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A tape gun is sometimes called a tape dispenser. It is a handled tool that is used to put adhesive tape on items using one hand. Tape guns are most often associated with packing and shipping items.
To use a tape gun, the adhesive side of the tape is placed against the item being taped. Once a small piece of tape is sticking to the item, the gun is pulled back and across as far as necessary. When the desired length is reached, the gun is pulled back and down and the tape is cut with metal teeth.
Some tape guns have additional features to make them more useful. While some are simply a round dispenser that is held on either side of the tape roll, others come with full handles to increase the comfort. Some industrial models allow for resistance adjustments. These generally have a dial on the center tape holder that can be turned to increase or decrease the tension. Some even have special gear systems to prevent gumming of the dispenser.
Tape guns are primarily used in industries for shipping of products. The dispensers make packaging easier and more efficient. An additional industrial use can be found in construction. A tape gun can be used to apply drywall tape to new walls before spackling paste is spread.
A mini tape gun is used primarily for craft projects. These tiny tape guns are usually controlled by the palm of a hand and a fingertip is used to rip the tape. Scrapbooking enthusiasts commonly use these with acid-free archival tape. Any paper craft project, from complicated paper rolling to child's crafts, can be made easier through the use of a one-handed tape gun. There are also tape guns made specifically for wrapping gift packages and dispense specific lengths of tape without tearing.
Tape guns loaded with acid-free linen tape are used for framing of artwork. The linen tape is used for hinging artwork to a mat. Guns are available as small as 1/4 inch (.64 cm) to be used for applying fillets and working with small wooden frames.
There is a tape gun available for most projects that require adhesive. They come in a variety of sizes and weights, from industrial strength with added features, to tiny one handed ones that apply tape with the use of one finger. From home repair to craft projects, there is a dispenser to meet almost any tape need.