Ah, duct tape. It's one of the most universal and helpful consumables in any toolbox, and we'd consider it part of the holy trinity of quick and dirty repairs alongside zip ties and superglue (or epoxy). Whether you're lashing together gear, patching a leak, or even bracing a broken limb, there's a seemingly-infinite list of uses for this super-sticky fiber-reinforced tape.
However, as anyone who has walked down that aisle at the hardware store can tell you, there's an overabundance of duct tape styles and brands to choose from. This can make choosing a roll of tape confusing, and it might mean you'll end up with tape that looks decent but underperforms in the real world. You might even be overspending for high-end tape that performs the same as a lesser-known brand.
In the two videos below, the YouTuber known as Project Farm set out to test a variety of duct tape brands to find out which ones can take the most abuse. We appreciate that he uses a consistent method to avoid skewing the results, even going as far as to press the tape onto a surface using a fixed weight and rollers. He also states, “I don't have anything to sell, and I'm not sponsored by any manufacturer or company”, so it's nice to know these tests are not thinly-veiled advertisements or paid promotional content.
The first video shows an assortment of duct tapes ranging from affordable to heavy-duty; the second video focuses exclusively on the higher-end varieties, and also includes rubberized Flex Tape, which differs in construction from normal fibrous tapes. Check out the videos below, and consider the results before your next trip to the hardware store. Keep in mind that there's no single “best” duct tape for every use — as Project Farm concludes, some excel in one area but struggle in others. Your tape choice will always depend on the task at hand.