Better Packages

Everything you wanted to know about gummed tape dispensers and why.  

Gummed tape offers one of the best ways to seal a carton.


In today's competitive business environment, the gummed tape carton closing system offers a number of specific advantages to those companies working hard to prosper under increasingly more demanding conditions.

Superior Product Protection

Little or no shipping damage means happier customers and limited loss liabilities.

Tamper Evident Carton Sealing

Reduce theft and the potential for product tampering.

Neat Professional Appearance (Image is Everything)

A professional appearing package reflects well on both the product and the organization.

Cost Control - 1 Strip, 2 Strip, 3 Strip, 4.  Plastic tape will cost you more!

Electric dispensers provide just the right amount of tape, never any waste.  Single strip sealing vs. multiple strips of plastic tape.

Product Coding

The printing option allows inexpensive printing of messages and product codes directly on the tape during the sealing process.

Environmental Responsibility

Cartons sealed with paper or reinforced paper tapes are completely recyclable. Those sealed with plastic tape, staples and certain glues make the recycling process more complex, expensive and sometimes impossible.


The moistening system is the most critical element of a gummed tape sealing system. It consists of water level control, heaters, brushes, a pressure plate, and the dispensing speed.

Water Level Control

The moistening system begins with water level control. The level is adjusted by raising or lowering the water bottle. This provides the proper amount of water for the type of tape and the environment in which the machine is being used. one adjustment may be accomplished in three ways:


Heaters are used to reactivate the glue properly. Top heaters, which are attached to the pressure plate, warm the tape and warm the water as it is applied to the tape.

The top heater creates a zone of heat at the top of the brushes and draws the water through the brushes and into the glue. The temperature control of the top heater can be adjusted for different types of tapes and environments.

Tank heaters take a little longer on start up and recoup time.


One-brush systems are used in pull and tear machines and some hand lever types. Two-brush systems are used in most hand lever dispensing machines.  Three-brush systems are best because the greater surface area does the best job of applying, spreading and smoothing the water into the glue.

The correct combination of taper, thickness, and number of brushes creates the optimum condition responsible for proper water application to different kinds of tape.

Pressure Plates

The pressure plate applies pressure to the tape as it moves across the brush so the bristles scratch the tape surface and help the water penetrate the glue. The best pressure plates are pivoted and include adjustable weights.

The adjustable weight, pivoted plates provide consistent pressure on the  brushes. The adjustability offers more or less pressure, depending on the tape being dispensed. The pivoted pressure plates always provide uniform moistening, regardless of brush wear, because they automatically compensate for the wear on the brushes.

Dispensing Speed

On a manual machine, the speed at which the operator puns the hand lever determines the dispensing speed. Because of this operator dependency the  manual dispenser may provide uneven or inadequate moistening.

On electric machines, the dispensing speed is controlled by the machine and is therefore consistent. The speed helps to determine the amount of water applied to the tape. The controlled dispensing speed of the electric models results in optimum moistening.


Permanent Bond  -  Superior Product Protection - Professional Closure Method
Vermin Barrier - Temper Evident - Prevents Pilferage - Environmentally Responsible

Easy and Safe to Open - Easy to Print On - Excellent Stackability - Very Strong Closure - Inexpensive - Holds Securely Even in Extreme Cold, Heat and Light.


A. Benefits of Gummed Tape

The bond is the term which indicates how the glue sticks to the carton. There are two different kinds of bonds.

A "superficial" bond means that the glue is not totally reactivated by the dispenser. A "permanent" bond means that the glue is totally reactivated by the dispenser.

When gunned tape is compared to competitive, pressure sensitive tape the differences are clear. Pressure-sensitive tape never creates a total or permanent bond. It only grips the surface or "hide" of a carton. Liquid reactivated glue permanently sinks into the corrugated flutes of a carton, becoming a permanent, working part of that carton. It sticks to virtually any surface.

A simple analogy illustrates this point: If you hammer a nail into a board partially, that is similar to a "superficial" bond of liquid glue; it doesn't hold very well. But, if you hammer that nail all the way into that board, that's a fully reactivated, "permanent" bond. The glue sinks through the top hide of the corrugated, in past the top layer, and into the corrugated flutes; it hardens and becomes a permanent working bond.


The greatest benefit of gummed tape is that it provides superior product protection. Gummed tape can be used to seal all the outside seams of a carton, thus eliminating any possibility of dust or dirt permeating the box, damaging or making the product unusable.

Gummed tape is a vermin barrier. Vermin such as rodents and roaches.

Gummed tape prevents pilferage. If tape is removed from a carton, the carton cannot be resealed without clear evidence of tampering.

Gummed tape is recyclable and allows for carton reuse.

Gummed tape is easy and safe to open.

Gummed tape can be coded/printed-on while being dispensed.

Gummed tape provides excellent stackability for two reasons. First, because it sits flat on a carton, it allows the carton to sit flat on another carton or pallet.   Second, it allows that carton to shift slightly so that it properly settles and becomes square to whatever it's sitting on.

Gummed tape gives great strength of closure. It also has the ability, in the reinforced varieties, of retaining its strength even if some of its reinforcing strings break.

Cost wise, gummed tape is one of the least expensive methods of closure.  When comparing gummed tape to pressure-sensitive tape, staples, stitches, strapping, or glue, remember that comparisons are usually made against a smaller or narrower variety of tapes, or a minimal number of staples or stitches. The ultimate strength of a stapler stitch is that it holds only the inner flaps. However, water or moisture will weaken the corrugated, and the staples or stitches will pullouts Finally, if a customer uses 3 inch gummed tape now, suggest the possibility of using 2 inch tape instead. This could account for even further savings.

When talking about the costs of a closure, don't look at what it costs for the materials alone. Instead, look at the cost, durability, length of service, and at the overall proficiency of the equipment and the material.


B. Closure Demonstrations

There are six seven demonstrations that can be used to prove to the customer why gummed tape is superior.  Electric machines are the best to use for these tests.

The first test is the "leg" test. Dispense a strip of gummed tape approximately 12 inches long, fold it up against itself, and press it several times with the palm of your hand. Then pull it apart slowly and look at the "V" where it's tearing apart. The strings of glue that stretch out are called "legs", they show whether a piece of tape is actually moistened properly.

The next test is the pattern and deposit demonstration. This is one of the primary demonstrations used to determine whether a machine is doing a  good job of moistening the tape. On a flat carton lying on a table, apply a piece of tape from the users current machine. Press this onto the corrugated and lift it off immediately. What's left is the "pattern and deposit".

Repeat this procedure using tape dispensed from an electric tape machine.  There is a dramatic difference between a manual and an electric tape machine's pattern and deposit. The manual tape machine is doing a smaller percentage of the moistening job; whereas the electric does most of it. This test should always be done when making a call as it gives you a good reason for bringing in your electric tape machine.

The tear test is done with a piece of reinforced tape. Apply a piece of tape to an open edge of a corrugated carton; after it's allowed to set up for 2 to 3 minutes, lift in a very sharp, brisk motion.

Next is the box crush test. Take a small, corrugated box and seal it at both ends, use the competitive closure at one end, and reinforced gummed tape at the other. Place the carton on the floor and stomp on it with your foot. As a result of the permanent bond and reactivation of the glue, the tape fully conforms to every crack and cranny of that crushed carton and will not break open. Even if some of the tape is torn, it will still be held together by the reinforcing string.

Last next is one of the most dramatic tests called "the man in the box test". Use a sizable corrugated box that is rectangular in shape. With one strip of reinforced tape, seal the end of the carton. Select someone to stand in the carton, lift the carton slightly off the ground. This demonstrates the good bond and strength of the closure.

Further the demonstration by having the person step under 'the inner flaps.  Here, all of the pressure from the inside is being put onto the outer flaps.  Next, slit the side seams of the tape on the outside of the box. once again, lift the carton up, showing the strength of the reinforced tape closure. This demonstrates that reinforced gummed tape is as strong as the box in which the product is shipped in, that it has the same competent closure as other methods, and that with a permanent bond, uses all the strength of the closure material. When you use this test against other closures, the person, in most cases, will go through the bottom of the box.

Last is the Hair Dryer Test.  Seal one side of the box with gummed tape, the other with plastic tape.  Take a standard hair dryer and apply heat to the plastic tape.  The tape will easily come off the carton without damaging the carton or the tape.  Hand the hair dryer to another person, allow them to apply heat to the gummed tape.  It will not separate from the carton.  Considering how hot delivery trucks get in the summer, and that most delivery persons have a tape gun in their trucks to reseal boxes, do you feel your cartons are safe with plastic tape?


You can prove how and why gummed tape is the best carton closure method:   that it is better because it is stronger, faster, easier, less expensive, and more durable.


The first demonstration compares reinforced gummed tape against staples.  Staples claim to be faster, cheaper, and stronger, but you can prove otherwise.

Use a regular slotted carton with regular carton staples at 2-1/2" increments across the end seams, and between 2-1/2 and 31/2" increments across the center seam. Put one strip of reinforced tape across the center seam of the bottom of the carton. Place the carton on its side, with the stapled and the taped flaps parallel to the ground. Jump on the carton. In most cases, the staples either pop out or break away. On the other hand, the gummed tape will stay intact and conform to the crush. Reinforced tape is the stronger of the two closures.

Tape vs. Glue

In the case of hot-melt glue, 25% of the flap must be covered with glue. In the case of cold glue, it should be 50% of the flap. Glue one side and tape the other side. Put the seams parallel to the ground, jump on it and crush it. The glued side of the carton will rip and tear, whereas the reinforced gummed tape side will stay intact. Point out that glue stiffens the carton in the same way that staples do.

Tape vs. Pressure Sensitive Tape

Special notes:  Famous words of the shipping room packer, "Where's my tape gun!"  Packers will never spend valuable time searching for a lost gummed tape dispenser!  Packing in a central location also provides additional security from internal product theft.

What does it mean to use Gummed Tape?

Close one side of a carton with pressure-sensitive tape. On the other side, apply one strip of reinforced tape. Put the seams parallel to the ground and jump on the carton. In most cases, because of the partial adhesion of pressure-sensitive tape, the carton flaps will pop open, and the reinforced tape side will stay intact.

Reinforced Tape vs. Paper Tape

Demonstrate the strength of the reinforced tape-against paper tape, showing it as the superior gummed tape closure. Seal one side with reinforced tape and the other with paper tape. Jump on the carton. The paper tape will split and break open, whereas the reinforced tape will not.

All of these demonstrations provide opportunities for comparison of closure products, and they clearly show the benefits and superiority of gummed-tape as a closure method.

There are many gummed type tape dispensers available for closures and labeling systems for shipping, mailing, and production applications.  Visit the rest of our web site for various machines.