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Gorilla Tape vs Duct Tape: What’s the Difference?

gorilla tape vs duct tape (1)

gorilla tape vs duct tape (1)

Duct tape was invented during WWII, manufactured for soldiers wanting to waterproof their ammo containers1. The tape had an olive color, and the soldiers coined the name “duck tape,” as it repelled water “like water off a duck’s back”. Later, they realized the tape could repair numerous other things, namely heating ducts. For this purpose, grey “duct” tape was born.

Gorilla tape is a subcategory of duct tape, but its unique properties require us to lift it high above the rest. While there are many types of tape within the duct tape category, we will be looking at why Gorilla tape stands out as champion over all the other tapes.

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Overview of Duct Tape

“Duct tape” is an overarching term to describe any heavy-duty tape that has superior stickiness than other tape. There are many brands that make duct tape, including Gorilla, 3M, Duck, Gaffer, and Scotch. Duct tape can be decorative and have many colors. You can also find clear duct tape through some brands.

duct tape
Image By: WikimediaImages, Pixabay

How Duct Tape Works

All duct tape has several layers. The top layer is for waterproofing. The next layer is usually fabric, increasing toughness with tight fibers, but still allowing for easy tears when taking it off the roll. The final layer has an adhesive that sticks well until you are ready to peel it off.

What’s Duct Tape Good For?

The better question might be: what is duct tape not good for? Duct tape, though sometimes unsightly, can offer a quick repair to nearly everything. Whenever you need to hold something in, protect something from rubbing, keep two things together, or need something to be waterproof, go with duct tape.

You can even create objects and craft with duct tape. Ever heard of duct tape wallets? Other things you can make with duct tape include decorative flowers, small purses, notebook or book covers, and the list goes on.


  • Tougher than other kinds of tape
  • Variety of colors, even clear
  • Quick and convenient repairs
  • Widely available
  • Quality varies between types and brands
  • Could leave residue

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Overview of Gorilla Tape

Gorilla is a company that makes glue, tape, and sealants. The brand stands behind their slogan, “100% tough” and lives up to it. They make some of the highest quality stuff out there, backed by lots of happy repairmen and repairwomen.

Like we mentioned before, Gorilla tape is a subcategory within duct tape. Gorilla tape is black and claims to stick on rough and uneven surfaces like wood, brick, stucco, vinyl and metal.

Gorilla Black Tough & Wide Duct Tape

How Gorilla Tape Works

Gorilla tape has got an extremely tough outer layer, and even still has some flexibility. It has a double-thick adhesive to stick to nearly any surface and even stop leaks in some cases. You can use Gorilla tape indoors or outdoors and for surfaces that get hot; it can handle up to 150 degrees F temperatures.

When to Choose Gorilla Tape

Choose Gorilla tape when you absolutely need reliable repair tape. If you don’t care about the color, it’s absolutely the best duct tape on the market.

Check out an experiment done by Popular Mechanics that proves Gorilla tape is the best.


  • Incredibly strong, can handle lots of weight and resistance
  • Goes on and comes off easily while maintaining strong adhesion
  • Works even at high temperatures
  • Might not stretch as easily as other tapes
  • Only comes in black
  • A little pricey

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Other Factors to Consider

What kind of duct tape you need depends on what you are using it for and what your preferences are. In general, good duct tape needs these following properties:


A tape that leaves a sticky, hard-to-clean mess is unsightly and inconvenient, and probably not the best quality. A great duct tape will easily come off the roll and come off clean when you want to remove it.

If leftover residue is something you really want to avoid, there’s a tape for that. 3M No Residue duct tape could be the one for you.


As with most things, the quality of duct tape you end with will depend on the initial investment you put into it. A more expensive tape will probably hold up longer, perform better, and have less messy residue than a cheap roll of duct tape.

Lots of Layers

As mentioned before, duct tape has multiple layers. The more layers your tape has, the tougher it is going to be. Buy tape that boasts many layers for lasting repairs.


Many layers are going to make a thicker tape. If you’re having difficulty finding where the edge of the tape begins when you go to take a strip off for something, it might not be the highest-quality tape. Thick tape will make it easy to find the start of the tape on your roll.

Moderately Heavy

A good, long lasting duct tape is going to feel heavy in your hand. If you are shopping at a brick-and-mortar store, you can grab the tapes and comparison shop by holding one roll in each hand. It’s a good bet that the heavier one is the one to go with.

Easy Tearing

You would think that the harder the tape is to tear off the roll, the better it is. Not so true. The best duct tape will easily come off the roll and be tearable with your hands. If you find you are reaching for scissors every time you take a chunk of tape off your roll, you might want to reconsider your buying decision.


For the aesthetic-conscious, this will be an important feature. If you know that you will be repairing a lot of silver-colored things, a silver duct tape will be less conspicuous than a black one, and vice versa.

When to use Gorilla tape

  • Outdoor uses
  • Need reliability
  • Temporarily stop leaks
  • Holding up heavy objects
When to use another duct tape
  • Lower budget for tape
  • Need color-specific repairs
  • Crafting
  • For objects that need more flexibility

person using Gorilla Black Tough & Wide Duct Tape

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We have gone over all types of duct tape and specifically Gorilla tape, which makes a name for itself with its high quality and toughness. When your job needs the toughest tape available, and you have the budget for it, always go with Gorilla tape. It proves time and again that it can handle heavy-duty use. Other duct tape is a runner up, and does much better job with repairs than, say, transparent packing tape.


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