Let’s be honest – how much time do you actually spend in the electrical tape aisle, looking at the different tapes which are available? Our guess is not very often. When it comes to this product, the general conscientious is that you have a tape you always go with, no matter what and that is the end of the thought process. However, what if we were to tell you there are some significant differences between some of the electrical tapes within the marketplace? Don’t believe us? Let’s see if we can make you a believer.
Within this buying guide, we are going to cover what goes into making electrical tape, and why it is such an important product. We’ll also go over some of the differences you will find within each style of tape, and what you should be looking for when choosing the right electrical tape for you and your needs. We’ll offer up a comparison table, which showcases some of the most popular tapes in the marketplace, and then offer up some reviews of each of those tapes, so you can get a detailed description of what each tape offers.
Later on within this article, you will see a detailed description of each item that is listed within this table, as well as a link to show you the current marketplace price for each item. You’ll also be able to see the customer reviews within the Amazon website, so you can see how others have rated each particular product.
Last update on 2019-02-22 at 04:12 PST - Details
Important Information concerning Electrical Tape
When it comes to binding electrical wires together, you cannot use any kind of regular tape. The electrical currents from the wires can cause a variety of transfers and sparks, which can lead to the tape around the wires to catch fire. This would happen if you were using any other kind of tape, like scotch, masking or even duct tape. Electrical tape is made from certain materials which are pressure sensitive, which means they can handle the currents as they come across the wires. By being able to absorb the electricity, the tape will ensure the currents stay on track, and provide the right amount of electricity to its proper source in a safe and sound manner.
Electrical tape can be comprised of any of the following materials:
- Varnished Cambic
Information concerning each type of Tape
The most popular and well-known version is the kind that is made out of a vinyl material. The vinyl material is one which is very pliable, yet sturdy. The vinyl material will stretch in order to ensure you have enough coverage with each strip of tape, but yet is durable enough to ensure it properly seals the connection. The vinyl electrical tape can either be cut with a knife or scissors, or it can be ripped apart by your own hands. This material is some of the most flexible and durable, yet easy to work with, within the entire market.
Made mostly out of a rubber material, this kind of tape is a great solution to your electrical needs, as it is a well-known fact that rubber repels electricity currents. Most rubber tapes are also coated with a temperature controlled sealant, which ensures the tape does not get too hot while performing. It is also a great solution for dealing with wires which might be closer to water sources than you are comfortable with, as this kind of tape will provide an air-tight protection to ensure no water gets in next to the wires. This kind of tape can be used on applications which are aluminum or copper based, and can be used for both outdoor and indoor projects.
Perhaps you have an electrical component which is not in a nice and easy circular or oval shape. If this is the case, then Mastic tape is the right solution for you. Mastic tape tends to be wider than most other electrical tapes, and it can come with a rubber backing, a vinyl backing or no backing at all. These variety of styles and solutions means you can have the right kind of Mastic tape for your project. This tape has been rated as high as 600 Volts, so you can be confident it will be able to handle all of your household needs.
4. Varnished Cambric
This kind of electrical tape is made from actual cotton fabric which has been woven together. This kind of tape is great for areas where the standing temperature is very hot; it has been rated to adhere even in temperatures where it is constantly 105 degrees. Because of how it is designed, it is also great for applications where there is a chance the tape could be cut or punctured. Due to its woven design, it is very hard for anything to penetrate in and thru the tape. This woven cotton material is soaked and covered in oil, and then has varnish over it which helps seal its properties and attributes.
Colors of Electrical Tape
Within the electrical tape aisle at your local hardware store, you will see there are a variety of different colors available. Although black is the most common color, there are other colors available. However, the colors are not available just for your own preference – there is a reason for most of the colors. Here below is a chart of what each color of electrical tape stands for:
An Insulator and Low Voltage Wire Phase A
Green w/ Yellow
Isolated Grounding Wire
An Insulator and Low Voltage, Phase C (230 Volts)
An Insulator and Low Voltage, Phase B (415 Volts)
High Voltage, Phase C
High Voltage, Phase B
High Voltage, Phase A
Knowing the type of project you are going to be working on will ensure you pick out the proper color of electrical tape. You should always use the proper color for the proper wiring project, so that not only will it alert you if you need to work in that area again in the future, but it will alert anyone else who might end up working on that project. If you just use Black wire, but it’s a high voltage wire, it could cause the electrician to make an error and cause some serious damage to either themselves or others. Just because a Black color tape has worked before doesn’t mean it will again in the future. It is vital that you use the right color tape with the right kind of wiring project.
Here are reviews of some of the most popular or most reviewed types of Electrical Tape on the Market, along with a link so you can see the most up to date pricing for each item.
This vinyl electrical tape from Duck is 7 millimeters thick, as well as ¾” wide and has a length of 60 feet. This tape is flame resistant, and will ensure your wires are protected from adverse weather conditions. The Vinyl tape is rated to perform in temperatures which range from 14 to 176 degrees Fahrenheit. Despite how much it stretches, it has great adhesion properties to ensure a tight fit.
- Stretchable to ensure you cover the area you need
- Has a big range of temperatures it works within
- Fairly thick tape allows you to have less layers on each project
- Most common type of tape on the market
- Will only bind securely to a few materials
- Although it is flame resistant, it is not heat resistant, as most heat is greater than 176 degrees
This particular version of this black electrical tape from JVCC is a ½” wide strip of tape, which has 66 feet in length. When you go onto the website, you will see a variety of options, allowing you to find widths which range from 3/8” all the way up to 4” wide. This tape is made from a synthetic rubber material, and has a backing which is comprised of PVC backing. The thickness of the tape is 8 millimeters, and this tape has been certified by UL/CSA.
- Large assortment of width options allows you to find the right one for you and your project needs
- No matter the width, there is 66 feet of tape on the spool
- Flame and Cold resistant
- UL/CSA certified
- Only available in Black
- Only one type of Backing available
This Mastic electrical tape from 3M is 1” wide, and comes in a roll that is 10 feet long. The thickness of the tape is 6.5 millimeters. This tape is designed to help repel any moisture from getting close to your connections, and ensures a tight fit so your wires will not short out due to moisture. This tape is great for insulating your wires, and helps protect the wires from being exposed to any adverse weather conditions.
- Professional Grade
- 1” Wide swatch makes sure your wires are covered with few rotations of the tape
- Will repel any water which gets close to the area it is covering
- Tape is .65 millimeters thick
- Only comes in black
- Is not intended to stretch
This electrical tape from Scotch is ¾” wide, and comes as a 1-pack in a 60 foot length. The color of this tape is yellow, similar to what you would find as a scotch tape. The tape is 8 millimeters thick, and is rated for Class A, which can handle temperatures up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. The strength of the tape will hold any application which weighs 50 pounds or less.
- Interwoven Cotton is strong and durable, holding up to 50 pounds
- Is rated to withstand temperatures between 0 and 220 degrees Fahrenheit
- ¾” wide strip allows you to cover more ground with less revolutions
- 60 feet of tape will last a long time
- Only available in Yellow
- Quite expensive in comparison to other tapes on the market