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  • Yep, that's electrical tape, all right

    posted by dansdata on 01/26/2009
    1

    Involvement:Expert (understands the inner workings) - Ownership:1 day to 1 week

    Pros:

    Every home should have electrical tape. It's got a million and one uses. Two rolls for $1.99 is a fine price.

    Cons:

    This is ordinary vinyl electrical tape, with the usual gooey adhesive on the back, so it's not a very good choice if you want to actually INSULATE something electrical. This sort of vinyl tape always turns into a sticky mess after a few years, and often slides off the thing you want it to insulate in the process. Better to use heat-shrink tubing or cloth "gaffa" or "duct" tape if you want insulation.

    The tape on each of these reels is also, according to the label, 0.008 inches thick, 0.75 inches wide, and 10 yards long. The width of the tape is actually only about 16mm (0.63 inches), though, so I wouldn't be surprised if the other specifications were off, too. I'm not going to unspool a whole roll to see if it's short, though :-).

    OtherThoughts:

    Two bucks for two rolls seems a little on the high side, here on DX where everything costs almost nothing. Compared with normal shop prices in the Western world, though, it's still great value.

    Bottomline:

    Electrical tape's particular qualities make it very useful for all sorts of jobs that other tapes can't do. Taping a temporary sign to a wall, for instance; electrical tape will hold firmly, but will also be easy to remove without removing paint as well.

    All this, if you ask me, more than makes up for the fact that this sort of tape is not actually very good for any sort of non-temporary insulation job.

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