Difference Between Duct Tape and Masking Tape

In our homes and workplace, there are so many things that require a quick fix or sometimes temporary support. Therefore, to help people to fix small things and to save their time Duct Tape and Masking Tape have been discovered.

These two tapes are widely used in quick repairs such as sealing, packing boxes, and masking areas. Duct Tape and Masking Tape come under the category of sticking tapes but their uses and functionality are completely different.

How do they differ? Let’s find out.

Duct Tape vs Masking Tape

The main difference between Duct Tape and Masking Tape is that Duct Tape is composed of cotton and plastic, it is more sticky and tougher than Masking Tape. Even when tugged in different directions, Duct Tape resists tearing and keeps its form. On the other hand, Masking Tape is not as robust as Duct Tape and can be ripped with only a gentle touch. When used on rough surfaces, it also tends to shred or tear at the corners.

Duct Tape vs Masking Tape

Duct Tape is a waterproofing sticky tape with a thick fabric or scrim backing. It’s a common and adaptable tape. It has served as a necessary tool in many projects and different types of works.

Duct Tapes have several advantages, including being robust, easy to split, versatile, and water-resistant. Immediate fixes, sealing, repairing holes, and packaging boxes are all made easier with Duct Tape.

Masking Tape is a sticky tape that is employed to mask areas where paint is not required while painting. Painter’s tape is another name for Masking Tape.

It’s simple to use we can quickly peel the tape once we’ve completed painting because it leaves no residue or damages the surface. It is also found in different lengths and thicknesses.

Comparison Table Between Duct Tape and Masking Tape

Parameters of ComparisonDuct TapeMasking Tape
DefinitionDuct Tapes are strong, waterproof adhesive tapes made of cloth or scrimTape that is used during painting to mask the areas not to be painted with paint is known as Masking Tape.
DurabilityMore durableLess durable
RemovalWhen removed leave residue behindWhen removed does not leave any residue
Used forSealing, patching holes, and packagingMasking area where paint is not required
Invented in the year19421925

What is a Duct Tape?

Origin of Duct Tape: The US military utilized paper tape to secure their ammo cartridges in the olden times. They were frequently opened rapidly to refill during the war, however, they were frequently insufficiently sturdy for this purpose.

The paper tabs seemed to break off, making it hard to detach the tape and delaying the troops at critical times.

Vesta Stoudt, an inspector at a rifle ammunition facility, noticed the issue and proposed a better solution: a tougher, plastic-coated fabric tape that could be ripped by hand but was more resilient to water and unexpected damages.

She suggested the solution to her senior but they turn a deaf ear to her, so she wrote a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt stating the issue and its solution and that is how Duct Tape was invented.

Duct Tape solutions: repair-it-all, quick-fix utility that’s included in every emergency pack. It’s used to seal roof cracks, hold glass windows together when it’s broken, and mend a ripped bedsheet, garments, or footwear.

Its toughness and stickiness make it ideal for securing anything.

How Duct Tape is made: Duct Tape is normally composed of three layers. The visible upper surface is constructed of polythene. There’s a fabric-based intermediate layer beneath, and a rubber-based glue on the base.

The cloth is wrapped in liquefied polythene to form Duct Tape, which preserves it from humidity and degradation. The polythene layer on the tape is pliable to attach to unequal or rough surfaces.

Duct Tape has a fabric backing that makes it stronger and allows it to be torn by hand more easily than other types of tapes.

What is Masking Tape?

Origin of Masking Tape: Richard Drew, a 3M employee, devised Masking Tape in the year 1925. Drew noticed that auto-body workers became frustrated when they attempted to remove butcher sheets from cars they painted.

Some of the paint they had just applied flaked off due to the tape’s adhesive forces. The cost of repairing the damaged sections rose.

Drew understood that a tape with a milder adhesive was required, and this understanding led to the invention of Masking Tape.

Masking Tape Solutions: Painters typically use Masking Tape to block off areas where paint is not required.

Masking Tapes can also be used to mark foods and school supplies, create a road for kids’ toys, hanging party banners, repair a damaged umbrella, cover furniture fixes, and many more.

How Masking Tape is made: Masking Tape is a light-adhesive, simple, and easy tear paper tape that may be used on a variety of surfaces and detached without leaving any trace or damage.

Its sensitivity and low amount of stickiness make it easy to handle and it is used in many areas due to its versatility. Masking Tape combines two layers of saturated crepe paper with a thin, hand-tear-able backing that does not need to be cut.

Based on the scale of stickiness desired, solvent-free, molten, or acrylic-based glue is used.

Main Differences Between Duct Tape and Masking Tape

1. Duct Tape is water-resistant while Masking Tape tends to tear off at the corners when comes in contact with water.

2. Duct Tape can stick on any kind of surface whereas Masking Tape does not stick nicely on rough surfaces.

3. Duct Tape is more efficient and economical as compared to Masking Tape.

4. Duct Tape contains more adhesive hence it is stronger while Masking Tape contains less adhesive and is less strong.

5. Duct Tape is designed for strength and durability while Masking Tape is designed for ease of use and neatness in work.

Difference Between Duct Tape and Masking Tape


When we think of tape we just think that it is used to secure and stick things together but Duct Tape and Masking Tape are more than that.

We often mix up Duct Tape and Masking Tape because they look and feel the same. These are, however, two separate tapes with two unique purposes and qualities.

Duct Tape is used for rapid fixes, securing, repairing holes, and packaging boxes; however, Masking Tape is mostly used for painting, to cover areas where paint is not desired.

These tapes serve many purposes, it depends on you how you will utilize them.


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