to protect the contents better. 

She came up with the idea of using a tearable, waterproof, cloth-based tape. President Franklin D. Roosevelt approved the invention and Johnson & Johnson manufactured it. It was originally called ‘duck’ tape because it repelled water ‘like a duck’s back’.

What are the different types of duct tape?

Duct tape comes in a variety of colours, lengths and widths. We sell premium, wide and extra wide duct tape in colours including red, white, silver/grey and black.

The premium tape is a higher quality duct tape, while the wide and extra wide tapes are more useful for applications where you have a bigger surface area to cover. 

Type of duct tape



Available sizes

Premium (red, white, silver, black

This premium grade, heavy duty duct tape is ideal for binding, repairs and securely fixing things onto surfaces due to its strong adhesive coating.

  • Strong adhesive coating with vacuum hotmelt (synthetic rubber).

  • Leaves no residue.

  • Water resistant.

  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use.

Size: 48mm x 50m (50 mesh - 0.18mm thick)

Wide (white, silver, black)

Size: 75mm x 50m (50 mesh - 0.18mm thick)

Extra wide (black, silver, white)

Size: 100mm x 50m (50 mesh - 0.18mm thick)

Which duct tape is strong?

All duct tape is designed to be strong. Our tape has a tensile strength of >60N/cm and is adhesive to steel up to 6 N/cm. 

Does duct tape leave a residue?

Our range of duct tape has been designed to leave no residue, so you don’t need to worry about cleaning off any remnants of sticky adhesive. 

Is duct tape conductive?

Duct tape made of polycloth and coated with plastic is non-conductive, which means in theory it can be used to insulate electrical wires. However, we always recommend you use PVC electrical insulation tape to do this because it is specially designed for the job.

Is duct tape heat resistant?

Our duct tape has a temperature rating of -15°C to 70°C.

Is duct tape and electrical tape the same?

No, duct tape and electrical tape are different. Duct tape is designed to fix or hold things together, while electrical tape is a specialist tape used by electricians for insulating and identifying cables and wires. 

Are duct tape and gaffer tape the same?

Duct tape and gaffer tape are slightly different. Gaffer tape is a heavy, cotton cloth tape with strong adhesive qualities, and it doesn’t leave a sticky residue. Duct tape is a cloth tape which has a synthetic rubber adhesive on one side.  

Which duct tape should I buy?

It depends which job you need to do and how big the surface area is that you need to cover. 

Our premium tapes have excellent adhesion for both indoor and outdoor use, so they are ideal for jobs needing more of a long-term solution.

Our wide tapes are 27mm wider than our premium tapes, while our extra wide tapes are the widest at 100mm.

Other types of tape and their uses

Buy GTSE duct tape

We sell an extensive range of low cost duct tape and offer savings for larger orders. 

If you have any more questions about duct tape, or any other cable management products, please contact us via live chat, email or phone.