Duct Tape vs Electrical Tape – Important Differences You Should Be Aware Of

duct tape vs electrical tape

Duct Tape and Electrical Tape are designed for entirely different uses.

It’s important to use the one best suited for the job.

Lets take a look:

Duct Tape (or Duck Tape) Compared to Electrical Tape

Basically, duct tape refers to a cloth backed pressure sensitive tape normally coated with polyethylene.

The tape is very strong as a result of the composite make- up woven cotton cloth and coated with a high-tack adhesive.

On the contrary, electrical tape is the type of tape that is commonly used by electricians and is made up of slightly stretchy PVC vinyl, and backed with a pressure sensitive rubber type adhesive.

As a result of its unique design properties, electrical tape is ideal for situations where you need to provide maximum insulation on electrical cords and protection of wire splices.

Features of Duct Tape

  • Durability
  • Adhesive and general strength
  • Water resistant (not water proof however)
  • Can be used on all types of surfaces

Unbelievably duct tape can also be used, as a temporary measure, to fix a leaking pipe or hose.



Features of electrical tape

  • It’s made up of stretchy PVC vinyl material
  • Mostly found in the color black, however it can also be found in other colors such as red, green, yellow and white which can be used to indicate the voltage level and phase of the wires
  • Performs well in all adverse effects of weather, cold, heat, water and corrosive chemicals

The Verdict

Duct tape is preferably used for packaging and moreover; it has numerous creative households’ uses. In contrast, electrical tape is specifically manufactured and designed to cater for the needs of electricians.

Duct tape does not offer the same fire-resistant property that is generally found in electrical tape. Indeed, it’s recommended not to use it as a substitute in electrical wiring applications.

Duct tape generally more expensive than electrical tape.

Duct tape is also more durable and strong when compared with electrical tape. It has the capability of holding up things for relatively long periods of time unlike electrical tapes.

Duct tape is more water resistant; this makes it better at holding in (or out) moisture.

To summarize, both the two tapes are useful in their own particular applications.

If it is electrical work that you are doing, make sure you use electrical tape.

For just about every other application – duct tape will do the job for you.

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2 Comments on “Duct Tape vs Electrical Tape – Important Differences You Should Be Aware Of”

  1. I don’t agree that electrical tape is better use in wiring than Duct tape. I have flipped houses and done a whole of wiring work and stereos in cars, Ham radio and I have a music studio. The biggest problem with electrical tape is that it comes apart over time in fact very short time. Here is a real neat trick. wrap a layer of electrical around the bare wire/splice point and then duct tape around that. That is how the professionals do it now. Of course in house wiring to be up to speck you are supposed to use those screw together joints that just totally suck.

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