Ask Adam Savage: "Why I Actually Hate Duct Tape"

Publicerades den 2 maj 2021
Tested member Aurelio Paez asks, "We all love duct tape. What's the best duct tape brand for you?" Here's Adam's perhaps surprising (well, to MythBusters fans, anyway) answer. Join this channel to support Tested and get access to perks, like asking Adam a question:
Nashua aluminum tape:
Nashua duct tape:
Rosco gaffer tape:
Gorilla duct tape:
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  • Join this channel to support Tested and get access to perks, like asking Adam a question: Nashua aluminum tape: Nashua duct tape: Rosco gaffer tape: Gorilla duct tape: Disclaimer: Tested may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through the links here.

    • Ah, crap, I suck at master licenses. I like Nashua aluminum for permanent gas vents. But IPC is the best temporary “duct” tape I’ve found, as long as you don’t use it for ducts, pipe, or tubing. But on the weekend, for the band I work for, when we do live full band shows, nearly any brand of gaffer is the absolute best option. Tape is fascinating, and no tape is universal. I hate and love all tapes simultaneously, just for my own darn opinion.

    • Do a segment on JCX Expendables if you have been shopping there for decades...

    • @Marvin De Bot Even the duct tape made out of cotton duck fabric (duck tape)?

    • Mate I think half the issue that folk refer to gaff as duct tape and as we both know those are two different products. For instance, Gorilla is gaff, it's woven cloth not plastic and duct tape is plastic.

    • @Just IgnoreMe I thought Gaffa was a non-US brand name for gaffer's tape like how Duck Tape is a brand name for duct tape.

  • nashua Duct Tape the GOAT that black stuff drys out and fall off way faster

  • This one caught me by surprise but the explanation made sense to me. But imagine; Next week: "Why I Actually Hate Science"

  • Want to know how to seal up a duck, throw them some cheese instead of bread

  • The name stuck better than the tape...

  • When you're from a country that calls duct tape "gaffa-tape"; my confusion is total... I'm pretty sure we use it to mean both kinds..?

  • Counter point, duct tapes appeal is not it’s ability to solve any one problem but to get you past just about any problem in a short term, you can’t carry 50 different types of tape on you but duct tape is the stopgap go to

  • When I worked for a event running department at a university, we almost never used duct tape, and almost always used gaffer's tape. One main reason being thai gaffer's tape almost never left residue on our carpets

  • Essentially: Duct tape as a tool, bad. Duct tape as an emergency material, pretty good.

  • Oh they don't have 8 ads per video. Glad they stopped doing that. Maybe I'll sub again finally

  • _Top 10 anime betrayals_

  • I think people like duct tape not because it's the best at everything (it's not, like you said) but because it is adequate for everything. Its the difference between having an acceptable solution for everything and a perfect solution for a couple things.

  • Duct tape is awful when you have a huge shop full of items that do it better. A Cresent wrench is awful when you have your toolbox full of wrenches. Utility tools are not supposed to be the best at something, they're supposed to be alright at a lot of things and to get you to the place where you have the better tools.

  • I won't lie I more toss all GOOD tape into duct tape when I say duct tape it. I normaly mean use a really good tape.

  • Interestingly, the “Duck tape” company wasn’t meant to be for ducts. People just sort of assumed it was a play on duct tape and other companies started calling their knock-offs duct tape

  • What about Gaffer Tape ?

  • Make. The. Zombie. Net.

  • Gaff tape isnt just English duct tape? I've been lied to

  • It's like WD40, people use it for everything even though it does most things poorly

  • You've got a point though. There's almost always a better tape for basically every job that you'd otherwise use duct tape for.

  • Sorry but I know the real reason is because of the time you got duct taped to the wall

  • 1:12 Win iPhone 12 PRO 🔽 在整個人類歷史上,強者,富人和具有狡猾特質的人捕食部落,氏族,城鎮,城市和鄉村中的弱者,無`'守和貧窮成員。然而,人類的生存意願迫使那些被拒絕,被剝奪或摧毀的基本需求的人們找到了一種生活方式,並繼續將其DNA融入不斷發展的人類社會。 說到食物,不要以為那些被拒絕的人只吃垃圾。相反,他們學會了在被忽視的肉類和蔬菜中尋找營養。他們學會了清潔,切塊,調味和慢燉慢燉的野菜和肉類,在食品市場上被忽略的部分家用蔬菜和肉類,並且學會了使用芳香的木煙(如山核桃,山核桃和豆科灌木 來調味食物煮的時候 1620554626

  • Duck tape (not the brand) is a ok cheap, temporary solution to a lot of problems. Gaffer tape is a bit more expensive. Unfortunately, nothing is more permanent than a temporary solution, especially for those people where the cost difference between gaffer and duck tape matters.

  • I didn't know there was all sorts of similar but better tape

  • I think I just found a father's day idea, all the types of tape that are better than duct tape

  • Is it useful because it's just a good-enough-for-most-tasks item? like, there are definitely better tapes for specific tasks, but it's like a jack-of-all-trades? And pure speculation, duct tape is easier to find and likely less expensive?


  • I have a bookshelf with a broken leg that held up for over a year with duct tape so far. Surprised it didn't collapse on me yet

  • "I know how it got the name, but I don't know how it stuck!" Of course it stuck -- duct tape is very sticky; it sticks to everything ;)

  • Ayyyyyy, you get a brand new Bridgeport back there? Looks pretty sweet!

  • Jack of all trades and master of none, is still better off than a master of one!

  • My Dad worked for Nashua back in the 90's/early 2000's so we got a bunch of free duck tape (in many different colors) and I will say that at the time it seemed like a miracle product when compared to what regular people had and were using (masking tape, packing tape, electrical tape). We did also notice a change in quality when Nashua sold the brand to another company but we had a backlog of the original stuff for a very long time (might still have the end of a roll of some of the green tape we got at my parents house).

  • Duct Tape - for when "good enough" will do.

  • Yes Gaffer tape! Swear by it, although it's crazy most hardware shops don't stock it

  • I knew I wasn't alone. Duct tape=trash

  • It would have been the Handyman's Secret Weapon (Red Green) and a quick fix, but I would rather go for my Gorilla tape roll (even though I have a roll or two of duct tape) there are instances where duct tape fits the bill for temporary adhesion. There are a lot of related cloth/mesh adhesive tapes out there, and Gaffer's tape being one, duct tape, medical/first aid tape, hockey stick tape, book binding tape (that stuff was like Gorilla and duct tape together but coming in different colours and even transparent) etc. You're right, duct tape isn't really for ducts, that's what the aluminum foil tape is for. I am not sure if you ever heard of this but one of the engineering and shop contests we had in high school was building a boat out of two 4 x 8' sheets of double corrugated box board, a limited measure of duct tape, string and rubber cement. The boats were exposed to a number of tests, including to see if the rated capacity was correct, and racing the boats up and down a swimming pool. It was an interesting look on how to build something with a set amount of materials and tools. It was part of a Skills Canada initiative and I could remember in my eleventh grade year going to Windsor at St Clair College's athletics complex where they had a swimming pool competing with a handful of other schools in the region.

  • Is this video sponsored by Duck brand tape for anyone else? There was, no joke, an ad for Duck tape right before the video and a little ad for their Nano Grab (tm) product next to the video.

  • the last time i used duck/t tape, i super-glued it on; wanted to see if that actually held longer

  • headlights on

  • My go to, always in my bag, tape is actually a fabric medical tape. It has the added bonus of being both emergency in general, and first aid. You can use it for first aid, it;s really versatile, from making a butterfly dressing to temporarily take the place of stitches, through to strapping up a sprain, or even, if it came to it, securing a makeshift splint. But it's also light and strong, with a good adhesive. If you're hardcore you'll probs want some gaff tape too, also for cost reasons. But the med stuff is amazing, it sticks really well to skin, fabric, and soft surfaces. And tolerably well to hard ones, better than duct tape. Humidity, heat (within reason), and water (though not submersion) all actually improve the adhesion. It also sticks fantastically to itself.It lasts well, and removes well. I have fixed so many things with it on the fly that it just isn;t funny. It isn't cheep, but its a great option to add to your bag for if you are desperate. Also, it is tolerably good at fixing ducks

  • you want a safe, easy to remove medical tape, or depending on the area, a self-adhesive bandage. And obviously keep the duck dry, away from water sources larger than a small bowl, and as still and calm as possible. Add some straw to the area, and provide a heat source to help combat shock.

  • Duct tape is a meme. I first heard of gaffer tape from photographers using it to lock down lens focus, and got a small roll to try that out. Since then I never bought duct tape again. Sticks better, leaves almost no residue (hence on cameras), tears more easily and always straight, easy to split down the middle. To top it off, it looks nicer and has a better tactile feeling, like cloth bandaids vs plastic ones. Gaffer tape really is the jack of all trades that people mistakenly think duct tape is.

  • Try this axiom Adam "Duct tape is not a good solution to anything, but A solution to Everything."

  • It may be the handyman's secret weapon but it's truly mediocre at best pretty much everywhere. Probably why it's so popular.

  • "Gaffer tape is like duct tape went to college and learned how to do its job" - Adam Savage 2021 ...fuckin legend. i died

  • I've always looked at it as a tool that can get you out of just about any bind, not as any kind of serious solution.

  • It's not great for anything but it's usable for a whole lot of stuff. And it's got that cultural position where "duct-tape" is practically a verb and a synonym for jury-rigging.

  • 😔

  • I've always thought of Duct Tape as a jack of all trades, but master of none. As a result, it's pretty much terrible for most jobs. Sure, you can 'fix' things with Duct Tape, but that 'thing' is never truly going to be fixed by using it. They should rename it Botch Tape, because any time you use it, you're doing a botched job!

  • I'm so glad you brought up gaff tape. I work in a theater and people who rent our stage often bring in their own rolls of duct tape. We confiscate every single roll we find. I've ripped up entire 50ft lines that bands have come in with just to replace the duct tape with gaff. It is just so much better in every reasonable way.

  • LOVE gaffers tape

  • Duct tape is the Dane Cook of tapes. Gaff tape is the Keanu Reeves of tape.

  • Only you could say this without massive backlash. Goes to show what MASSIVE respect you've earned. Cheers!

  • T-rex tape. Because the adhesive is stupid strong. If you ever wanted to peel the paint off a car it would be great

  • A jack of all trades is useful if you only have limited supplies and no time to run to the store

  • On the subject of Gaffer tape vs duct tape: here in germany gaffer tape is sold as, used synonymously and exclusively as... Drumroll... Duct tape. Or to rephrase: What kind of Duct tape do you buy? I'd have to answer: Is there more than one kind?

  • I feel exactly the same way. I hate that the stringy flakey gluey residue ruins whatever it touches.

  • Gaffers tape is great :) and comes in a nice selection of colours... my big rolls are black, white, and orange!

  • "Duct Tape" was originally called "Duck Tape" as it sheds water like a duck's back! I wish they would go back to the original name! I agree it's not good on ducts, but it wasn't designed for it!

  • I like duct tape because it's generally cheaper than gaff tape and Gorilla tape, but yeah, it's not great, lol. Gorilla for strength, gaff for low residue temporary use, masking for low residue low strength... I mostly use duct tape for like, cardboard prototypes that don't need to be super strong or last for long, things I usually plan to toss after getting an initial concept out of my head. Anything past that will get a better tape or glue or be 3D printed or something

  • Duct/Duck tape is for when you don't have the right tool for the job. It is a wonderful short-term repair material that will last you until you can properly repair the issue.

  • Duct tape is to gaffer tape as JB Weld is to epoxy.

  • Duct tape is so goopy. It just slips and loosens and leaves stickum on everything it touches.

  • When are we going to see more on the velociraptor costume?

  • If gaffer tape is duct tape that went to college then chemtape is duct tape that's been hitting the gym. Designed to protect against chemical warfare, it's literally a life saver but also holds together most of the pharmaceutical pilot plant I work on.

  • You should try this: deckorators dck joist tape. It is made from butyl rubber.

  • this is prime material for the "Top Ten Anime Betrayals" meme category, either that or that Captain America screenshot everyone hates

  • As a Janitor, fuck duct tape.

    • Auction off your authentic adam savage duct tape for charity

  • lol yes! Gaff Tape! That's what I rely on when I want something more durable than Duck Tape and other duct tapes.

  • Paa Ezzz

  • Ive never thought it was ever used permanently. Its usefully for temp use. Like using it to cover the end of home made rocket motors while i bash the clay in. Then it gets pulled off. Cudnt ever imagine it used for a permanent solution 😆

  • How much attention does this guy need

  • I was expecting this to be another "There are two kinds of people, those who love [any convenient material] and those who have both a workshop and time to lose." but this is a much more fun answer. Also, I watched Mythbusters as a kid so I might have not been wary to this, but for me ducktape was more an overarching word for all those types of sticky tape. Oh yea and my favourite tape: The stuff with checkerboarded strings in it. I fixed a training sword (Just a sword-shaped weight, not one for fighting. Don't even think about it!) with that shit when I was 16 and it held up till 21! :D I was never planning on removing that stuff thou.

  • That’s fare.

  • Best thing to seal ducks up with is super glue just fyi..

  • blasphemy!

  • It is an awful awful packing tape. Seriously USE PACKING TAPE TO CLOSE PACKAGES!! Thanks in advance. (I handle return packages at a webshop)

  • with each passing video, you can tell his mind is failing him more and more.

  • Gorilla's like gaff or library (bookbinder's?)tape (not the same as duct tape). LOVE gaff(er) tape. HATE duct tape. Nasty cra-! Er, stuff.

  • Overall electrical tape is more useful than duct tape it’s a weird and rubbery not a permenant solution still but overall more useful change my mind

  • I always felt duck-tape was for emergencies or quick temporary repairs.

  • As an hvac tech I truly appreciate the rant on duct tape on ducting 😂

  • Duct tape is a generalist. It’s not particularly amazing at anything, but it can be used for just about everything. It’s much easier to carry a roll of duct tape with you than it is to have 5 rolls of specialist tapes for different things.

  • Auction off your authentic adam savage duct tape for charity

  • Foil Tape or Silver tape as it is commonly named in the HVAC industry, is allowed for ducts, but not the stuff you showed here. If you used that to seal ducts in San Francisco you would fail the city inspection. It has to be the foil tape with the writing printed on it. Flex tape is also suitable. but never duct tape.

  • Blasphemy! Burn the heretic!

  • Gaff tape is a life saver. I use it for all of the theater uses at school.

  • All hail ProGaff!

  • There are better solutions without using duct tape but it is something that everyone has readily available so it becomes the next best thing.

  • Does he think gorilla tape is still not as gaffer's tape?

  • It makes perfect sense that you don't use duct tape. You usually make finished products/props, which should not have tape as a fastener. I would never make a final product held together with duct tape. But it is useful for temporary things of all sorts.

  • Eh it’s just a matter of what your doing and your funds. I’m not gonna buy $20 gaffer tape when I can buy $6 duct tape and do pretty much the exact same thing.

  • ONE HUNDRED PERCENT AGREE! Duct tape is horrible to work with. My lord the residue. Gaff tape is far superior. No, it's not as sticky as duct tape but still. And the music industry runs on gaff tape as well.

  • We call duct tape "go fast tape" in my family. It is regularly used in motor sports to reattach/patch/repair body panels after minor collisions. I think the beauty of duct tape is not that it is "the best solution" for a problem, but that that it is an adequate solution for so many problems.

  • Duct tape's universality has to do with its general utility when it was invented what, 70 years ago? Sure, a host of specialized, objectively better-for-purpose tapes have evolved in the 2 generations yeah, there are better tapes today for most things. Now.

  • Confused by the argument. Duct Tape is a brand, there are many brands that produce a cloth- or scrim-backed pressure-sensitive tape. Gaffer tape isn't better, it uses a cloth mesh instead of vinyl making it water-permeable. IIRC the episode there were many instances were they tried to construct water vessels which would have been impossible with Gaffer tape. I would agree that for the purpose of being a long-term solution Duct Tape is not ideal and as a short-term solution Gaffer tape is preferable specifically because Gaffer tape is designed to be removed without leaving a residue.

  • Having worked in the stage/film industry myself, then yes. Gaffer tape is the go to, every day of the week. Never silver, almost always black. Sometimes red/yellow/green/pink/other colourful colour to park specific spots on stage etc. Where I have worked I often used a less sticky type because it doesn't rip the paint off of walls/floors/cases and doesn't leave as much sticky residue on cables. Plus everything else it quick fixes when needed XD

  • Yeah, I agree for the reasons you state at @3:12. I live in a very hot desert as well so everything but the adhesives turns to dust in hyper speed and the gunk left behind ruins whatever you've put it on. I would *never* choose duct tape for anything.

  • Wait it's called duct tape not duck tape......I'm 33 and i have been calling it duck tape my whole life!

  • FYI.... DUCK TAPE is a name brand on the east coast.