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3M Dual Lock

Having a flashlight or a first aid kit ready to pull off the wall just when you need it is a huge advantage, but most hook and loop fasteners (like Velcro) wear out too quickly, letting your stuff fall off at random moments. But 3M now offers an updated solution: Dual Lock tape. It’s stronger, more heat resistant, and makes a satisfying clunk that lets you know that things will stay where you put them.

You’ve probably seen Dual Lock if you live in a state that operats an automatic toll collection system — it’s what holds the transponder to windshields.

Dual Lock is self mating. It relies on twin sides containing hundreds of interlocking mushroom shaped nodes. This is what gives it five times the strength of hook-and-loop fasteners as well as a “no wiggle” hold. It ships in several different lengths as well as different densities of nodes per square inch, but a basic 10′ roll of adhesive-backed 5/8″ goes for about $15.

Dual Lock [3M.com]
Street Price [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s this?]


12 Responses to Better Than Velcro

  1. A1cntrler says:

    I used this stuff to mount the electronig trailer brake controller in my truck. Holds it in place great on my dash. Didn’t want to do a permanent install since I only tow something requiring trailer brakes once a year or so. Just make sure the surfaces are CLEAN for the adhesive to stick to and not peel off…..

  2. Mike says:

    Good stuff. Its good to have a variety of fastening methods in your arsenal. Velcro like stuff such as this. Magnets for metal tools. custom plastic holders made from shapelock etc

  3. Brau says:

    Just thought I’d note here that I had some trouble with a 3M product in the past and I can’t say how much I was impressed with their customer service. They sent me a replacement plus two more without any grief. Got my respect for that.

  4. eschoendorff says:

    Hmmm… looks like I need to try some of this stuff out.

  5. Rob says:

    This stuff holds pretty well but it’s also a little thicker than regular velcro if that’s a concern.

  6. mho1970 says:

    I have used this to mount laptop’s label printers, external speakers and numerous items in the hospital where I work. It takes a prybar to (carefully) remove the laptop, which is the reason I used it. I reccomend this tape over velcro most every job.

  7. Aaron Baca says:

    I’ve used this stuff in the past, but I’d have to say that it’s a little TOO strong, which leads to a couple of problems:

    1. The strength of the fastener usually exceeds the strength of its bond to whatever surface you stick it to. Given enough time and vibration and/or dust and the foam tape backing will work itself free. If one were to use a mechanical means to fasten it, like screws it might work better.

    2. The strength of the fastener is enough to damage whatever you stick it to if you use as much as you would with Velcro. Since it frequently exceeds the strength of the foam tape backing, imagine using as much force as you would to defeat a more ‘permanent’ bond.

    I suppose experience would lead you to use less surface area than Velcro, you still return the problem #1.

  8. Sean says:

    The EZ-Pass transponders here in MA have been using that type of hook and loop fastener for a while. We have 5 of them mounted in various cars and only one of them has let go. I have a feeling it was because the glass wasn’t clean when it was first mounted.

    It is definitely nicer than standard velcro, and gives a nice positive “click” when you join two pieces.

  9. Will says:

    My workplace uses Dual Lock a lot when building hardware prototypes. Whenever I pull it apart, the tape/glue on the back of either half comes off and the halves stay together. So you might as well use double-sided tape.

  10. I picked up some Dual Lock a while back but haven’t played with it yet. For separating the big strips of industrial-strength Velcro I’m so fond of, I slide a sheet of something between the sides. The leading edge separates the hooks from the loops, while the rest of the sheet keeps them from reattaching. No crowbar, no adhesive failure, no problem. I use a sheet of fishpaper (nomex fiber paper) with a V-notch cut in the end, so I pull on the “arms” and the V follows in, annihilating the bond as it goes.

    To keep the adhesive from failing, use a pair of dikes or flushcuts to trim the hooks or loops near the edge of the backing, or at least near the corners. That way, the adhesive occupies the whole back of the backing, but the hooks or loops only occupy the middle.

  11. jc says:

    I’ve known about this stuff for years. I use it to stack several amateur radios together in cars, stick hard drives to the bottom of computers that didn’t have enough drive bays, and in my tool room.

    3M once sent me about 100′ of the 1″ wide stuff in 3 different densities. I was contracting to IBM, and used them as my shipping address. I had asked for 1′ samples of each, with whatever had the best glue. I guess she figured I was in purchasing or something, but a box showed up with 300′ of Dual Lock.

    I don’t know about the other adhesives, but the glue on the Dual Lock I got is almost better than spot welding. When I unstacked a couple of radios in my car, it took me several hours to get the Dual Lock and the left over glue off, even using Goo Gone. The adhesive had cycled from at least -20 degrees in the winter several times to however hot a car gets in the summer in Georgia (I once recorded 150 with the windows up, and my temperature recorder wouldn’t log any higher).

    I have to say that I’m really impressed with Dual Lock, and it works far better than any standard Velcro you buy at Home Depot/Lowes/etc. The only problem I ran into is that after around 5 years after I got it, the unused footage on each roll was unusable. The glue no longer sticks to anything but itself. It seems to have dried out, in spite of being stored in a fairly temperature stable room.

  12. Eric says:

    This stuff should be called “how not to lose your remote controls”. I have all mine stuck to the side of my TV with Dual Lock. Nice and tidy.

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