3 Ways to Determine the Quality of Custom Printed Packing Tape

At its core, custom packing tape must accomplish two goals, and the first is purely functional. Whether it’s custom printed or not, packing tape needs to securely fasten your package so that its contents remain intact throughout its shipping journey. The second goal of custom packing tape is all about branding. Whether you want to build brand awareness or promote customer loyalty, customized packing tape is a marketing tool known to pay dividends for large and small businesses alike.

Successfully achieving these goals comes down to one central factor: the quality of your packing tape. Tape that isn’t up to snuff can compromise the integrity of your package – and your brand. And, the results could get costly, from damaged and lost goods to poor first impressions.

Failed packing tape
Box that didn’t pass inspection process in factory warehouse

So, how can you ensure that your custom packing tape will live up to your expectations? Consider these three quality factors:

  1. Adhesive concentration
  2. Grade
  3. Raw materials

Continue reading to learn more about determining the quality of your custom packing tape.

Adhesive concentration

The first way to tell if your custom packing tape is up to par is to check the adhesive concentration, which describes the amount of adhesive per square inch. In general, look for a high concentration – the higher, the better. A heavily concentrated tape will have more “grab” and strength to keep your package safely sealed.


Grade refers to a tape’s thickness. Low-grade, thin products are not durable enough to withstand the printing process, so look for more robust options to produce a high-quality print worthy of your brand. Higher grades are also better equipped to keep packages sealed, especially on heavier loads. Our tapes come in several grades, starting at the middle of the road, and working up.

Thick Tape

The following overview highlights three of our top sellers to give you an idea of what to expect from each grade of tape.


Polypropylene custom printed tape is the most common custom printed tape, easily recognizable by the crackling sound it makes when pulled off the roll. This tried-and-true product is suited exclusively for corrugated cardboard and is available in three grades:

  • 1.9 mil: While considered middle range within the tape industry, 1.9 mil is our beginning base grade. We wouldn’t even consider printing on a lower thickness.

  • 2.5 mil: This tape grade offers a higher concentration of adhesive and a thicker base of tape.

  • 2.9 mil: Our highest polypropylene tape grade offers the same concentration of adhesive as 2.5 mil but on an even thicker base.


Not many printers offer PVC tape, but we include it in our offerings to ensure we have a wide range of quality tape products. One of the advantages of PVC custom printed tape is that you can apply it to a broader range of materials than polypropylene. PVC also comes with a natural rubber adhesive and excellent strength characteristics. It is available in two grades:

  • 2.2 mil – At a middle range of 2.2 mil, PVC is already a high-quality product.

  • 3.2 mil – At 3.2 mil, PVC becomes even higher quality with increased adhesive concentration and a thicker base.


Our custom printed paper tape is sourced exclusively in the USA. It differs from polypropylene and PVC because it features fiberglass threads that provide tensile strength. As the tape grade increases, the more threads and a higher concentration of threads per inch.

  • 240 grade – While 240 is our base grade, it is the middle range within the industry.  We would not consider printing on a lower grade.

  • 260 grade – The 260 grade features a slightly higher paper weight for heavier duty applications.

If you’re not sure which grade to choose, reach out to a custom packing tape expert or refer to the package weight guidelines on our product pages.  

Raw materials

Finally, consider the source and caliber of the raw materials when determining the quality of your custom printed packing tape.  If the raw materials are second-rate, the performance and print quality will suffer. The best way to achieve superior quality results is to choose a distributor with access to reputable suppliers. We work with established, experienced, and knowledgeable tape suppliers in North America and Europe that source the highest quality raw materials they can procure. Our insistence on obtaining high-quality products helps us create an excellent print for your brand.

High-quality custom printed packing tape can contribute to a well-secured package and favorable brand image, but that doesn’t mean that you need to break your budget to reap these benefits. Since 1985, we’ve aimed balance affordability and effectiveness, providing budget-friendly branded packaging solutions that give you a competitive edge. Contact us to learn more about affordable high-quality custom printed packing tape designed to make you shine.

Phoenix Tape and Supply – Custom Printed Tape

Tape Strength: knowing what thickness to use

Whether shipping a retail product to your many customers, bundling your creative work off Etsy, or simply sending a loving gift to family — you need to pack well and pack securely or your items won’t arrive as promised.

It’s holiday package season and postal deadlines are ready to sneak up on you before you know it. In 2021, the postal and delivery systems are seeing added stress of supply chain shortages and missing workers, so its more important to get your packages ready in advance than ever before. 

Whether shipping a retail product to your many customers, bundling your creative work off Etsy, or simply sending a loving gift to family — you need to pack well and pack securely or your items won’t arrive as promised. To ensure the right packaging, it helps to start with the right tape.

Packages delivered during the holiday season.
Boxes and packages next to front door during holiday christmas season.

Polypropylene Tape

Polypropylene tape is a lengthy mouthful describing a popular style of packing tape that can be made in many different colors. Fantastic for businesses, polypropylene is strong and sturdy, but can also be printed to any design so you can add customer branding or messages with each box. When choosing your polypropylene tape you’ll want to select the right thickness for the job. 

  • 1.9 mil thick tapes are lighter weight and appropriate for sealing boxes up to 30 lbs.
  • 2.5 mil thick is a heavy-duty tape that can handle sturdier packages – appropriate for sealing boxes up to 50 lbs.
  • 2.9 mil thickness works as an extra heavy-duty sealer. Use this extra strength heavy-duty tape for packages 50 pounds or over.

PVC tape

If you’ve heard of PVC piping, you’re already familiar with the material used to create PVC tape. When thinking of packages, you can consider polypropylene similar to your clear or brown packing tape from Staples and PVC a bit more like Duct tape (although there are still many differences). This strong adhesive comes in a variety of colors and can be printed as well. Unlike traditional duct-tape, this sealant is consider the “silent tape” because it pulls off the roll very easily and quietly. When choosing your PVC tape consider the strength.

  • 2.2 mil thick is a middle-weight in strength, use this for sealing boxes up to 40 lbs.
  • 3.2 mil thick is the heavy-duty version, use this for all boxes 40 pounds and up.

Paper Tape

Paper tape may not have the flexibility of plastic or vinyl-style tapes, but it still has many benefits. Sometimes called KRAFT tape, paper tape is a paper roll strengthened with fiberglass threads. One of the main advantages of this tape is that it makes a more eco-friendly option than other synthetics, yet it can still be printed and colored to match your brand or message. Once it is on your packaging it adds an incredibly strong bond. Choose your paper tape from the following strengths:

  • Regular (240) – a lightweight tape good for sealing boxes up to 30 lbs.
  • Heavy Duty (260) – this heavy-duty tape can be used on larger items and is appropriate for sealing boxes to 55 lbs.

So choose your tape and get ready to start boxing. Beat the holiday rush with the right equipment including tape that keeps your items sealed no matter what packaging side trips your items get sent on. Create your custom look and remember too — don’t forget that tape dispenser. 

Packaged Taped and Ready to Ship