Gaffer Tape Vs Duct Tape: Which One Should You Be Using?

gaffer tape vs duct tape

While duct tape may be more well-known by the general public than gaffer's tape, that doesn't necessarily make it better.

Many times, the names of these tapes are even used interchangeably, although they're actually quite different. 

Gaffer's tape and duct tape are built differently and are designed for different uses. And if you use one type of tape for a different purpose than what it was meant for, then you could end up with some negative results. 

So when it comes to gaffer tape vs duct tape, which one should you be using? Continue reading and we'll walk you through everything you need to know. 


Duct Tape

Duct tape is made with a polyethylene (PE) cloth backing. That's a material that makes duct tape waterproof. It contains a natural and aggressive rubber-based adhesion system, which lets it stick to a variety of surfaces. 

It should also be noted that duct tape has a reflective and shiny backing. It's also meant for permanent or semi-permanent adhesion applications. And when you remove duct tape, it leaves behind an adhesive residue. 

It's these characteristics that make duct tape a good pick for sealing leaks, bundling heavy-duty materials, and making repairs. 


Gaffer's Tape

Gaffer's tape is made from a coated cloth backing. It uses a synthetic rubber-based adhesion system. 

Due to the fact that it doesn't use polyethylene, this kind of tape isn't waterproof. However, the barrier characteristics in the coated cloth backing do make this tape resistant to moisture in most situations. 

So while gaffer's tape isn't a good pick for waterproofing projects, it works well in moist and humid environments. 

The adhesive on this tape isn't as aggressive as it is in duct tape. So gaffer's tape is a good choice for temporary jobs.

Additionally, black gaff tape has a nice matte backing which prevents the reflections of light. You can also remove it cleanly without any adhesive residue or damage. 

You can tear both gaffer's tape and duct tape with your hands. And they both conform to uneven surfaces. 

If there's one thing that you can remember about the differences between these two types of tape, then just remember that duct tape doesn't remove cleanly, which gaffer's tape usually does. 

Gaffer's tape is the preferred choice for the arts and entertainment industry. This is because you can peel it off stages, cables, carpets, and other surfaces simply without damaging anything or leaving behind an adhesive residue. 

Duct tape, on the other hand, is perfect for waterproofing and making permanent repairs.


Gaffer Tape vs Duct Tape: What's the Final Verdict?

It's important to understand the differences and similarities between gaffer tape vs duct tape. They vary greatly in price and functionality, often becoming the deciding factor in the success of a project.

Are you looking for other helpful home improvement articles? Check out the rest of our blog today for more DIY tips and fix-it advice.

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