Duct tape has been around since 1942 when the military needed a waterproof tape for sealing ammunition boxes. Originally colored green, it was referred to as "duck tape" due to its moisture resistance as well as its cotton duck construction--the same ribbed cloth used in bandages. After the war, it was adopted by contractors working in the booming housing industry, where it got its "duct" name for easily connecting heating and air conditioning ducts.
History's fine, but what can 3M's new, clear duct tape do for us? Virtually anything. First, we noticed its powerful stickiness--the roll itself adheres to just about any surface when laid on its side. As advertised, the tape was easily torn from the roll by hand with minimal force. 3M also seems to have ironed out one of the biggest complaints about duct tape: wrinkles. In our testing, we applied it repeatedly and evenly without the tape sticking to itself and without creating odd bumps and creases. And while the tape is rather sticky, it doesn't go overboard, easily lifting off surfaces when we needed it to and not leaving the tacky, viscous residue often found with other duct tapes.
As for its transparency, the tape blended well into just about any surface we applied it to. It was never "invisible" but did have the chameleon-like quality of reflecting the surface beneath it and only calling attention to itself when caught in direct light. Also, we placed bands of the tape over our computer monitor before writing this review (don't try this at home, kids). Peering through the fabric ribs was a nuisance, but we were able to compose the description you're now reading. How's that for transparency?
Our only complaint is that, as with most transparent tapes, finding where to start peeling the roll can be difficult. While this certainly isn't a showstopper, we did find a solution: mounting the roll onto a tape gun.
Tape, by its nature, is not a terribly exciting product (or topic). But 3M's Scotch Transparent Duct Tape is truly a tipping-point entrant, one that may someday become ubiquitous and banish gray duct tape to the nether reaches of our tool sheds, and memories. --Agen G.N. Schmitz
- Transparent, easily blends into the surface background
- Easily torn from the roll with minimal force
- Sticky, but not too sticky
- Adheres smoothly without wrinkles or creases
- So transparent that finding where to start peeling the roll can be difficult