Tape Dispensers

What Are The Disadvantages Of Hand-Held Tape Guns?

Better Packages

By: Better Packages on February 12th, 2016

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Globally, business-to-consumer e-commerce sales have grown exponentially. Sales were $1.5 trillion in 2014 and are expected to grow 60% to $2.4 trillion in 2017. This impressive growth is generating a proportionate increase in the number of cartons shipped to customers. As a result, it’s more important than ever for you to know your carton sealing method is secure.

Many businesses use hand-held tape guns with plastic, pressure sensitive tape to seal their cartons because it is perceived as a less expensive solution to other sealing options. However, there are several disadvantages to hand-held tape dispensing guns and plastic tape that you should be aware of.

Hand-Held Tape Gun

Are They Really Cost Effective?

There is a huge spectrum of plastic packaging tape available for carton sealing solutions , with corresponding price points, so it is difficult to generalize about tape pricing. Nonetheless, because plastic tape does not “bond” to corrugated cartons, workers tend to use a minimum of 2 strips to seal their cartons, and often many more, depending upon their theft anxiety level. The cost-effectiveness of plastic tape and hand-held tape dispensing guns is significantly reduced as a result of the increased volume used. These costs are not readily apparent in the initial analysis of using hand-held tape dispensing guns with plastic, pressure-sensitive tape.

Another consideration is the risk of repetitive motion injury to workers when using hand-held tape guns. Unlike, for example, a gummed tape dispenser that automatically provide the tape, hand-held tape guns with plastic tape are heavy and awkward to use over time. The wrist action used to apply the tape to the carton stresses the forearm and can lead to repetitive motion injury to workers, adding to a business’ medical costs and often taking workers off the job. Workers can be side-lined with their medical injury and the business often must then bring in a replacement.

Tape Dispensing Guns Missing in Action

Many business people appreciate the portability of tape guns. However, these tape guns are often misplaced. Portability can turn into a loss of productivity when employees have to take time to find the tape gun. It's common for a worker to step away and return to their work station but find they cannot locate their tape dispensing gun. This is common in a busy workplace setting with lots of moving parts.

Plastic Packaging Tape Sticks to the Dispensing Guns 

One common complaint about hand-held tape guns is the challenge of the plastic tape tearing and the starting point, thus becoming invisible. Tape is wasted, but worse, the worker has to take the time to restart the frustrating, “find the beginning” process. This is another instance of productivity lost.

Tape Guns Make Obnoxious Sounds

Many people find the sound of the tape coming off of the tape roll to be very loud and offensive. This can become particularly noxious if a company is sealing several cartons consecutively. Depending upon one’s sensibilities, this can be a significant turn-off.  

Better Packages | Gummed Tape Dispenser

If you are currently using hand-held tape guns with plastic pressure-sensitive tape (PST) to seal your cartons, you are missing out on the productivity and safety benefits of an electric tape dispenser and water activated tape. Water activated electric tape dispensers, such as the Better Pack 555eS Series dispenser, can help improve productivity and employee safety at your packaging workstations.

For more information, download the guide below for the most effective tape dispensing solutions for you and your business.

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About Better Packages

Founded in 1917, Better Packages is a leading manufacturer of tabletop water-activated tape (WAT) dispensers used in carton sealing. Better Packages’ product line includes auto-dispensing electric machines that are used in high volume fulfillment centers, as well as manual dispensers. In the U.S., Better Packages sells through multiple channels that include industrial and packaging distributors and catalog wholesalers, as well as direct to end-user customers. Its distribution network consists of over 160 authorized distributors including Tier 1 shipping and packaging. Better Packages also has another 50 international distributors that service over 70 countries. Better Packages is a wholly owned subsidiary of Intertape Polymer Group (IPG), an acknowledged leader in the packaging industry. IPG sells a full line of Central® water-activated tape, as well as many other premier packaging products.