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Tape dispensers are an integral tool in any classroom, office, or craft room. They’re available in a wide range of styles and materials to fit anyone’s functional needs and design sensibility. Colors run the gamut, from retro taupe to classic black to modern brights, and special features include two-in-one designs, separate storage areas for pens and scissors, and more. Whether you’re seeking a heavy-duty metal dispenser, a classic weighted plastic, or even a clip-on version, there is something out there for you. Our picks of tape dispensers, all of which hold standard-size rolls of tape, will help you find the best tool for your needs.
1. 3M Scotch Classic Desktop Tape Dispenser
Basic but reliable, this dispenser’s boxy lines (think classic late-1970s/early-’80s cars) and bright pop of color make all the difference. Sure, any desk can hide a black dispenser in plain sight; this is the one you choose when you want yours to stand out. Made in the USA entirely out of recycled plastic (except for its metal components), it’s weighted to enable easy one-handed use, and its serrated cutter stays sharp so tape tears off cleanly every time. It will dispense 1-inch-core tapes up to 3/4 inch wide and 1,500 inches long.
2. Officemate Heavy Duty Weighted 2-in-1 Tape Dispenser
An excellent multifunctional tool, the dispenser holds both two-inch packing tape and standard 3/4-inch adhesive tape in one sturdy design. This heavy-duty, solid black dispenser has a weighted base with rubber feet that keep it in place for easy one-handed dispensing while protecting your work surface. Also offering a receptacle to hold several pens, markers, and scissors upright, this dispenser provides seamless convenience for while minimizing workspace clutter. Note that it is larger than most dispensers, with a base measuring 6 by 10 inches.
3. Tadpole Tape Cutter 3-Pack
This ingenious little tape cutter adheres to any tape roll, effectively replacing a dispenser in its entirety. You can choose one to fit a roll that measures 1, 2, or 2.5 inches in width or purchase a pack that comes with every size to satisfy your every adhesive, duct, and masking tape need. Solidly constructed yet lightweight, it’s a great option that’s easy to store and to use: simply clip it on your roll and you’re good to go! Colored a bright green, this plastic tool is also easy to spot in a pinch.
4. Scotch Heavy Duty Dispenser
If you can afford to spend a hefty sum on a tape dispenser, we recommend looking no farther than this beast. It features two smooth-spinning 3-inch cores, which means you can use either one 2-inch roll or two 1-inch rolls. Its teeth are super sharp, capable of slicing through difficult tapes like masking, drafting, and duct tape. Weighing slightly more than four pounds, it will also stay in place as you pull and tear tape, and you can work quickly too. You also get the bonus of a retro design: this model has been made the same way for decades.
5. T.R.U. TTR3 Multi-Roll Steel Dispenser, 3″ Wide
This heavy-duty steel tape dispenser with three 1-inch rollers accommodates 3-inch-core tapes measuring up to 3 inches wide. Use it for one, two, or three rolls of tape. It can be bolted to a work surface, but for those who are seeking a temporary addition to a desk—or don’t want to drill into one—it can be left freestanding. The blade is very sharp, so you will appreciate the safety guard that can be manually pushed to cover it. You can easily cut tape, even small pieces, with just one hand.