Tape vs. Glue: Choosing the Right Case Sealer Method

You're trying to seal boxes for shipping. Do you reach for the tape gun or the glue dispenser? It's a common dilemma. Tape and glue each have pros and cons for sealing corrugated boxes and cases. Weighing the options can get sticky. To make the best choice for your business, you need the facts on tape versus glue case sealing. We've got the details to help you pick the right method and get your packages sealed for safe transport. Read on to learn when to tape it up or glue it down. We'll cover the advantages and disadvantages so you can confidently select the sealing technique that meets your specific needs.

Tape Sealing vs. Glue Sealing for Case Sealers

Tape Sealing: Simple Yet Effective

If you’re looking for an inexpensive, low-maintenance method for sealing corrugated cases, tape sealing is a great option. Tape sealers automatically apply pressure-sensitive tape to the top and bottom of cases to securely seal them shut. Tape sealing is ideal for e-commerce companies shipping a high volume of smaller packages each day.

Glue Sealing: Permanent and Tamper-Resistant

For companies shipping larger cases or those concerned about security, glue sealing (also called hot melt sealing) may be preferable. Glue sealers use heated adhesive to permanently seal cases, creating an airtight, tamper-resistant bond. The glue hardens as it cools, firmly fusing the case flaps together. Glue sealing requires a higher initial investment but provides a more durable seal and professional finish. It is well-suited for shipping heavier goods over long distances.

Choosing the Right Method

So how do you decide which case sealing approach is right for your business? Consider factors like:

  • Case contents and shipping conditions: Glue sealing is better for heavy, fragile goods or those shipped over rough terrain. Tape sealing works for most standard packages.

  • Security: Glue sealing creates a tamper-evident seal, while tape can be easier to break into.

  • Production volume: Tape sealers are more affordable and suitable for high-volume e-commerce. Glue sealers are built for mid to lower production.

  • Cost: Tape sealers are very budget-friendly. Glue sealers are a larger investment, though they may save on long-term tape costs.

In the end, evaluating your specific needs and priorities will determine whether tape sealing or glue sealing is the smartest choice for your case sealing operations. With the right method and equipment, you'll be sealing cases quickly, securely, and cost-effectively in no time.

Pros and Cons of Using Tape on a Case Sealer

When it comes to sealing corrugated cases, you have two main options: tape or glue. Tape is convenient and cost-effective, but glue has some advantages for certain applications. To choose the right method for your needs, let's look at the pros and cons of using tape.

Cost and Ease of Use

Tape is very affordable and extremely simple to operate. All you need is a tape dispenser or case sealing machine and you're ready to seal boxes at high speeds. This makes tape ideal if you're sealing a high volume of cases or need to get up and running quickly.


While tape can work well for many applications, it may not create an airtight or waterproof seal. The adhesive can also weaken over time or when exposed to extreme heat. So, if you need an especially durable seal or are shipping goods that require an airtight seal, glue may be a better choice.


If presentation is a priority, glue typically provides a cleaner, more professional looking seal. Tape can appear messy, leave behind adhesive residue, and does not always adhere smoothly along the edges and seams of a case. So, for high-end products or retail-ready cases, glue is probably your best bet.


With tape, boxes can typically only be sealed once. If a case needs to be opened and resealed, the tape will no longer stick properly. Glue, on the other hand, can often be reopened and resealed multiple times without compromising the seal, making it ideal for returnable or reusable cases.

In the end, both tape and glue have their advantages on a case sealer. But by weighing the pros and cons for your specific needs, you can choose a sealing method that maximizes productivity, durability, cost-effectiveness and appearance.

Pros and Cons of Using Hot Melt Glue on a Case Erector

Glue case sealing offers several advantages for businesses. Cost-Effective Hot melt glue is typically the most budget-friendly case sealing option. The glue itself is inexpensive, and you only need a basic glue gun to apply it. Strong Seal Hot melt glue forms a strong bond that securely seals cases. The glue hardens as it cools, creating an airtight, watertight seal that protects contents from moisture, dust, and tampering.

However, glue case sealing also has some downsides to consider. Excess glue often seeps out the sides of cases, requiring cleanup. Glue strings and drips need to be wiped away before sealing the next case. You have to hold cases together as the glue dries to form a proper seal. This can slow down high-volume case sealing operations.

Limited Reusability

Once glue has dried on a case, it can be difficult to open and reseal. The glue bond is hard to break without damaging the case. This makes glue a poor choice if you need to access case contents frequently or reuse cases.

For most small businesses with moderate case sealing needs, hot melt glue offers an easy, affordable solution. However, for high-volume production or situations requiring frequent case access, tape sealing is likely a better option. Consider your specific requirements and priorities to determine if glue case sealing is right for your application. With the proper technique and equipment, either glue or tape can provide an effective seal, so choose the method that best fits your needs.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Tape and Glue Sealing

When selecting a case sealing method for your business, you have two main options: tape or glue. Each has advantages and disadvantages depending on your specific needs and applications. Here are some factors to weigh when determining if tape or glue sealing is right for you.

Product Type

The items you're shipping will significantly impact your choice of sealing method. Tape works well for sealing cardboard boxes and is ideal for products that won't be damaged by residue. Glue is better suited for wooden crates or when shipping delicate items that could be marked by tape. Glue also creates an impermeable seal, which is important when shipping liquids or granular products.

Production Volume

If you ship a high volume of cases, a tape sealing method may suit your needs better since it allows for faster processing speeds. Glue sealing requires time for the adhesive to dry and set, slowing down the production line. However, if you produce a variety of case sizes, glue sealers can handle different case dimensions more easily than tape sealers.

Initial Investment

Tape case sealers typically have a lower upfront cost compared to glue sealers. Glue sealers require additional components like glue tanks, hoses, and nozzles which increase the initial investment. However, glue may provide savings over the long run since it eliminates the ongoing cost of tape and tape cores.

Environmental Impact

For an eco-friendly sealing option, glue is the greener choice. Glue is reusable and doesn't produce the waste associated with tape and tape cores. Glue sealing also doesn't require additional packaging to protect the sealing equipment during shipping like tape sealers do.

In the end, evaluating how these factors impact your specific operation will determine whether tape or glue is the ideal solution for your case sealing needs. With the right sealing method matching your production volume, product type, and business needs, you'll achieve maximum efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Frequently Asked Questions About Case Sealer Sealing Methods

What are the main types of case sealer sealing methods?

The two primary sealing methods for case sealers are tape sealing and hot melt glue sealing. Tape sealing uses pressure-sensitive tape to securely seal corrugated boxes, while hot melt glue sealing applies hot glue to seal the box flaps. Each method has its pros and cons depending on your needs.

When is tape sealing the best choice?

Tape sealing is ideal if you need a secure seal but easy access into boxes, or if appearance is important. Tape allows boxes to be opened and resealed multiple times without damage. It also provides an attractive finish and can be custom printed with your logo or other graphics. However, tape sealing requires frequent roll changes and may not adhere as well to some box types.

When is hot melt glue sealing preferable?

Hot melt glue sealing is a great choice if you need a permanent, tamper-evident seal or are processing a high volume of boxes. Glue creates a strong bond that deters pilferage and is difficult to open without visible damage. Glue sealing is also very fast, requiring less frequent maintenance. However, glue cannot be resealed and may seep through some box types, resulting in a messy appearance. Glue sealing also requires more energy to heat the glue.

Are there any alternatives I should consider?

For some applications, you may want to consider gummed or water-activated tape, double-sided tape, or even staples or strapping. You can also combine multiple sealing methods, such as using tape for an initial secure and resealable bond followed by glue for permanent tamper evidence. The best method for you depends on factors like box contents, shipping needs, budget, and production volume.

With some experimentation, you can determine the ideal case sealer sealing method for your business. Tape and glue each have significant benefits, so evaluate all options to find what sticks with you.


So which one's right for you? Only you can decide. Think about your products, your production line, and your priorities. Adhesive sealing's got quickness on its side, while tape's got durability. And don't forget the details - adhesive's more customizable, but tape's easier to inspect. Weigh the pros and cons for your situation. Talk to your team and look at the options on the market. You might find a hybrid sealant that combines the best of both. The choice is yours, but now you've got the knowledge to make an informed decision. Trust your gut, crunch the numbers, and you'll seal up success.