‘Normal’ double-sided sticky tape does a job, but it does have a few problems in use. It is usually made as thin as a standard sticky tape and that can create some problems in handling. Sticking the first bit down is easy because it comes off the roll sticky side ready – but then getting the backing off to reveal the second sticky-side is where having long fingernails and a knack with double-sided tape is very handy. Also, once stuck, the ‘stick’ on some doublesided tapes is not particularly strong, so to be safe, standard double-sided tapes should not be used for hanging objects more than a couple of hundred grams in weight.
This leaves the market open for a double-sided tape with real bonding strength that is also invisible and will stick on most smooth-ish substrates. It is not fashionable to reveal fixing points these days so it is great to have a solution like STIXALL double-sided tape.
STIXALL Tape comes in a 19mm wide by 2.5m long roll and the blurb says it will bond on virtually all substrates and it will be “durable and long lasting.” I think the first time you realise that you are dealing with a very strong adhesive is when you try to pull the clear protective display film from the roll – it doesn’t come off too easily. The lesson is perhaps that if you don’t use all of the roll, store it in a plastic bag so it doesn’t pick up dust and debris from your tool box.
The tape itself feels and looks like a 2mm thick layer of silicone. It feels sticky, but is not so sticky that it can’t be handled easily – for example it won’t stick to your skin and it is easier to manage because of its thickness. That common problem of tapes that stick to themselves and then can’t be separated is minimised on the STIXALL tape. Without the backing in place the tape is stretchy – but should not be stretched when being applied to a substrate.
Applying the tape is simplicity itself – simply lay it down where you want it and press gently on the backing tape to get the initial tack. It is possible to lift the tape again gently if you go wrong – something not really possible on standard double-sided tape. Once you are satisfied with the position of the ‘first fix’ simply pull the blue backing off – you won’t need to twist it or use a fingernail or blade to do this – it comes off really easily.
Then the next bit is critical – clearly you need to ensure that the other substrate is clean and correctly positioned before it is pushed up against the sticky tape and then it needs to have some pressure applied to it for a few minutes to ensure a good bond. I tried the STIXALL on ceramic tiles, Perspex and on smooth birch plywood. On really smooth surfaces like Perspex, once stuck, it is almost impossible to remove it without using force – usually enough to crack the plastic rather than break the tape.
Even on the plywood the bond was very good and showed that you could use the STIXALL double sided sticky tape to hang small pictures etc quite safely.