Buying Plastic Strapping.

There are some basic fundamentals you should be aware of before buying strapping from a catalogue or web site, regardless of the type of strapping you intend purchasing:

First identify the type of strapping that interest you - Click on this link - Plastic Strapping Types

Then make yourself aware of the terminology used. 

Beware: Average break strengths are frequently quoted for strapping materials – but unless you know what minimum strength the strapping has when its at the bottom of its manufacturing specification you don’t really know what strength strap you are purchasing, and are therefore unable to make any meaningful safety assessment, or accurate price comparisons. PSCL supplied straps have a +- tolerance of 5%

Beware: Don’t be misled or make cost comparisons by using ‘a price per coil’.... the strapping meterage on the coil does sometimes differ with supplier. Always calculate the price per thousand metres, as different suppliers will put different metereages of strapping on the same sized coil or reel, OR USE SMALLER COILS or use different coil sizes.

Beware: Terms like lightweight – medium weight – heavyweight when applied to strapping or tooling as these terms will mean different things to different suppliers, and ask yourself why these non specific terms are used. Alot of poor quality strapping equipment is named/labelled to give the impression it is better quality than is actually the case.

Beware When buying strapping kits check the number of buckles/seals offered. It can be just 200-300. PSCL always offer the conventional quantities of 1000 or 2000 pieces with a strapping kit together with full standard meterage strapping reels.

Beware When buying strapping kits – items included in the kit are frequently described as ‘premium quality’ but no detailed information is provided such that the buyer can begin to make an assessment of such a claim, and the reality is most kits contain only products that give the vendor the highest margins.

Beware: All reputable suppliers will tell you, when requested, what the  strap weights per metre and with that information you can check if the correct meterage is on the coils – it is not unknown for ‘short coiling’ to occur to make costs appear competitive.

Beware: The add-ons when you get to check out on many sites – it’s annoying – so where ever possible PSCL will quote carriage inclusive costs at the front end of the transaction.

Beware: Think twice before buying from a web site that provides no postal address, and only an email as a means of communication. .. there could be a good reason why they do this that is to your disadvantage. 

The Real Cost Savings If ordering more than 10 coils more competitive prices can often be obtained from the specialist strap suppliers such as PSCL rather than those offering a wide variety of packaging materials. Few Companies using this amount or more on a regular basis consider buying from an online shop unless it’s operated by a specialist strapping Company offering a credible advisory service, the full range of quality strapping equipment and not just the low cost imports.


How can you be sure that the strapping system and strapping materials are the best and safest solution for your particular application and employees? It's very pertinent question because...anybody can sell strapping systems and therefore recommendations can vary widely. 

It starts like this…. Contact a strapping specialist, or as commonly happens a multi packaging product supplier who will make a recommendation for what is considered to be the most appropriate strapping system available from his range of strapping products

( The range of strapping equipment available is therefore important as the advisor is paid to sell what is in that range and will do so even though it may not be ideally suited for the application )

… that recommendation will generally be based on his knowledge of strapping applications, which might be quite limited particularly if he represents a general packaging merchant selling a wide range of packaging and stationary products and lacking specialist know how.

( The depth of knowledge can therefore critically important)

To the prospective user with no knowledge of strapping systems it will be generally assumed that the person giving the advice ( with reference to preceding paragraph) is suitably qualified to correctly assess all or most aspects of the application.

( Dangerous assumption)

The solution offered may well work satisfactorily but may not be the best or the safest or the most economical. It’s not until an accident or some other mishap occurs, that anything like adequate assessments regarding the suitability of the strapping system will be made by the user, whose viewpoint is limited - if it appears to be working it is assumed to be safe, and further assessments seldom made… unless pack instability, product damage or personal injury occurs, or commercial pressure on costs causes investigation into lower priced strapping material

It should be borne I mind that failure of a strapping system can cause more serious issues than a similar event with brown sticky tape, padded envelopes or marker pens and recommendations made by purveyors of these items should be treated with caution as and it would be no defence to argue in mitigation that unqualified advice had been acted on as most people accept that you don’t call a decorator if you need safe electrical services.


Contact a specialist strapping Company and it’s likely the solution offered will be different, based on a much wider field of experience and a much larger range of strapping tools, strapping machines and strapping materials available to him…. It will not be a case of offering the best available from a very limited stock offering, perhaps unaware of the danger that accompanies the first solution offered.

This is a safer option enabling an employer to demonstrate due care and diligence.

Nevertheless contact the same Company but different representative, and the chances are you will receive a different recommendation if not for strapping tools certainly for the actual strapping material, demonstrating that strapping is not an exact art. Differences in opinion can arise even within a group of very experienced strapping technicians but the range of solutions offered will fall within a very narrow range, all of which can be deemed safe., so contacting specialists will result in a much greater likelihood of getting sound advice, and an economical and safe solution.

Differences of opinion occur as a result of varying degrees of investigation

I.e. What are the characteristics of the product - ( Light, heavy - large or small modules - friction between pack layers - high value/low value) - is it palletised or on skids - how is it handled - do the handling methods endanger integrity of strap - how, where and for how long is it stored prior to despatch - what are the ambient conditions of the storage area - is it stored one pallet on another or racked - how is it transported - what dynamic loads are likely to be encountered during transportation - where is it transported - what are local climatic conditions - how is it be off loaded - what are the conditions prevailing on the off load site - what type of strap is best suited to meet with these conditions - what size of strap practically and some times psychologically best suits the application - what is the most economical way of applying the straps, hand tools semi or automatic machines - how are the straps to be joined - are working conditions conducive to any machinery recommended - to identify but a few of the questions asked and considerations made.

As the depth of investigation varies, then so do the recommendations.

Personal contact is also advised – in this case on 0115 9291212 as discussion can often reveal more economic solutions than you would otherwise be aware of.

Don't be mislead with the quoted strength of strapping materials - these values only apply when the strap is still on the coil - unused. When applied then the strapping loop is only as strong as its weakest link - the joint, and depending on the method used can be de-rated by approx 60%. The strongest methods of joining strapping - metal buckles, heat and friction weld sealing are approx 75 -80% efficient when expressed as a percentage of the quoted break strength. The weakest joining methods include plastic buckles and standard semi open clips which can hold only 60 -90 kgs before allowing strap to slip through so it is pointless using strapping more than 130 kgs break strength with them.

Email or call us on 0115 9291212 for more information.


Contact information.