The Ultimate Guide to Setting Up Your Packing Tape Dispenser

Packing gets easy and effective with the support of a Packing Tape Dispenser. It helps you to seal cardboard boxes and cartoons with the greatest efficiency. But only if you know exactly how to use it.

Using a packing tape dispenser can easily become a headache if you don’t understand how to set it up or operate it. However, tape dispensers can be a huge time saver once perfected. And, it can make sealing packages seem effortless.

You should use a packing tape dispenser to seal packages because it enables you to perfect the sealing so that the materials stay completely protected inside. And hence, the shipping company doesn’t need to send it back to you for poor packaging.

Hence, you must know how to load, set up and use a packing tape dispenser if you want your package to reach the destination safely.

This is why I designed this article to guide you step-by-step into the entire process of packing tape dispenser setup. 

So, let’s begin!

How to Load a Packing Tape Dispenser?

Before using a tape dispenser, you need to load it with packing or adhesive tape. Here are the steps to load your packing tape dispenser.

Step 1: Locate the end of your tape roll, pull out a few inches of tape and fold it back to mark the end.

Step 2: Slide the roll of packing tape inside the dispenser wheel with the non-adhesive side up while keeping the handle towards the right. 

Step 3: Position the tape so it unwinds with the adhesive side facing down when the dispenser is pulled backwards.

Step 4: Press the extended metal tab to open the metal guide and get plenty of room to thread the tap through. 

Step 5: Pull the front end of the tap to thread it through the slot between the guide and the roller.

Step 6: Draw the tape up, way over the serrated blade or the cutting bar to avoid injuring your finger.

Step 7: Drag the tape back against the cutting edge to make the cut neat and even.

Step 8: Press the tape against a packing box and pull the dispenser backwards to check whether the tape unwinds smoothly, cuts neatly and adheres correctly. 

Step 9: Adjust the tension on the dispenser by using the nut in the middle of the spindle. To increase the tension, tighten the nut clockwise. To decrease the tension, loosen the nut anti-clockwise.

Step 10: Practice a few times on old cartoons to check the tension to have a smooth and comfortable unwinding mechanism.

The tape dispenser is now all set up and ready to use.

Packing tape dispenser setup for industrial packaging

How to Operate a Packing Tape Dispenser for Packing Materials and Shipping Supplies?

Now that your packing tape dispenser is all set up, you are ready to use it. Here are the steps to operate your packing tape dispenser:

Step 1: Finish loading the tape into the dispenser and adjusting the tension by practising a few times.

Step 2: Unfold the packing box or cartoon you want to use and place it on a flat surface with the top facing down.

Step 3: Put the tape dispenser on your dominant hand and pick the tape tab off the roll with your off-hand. 

Step 4: Place the end of the packing tape a few inches down the side of the box.

Step 5: Hold the tape tightly onto the box and pull the dispenser backwards, straight towards you. 

Step 6: Keep pulling the dispenser with the tap fixed to the box till you cover the entire bottom ridge. 

Step 7: Pull the tape a few inches down the opposite side of the box.

Step 8: Rotate the tape dispenser upwards for the serrated blade to cut the tape off smoothly.

Step 9: Press the tape firmly on the box to ensure it adheres properly. You may repeat the process, overlapping the tape twice or thrice to ensure stronger sealing.  

Step 10: Flip the box, pack your items inside and secure the top of the box just like you sealed its bottom. 

A Few Important Things to Keep in Mind while Using a Packing Tape Dispenser

Here are a few things you need to remember while setting up and using a packing tape dispenser:

  • The sticky or the adhesive side of the tape must face downwards; that is, it must be away from the edges of the blade. If the tape is slid the wrong way up, it will stick to the dispenser roller or the blade and not the package you want to seal.
  • Do not rush through the process of loading the tape to the dispenser. Otherwise, you run the risk of injuring your finger on the sharp blade of the dispenser.
  • Adjusting the tension of the dispenser is a really important step of the setup process. If it’s too loose, you might use more tapes than needed. It will be hard to roll the tape out if it’s too tight. So, the tension must be just right. Otherwise, the tape won’t roll evenly or properly adhere to the box.
  • While operating the dispenser for the first time, always use an old packing box to test it on. Do not try it out on the package that you want to seal. Ensure that the dispenser is properly loaded and adjusted before working with it.
  • While setting up and operating your tape dispenser, keep a careful watch on your fingers so that you don’t cut them on the sharp blades. 

Some Frequently Asked Questions about Packing Tape Dispenser Setup

Before you go, look at a few frequently asked questions about setting up and operating a packing tape dispenser.

FAQs on Packing Tape Dispenser setup

Q: How to reload a packing tape dispenser?

A: Reloading a packing tape dispenser which has already been set up is very easy. All you need to do is hold the spindle to make the paper tab on the roll end face up towards the front and then slide it to insert the new roll of tape into the dispenser.

Q: What size of tape fits into a tape dispenser?

A: The size of tape that fits into a tape dispenser depends on the size of the tape dispenser itself. The dispensers are made while keeping the standard sizes of packing tapes in mind. So, you have small and large dispensers for small tapes and larger ones. 

Q: Why does a tape dispenser have sands in it?

A: Tape dispensers are filled with sand to weigh them down so they can’t move around the bench or the work surface while it is being used. Screws or clamps can also serve the same purpose: securing them to the surface and preventing unwanted motion.


Packing tape dispensers are an important part of the packing process. And it’s certainly a bit tricky to set it up and use it. But once you learn how to operate a tape dispenser, it will seem easy and save you tons of time. Hopefully, this guide will help you get started right! 

Avatar for Charles Helms

Charles Helms is the owner and head writer of the well-known platform TrackingAdvice. With a career as an Operations Manager and over a decade of first-hand experience working with major courier shipping companies, Charles has the knowledge to help you to solve shipping and packaging-related queries.

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