New Product Review: T-Rex Tapes

How many times have you tried to seal a package and had problems with the packaging tape?  It's too thin, it doesn't tear easily, it doesn't stick well (except to itself).................. etc.  If you're like me - and I know at least some of you are - you've tried several brands in an attempt to find the one tape that can perform to your standards.  Enter T-Rex tape.  The T-Rex line of tapes bills itself as "Ferociously Strong Tape" that is "easy unwind and tear for fast repairs." 

That sounds like a challenge to me.

You know what comes next, right?  Uh huh.  I pick up the gauntlet - let the testing begin!

T-Rex brand is relatively new to the market and has several products in the line.  We tested three of the tapes - packaging tape, duct tape and clear repair tape.  Let's see how they did:

Packaging tape-  Packaging tape is a source of irritation to our warehouse staff.  Like most companies, we try to cut expenses and save money where we can.  The packaging tape provided to the warehouse is an economy brand and it performs like an economy brand.  Many times I've heard the staff complain about the poor quality.  I myself have reason to seal packages during my workday and I have the same issues, so when I saw T-Rex packaging tape, with its claim to be 100X stronger than acrylic tapes, I had to try it.  The one I tested comes on a refillable dispenser, but you can buy packs of just the tape.  I also gave a couple rolls to the warehouse staff and asked them to use it in place of the regular tape for a few days.

T-Rex's website says this tape is super thick and strong to seal even the heaviest boxes, is weatherproof, has an instant stick and holds longer and stronger than ordinary tapes.  

The Verdict:  The warehouse staff thought it was great because it's so strong that you only need one piece to secure a box, but they thought it might be too thick for taping on shipping labels because a scanner might not be able to pick up the bar code through it.  According to T-Rex's site, this tape meets postal regulations, so I put a piece of tape over the bar code of a jar in my pantry and scanned it with an app on my iPad.  It worked perfectly, so no worries there. However, the warehouse staff didn't like the dispenser it comes with - they had difficulty getting the tape to come off.  

My thoughts were similar to the warehouse.  The tape itself is great - it works very well.  The problem is getting it off the dispenser.  The adhesive is so strong that it was nearly impossible to pull it off the roll. The dispenser says to pull the tape under the guides, which is normal, but the roll wouldn't roll unless I put the tape over the guides.  When it was under the guides, I couldn't get it to come off.  If I managed to get a strip started, it just stuck to itself - or to the guides.  I suggest you buy the multipacks instead of this incarnation and use a pistol grip dispenser with it.

Duct tape - T-Rex says this tape is made of high tensile woven scrim, is waterproof, has double thick adhesive and blocks the UV rays that can weaken the adhesive. 

The Verdict:  Our warehouse reviewer said this was by far the strongest duct tape he's ever used.  He tried sticking it to several types of surfaces and noted that it damaged the drywall when it accidentally got stuck to it and he tried to pull it off.  Like the packaging tape, he found that you need a lot of force to pull the tape off the roll.  He feels it's too strong.

As for me, I couldn't pull it off the roll at all.  I tried and tried and tried, but wasn't strong enough.  I was able to get a short piece lifted, but that was it. I guess that proves its' slogan - ferociously strong tape.  One thing I can say is that it does tear easily by hand.  I was able to tear off the short piece I lifted.

The last tape I want to touch on is the Clear Repair Tape.  This tape is designed for adhesion to rough and wet surfaces, is puncture-resistant, easy tear by hand, waterproof and UV-resistant.  They suggest you can use this to fix a cracked cell phone screen, a damaged headlight, or just about anything else.

I didn't have a cracked cell phone screen or headlight that needed fixing, so I targeted a couple of its basic qualities.  First, I tried to affix it to a wet surface.  I have to say that I got a chuckle out of this one.  It advertises "designed with extreme adhesion to rough and wet surfaces" and the front of the package says "Sticks to wet surfaces," but the package instructions say "water must be removed for tape to stick."  Huh?

I put some water on my kitchen counter and then followed the directions to press the water out from under the surface of the tape.  The tape did stick, but it was movable - it kind of slid around a bit.  I'm confident that if I had left it there, it would have adhered permanently, but I didn't want a piece of tape stuck to my counter, so I pulled it off before it got that attached.  It is easy to tear by hand, as advertised, but I'm not so sure about the puncture-resistant claim.  Punctures usually happen from a sharp object and I was able to puncture a hole pretty easily with my scissors.  I do have to tell you that this was the only one of the three that I could actually get off the roll easily.

The Verdict:  Overall, I think this is a good repair tape. I can see it working well on a cell phone screen because it's very clear and, like the other two, it's very thick.

Now for the really important part - the grade!  The strength of all these tapes is the whole point of the tape, but it can also be a problem.  If you're a strong guy, it's not going to be an issue for you.  For an average person like me, it might not be worth the fight.  Certainly, it lives up to the advertisement - it's ferociously strong and tears easily, but I have to deduct a few points for the unwind. If you can get the tape off the roll, the tape can do the job it's designed for.  I give them 4 paperclips.

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