Heat shrink tape is a versatile tool that can be utilized in a variety of different scenarios from the home to office to industrial settings like garages. Invented in the 1950’s, shrink tape combines items like wires, cables or even in DIY projects together creating a water-resistant, protective and insulated barrier from dangers like cuts, abrasions or the outdoors.

It comes in a wide selection of materials like polyolefin, fabric, pvc and teflon. A variety of sizes and shrinking ratios such as 2:1, 3:1, 4:1, a huge selection of colors (or even custom printed) and special properties to fit whatever your needs may be.

Some shrink tape include adhesive lining to help bond the tubing to underlying wires or connections, creating a watertight seal. Other options include a conductive polymer thick film that provides an electrical connection between two or more conductive objects being joined by the tubing, this film creates the connection without the need to solder first. Finally, heat shrink tubing that is required in outdoor settings can also come with UV blocking compounds.

How To Use Shrink Tape

Shrink tape is extremely easy to use and requires limited materials. To get a successful heat shrink, choose a shrink tape with a diameter slightly larger than the items you’ll be using it with, apply even heat with a heat gun until the diameter shrinks around the items you are joining.

Ways To Use Shrink Tape

Stay Organized

One of our favorite uses for heat shrink tape is cable management. Check out this great article on how you can use heat shrink tape to bundle multiple wires together, organize and help identify them with different colours.

Protect Yourself and Your Projects

Without a doubt, heat shrink tape is a valuable tool in arming yourself against wiring related dangers like fire, spark and electrocution. It provides an added layer of protection, protecting your wires, tools and personal items from everyday abrasions, exposure to water, wind or even harsh UV rays.

Phone Charging Cable Reinforcement

Phone chargers are some of our most used personal wires and therefore most at risk for wear and tear. Use shrink tape to repair rips in the outer cabling or simply just to reinforce the existing cables (especially where the cable meets the connection).

Shoelace Repair

Aglets are the plastic bit at the tip of your shoelace that make lacing them up easy, but they also are easy to break and fray, destroying your shoelace in the process and creating a potential tripping hazard. With heat shrink tape, new aglets can be easy to make, simply take a small diameter shrink tape and cut to your desired length (about an inch), insert the end of the shoelace into the heat shrink without completely pulling through, and heat. When working with a fabric like shoelace, it's important to not burn the fabric, so angle the heat gun towards the tip of the lace focusing only on the shrink tape.

Soft Grip for Clamps

Metal and plastic clamps can be a great tool to hold together any two items, but depending on their strength and sharpness they can also create dents or marks depending on their application.

To help prevent these marks and to ensure an even spread of pressure use heat shrink tape as a soft grip cover for your clamps. Stretch the shrink tape over the tip of your clamp, apply heat and your clamps will be ready for any application.

Get Creative

For the creatives and DIY-ers, heat shrink tape can come in handy for a variety of projects. Its durability, variety in colors and sizes allow you to use shrink tape for any project or knick knack around the house.

Here are a few great uses for shrink tape to help you get crafty:

Pencil Grip

A simple yet effective DIY to help prevent those dreaded writing blisters is with heat shrink pencil grips. Simply cut the shrink tape to the desired length, slip it over the pencil near the base and heat gently to shrink the tape around the pencil. Ensure not to shrink the tape too tightly around the pencil so that you can move it up as the pencil is sharpened down. This also enables you to swap the grip on different writing instruments.

Dog Leashes

Shrink tape is known for its durability and strength, which is why it is an excellent option when looking for DIY options to keep your furry best friend safe with a customized dog leash. Check out this great article on how to make your own sturdy dog leash with heat shrink tape.

Color Code Your Keys

Not only can a variety of colors on your heat shrink tape help to identify wires, but they also come handy in other uses throughout your house like color coding your keys. Use different colors of shrink tape to help remember your house key from your mailbox key.

All you have to do is stretch the shrink tape around the head of the key, and apply a minimal amount of heat from a heat gun to shrink the tape around the head making sure you don’t accidentally cover the grooves of the key. Not only do you get a colorful key set, but shrink tape also helps to silence the annoying jangle that comes from your clashing keys.

Want to Know More About Heat Shrink?

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How to use shrink tape