The chances are that you don’t spend too much time thinking about electrical tapes. When you need to buy it, you just go to a hardware store and get one. But, those trips to the store can happen more often that you would like. And the reason is that the electric tapes you’re buying aren’t too great, so you need to buy new ones all the time.
The problem with poor-quality electric tapes is not only that they’re gonna wear off sooner than you expect. There’s also the issue regarding your safety. A bad electrical tape won’t establish a good enough insulation of the electrical wires, meaning that using such a tape means risking yours and the lives of your family members.
When it comes to picking the right electrical tape, it’s not just about the quality, which of course, is essential. It’s also about its material. Not every electrical tape type is suitable for every kind of work. That’s why it’s essential to educate yourself, so that you would be able to make the right buying choice later on.
And we’re now going to help you learn everything you need to know about electrical tapes. The first thing you need to learn are the pros and cons of every commonly-used material for electrical tapes.
Common Electrical Tape Materials
The difference between duct tapes and electrical tapes is that the latter are pressure sensitive, meaning that they can absorb the electrical currents that are passing through the wires. By doing this, the tape will ensure an uninterrupted electricity flow that won’t spill anywhere else. In turn, this means that the tape is adding to the security of the users, who have nothing to worry about getting electrocuted.
And the reason why electrical tapes are capable of handling the electricity is that they’re made of materials perfect for the job. Here are a couple of materials that are commonly used for electrical wires:
- Vinyl electrical tapes – Vinyl is the most commonly used material for the production of electrical tapes. The reason is that the vinyl tapes are easy to bend, yet they don’t break easily. Actually, they are pretty sturdy and even if you tried to break the tape by pulling it on both ends, you would stretch it before ripping it apart.
- Electrical tapes made of rubber – When it comes to dealing with high-current electrical wires, rubber tapes are the perfect solution. A thing about rubber is that it repels electric currents, which means that electrical tapes made of this material are great for insulating electrical wires. Another reason why rubber is a great choice is that it creates an air-tight protection for the wires, ensuring no water can get in, so you can use it outdoors.
- Varnished cambric – This type is ideal for high-temperature applications. If the temperature is over 150 degrees Fahrenheit, rubber and vinyl tapes won’t do the job, but varnished cambric will!
Because messing with electricity can be risky, the manufacturers of electrical tapes have agreed on using colors to separate the tapes into categories according to the applications they’re designed for.
- Black – low-voltage wires, phase A
- Red – low-voltage phase B
- Blue – low-voltage phase C
- Green – grounding wire
- Green & yellow combo – isolated grounding wire
- Brown – high-voltage phase A
- Orange – high-voltage phase B
- Yellow – high-voltage phase C
Best Electric Tape: Reviews of Top 3 Products
There are literally thousands of different electrical tapes available on the market, so it’s very difficult to pick out the best one. But, worry not, we’re here to help you. Actually, we already did the hard work and found three products that deserve to be called the best. So, with no further ado, here they are!
1. Duck Brand 299006 – Best Vinyl Electrical Tape on Today’s Market
The most important thing about this electrical tape is that is flame resistant. Furthermore, it’s also great at stopping moisture from coming through, so if you seal the wires well, this tape will provide enough protection from the rain.
Another great thing about it is that it’s pretty thick and this means that you will be able to use fewer layers on your projects. And the final reason why this electrical tape might be your best choice is that, same as most other vinyl tapes, this one too is very stretchable, thus very convenient to use.
- Flame and moisture resistant
- Very stretchable, thus easy to work with
- The fact that it is flame resistant does not mean that you should use it for high-temperature applications. For such purposes, you ought to go with a rubber or a varnished cambric tape.
2. JVCC EL7566-AW – Best Rubber Electrical Tape on the Market
Not only is it made of synthetic rubber, this tape also comes with a PVC backing. This makes it extremely sturdy and suitable for use in a wide range of temperatures.
- Suitable for use in cold climate
- Available only in black color
3. Scotch 2520 – One of the Best Varnished Cambric Tapes in the World Today
What makes this tape such a great choice is that it can deal with some really high temperatures. According to the manufacturer, it can handle up to 200 degrees. On top of that, the tape is also extremely sturdy, capable of carrying a weight of up to 50 pounds.
- Great for high-temperature projects
- Extremely sturdy
- Available only in yellow color
- Not very cheap
We understand that picking an electrical tape is not one of your top priorities. Still, we need to point out that a quality tape can mean all the difference between being safe and sound and worrying about potential problems. And the problems that come as a result of using a poor-quality electrical tape can be really serious.
The good news is that you can prevent them easily. All you’re required to do is buy the best electrical tape! Choose one of the three products we’ve reviewed above and you will have peace of mind.