Electrical Tape is a must have cable management solution for any DIYers toolbox, owing to its wide range of uses, starting from insulating exposed wiring to preventing pipes from freezing in the winter.
This type of pressure-sensitive tape can be made from a wide range of plastics, most commonly polyvinylchloride (PVC) – a type of vinyl that is known for its industry-leading stretching capabilities.
The PVC backing of electric tapes is what gives them the ability to stretch, conform to cables and wiring, and is mated with a non-corrosive rubber-based adhesive for long lasting insulation.
Electrical tapes are not to be confused with other adhesive tapes, because they are built differently, and most of them are UL tested for performance when exposed to harsh elements such as moisture, sunlight, cold temperatures, etc.
Electrical tapes are available in a wide range of colors – each of which built for a specific task. Black colored electric tapes are typically used for insulating wires, and other colors dubbed phasing colors represent the voltage level and phasing of the wire. For example, low voltage, phase B is indicated with red and Earth with green electric tape.
Electrical tape serves a wide range of purposes, but it is important to buy the right one to ensure that the job is done right and safely. With that said, here are 3 important factors to consider when wading through the many options available.
- Dielectric strength – The electric tape you buy must have excellent insulation properties, and a voltage rating of at least 600V.
- Stretch capacity – This factor determines the ability of an electric tape to protect and seal the installation. The best electric tape should stretch to more than twice its original length or approximately 250% without breaking.
- Temperature – Premium electric tape should work well in a wide range of temperatures, starting from -18ºC (0ºF) to 105ºC (220ºF).
- Sticky factor – Adhesion matters when you want your tape to last a while, so buy electric tape that offers higher adhesion ratings to ensure it sticks well to PVC, copper, plastics, and aluminum.
- Elasticity – This determines the ability of the tape to spring back to its original shape after being stretched. Tapes with excellent elasticity form a solid seal to better resist moisture, acids and alkalis.
- Thickness – Most electric tapes are between 5 and 7 mil thick, where a higher number equates to better protection, especially needed in rough environments.
Buying the best electric tape may seem like a tricky affair. But after diligently researching this space, we’ve narrowed down on 10 great options available in the market.
Our Top 10 Electric Tapes: a Deep Dive
#1: 3M 88 Electrical Tape (Editor’s Choice!)
The 3M 88 Electrical Tape slots in at the #1 position on this list for several food reasons, most notably the fact that it is made by a company that’s 116 years old, and is engineered with robust polyvinyl chloride and mastic.
- This black colored electric tape is 8.5 mil thick.
- It maintains its conformability, making it a great choice for cold weather conditions.
- It is made from premium grade all-weather vinyl.
- Excellent solution for several different tasks including electric connection sealing and insulating applications.
- Its PVC backing mated with mastic sealant protects against harmful UV rays, abrasion, alkalis and moisture.
The 3M 88 Electrical Tape is designed to deliver top notch performance in any weather condition, starting from 32 to 100 Degrees F (0 to 38 Degrees C).. It is flame retardant and weather-resistant, and an ideal choice for any applications that require up to 600V rated electrical tape, making it an excellent choice for sealing a thinner profile for light-duty, smaller applications.
#2: TradeGear Single ROLL Electric Tape
The TradeGear Single ROLL electric tape is available in a choice of 11 different colors including black, blue, pink and purple, and is a great choice for most wiring and electrical needs such as wire bundling and cable insulation.
- Features high quality adhesive material and sticky rubber resin.
- Each roll measures 60 feet long, giving you more value for your money.
- Heavy duty, and UL certified.
- Suitable for use in temperatures not more than 80 degrees Celsius (170 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Conforms well to sharp contours for a tight grip and reliable performance.
The TradeGear Single ROLL electric tape measured 60 feet long, making it a cost efficient choice for a wide range of applications including cable insulation and spliced wires. Even though the color of the tape may vary in terms of shade, it is backed by a 30-day money back guarantee, and made from superior quality PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride).
#3: JVCC EL7566-AW Synthetic Rubber Electrical Tape
Available in several different sizes, the JVCC EL7566-AW Synthetic Rubber Electrical Tape features a solid polyvinyl chloride (PVC) film backing and synthetic rubber adhesive. It boasts an impressive 17 lbs per inch tensile strength, and is 8 mil thick including its carrier and adhesive.
- Strong, flexible PVC backing and superior insulating properties.
- UL listed and CSA certified
- Resists moisture, corrosion, alkalis, and acids.
- Great choice to insulate wires and other materials that conduct electricity.
- Can be used in the most challenging environments.
The JVCC EL7566-AW Synthetic Rubber Electrical Tape is a great choice for several different electrical tasks, but can leave a small amount of residue when the weather is too hot. Apart from that, it is a strong roll of electrical tape, and thicker than most other products in its segment.
#4: Power Gear 18164 Electrical Tape
The Power Gear 18164 is a multipurpose electric tape that make a great choice for all your indoor and outdoor, cold and warm cable and wiring needs. It is made from thin, highly flexible vinyl plastic, and conforms well for all tasks.
- Weatherproof and flame retardant tape isolates moisture and humidity.
- UL listed and can withstand temperatures up to 76 degrees F.
- Can resist electrical currents up to 600v.
- Measures 3/4 inches wide, 66 feet long.
- Vinyl plastic insulate protects against electric shock.
The Power Gear 18164 is one the best electrical tapes you can get, given that it conforms well to special needs. However, it is a little expensive compared to its competition, but doesn’t disappoint when used for a wide range of electrical tasks.
#5: Maveek Multicolor Electrical Tape
The Maveek Multicolor Electrical Tape bundles in 9 different color electric tapes including yellow, green and blue, each tape made from industrial grade PVC, coupled with a waterproof, compression, acid and alkali resistance surface.
- Flame retardant PVC material.
- Rated for max 600 volts operational voltage.
- Features bright color coding and identification.
- Easy to stick and does not leave any glue residue.
- Maintains a high level of viscosity even after a long period of exposure to rain, wind and sunlight. .
The Maveek Multicolor Electrical Tape is made from high quality polyethylene coating and a powerful adhesive backing. It is available in an assortment of colors, but may not be a good choice for tasks that require more than 600v rated electric tape. Apart from that, it provides top-notch tear resistance, and is an ideal choice for instant repairs, glass, tents and pipework.
#6: Secure Cable Ties Electrical Tape
The Secure Cable Ties Electrical Tape can be ordered in a choice of several different sizes including 10 pack or as a single roll, and in a wide spectrum of colors including orange and yellow, making it easy to get the right one for the job. This tape is made from PVC with a rubber adhesive, measures 66 feet long.
- Flame retardant and CSA approved.
- Resistant to UV rays, abrasion and moisture.
- High quality electrical tape can be be used in hot and cold weather.
- Made from 7 mil thick PVC with a rubber adhesive for a strong hold.
- Does not leave residue on insulated surface.
The Secure Cable Ties Electrical Tape features a robust construction, but may be a little thin for some tasks. As a solution and if you notice any translucency, you can always pass the tape around a second time.
#7: Ancor Premium Electrical Tape
The Ancor Premium Electrical Tape is made from low lead PVC material, and measures 7 mil thick. It can withstand temperatures up to 105 degrees C (220 deg F), and is a great choice for applications up to 600v.
- Available in 9 different colors.
- Measures 3/4 inch wide x 66 feet long.
- UV and moisture resistant.
- Can be used for several different applications.
- Made from no-lead 7-mil thick PVC material.
The Ancor Premium Electrical Tape is an ideal choice for heavy electrical applications up to 600v. Even though it is UV and moisture resistant, it may leave behind residue when used in extremely hot temperatures, which can be cleaned easily with a household window cleaner.
#8: Proxicast Pro-Grade Electric Tape
The Proxicast Pro-Grade Electric Tape works a bit differently compared to other electrical tapes on this list in that it is easy to apply and easy to remove, and forms a permanent bond with no messy adhesive.
- Available in a choice of four colors including blue, red and black.
- Can be stretch up to 3 times its initial length at the time of application.
- 30 mil thick, and creates a completely air, dust and water-tight seal.
- Can be used in any indoor and outdoor environment.
- Resistant to temperatures between -65F and +500F, and most chemical solvents.
The Proxicast Pro-Grade Electric Tape is 125 psi tear resistant, and showcases a 1150 PSI tensile strength. However, it may not stick well to wood, but is a great choice for other applications such as garden hoses and tubing, marine applications and plumbing repairs.
#9: Nova Supply’s Pro Grade Black Electrical Tape
The Nova Supply’s Pro Grade Black Electrical Tape is weather resistant, and can be used in temperatures up to 170 degrees F (80 degrees C). It features a strong adhesive for a long lasting hold, and is backed by a 100 percent money back guarantee.
- Made from premium grade PVC vinyl.
- Measures 3/4″ and 60 feet long.
- Heat safe up to 170 degrees F.
- Provides quick and easy insulation for any wiring job.
- Works for tasks up to 600 volts.
The Nova Supply’s Pro Grade Black Electrical Tape can resist high temperatures, and offers a tight grip and reliable performance. Even though it is water resistant, it is not completely waterproof, so may not work well for some electrical or plumbing projects.
#10: Cambridge Electrical Electric Tape
Coming in at the #10 position on this list of best electric tapes, the Cambridge Electrical tape is constructed from high quality vinyl with a 7 mil thickness. It comes in a bundle of seven rolls, and is both UL and CSA certified.
- Lead free, flame retardant, and resistant to water, oil, sun, acids, corrosive chemicals and alkalies.
- Suitable for tasks that require no more than 600 volts insulation and up to 80°C (178°F).
- Comes in a pack of 6 rolls.
- Easy to use with high quality adhesion to protect and insulate.
- Measures 3/4 Inch By 66 feet.
The Cambridge Electrical tape comes in a package of six rolls, each made from premium quality vinyl. This product does contain chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm, so use with caution.
Electric tape can be used for several different tasks, and is generally made from vinyl, plastic or fiberglass. This pressure-sensitive tape is mostly used to insulate electrical wires to prevent electrocution and other hazardous situations. When shopping for the best electric tape, it is important to check their temperature resistance, and build quality to ensure they will last the test of time.
The 3M 88 Electrical Tape is our Editor’s Choice winner in this space for its industry leading strength that allows it to conform well to a wide range of applications. Adding to this, it is made from all-weather vinyl, is 8.5 mil thick, and features industry-leading sealant to protect against UV rays, abrasion, moisture and alkalis.