Tips for using tape runner type adhesives

Tips for Using a Tape Runner

What is a tape runner?

Tape runners come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  There are small versions that will fit in the palm of your hand, and larger designs that are more of a “gun” shape.  Both of them are designed to lay down a continuous line of double-stick adhesive.
Adhesives range from solid ribbons to micro dots.  Adhesives are also available in different formulas.  The most common two are permanent and repositionable,  but the smaller tape runners can be found for adhering specific types of things, like vellum.
Some tape runners can be refilled while some are designed to be disposable.  The larger tape “guns” are all designed to refilled.

To get the best results from your tape runner:

Keep the tip clean

Most tape runners come with a small cover for the tip.  If you don’t have a cover or your using a larger tape gun style, you may need to run off a small amount of adhesive before you start on your project.

Right tool, right job

Tape runners are generally designed for lightweight projects – which is why they are so popular in paper crafting.  There’s also no drying time.  If you’re trying to bond something that is heavy, a liquid adhesive will work much better.

A flat surface is best

Use your tape runner on a flat surface.  Lumps and bumps will prevent the adhesive from rolling on smoothly.

How to use

Position the tip of the tape runner on your project, apply a small amount of pressure (or depress the trigger) and pull the tape runner back towards your body.  To break the tape, stop pulling back (and let go of trigger) while gently twisting the tape runner – rubbing it against your paper while you twist and lift.  This is the most difficult part of using a tape runner, but is easy to master with some practice.

Which tape runners are my favorite?

I’m regularly asked which is my favorite adhesive.  I have both the Scotch ATG and the Xyron Mega.  I like the slightly smaller size of the Xyron Mega and it’s easier for me to replace the tape when it runs out – Karen is a master of changing the tape in the ATG.  I can usually get her to change mine.  If you don’t have someone like Karen, there are lots of YouTube videos that can help you with changing your tape.
I also use tons of the smaller tape runners in a variety of brands.  I generally shop for these by price or type of adhesive.  The nice thing about these is that they are small.  They are easy to grab and toss in with a project.  I keep a couple of them in my planner tote.  The downside to them, compared to the larger “gun” styles, is they run out of tape quickly.
I don’t really have a “favorite”, and I can’t say that I’ve ever had trouble with any of them in either the large or small sizes.
Thanks so much for popping by today to learn a little about working with a tape runner.

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4 Responses to Tips for using tape runner type adhesives

  1. I used to have the ATG gun and didn’t have a problem using it, but like you, Tiffany, I found it a little large to use comfortably, and I could never get the refill in properly, even after having a master (like Karen) show me how, and watching all the how-to videos. I have the Xyron Mega now.

  2. A very interesting article! Thanks for all the information. I finally figured out how to load my ATG and find it to have one of the best adhesives (but to be fair I don’t have an xyron) . After using cheaper brands of tape runner and having the disappointment of opening my older albums and finding everything falling off the pages I switched completely. So far so good, with fingers crossed. And with the large, bright pink case I usually don’t lose it under all the clutter on my desk. lol
    Thanks for the great post!

  3. Does anyone have the problem of the tape breaking or getting messed up? I have thrown my fair share of runners away because of this. I have the little ones and I have Glue Glider brand.

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