Best Duct Tapes: Top Adhesives for Home Repairs

Seal cracks and fix other problems with these high-quality duct tapes

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Most homeowners have duct tape in their toolbox, garage, or junk drawer. It's a very handy product that can be used for a variety of repair jobs. But, like anything else, it can vary in quality. Some duct tape brands are much better and more reputable than others. Not sure which type is best? Our buying guide narrows down the top three on the market.

  • Best Overall
    Duck Max Strength Duct Tape
    Summary
    Summary
    This high tensile strength, hand-tearable duct tape includes a waterproof backing for all-weather performance. It holds to masonry, wood, and glass and around corners, bends, and curves.
    Pros
    Pros
    It's very durable and does its job very well. The tape has good adhesion and is very strong, but it cuts easily and straight with little effort.
    Cons
    Cons
    It may not tear cleanly and may have a strong odor. There have been complaints that it doesn't work very well on plastic or cardboard.
  • Best Value
    Gorilla Tape, Black Duct Tape
    Summary
    Summary
    This heavy-duty, double-thick Gorilla tape works on uneven surfaces such as wood, stone, stucco, plaster, and brick. It withstands moisture, UV rays, and extreme temperatures.
    Pros
    Pros
    It is a high-quality and strong tape with good tack and super-sticky adhesive. The tape retains its bond over a long period of use and resists water extremely well.
    Cons
    Cons
    It may not stick to certain surfaces such as rubber. Also, it may leave behind a residue that's hard to remove.
  • Honorable Mention
    Nashua 357 Polyethylene Coated Cloth Premium Grade Duct Tape
    Summary
    Summary
    This premium-grade duct tape is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use and repairs. It can be used for seaming polyethylene sheeting and other rigorous applications.
    Pros
    Pros
    This product resists moisture, chemicals, solvents, punctures, and abrasions. The polyethylene side doesn't come apart from the adhesive after long periods of use and movement, and it tears clean.
    Cons
    Cons
    The product is on the pricey side and, while it's very strong, it's not 100 percent suitable for waterproof repairs as is advertised.

Tips

  • While duct tape is water-resistant, most types are not waterproof. And, despite the name, you should not use it for repairing ducts. If you're doing any type of HVAC repairs, use foil tape instead.
  • Duct tape is made of polyethylene, thread, and adhesive. The threads give the material its strength, and the farther apart they are, the harder it is to tear the duct tape. Choose a product with a smaller space between the threads.
  • Thicker duct tapes aren't necessarily better than thinner ones. They tend to be less flexible and are harder to wrap around certain shapes, such as a pipe with a 90-degree angle. It's easier to use a product with a little bit of stretch.

FAQs

Q: Is duct tape flammable?

A: It’s not technically a flammable product. However, the center of the tape is made of mesh fabric, which can catch fire. The polyethylene outer layer and rubber adhesive are fire-resistant.

Q: Are duct tape and electrical tape interchangeable? 

A: No. Duct tape and electrical tape are made differently and are intended for different applications. Duct tape is not 100 percent fire-resistant, so it should not be used for electrical purposes.

Q: Can I stop a water leak with duct tape?

A: Yes, but as we mentioned previously, it is not waterproof. It can seal a crack in certain cases, but you have to take into consideration the quality of the tape, the size of the leak, and how much pressure the leak is producing.

Final Thoughts

Our pick for the best duct tape is the Duck Max Strength Duct Tape. It's easy to tear, sticks strongly to a variety of surfaces, and works on curves and corners.

For a more budget-friendly option, consider the  Gorilla Tape, Black Duct Tape.