While packaging tape can be applied manually, by simply pulling it from the roll and then cutting to the required length, it is easy for the tape to twist and tangle. Tape dispensers and tape guns are commonly used tools to avoid wastage and ensure a smooth stick.
Parcel tape dispensers are plastic cartridges which hold rolls ready for use, with the end extended towards the cutting mechanism or serrated edge where it rests until use. They are simple devices. Users pull the tape forward and then pull down vigorously to cut the tape to the required length.
Hand-held tape dispensers are often called tape guns. These work on the same principle - larger rolls of tape are fixed onto a revolving wheel, with the tape end extended to the cutting edge. Users grip the device using the large, tactile pistol-grip handle and apply the tape directly to the target surface.
This explains how to load and use a parcel tape gun:
- Fix the tape onto the wheel, making sure it is correctly aligned
- Extend the tape end to the cutting edge - typically by threading it firmly through a dispensing slot below the cutting mechanism. Make sure the tape is smooth and has not twisted or formed air bubbles
- If the gun features a pressure-adjusting handle, use that to ensure the tape is taut and ready for use
- Press the tape to the box or package and pull along the surface
- Cut the tape
For high volume professional use, tape dispensing machines are deployed on automated packaging lines, often with special low noise tape.