This TikTok Hack Makes Tearing Tape Easier
Can you get a cleaner tear and leave the masking tape end accessible? I checked it out and tried with other kinds of tape. Here's what I discovered.
Masking tape, cellophane packing tape, duct tape, electrical tape. We use them for different reasons, but they have one thing in common. After you tear off a piece, the end seals itself to the roll, and finding it the next time you need tape can be super frustrating.
A TikTok hack posted by @mancrafting offers an easy solution that, unlike other options, doesn’t require a knife, scissors, paper clips or toothpicks. It couldn’t be simpler.
I use this tip everytime I use masking tape. #learnontiktok #tiktokpartner #tapehack #shoptips #tipsandtricks
How It Works
Before tearing a piece from a roll of blue masking (painter’s) tape, the poster folds the end connected to the roll at a 90-degree angle and presses the sticky sides together. Then he makes a clean tear at the edge of the roll.
That leaves a triangular tab on the roll that prevents the tape from sticking. And it leaves another tab on the end of the tear-off so he can quickly remove the tape when he’s completed his task.
I’ve done my fair share of painting, and I love how uses the edge of the roll for a clean tear. That lets you stick the tape into corners more easily for the best coverage. I sometimes get a clean tear by holding the tape down with my thumb, but the remaining tape still sticks to the roll, making it hard to find and lift. That’s a time waster when it happens repeatedly during a large masking project.
The hack solves the problem and leaves a non-sticky tab on the end of every piece of tape you use. The poster considers this a feature, but it’s also a potential problem when working in corners — the tabs get in the way. This isn’t a deal-breaker, though; simply tear off the tabs before laying the tape.
Does It Work With Other Kinds of Tape?
I tried this hack with other kinds of tape. Here’s what I discovered:
- Cellophane packing tape: I was really rooting for this one, because clear, thin cellophane tape is problematic. The end is practically invisible on the roll and nearly impossible to find with your finger. Unfortunately, the tape crumpled when I tried to fold it and it wouldn’t tear, so no go. You really need scissors or a sharp edge for a clean tear.
- Electrical tape: I found this tape too stretchy to tear cleanly. The fold did leave a tab on the roll, but there are easier ways to do that.
- Duct tape: I could fold and tear duct tape cleanly, but I encountered another problem: When you do the fold, the sticky side of the tape faces up. Because duct tape is stickier and more flexible than masking tape, it tended to stick to itself. Because of this, the hack didn’t make the job of tearing it any easier, but it did leave a tab on the end of the roll. Again, there are easier ways to do that.
My conclusion: This TikTok hack really only works with masking tape. For other types of tape, it’s easier to simply fold back the end after you’ve torn off a piece. You can also stick a toothpick or paper clip, which you can remove and reuse, to the end of the tape after tearing off a piece.