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Electrical Tape vs Duct Tape

Here's everything you need to know about electrical tapes and duct tapes, their differences, advantages, disadvantages and the various situations where one functions better than the other.

A close look at various different tapes on a table.

Both duct tape and electrical tape are 2 adhesive tape options that are very similar. They both can be used for multiple applications to make temporary repairs or act as an aid for a wide variety of DIY projects. However, there are some stark differences between the two.

In order to understand the difference between electrical tape and duct tape, we’ve put together this guide below.

Related: Drywall Tape | Types of Adhesive Tape | How to Install Solar Energy to RV 

Comparing Duct Tape And Electrical Tape

What is duct tape? It is a tape that is typically polyethylene-coated and it is fabric-backed. Because this tape is a more pressure-sensitive adhesive, it has a high-tack adhesive, and it has a composite type structure, this makes the tape very strong.

On the contrary, electrical tape is more common among electricians. The PVC vinyl make-up gives it a slight stretch and it is also made up of pressure-sensitive, rubber adhesive backing.

Because of these specific design qualities, electrical tape is the ideal candidate for situations requiring maximum Kamagra 100 insulation. This is also great for the protection of wire splices and for electrical chords.

A close look at workers coating a pipe with duct tape.

Duct Tape Characteristics

  • It has durability
  • The adhesive and general strength is recommended
  • It is water-resistant, yet it is not waterproof
  • Lastly, it is very versatile, ideal for all types of surfaces

Additionally, a plus for duct tape is that it can be used to fix problems temporarily, such as a leaking hose or pipe that needs immediate patchwork. However, it may not be wise to use it on the skin, as it is highly adhesive.

Electrical Tape Characteristics

  • It contains a stretchy PVC vinyl material
  • This tape is mostly found in the color black; however, it can come in a variety of colors, such as red, green, yellow, and white. This can be very useful for indicating the different voltage level and phase of the wires
  • It performs well in adverse weather, such as cold, heat, water, and corrosive chemicals.
Plymouth Brand General Purpose Vinyl Electrical Tape, Black .75" x 60" 7mil 500V

If you are doing electrical work, use electrical tape.

Even though the electrical tape is mainly for electrical work, the tape has a variety of uses. This being said, the vinyl tape does have so many non-traditional uses; this makes this tape useful for everyone, not just the electricians. We will discuss a few uses for this tape.

Uses & Applications of Electrical Tape

An electrician coating the wiring with electrical tape.

Electrical tape is often used to cover the twisting points in wires. Because of this connection, they become more durable and reliable. Also, another plus is that you can write on the glossy side of the tape, making it easier to place labels. Because the fuse boxes can be labeled, this will reduce the risk of electrocution.

In addition to this, the electrical tape can be used to identify cold and hot wires, meaning that short-circuiting ceases. As we can see, these are the practical uses for electrical tape, as they were designed for. However, we will continue to discuss its other uses.


Electrical tape has a variety of uses that are beneficial, including its ability to insulate and protect circuitry, as well as people. Additionally, its heat-resistance makes electrical tape fireproof, to some extent, which is great security for electrical work and beyond.

With many different tapes on the marker, you will want to vett the tape before you buy it. Most of the tapes are backed by authorities on the subject. Think of tapes that have insulation properties, as that will be very useful for durability and strength.


Another great use for electrical tape is at sporting events, such as hockey and rugby. You can use electrical tape to mask hockey sticks, increasing their longevity in a way that is cheap and more sustainable. Additionally, football players often use electrical tape to secure their shin guards into place.

Other indoor sports, such as table tennis or badminton, have been known to use this tape in order to secure their rackets and handles. The electrical tape acts as a nice cushion for the players to prevent blisters and also give them a better grip.

Home Decor

Electrical tape can also function as a design tool for your home as well. One of the more unconventional ways is that it can act as a stencil for wall designs if your walls are being painted.

Electrical tape has a variety of designs and some are specifically made for designing purposes. There are different colors that are available; they can even be useful for decorating a kid’s room. There are many other uses around the home, some being side tables, lampshades, and even mirrors.

Labeling Items

Pieces of black electrical tape on a wooden surface.

Because electrical tape has a glossy finish, this makes it perfect for labeling, as you can right on the glossy side of the tape. It is wonderful for labeling personal stuff around the house or at the office.

Among the very unconventional uses of this tape, it can be used to label cups for guests at parties. It also can be used to label light switches, cabinets, and other areas around the house.


Did you know that there are other even more unconventional uses for electrical tape? It is used by musicians: drummers love the durability that keeps their drum sticks from snapping, as well as the extra grip that it provides, whereas, to avoid blistering, guitarists tape their own fingers.


Not only does electrical tape have these practical indoor uses, but it also is used for outdoor events such as camping. Think about this: you are out camping and decide to go for a hike, but you notice that your shoe has a hole in it. Not a problem!

If you have electrical tape on you, you can simply patch the hole with some of the tapes. Also, what if you need a place to hang clothes while camping? Electrical tape can help with that, too! Use a paperclip and electrical tape to make a makeshift clothesline. Or, say your tent has a hole in the top, causing it to leak in rain on a cold night. No problem, just use electrical tape to fix the leak.

Temporary Repairs

A man repairing the wiring of a motorcycle with electrical tape.

Electrical tape is also wonderful for temporary auto repairs, such as a busted tail light, or crooked side mirror. You can wrap the tape around the area to secure it back into place. This will help as you wait to get the actual repairs, meaning that your car will be drivable again during the wait.

Another great use for this tape is personal repairs: it can easily fix items and improve the durability, saving you lots of money in the end. Because of the economic value, this is one of the great options for electrical tape

Theater Production

Have you ever worked in the theater? If so, you probably have seen electrical tape at work all over: from rehearsals, where it is used for marking the stage, to color-coded places, it has a plethora of functionality in this area.

With the many different wirings and adjustments that must be made, electrical tape is often used on the soundboard so that there is no confusion, especially on performance days. Additionally, there are also lights to contend with, making it difficult sometimes to know which lever is which. Not to worry, electrical tape comes to the rescue with the color-coding ability for these labels.

Scoop Scraper

This tape is also wonderful for limiting how much you scoop out of a container, preventing overflow and mess. For instance, if you have cocoa and you mark the spot on the container, you are less likely to overfill the scoop, which means less chance of a spill.

Additional Uses for Electrical Tape

What other ways can you use electrical tape? It is perfect for around the house, especially in your room because you never know when electrical troubles will come. There are a plethora of tapes that are on the market today, so you will want to make sure that you find the high-quality tape for your family’s safety.

The many varieties of colors help you to be creative: you can use these for labeling around your house so that you can better organize your space. You can use electrical tape to style your home, as well, if you put your creative mind to work.

White PVC pipes secured with duct tape.

Uses & Applications of Duct Tape

Duct tape is a slightly different story: it is a hybrid that equals pressure sensitivity and tact with a nice cloth backing.

Because of the design, it is great for wider surfaces. With duct tape, you can also get creative, just as you did with the electrical tape; the principle is still the same. It is also water-resistant as well, making it ideal for moisture heavy areas.

However, do not use duct tape as insulation material because it does not have protection against the current as electrical tape does. Although duct tape is somewhat inflammable, it is not as reliable or durably as electrical tape. It can have a higher rate of degradation.

1. Durability

Durability: one of the best things about duct tape. The extreme strength and durable nature of the tape, compared to the other tapes on the market, give it an edge above the rest.

It is a reliable tape that will hold in place for the long haul. In fact, in many homes, duct tape is an essential part of the home. Duct tape also is often used to tape together air ducts, meaning that it has to last for years before being replaced.

2. Water-Resistant

Duct tape is indeed water-resistant, making it a great option for tasks that will be dealing near water. Because of this, duct tape was at one time referred to as “duck” tape by the military because it would “roll off a duck’s back”. Other types of tape usually cannot stand up to any sort of moisture.

Additionally, duct tape can be used as temporary patches, such as if you happen to have a leaky hose. This could save you from buying a new hose. It can also be used to patch temporary holes in plumbing lines. This is not a long term solution; however, it can save you lots of money in the process. It can also help you come up with a more permanent solution later on.

A damaged car door temporarily repaired with duct tape.

3. Strength

The duct tape has many strengths, including its ability to hold tightly to surfaces. It is also versatile, as you can use it on a multitude of surfaces, where you could not use another tape.

Additionally, it is not easily ripped away, either. The strength of the duct tape also shows that it can support much weight without being torn or stretched.

4. Adhesive Strength

This tape has superb adhesion, meaning that you can use it on almost any surface and it will work well. Because of this, the tape holds onto its reputation for being durable and versatile.