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Gaff tape has existed for many years, however, it was until a few years ago that I found out about it. I needed to tape some cables on stage and one of our stage-hands was kind enough to show me the way.
Note: The picture above is actual gaff tape that I own and used when on tour. I really love this stuff and think it’s great for many different purposes.
What Is Gaff Tape
Gaffer tape, also known as gaffer’s tape, spike tape or gaff tape, is a heavy cotton cloth pressure-sensitive tape with strong adhesive qualities. It is extensively used in the music, theatre, photography, movie/television production world.
Gaff tape is far more heat-resistant than other heavy-duty tapes and this is a big reason why it is used often on-stage.
It makes it so you don’t have to worry about the heat of the lights on the tape.
A matte finish stops the tapes from reflecting light, making it blend in with the stage or back floor.
It is sold in a rang of widths from 1/4″ to 4″, with the 1″ and 2″ being the most commonly used.
Is Gaff Tape Strong?
It is strong, yet can be torn by your hands, so you don’t need any scissors. It can be quickly ripped into narrower strips when required and it is very easy to use.
The synthetic or natural adhesive will usually leave a little residue, but it won’t generally harm surfaces when you remove it.
When cables are taped down onto a stage or another surface, either to prevent tripping hazards or hide them from the view of the audience, they are said to be, “gaffed.”
Gaffer tape is made in lots of colors, including fluorescent and custom-made colors. With this being said, you will most likely see the classic black color.
Gaff Tape VS Duct Tape
While similar to and fequently confused with duct tape, it varies in the composition of both the backing, which is made from a fabric material, rather than vinyl or other plastics.
The precise origin of the name is unknown; one theoru being that it is called after the gaffer chief lighting technician on a film crew.
Some surfaces like paper, cardboard, and old cheap paint, should be avoided as damage or pealing may occur.
Gaffer tape is normally more expensive than duct-tape because it is produced in smaller quantities.
Note: I’ve used gaff tape to fix broken keys on my synthesizers while on tour.
Real Professional Premium Grade Gaffer Power 3 Inch By 30 Yards
In 2012, Marty Gage, a seasoned filmmaker, decided to fill a market gap he had always noticed; to design and manufacture a special tape, better than what was on the market.
This is how the Gaffer Power Company was started. In a record of 3 years, the company has created one of the world’s most popular gaffer tapes.
The reason we like this the most is that it is the strongest on the market.
When you buy cheap stuff, it’s not going to be as sticky as the Gaffer Power tape.
Gaffer Power tape can be used to secure cables, cords, boxes, car repairs, and even for fixing appliances. It rips easily and it sticks the way you want it to.
The water resistance is a big selling point for the Gaffer Power tape. This makes it great for theaters and music studios.
- Heavy-duty and sturdy
- Very Good Adhesion
- Fit for many applications
- Professional quality
- Not electrically insulated
Tape Ninja Waterproof Gaffer Tape – White
As the brand name hints, this white tape is indeed a “Tape Ninja.” It will stick to many objectives and won’t come off easily. The waterproof gaffer tape boasts of a sturdy and versatile material that molds on the objects with ease.
The full roll will serve you for quite a while as it measures 30 yards long.
The high tensile clothing construction enhances the protection and longevity as well.
Tape Ninja Waterproof Gaffer tape is a 30-yard roll of cloth tape with a matte finish. The tape has a high tensile strength, flexible, easy to tear, and most importantly, is waterproof.
The Tape Ninja has an advantage over the duct tapes as it leaves no sticky residue and doesn’t catch fire.
Due to it’s matte finish, it doesn’t reflect light like other tapes either.
The tape can be used in almost any weather and it will keep your cable connections safe.
Note: Tour managers almost always have gaff tape on them as they never know when they’re going to need it.
This isn’t one of those waterproof tapes which you need a knife to cut.
It rips easily and leaves. nomessy residue upon removal.
- Flexible and strong
- Tears easily
- Suitable for objects
- Not electrically insulated
Xfasten Professional Grade Gaffer Tape
Xfasten believes adhesives are one of the most critical essentials in homes and in different working stations.
This is evident in the brand’s collections of adhesives for use in homes.
Xfasten tape is on the cheaper side, which is why we recommend it for home use. The brand holds that adhesives make homes and workplaces safer and come through during times you can’t count on duct tape.
- This gaffer tape delivers an impressive adhesion and is easy to remove without damage
- Wide applications
- Complaints of how long it lasts
Fluorescent Neon Gaffer Tape – 5 Pack
The cloth matte finish is reactive under blacklight. Great for glow in the dark parties and arts and crafts projects that need tape.
Each roll is 18 feet by .5 inches wide.
Fluorescent neon gaffer tape. is an 11 millimeter-thick tape made for endless applications.
The fluorescent tape is made of cloth and has a matte finish, meaning it is non-relective and doesn’t cause glare.
The best feature of this tape is that it is great on irregular surfaces, unlike other gaff tapes.
It is also strong and can withstand outdoor conditions even in places with temperatures ranging from 50-200 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you’re looking for a strong, professional-grade gaffer tape that’s pretty, this is your pick.
- Great on irregular surfaces
What To Consider When Buying Gaff Tape
Let’s take a look at what everyone should consider when purchasing gaff tape.
It is going to come in different sizes, and it is important to know what size you’re going to need.
If you’re using this for music or theater, we recommend the 3.inch tape as it’s thicker.
Do you want it to be visible? Colored gaff tape is easier to see, but it’s not as popular as black tape.
Gaff tape is not crazy expensive and it typically is around $15 per roll.
Gaffer tape comes in many different lengths, be sure to look at each roll to find out how much length it has.
These are my 4 picks that have the most reviews and most use in the industry. Let me know your thoughts below!