“Duct, Duct…Gaff!”

Product Review by Stacy Zemon

Every professional DJ knows to use gaffers rather than duct tape to neatly organize cables, right? Quality gaffers tape has low residue adhesive and can be used on carpeting, tile and hardwood floors without damaging them.

Now here’s where the subject becomes a little bit more tricky. Is there a difference in quality between one type of gaffers tape and another? What size roll(s) should you buy and in what width(s)?

Well, honestly, I’m not an expert on gaffers tape, so I asked someone who is at the last International DJ Expo in Atlantic City.

Pro Mobile DJ’s resident Sound & Lighting Guru, Ben Stowe, showed me some professional gaffers tape from NLFX, and here’s what he said about it.

This tape is 100% made in the USA, from the cardboard core to the fabric, and everything in between. The 60 yard rolls come standard in 2”, 3”, 4” and 6″ with custom widths available. The low residue adhesive adheres to carpet, tile and hardwood floors, and peels off easily leaving no residue behind on the cable or floor, and without damaging the fibers in the carpet. It’s highly flexible cloth construction allows it to contour to the shape of a cable much easier than other duct tape or stage tapes.”

I played around with the tape for a while and it felt like it was made very well. I also tried to enlist volunteers to let me place some over their mouth. Sadly, everyone declined :(

Ducking between light beams, Ben told me that NLFX professional gaffers tape is excellent tape because it is built to last and extensively tested. He’s actually conducted some experiments (indoor and outdoor) to test the durability, and it stayed on through the rain, wind, and even the Minnesota snow. The whole month of November, three strips of gaffers tape stayed on a piece of plywood, right outside of NLFX’s back entrance doors.

The same happened with their indoor experiment, but this time Ben pointed a heat gun near the tape, and checked the residue afterward; very little showed. They also taped a few cables down right in the middle of their showroom floor and left it there for several weeks. Even after being vacuumed over and walked on more times than could be counted, the tape was easily removed with no residue on the cable or the carpet. Ben even tested the tape on his own hardwood floors at home, which was certainly risking serious injury at the hands of his wife had the results not been favorable.

Ben is a total geek and is darned proud of it. He even designed a geek tee-shirt to to share his “geekness” with the world.

What size rolls you should get depends on your staging/cable needs. For example, if you want to hide a snake cable with some other cables, I would recommend the 4” width tape. If you want to cover one, two, or even three XLR cables together, the 3” width tape would be a good solution. If you prefer to have a little flexibility, then go for the 2″ gaffers tape. Multiple strips can always be laid in an overlapping, parallel method.

NLFX Platinum Series Professional Gaffers Tape is available in standard colors black, white, burgandy, blue, gray, green, red, yellow, brown, teal and tan. It’s also available in neon colors of pink, yellow and green. NLFX also offers spike and board tapes in addition to their gaffers tape

Pick up some rolls at http://www.nlfxpro.com/cart/home.php?cat=1303 and if you use code PMDJ during checkout, you can get an exclusive 20% discount!

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