What’s the Difference Between PVC Tape and Duct Tape?

PVC Tape Rolls

If you need strong and durable tape for your application, PVC tape and duct tape might be on your shortlist of options to consider. So, which one should you choose? The answer comes down to how you’ll use it. As we covered in a previous blog post on choosing the right tape for the job, each solution has a different purpose. Just like you wouldn’t use scotch tape to seal ductwork, you wouldn’t use duct tape to wrap holiday gifts.

This article will look at the differences – and similarities – between PVC tape and duct tape to illustrate the ideal applications for each one, helping you build a better and smarter arsenal of packaging materials.

The Low-down on PVC Tape

Polyvinyl chloride tape, or PVC tape, is a thick and strong premium quality packaging tape designed to accommodate heavy-duty shipments, such as large parts or bulky supplies. It has a flat finish with a natural rubber adhesive that can bond to many surfaces, including cardboard. Known for its quiet release when pulled from the roll, it tape is exceptionally easy to work with because it doesn’t stick to itself, can be readjusted, and is very strong, making it a top-selling customer favorite.

Features of PVC Tape

• Strong, durable, and water-resistant
• Forms a strong bond on surfaces, including cardboard
• User-friendly because it doesn’t stick to itself
• Flat finish with rubber adhesive
• Choose from varying thicknesses, widths, lengths, and colors
Custom printing available using up to three colors

Best application for PVC tape: heavy-duty packaging. PVC is best for applications requiring durable and thick custom packing tape, such as shipping large parts or heavy supplies.

Next, let’s look closer at the characteristics of duct tape to distinguish it from PVC tape.

The Low-Down on Duct Tape

Duct tape is composed of strong fabric bonded to polyethylene film with a rubber adhesive. As its name implies, duct tape was initially developed for sealing air ducts, with its silver-gray color blending almost seamlessly with metal ductwork. As it grew in popularity, new versions emerged with varying fabrics, films, and adhesives to accommodate many home and commercial repair tasks. However, duct tape does not adhere well to cardboard, making it unsuitable for most packaging applications.

• Flexible, sturdy, and sticky
• Water-resistant adhesive designed primarily for repairs and industrial uses
• The rubber adhesive does not bond well to cardboard or hot, cold, wet, uneven, dirty, or painted surfaces
• Easily tears by hand
• Available in general-purpose, industrial-grade, professional-grade, gaffer’s tape, stucco tape, and coated cloth tape

Best application for duct tape: home or commercial repairs. Duct tape is best for sealing and repairing applications requiring thick tape with a sticky adhesive, such as sealing air ducts.

In the next section, we’ll summarize the number one difference between PVC tape and duct tape.

The Primary Difference Between PVC Tape and Duct Tape

Before we drive home the difference between PVC tape and duct tape, let’s explore a few features that they share. They are both thick with a strong adhesive and have water-resistant properties. While these tapes are similar to each other, the important question to ask yourself is: What do you need it to accomplish? Do you need to repair something? Are you shipping a heavy-duty package?

PVC tape is an excellent solution for packaging because it bonds well to cardboard boxes. Because cardboard’s surface is porous and contains fibers that can break away, duct tape’s bond is prone to failure. So, when it comes to mastering the art of packaging, go for PVC tape for a premium quality tape that can stand up to your heavy-duty shipping needs.

Check out our product roundup article to discover other types of packaging tapes and their ideal applications. To learn more about the value of choosing PVC tape for your heavy-duty packaging needs, contact our sales and design team. With over 36 years in business, we have the knowledge and expertise to guide you toward the best solutions for your unique application – all at an affordable price.