How To Cut Packing Tape Without Scissors

If you are in the midst of packing and storing items in boxes, then you would know the struggles of having to cut packing tape all the time. It can be frustrating to stop packing just to cut tape, so we've looked into this issue and in this post, we will be sharing with you some tape cutting tips.

Packing tape can be very durable, but it doesn't mean it's hard to cut. Even without scissors, you can cut packing tape by using a ballpoint pen and stabbing the center of the tape to break it off. You can also grab the edge of the tape with your fingers and twist —it will break away easily.

We know that it might be too good to be true to just cut packing tape with no problems. Fortunately, we will be elaborating more about it in this post! Do keep on reading as we give you more tips on how to cut tape, as well as other ways to help you get more efficiency while packing those boxes.

Packing Tape roll uses, How To Cut Packing Tape Without Scissors

How To Cut Packing Tape Without Scissors

Whenever there are boxes to be packed and stored, you will always see a roll or two of packing tape lying around. These packing tapes are a must for all your boxing needs because we need these durable seals to keep the boxes secure.

Packing tape roll can be cut by using fingers

Packing tape is known to be very durable, so a lot of people think that it is very hard to cut. While the durability is indeed true, good packing tape can withstand heavy loads, it is pretty easy to cut even without using cutting tools like scissors or box cutters.

Here are some tips on how you can cut your packing tape without using scissors:

Use Your Teeth (Not Highly Recommended)

One of the most popular ways to cut packing tape (but admittedly, not the best) is by using your teeth. Use your front chompers to make a small cut on the edge by pulling the packing tape taut before tearing it.

Use A Ballpoint Pen

Ballpoint pen can be also use for cutting packing tape

If you have a ballpoint pen, you can use this as a quick tape cutter. Stretch the packing tape and hold it taut with one hand. Using your ballpoint pen, quickly bring down the point of your pen towards the center of your packing tape. It should break off freely upon impact.

Use Bare Fingers

Use your fingers to cut the tape. Using your non-dominant hand, press down the edge of your thumbnail on the top outermost edge of your packing tape. Pull the tape with enough tension (do not stretch it) and pull it quickly at an angle. This will immediately break off your packing tape.

Adhere Tape To Itself, And Pull

You can also utilize your tape's adhesion to cut it. Fold the sticky packing tape back on itself a little so both sides of the adhesive stick together. With the edge of your tape between your thumb and forefinger, pull it apart quickly to tear the tape easily.

If you are using strapping tape, you can easily break it off by pressing your thumb on the adhesive side and roll it down about an inch or two against the tape roll. Pull the roll of strapping tape away and it will break off quickly.

Are There Tools That Cut Packing Tape?

Wrapping a box using a packing tape

If you are using a lot of packing tape all the time, then it might be a good idea to invest in tools that will efficiently and quickly cut the tape for you. It will make your job a lot easier and it is more practical to have everything you need in one tool.

Packing tape dispensers with handles are great to use if you are working multiple boxes while packing. You can use your other hand to effectively close the flaps, and the handles of the dispenser make it easy to tape the boxes with one hand.

Check out this tape dispenser on Amazon.

You can also find rolls of packing tape that come with a more compact, simple, and easy-to-use dispenser. This one probably needs a little extra help in putting the tape on the box itself, but the dispenser makes it easy to cut the tape.

Get this packing tape with the dispenser on Amazon.

If you are working with strapping tape, look for tape dispensers that have a heavy-duty metal blade. This will make cutting the filaments of your strapping tape faster and easier with cleaner edges.

See this heavy-duty tape dispenser on Amazon.

For water-activated paper packing tape, you should definitely use a dispenser that will allow you to easily cut it and spread water on the tape. Pick a dispenser that has an absorbent sponge roller and sharp metal cutters to cut the packing tape easily.

Get this water-activated packing tape dispenser on Amazon.

How Do You Keep Track Of The End Of Your Packing Tape

Whenever you use packing tape, it can be a little difficult to locate the end, especially if it is the clear kind. Of course, you can simply run your nail around the packing tape to see where the end is, but this can be time-consuming, especially if you need to pack things quickly.

A no-fuss way of marking the end of your packing tape is by folding it in on itself so the adhesive sides stick together. You can keep a small strip of this folded part to let you know where you last cut your packing tape.

If you have a collection of bread clips at home, you can also use that to mark the end of your packing tape. It's a great way to recycle these bread clips, plus the pointed end also serves as a quick tape cutter in the absence of scissors.

You can also recycle other things at home to help you mark the ends of your packing tape. You can use a toothpick, a cut-up piece of plastic card, or even a paperclip to mark the end of your tape. They can also cut the tape easily when necessary.

Why Is My Packing Tape Not Sticking?

Taping the box with a packing tape

Sometimes, one of the problems you might encounter with packing tape is that it is not sticking well on your surfaces. People think this is highly unlikely to happen because packing tape has strong adhesives, but certain conditions can cause the tape to lose adhesion.

Here are some of the reasons why your packing tape isn't sticking:


One of the most common reasons why packing tape isn't sticking well is because of the temperature. Packing tape that is made for general use does not do well in cold environments because the adhesive freezes. This causes the tape to lose adhesion, rendering it useless.

Wrong Tape

Some people often use the wrong kind of tape for their packing needs. Scotch tape and packing tape are two different kinds of tape and have different adhesive strengths. Always make sure to check if your packing tape can handle your boxes, as well as the weight to allow it to stick properly.

Improper Volume

The amount of content you put inside your box can affect the tensile strength of your packing tape. Underfilling the boxes reduces the tape's ability to apply resistance to the surface. Overfilling causes the tape to buckle under constant pressure. Make sure to fill your boxes accordingly.

Cardboard Composition

Some cardboard boxes have fibers that do not adhere well to certain packing tapes. This mostly happens if you use recycled cardboard, some packing tapes with poor adhesives tend to separate quickly from the surface. Make sure to check your boxes, or use heavy-duty packing tape to do the job.

Machine Failure

If your boxes are sealed using machines, this can also be a cause why your tapes aren't adhering well to the packages. Older sealing machines can cause tapes to stretch, or blades that are being used are dull, which causes a loss of adhesion with the packing tapes.

Final Thoughts

Packing Tape roll uses

If you're in a rush or you simply forgot to bring cutting materials while packing your boxes, you can use items that you have or some methods to cut your packing tape with no problem. Just have these tried and tested methods and you'll be able to pack your boxes in no time.

Are you looking for more information about packing tape? We've got some great articles for you!

5 Types Of Packing Tape

How To Get Packing Tape Off Glass