A lot of you have been asking about this Duct vs. Duck thing we’ve got going... here is an explanation from Jim and Tim, the Duct/k Tape Guys:

Dear Duct Tape Users:

Is it Duct or Duck? We don’t want you to be confused, so we will explain. The first name for Duct Tape was DUCK. During World War II the U.S. Military needed a waterproof tape to keep the moisture out of ammunition cases. So, they enlisted the Johnson and Johnson Permacel Division to manufacture the tape. Because it was waterproof, everyone referred to it as “duck” tape (like water off a duck’s back). Military personnel discovered that the tape was good for lots more than keeping out water. They used it for Jeep repair, fixing stuff on their guns, strapping equipment to their clothing... the list is endless.

After the War, the housing industry was booming and someone discovered that the tape was great for joining the heating and air conditioning duct work. So, the color was changed from army green to the silvery color we are familiar with today and people started to refer to it as “duct tape*.” Therefore, either name is appropriate.

Today, Duck® brand Tape is manufactured by ShurTech. After thoroughly familiarizing ourselves with the hundreds of duct tapes on the market, we have found Duck® brand Tape to be the most consistent in quality. And, we are delighted with the large array of colors that they manufacture (including camo tape and new “X-Treme Tape” which comes in hot day-glo colors).

Jim and I do lots of appearances promoting Duck® brand Tape and do so without reservation. Therefore, we go by both The Duct Tape Guys, and The Duck Tape Guys. And, we use the words Duck and Duct interchangeably throughout our web site.

So, whether you call it Duct Tape or Duck Tape... you are still using the “Ultimate Power Tool” in our estimation.

--- Jim and Tim, the Duck/Duct Tape Guys

Click here to learn about just how much duct tape Duck® brand company sells! It’s absolutely AMAZING!
Note: To be legally called “Duct Tape” the tape must meet or exceed certain heat requirements.
Some Duck® brand Tapes do meet this classification and will tell you so on their label.

Duct Tape by Any Other Name (is just as sticky)
As a public service to Duct Tape Novices and Pros alike, here is a short list to acquaint you with some other names given to “The Ultimate Power Tool.

Gaff Tape (also Gaffer’s Tape): This special grade of duct tape (often colored black) was developed by the entertainment industry to hold lighting equipment and cables in place and has a dull finish so that it won’t reflect lights. Gaff Tape also has a specially formulated, less tacky adhesive that won’t leave a residue when it is removed.
Spike Tape: The thin rolls (1/2 inch wide) of many colors used in theatres to stick on the stage so actors can find their mark or stagehands know where to set the scenery. It is usually the matte finish gaff tape type.
Rock and Roll Tape: Whether they can afford gaff tape or just good old black duct tape, underappreciated rock and roll roadies keep the music industry alive thanks to their love of the America’s favorite adhesive.
100 MPH Tape: A name recognizable, no doubt, to U.S. Army Veterans.
200 MPH TAPE: Pit crews across the nation’s auto-racing circuit know that duct tape holds even when you’re going over 200 M.P.H. The nickname was so common, “Duck” brand duct tape manufacturer Manco has even trademarked it!
1,000 M.P.H. tape: The U.S. Navy uses duct tape to repair radomes. A Radome is the dome that fits over a radar antenna. On an airplane, that's usually the nose cone. It has to be transparent to the radar waves. (Any repairs must be radar-transparent, too on fighter aircraft.) Since the planes fly so darn fast, they call it “thousand mile an hour” tape.
Missile Tape: The Aerospace industry, according to a Martin Marietta worker, used a green duct tape that they secured and routed wiring and cables on test missiles. They called this green duct tape "missile tape".
1,000 Mile tape: Norman Vaughn, arctic explorer for whom Antarctica’s Mount Vaughn was named, puts it on his dog sled runners to prevent ice build-up and says it lasts 1,000 miles. He is also the one who recommends sleeping with the tape to keep the adhesive pliable in cold climates.
Canoeists’ Companion: Very few canoeists would be caught without a roll of duct tape. Why? Hit a rock, rip open the hull, you’re done canoeing unless you have duct tape along!
Wisconsin Pewter on a Roll: Any Packer fan will tell you what’s really keeping that cheese on their heads: duct tape.
Minnesota (or, insert your own rust-inducing state here) Chrome: In the land of lakes, snow, road salt, and rusty cars, they use duct tape a lot more often than they visit the auto body shop.
Hikers’ Helper: Along with a good sleeping bag, a Swiss Army knife, and dry matches, duct tape makes sure outdoors enthusiasts are prepared for anything.
Jesus Tape: In Finland and Sweden, they refer to duct tape as “Jesus Tape.” They also refer to it as Gaffer's tape (or "roudarin teippi" in Finnish).
Plastic Surgeon on Roll: Pulls skin tight, lifts and separates—we all look better with a little bit of duct tape.
First Aid Kit on a Roll: A great emergency substitute for splints, bandages, tourniquets, sutures, etc
(see our HMO on a Roll page offering medicinal uses for duct tape - including endorsements by doctors and those in the health services professions).

Call it what you will, we still call it, “The Ultimate Power Tool!” May the tape be with you!
---Jim and Tim, the Duct Tape Guys