Thursday, 19 August 2010

The big tape gun thingy..

So, I've had it a while now - well, nearly a month. That's longevity in double sided tape use isn't it? I haven't thrown it against a door, window, or even at Mr Dunnit. I brandished it at a crop and come home unblemished. So I thought you may like to have my thoughts so far.
I'm pleased with it. It does lay down a very aggressive tape though, so if you're a bit commitment phobic or tend to 'hover' over the piece trying to get things really square...it may cause swearing; somehow the tape magically attracts the work in progress piece to it, which is sometimes very un-funny. But that may well be the work woman blaming the tools.
Willowy Blonde pointed out that the 'guys' who made it into a tape dispenser after it was a successful shop pricing gun were surely only in it for another use - coz it still looks like a
gun and hell, it ain't pretty. However, this has a couple of advantages. Lots of people think it will be heavy and cumbersome and so wouldn't dream of borrowing it - unlike a roll of tape that gets passed back and forth during a 'session'. Us big girl crafters who own the ATG gun know that it's not heavy.

The advantage to the magnificent over-the-top casing has to be that it keeps the tape edges clean. You know - how many times have you laid a neat strip of tape against the edge of something and then stuck it down, only to realise that the edge is now peppered with fluff and/or glitter that has stuck to the roll of tape. Oh. Just me then?
I'm a bit anal about getting tape onto the edges and into corners, I can't bear a peeling corner - it's a bit too home-made, even for me. I'm just about down with the where to start and where to stop the dispensing of the glue tape...but still can't deliver it to card or paper in a straight line! Nor can I work out how to avoid creating a small ridge of the glue when I stop, and that sometimes shows, especially when using paper and not card - that is an annoyance for me, but I think it may be a technique that I'm lacking. It so usually is!
I made the mistake of buying very wide tape (in my excitement I think, I would never usually use 19mm wide). I have since topped up with (although not yet using) a more standard 12mm width and I have also brought a reel converter to enable me to use 6mm tape which is quite narrow. I don't have any yet - by the time I ordered they were out of stock! I got mine and the tapes from a site recommended by Jo of JoZart; it's www.3m.co.uk - sign up for the email news and then you'll see quickly when they have it and/or the tapes on special offer. I bought the gun at offer time and paid about £15 for it....tapes extra - it doesn't come with one. But interestingly, Shopkeeper Gal and I were discussing this article and she discovered that she can supply the tapes - at much less than the 3m website is offering.....the gun is about the same price. This is worth knowing people, we aren't talking pence here.
No doubt the first couple times it will be a fiddle to load - but you won't waste tape - they put a good couple of metres of film on the end of the roll to help you. Clever stuff. Do I recommend it? I can't yet tell if it's cost effective, but it's looking that way. If you habitually use glue to stick card and paper because you like the increased 'handling' time, the ATG is not for you. But if you're a committed tape user, I'd say it's worth investigating. If you come to Ludgershall Crop or we ever meet, I'll let you test run it. For about 2 minutes. This is not a sponsored review - and I'm still not in LOVE with it, but we're definitely friends....not least because I can't lose it on my shambles of a desk!

39 comments:

Clare *Littlebear* said...

Hi Julia,
I've got this gun and struggle with it a bit. I hate the ridges at the end of the glue strip and can't figure out how to stop them. If you work this out, please let us know the trick!
3M have the gun on offer at £11.59 at the moment which is a bargain. I'd love to know where the get the tapes cheaper as I now want to buy the acid free one. Like you I bought the 19mm and it is a bit wide!
Thanks for posting about this tape gun.
Clare x

judie said...

it does look kinda big and bulky, but ill believe ya, thousands wouldnt lol

Ludgershall eh !!! I know this well, my Mummie used to live there about 5 years ago, small world

hugs
judie xx

Sandra said...

One of the girls at the crop on Saturday was using one ... and I have to say, she too though it good. I'm thinking I may now need to do a spot of shopping! ... oh well, tough life, but someones got to do it LOL

Cath Wilson said...

You've done well, getting used to it so quickly, Julia. Took me ages and ages and ages - in fact - years. I put mine away and didn't use it for a couple of years cos I found it a bit cumbersome but now I wouldn't be without it. I actually prefer the wider tape because it seems to be gummier but yes, I've had said accidents with item being magically attracted to next layer or card in the wrong place - grr!! AND wasted whole cards trying to pull it off to correct it - it doesn't come off easily. But that's a good thing when you get it right, lol. I too get frustrated with not being able to get right to the edges but in the end it's so worth it and yes, it IS cost effective for me cos I was using Tombow refillables, which are pretty expensive now that I no longer get them wholesale price. It's super great when doing things en masse for a swap or for C cards, too!

Wipso said...

I wonder if it would hem up trousers? :-) :-) :-)
A x
ps I am only joking :-)

Cath said...

Try running a glue stick over the tape if you are doing anything that the tape might attract before you are ready for it to as that stops the paper jumping and gives you a second or to to change your mind.

Cath

chrissy xx said...

Sounds to be a good item to have! At least it can be spotted from at mile away. Perhaps, if you were to put a bow on it you could_learn to love it. He! He!.
Chrissyxx

mustavcoffee said...

Hello Julia, It's great to hear a truly independent review, I too have this gun and agree with all you said but like all our tools they have their place in our arsenal.
The problem of the end ridge is solved if you let go of the trigger and pull back sharply, this staggers/tears the glue, leaving a lighter edge, it's not hard but really difficult to remember every time:D
I have no affiliation with the gun manufacturer but I do love it:D
It was my first WOWW yesterday and I must say it was a lot of fun but I spent all day on the computer and only visited half of the desks,LOL It's still a brilliant idea and Thank you:D xx

mustavcoffee said...

P.s I forgot, you can get extra tapes 1 or 2 at a time on eBay, quite cheaply:D x

Diane said...

Love mine, although I agree it isn't pretty. I have seen some beautifully decorated ones on some sites. I get my tapes on ebay too. At least being so big and yellow it doesn't get lost under a pile of paper on my desk like my dstape used too!

Biscuitlid said...

ah y'see I in love with my ATG! It did take me a while though and I suffered the same problems as you but compare that to fiddly little tapes guns or lifting up DST and it wins hands down for me every time. Unless I'm doing more delicate work and then I always reach for my SU snail adhesive or Tombo glue.

I don't think I've bought any other DST since I started using my ATG. I do still suffer with ridges and sometimes every now and then I get annoyed towards the end of the tapes when it gets a little resist to being used!

Hugs
Victoria
x

Kaz said...

I love mine Julia, as you know, but I can sympathise with the 'tape being attracted to stuff'. Mine is my fingers - I end up like Paddington Bear with that sticky bit of paper going from one hand to another!! Need to look into thinner tape though and the bit that goes with it. Is that on the 3M site?? xx

Helen said...

Great (non sponsored!) review. I hate fluffy DST... mind you I think mine is worse working on the floor cos obviously there is too much "stuff" around to get the (whisper it quietly) hoover out... more than once in a blue moon, so fluff does tend to accummulate. I am surprised you say it is not heavy as it sure does look as if it will be.

Handmade with Love said...

Great review Julia, I have one of these and its a bit of a beast isn't it but very sticky and very easy to find on your desk! I have a smaller one made by Stix 2 called the glue glider pro and its smaller and goes on evenly but the refills are very expensive at about £8 a go. Still better and quicker than using tape for sure! Have a great week! Tracey x

Darcy said...

I love mine. I got it from Viking, on offer, less than £30 for the gun and 10 rolls of tape. I believe thay are running this offer again at the moment.

So far the cheapest place we have found for refills is Directa, they work out around £2.20 each inc postage. let me know if you find them cheaper please, as we..me and friends go through lots of them and order 50 at a time.

Sue said...

Hi Julia
lol great read, well it would be no good for me, i never stick straight first hit, thats why ive gone back to uhu glue, i have time to wiggle it round the page till it looks straight!!
It's brill being so bright & big, you can't lose it even if you try!!! lol, sue,x

Doone said...

I have to get A lIFE - I just read a blog about TAPE and a Tape Dispenser - and found it interesting....

noooooooo

Dx

Linby said...

Great post - I like my ATG but like you don't love it. It has its place - oh for the days of having one type of adhesive, now I have so many it takes as long to choose one as to make the card!
Linbyx

The Crafty Goat Girl said...

Hi Julia, thanks for test driving it for us. I am always running out of glue tape, so I may have to invest in one of these.

hugs Heidi xx

Julie's Crafty Corner said...

Hi Julia, Well I had the same tape gun and wasted more tape than a little when I changed the reel, it was a real pain.I like to get my tape right to the edge of my card when I am layering up and I could not with this tape gun so I sold it on ebay.Now I am back to my trusty double sided tape which I love!

Julie

Mummylade said...

I've been trying to get my hands on one but they're tricky to find in Sweden =(

Ali H said...

Hi Julia
SERIOUS piece of kit ! Good to know what people think about things before you consider splashing out yorself !
Have a good week ! Ali

Rica said...

Hi Julia, for anyone, me especially, who can't layer up evenly first time but still prefer tape - run a light layer of glue stick down it and it keeps it re-positionable for a short while then sticks - well like glue!!
Heather xx

Bettythebaglady said...

Julia I save release paper from the back of other sticky stuff like Xyron or peel-offs-you only need one-then you can use it to position without sticking if you are a bit wary. I plumped for another gun 'cos DH uses the 12 mm so now we've got a 12mm and a 6mm gun.Think it's just a practise thing but I do squeeze a tiny blob of PVA in with my fine tip applicator if I've got a bit of unstuck stuff.Hugs Betty

Neet said...

Apparently there is a new one on the market in America - think they said it was pink. It is smaller and lighter and not for industrial use like the yellow one. It is still the same manufacturer. Will keep in touch with any reviews I see.
I get my tapes from Directa too but the last lot were all squashed and gave me a bit of a headache when reloading.
There are lots of You Tube videos to help you load your gun when it runs out and you need to change it.

nicandalfie said...

love the honest review, you manage to make me laugh at the strangest things so thank you!!!

Traceyr said...

Practical it might be but it still looks like you are going to "price up" a row of tin peas! hahaha :)

Wendy said...

hi Julia
I love my ATG, it weighs 14oz that's with a full reel of tape, so as you said not heavy at all, I am thinking of giving it a make over just need to find the time and decide on what colour.
thanks for the review

Spyder said...

I keep seeing them, they are growing on every woyww post I visit, so I should get one too!?! Tip, it might work , it does for DS tape...but just thinking, how??? anyway...spear some prik-stik on the line of sticky first, then you should have time to move it if it's sqwiff!
(Lyn)

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

The first few people who talked about their ATGs when I first joined WOYWW had me asking what an ATG was. I soon learned about the tape gun and have wondered if I could get one in the States.

Before Saunders (UHU glue) quit sponsoring their Gluers (yep, I was one), I used to get one of their non refillable tape runners each couple of months. I didn't use it much because they were so much handier than glue sticks, but I was afraid I'd get used to them and love them too much. However, I found they didn't have a whole lot of tape in each container. I found that such a waste. I'm really delighted that you are addressing that issue and look forward to the continued updates you give us as you continue to analyze it.

ikki said...

Hi, thanks for the review - I have been unable to miss these guns on desks and wondered about them....now do I need one???? ikki

Pam said...

Hi Julia, glad you are getting on with the 'gun' I've had mine just under a year now and love it. I use 12mm and buy my tape from directa around 1.93 a roll and free postage if you spend £15, I got 8 rolls in feb and still have 41/2 left so seems quite reasonable to me. I found the best way to reduce the amount tape the finised end is to release a couple mm before and pull the gun towards you quickly I find that spreads the last bit out. I may order the adapter and some narrower tape next time. Hope that helps. Pam x

Janie Printz said...

I just got the pink gun & I "THINK" I'm in love with it !!! They are now selling them at Michael's & you can use a 40% off coupon ...woo hoo love my coupons ... Their tape is quite spendy so I'm looking at other sources for it ...
Hugsfrom Montana, Janie

Carmen said...

I'm the same - my tape has to go right to the very edges of everything - I hate it when corners lift up and have been known to *ahem* fix ATC's received in swaps when they have flappy corners *blush* I can't help it. I may have to look into this gun, I like the sound of the ultra stickyness and at least I would notice if the girls tried to sneak out the room with it up their jumpers!! Just found out today when I desperately needed it that they have used up ALL my DST this summer hols and not told me! Aaaargh!

Kathy said...

Thank you for this, Julia - it's always interesting to read other crafters' reviews of products. I've been looking at these for ages now, but I'm still not convinced, I've a feeling I'd struggle to get the hang of this because of lots of the little comments you made! I think maybe it's something you need to "try before you buy". I think for now I'll stick to my beloved bookbinding glue!

Paula Gale said...

i've been pondering about this gun for ages and it was only days ago that i last looked at it. It was on offer for about the £12 mark... it was the tapes i was worried about as i didn't want to spend too much and then not get on with the gun... maybe i will just turn up at your crop one week and have a play with yours... for two minutes!!!

Paula x x x

Noel said...

I've been wanting one for a long time now and couldn't justify the $$$ but I was so excited to purchase the new Pink one at Michaels with a 40% coupon and spent only $22.00....it also came with 2 double rolls of tape...I now have 7 empty tape runner cases...what to do with them. I did buy a smaller version of the ATG. "The Glue Glider Pro" for use at stamp classes...I like that one too!

nerllybird said...

I bought one of these a few months ago and I love it. If I really need to get glue all the way to the edges I just use a glue stick, but that only happens when I'm covering chipboard anyway.

I can't say I've ever had a problem with ridges - I just let go of the trigger and give it a sharp horizontal tug.

What I would say is that I regularly find the glue doesn't leave the tape evenly, which is annoying, but it still sticks and makes me VERY nervous about lining things up!

I have a Stix2 gun as well, languishing in a drawer because the tape is so stupidly expensive.

Lythan said...

Julia, I use the 2325 Acid free tapes from vikingtapes.co.uk. I buy 10 at a time which works out at 1.76 per roll inc VAT and postage. They do not last quite as long as the other rolls BUT they are removable for a short time after sticking down so that you can straighten things up (useful for people like me) but then it dries as firmly as the really sticky stuff