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Can Duct Tape Be Used Instead of Electrical Tape?

Duct tape is an all-purpose tape that can do everything that you can think of and more. Because of its versatility, you may wonder if it can be substituted for electrical tape? With limited space, this would be quite a benefit. I will answer this question and more in the article, and I will also examine Gorilla Tape.

Duct Tape-The Tape Of the Gods

Duct Tape

It was invented during the 1940s by a Rosie the Riveter factory worker. Originally, it was called Duck Tape because it was known for being able to repel water, like water slides of a duck’s back. It was at first were made with a cotton backing, and is now made from cloth fibers and is coated with a polyethylene resin and the sticky side is covered with a rubber-type substance.

It is known for the following:

  • Sticks-Known to stick on almost any material
  • Very malleable
  • Tearable-Its cloth backing makes it quite easy to tear.
  • Strength and Versatile-You can purchase various types depending upon the strength that you are needing. For example, you can purchase military-grade, automobile racing, and even nuclear-grade strength.
  • Water Proof-You probably guessed this already as duct tape was originally named for a duck.
  • Stretch-It is very easy to stretch and adapt to any task.


It is extremely versatile and can do anything from its original purpose to assist in putting up HVAC ducts to even remove warts. All preppers should have multiple roles as part of their prepper gear as it is an invaluable tool for any repairs that may come up.

Some of the many hacks that you can do with it are the following:

● Fly Trap- Just hang a few strips and it will act as DIY flypaper.

● Foot Care-Proper foot care is essential for SHTF, survival situations. Therefore, you need to take care of blisters ASAP. Bandages will help with blisters. But, plastic bandages will easily slip off if not secured properly. Duct tape can help with this as it will help make sure that any blister bandage stays put.

● Fix Clothing-If you do not have a proper needle and thread, you can use it for a makeshift way to hem your clothing until you are able to get your clothes properly fixed.

● EyeGlass Repairs- Personally, I have awful vision. So, I would be hurting if I were to lose my glasses during a disaster that is why any way to fix broken eyeglasses could be a potential lifesaver.

● Decoration-There have been books written on artwork made with duct tape.

Tape It & Make It: 101 Duct Tape Activities (Tape It and...Duct Tape Series)


Gorilla Tape Vs. Duct Tape

Gorilla 6035180 Duct Tape, 1-Pack, Black

Gorilla is a relatively new form of all-purpose tape. It is made in the US and was first distributed in 2005. When it first came into the market it was considered to be quite innovative, as in 2006 they even won an award from Popular Science.

Gorilla is claimed to be three times stronger than regular duct tape and could be described as duct tape on steroids. Per the manufacturer, it is composed of double adhesive, extra strong backing, and has extra protection from the outdoor elements. It also comes in several color options. The enhanced adhesive strength makes it be better able to stick on uneven surfaces.

The claim of being three times stronger than typical duct tape, at least according to Popular Science, is somewhat of an exaggeration. (Per Popular Science Gorilla is only 145% stronger) However, Gorilla is still plenty strong and a must-have for those who need or just desire tape that is stronger and more durable than traditional duct tape.

Gaffer’s Tape-Gaffer Tape is often mistaken for duct tape. So, I felt it would be helpful to briefly describe its uses and also how it is different. Gaff tape is primarily used in the entertainment industry to secure a cable to the floor. (Prevent trip hazards) It is used on movie sets, theatre, etc., as gaff tape, is more heat resistant, does not reflect light, and when removed it does leave a sticky residue.

Electrical Tape (“AKA Electrical Insulation Tape”)

Scotch Super 33+ Vinyl Electrical Tape, 3/4 in x 66 ft, Black

An electrical tape is a form of tape that is designed for insulating electric wires and various other conductive materials. Genuine vinyl electrical tape is designed for repairing and setting up electrical wiring applications. The electric tape will most likely be made of Vinyl or a PVC vinyl backing and rubber type adhesive.

If you are purchasing electrical tape you need to make sure that it is UL listed. (UL listing means that it has been tested for durability against elements like extreme cold, sun rays, and moisture).

Is Duct Tape A Substitute For Electric Tape?

Since duct tape is so versatile and can accomplish most anything it seems that it would be a no-brainer that you should use it instead of specialized electric tape.

Other than Gorilla being stronger, it is essenetially the same as traditional duct tape. Therefore, duct tape and Gorilla will be used interchangeably, and I will not have a section for Gorilla Tape Vs. Electrical tape.

Duct Tape Vs. Electric Tape

As you’ve seen duct tape is extremely versatile and you can do almost anything with it from fixing glasses to performing first-aid. But, can it be a substitute for electrical tape? The answer to this question is no, duct tape should never substitute for electric or any other kind of insulation tape, like aluminum tape (AKA “Foil Tape”)The same goes with gaffer’s tape as it is not designed to deal with electrical wiring and extreme temperatures.

It should go without saying, but do not even think of using packing tape, scotch tape, masking tape, and double sided tape for your electric work.

Final Thoughts

If you learn one thing in this article it is that DO NOT substitute duct tape for electrical tape. Duct Tape can do a lot of things. But, it is not meant to work with exposed wire and deal with any electrical application that may come up. Also, as it is much stronger than duct tape, use Gorilla instead.


To popular substitutes for Insulation, Tape Substitutes are heat shrink tubing and wire nuts.