Alien Tape vs. Command Strips vs. Mounting Tape: What’s The Difference?

When it comes to raw gripping ability, you can’t beat the Gorilla tape. True to its name, it clung to surfaces tenaciously thanks to its heavy-duty plastic backing – though actual specs on the adhesive were harder to come by. Command Strips 3M Command Strips 20 Lb XL Heavyweighttook a middle ground courtesy of 3M’s proprietary foam strips and acrylic adhesive combo, which any Midwest grandma would approve of. As for the mysterious Alien Tape? That nano-adhesive seemed dang impressive at first, but without cold hard stats on temperature or humidity resistance, it’s hard to say how it holds up long term.

Alien Tape vs. Command Strips vs. Mounting Tape: Brick surfaces, Thick Garland, Bird Spikes

Alien Tape vs. Command Strips vs. Mounting Tape: Specs & Uses

We’ll blow past terms like “nano-adhesive super stick” and “humidity resistance” to reveal what really matters when choosing the right mounting solution for ANY job.

Alien TapeCommand StripsGorilla Mounting Tape
Rating★★★★★★★★★★★★
MaterialPlasticFoamPlastic
Adhesive TechnologyNano-adhesive, Super strong stick. No further specs available.Acrylic adhesive with 3M’s proprietary Command technology, pressure sensitiveAdhesive type unspecified
ColorClearWhiteClear
Thickness/DimensionsUnspecified thickness, 65 ft long rolls0.1 in. thick, 4 in. long stripsUnspecified thickness, 1.27 in. wide rolls
Number of Pieces per Pack4 rolls10 pairs of strips1 roll
Key UsesMultipurpose holding and bondingHanging lightweight items on walls/painted surfacesMounting heavy items on multiple surface types
Key PropertiesSuper strong stickRemovable, Heavy dutyDouble-sided, Heavy duty, Strong
Surface TypesGlass, Plastic, Metal, WallsWalls, Painted, IndoorWood, Glass, Plastic, Metal, more
Weight Rating<5lbs20 lbs30 lbs
Temperature Resistance-30°F to 200°FExposure temps from 32°F to 120°F-40°c to 120°c
UV/Water ResistanceYesYesClaims no yellowing/hazing
Ease of UseContinuous roll for easy application10 discrete precut pieces, less flexibleEasy to apply continuous strip
Durability SpecsUV resistantWater resistant, UV resistant, humidity resistantMinimal details – claims no yellowing/hazing
Use CasesAttach Outdoor Decorations: Suitable for attaching lightweight outdoor decorations, such as Christmas lights, wreaths, and pathway solar lights.

Secure Hanging Hooks: Ideal for fastening hooks on indoor surfaces, such as kitchen walls, for hanging lightweight items.

Versatile Material Compatibility: Works effectively on various surfaces, including wood, brick, and ceramic tiles for hanging lightweight items.

Ceramic Tile Adhesion: Successful adhesion observed on ceramic tiles.
Hang on Smooth Surfaces: Suitable for hanging items on smooth surfaces like painted walls and wallpaper without causing damage.

Secure Large Frames: Use at least 4 strips applied in different areas for better support when mounting a typical 9 x 12 photograph frame.

Bathroom-Safe Hanging: Suitable for hanging mirrors on bathroom doors without issues of humidity or water damage.

Indoor Metal Mounting: Can be used on metal surfaces indoors without any problems.
Outdoor Use: resistant to water but not completely waterproof. It can be used outdoors but should be avoided in areas consistently exposed to heavy rain or excessive moisture.

Compatibility with Surfaces: The tape is compatible with most plastics, except polyethylene and polypropylene. It is not recommended for delicate surfaces.

Repositioning and Expansion: provides enough flexibility to reposition vinyl siding and allows for expansion.

Wooden Door: can hold a sign on a wooden door without any issues.

My Hands-on Test: Alien Tape

Alientape Nano Double Sided Tape
I have extensively tested the Alien Tape and I must say, it works exactly as the manufacturer advertised. I was initially hesitant due to the negative reviews I read online, but upon closer inspection, it became clear that most of those negative experiences were due to improper usage.

✅Pros: Alien Tape

It’s essential to have good reading comprehension skills when evaluating any product, so make sure to read the product description thoroughly before making a purchase.

Alien Tape against Cat
Alien Tape against Cat

Handy Infographic

The manufacturer provides a handy infographic that clearly details what the tape will stick to and what it won’t. For example, some users complained about the tape damaging their walls or not sticking well, but it clearly states in the product listing that it should not be used on painted walls. Similarly, for those who had issues with it not adhering to textured tile floorsemoticon - bathroom tiles and grout, the tape is not designed to stick to uneven surfaces and stone. It’s crucial to understand these limitations and use the tape accordingly.

Adhere Thick Garland

In my personal experience, I used the Alien Tape to adhere thick garland to my Chevrolet Corvette for a Christmas parade, and it did a fantastic job! Despite driving home at 50mph, the garland never budged. I left the car in the garage for two more days, and when I removed the tape, there was no residue left behind. I was thoroughly impressed and will definitely use it again.

Put up Bird Spikes

I also had success using the Alien Tape to put up bird spikes anti bird spikes. The tape was easy to use, and the pigeons were unable to remove them from the lights. Unfortunately, the pigeons ended up making their nest right in the bird spikes, which was a bit of a fail on their part. However, the tape itself worked great, and I would highly recommend it for various applications.

Versatility

Furthermore, I’ve used the Alien Tape at work for hanging signs, cork boards, and other items. It has proven to be reliable, holding a good amount of weight while still being flexible. I appreciate its versatility and have found it to be a valuable tool in my daily tasks.

❌Cons: Alien Tape

Should not be used on painted walls

Not adhering to textured tile floors

When it comes to removing the tape, I’ve discovered that it’s best to push and roll it off rather than pulling it straight off. If you’re not careful, it can sometimes take off the paint from your walls, so caution is advised.

Alientape Nano Double Sided Tape

FAQ: Alien Tape

Q: Will Alien Tape adhere to wood surfaces, such as a wood pergola?

A: Yes, it will.

Q: Can Alien Tape be used to seal bottles and prevent leaks? I need to send my mother-in-law some cleaning supplies, but I’m concerned about potential leakage during transit.

A: I would not recommend using Alien Tape for that purpose as it is extremely sticky on both sides. Instead, I suggest placing each bottle in a plastic bag, possibly even double-bagging them, to ensure they don’t leak. If a tape is a “must”, then gorilla tape is better for that purpose, as you can see in my article Alien Tape Vs. Gorilla Tape, where this happens: using Gorilla tape on leaking tube

Q: Is Alien Tape manufactured in the USA?

A: Alien Tape is made in China and distributed by a New York City-based organization.

Q: Will Alien Tape adhere to brick surfaces?

A: Yes, I have successfully used Alien Tape on my sun porch to hang heavy items. Although I used more than the recommended amount, everything has remained securely in place for two years.

Q: Can Alien Tape potentially damage aluminum siding with a factory enamel finish?

A: While it is not designed for anything weighing over 5 lbs, I cannot guarantee that it won’t cause damage. In my personal experience, attempting to remove the tape from sheetrock resulted in tearing. Overall, I do not recommend it unless you are working with very lightweight objects.

Q: Does Alien Tape effectively adhere to ceramic tiles?

A: It worked well for me on ceramic tiles. However, if you decide to remove it later, ensure that no residue is left on the tile surface.

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My Hands-on Test: 3M Command Strips

3M Command Strips 20 Lb XL Heavyweight
My walls are a bit older and have a slight texture, so I prefer using “stronger” command strips to ensure a secure grip. These stripss did the job perfectly. Although the canvas prints didn’t weigh close to 20 lbs, the textured walls made me want to be extra cautious.

✅Pros: 3M Command Strips

The command strips come in a plain-looking cardboard box, so my advice is not to rip the box like I did! The usage instructions are actually printed inside the box, so it’s important to handle it carefully.

Transform sofa into a mesmerizing oasis with a DIY LED sofa light using just command strips and vibrant LED lights!
Transform sofa into a mesmerizing oasis with a DIY LED sofa light using just command strips and vibrant LED lights!

Hanging Art

To ensure a secure grip, it’s crucial to follow all the steps (1 through 6) outlined in the instructions. These command strips work like Velcro strips, with one side being Velcro and the other side adhesive. Depending on the size of your artwork, you’ll need to use a total of 4-8 strips per piece 3M Command Strips 20 Lb XL Heavyweight. It may sound confusing, but once you read the directions, it all makes sense.

If your art came with hanging hardware like a metal hook or loop, you’ll need to remove that. These strips are designed to mount the art flush against the wall, providing a clean and professional look.

Versatility

In addition to hanging art, I discovered that these Command strips have a variety of other uses. For example, I needed a way to adhere a curtain to separate my kitchen from the living room. Previously, I had used double-sticky Velcro tape, but it failed after a while and was a pain to remove. So, I decided to try these 3M hanging strips instead. I placed a few around the door jamb, and the installation was a breeze. Just remember to clean the surface thoroughly, let it dry, and then apply the strip. It worked like a charm, and it hasn’t fallen off yet!

Hang a Door Mirror

Recently, I wanted to hang a door mirror without damaging my hollow door. These Command strips came as an option of adhesive for mirror to woodThe Best Adhesive To Attach Wood To Mirror. I mounted the lightweight full-length mirror using a few extra strips for added security. The application was a breeze, and I made sure to clean the area beforehand for better adhesion. It has been a few days, and the mirror is still firmly in place.

❌Cons: 3M Command Strips

One thing to keep in mind is that these Command strips, like any adhesive product, have a limited lifespan. I had a few pictures fall off the wall after hanging for 1 to 2 years. So now, I make it a point to replace them once a year, just to be safe. But considering the convenience and damage-free hanging they offer, it’s a small trade-off.

3M Command Strips 20 Lb XL Heavyweight

FAQ: 3M Command Strips

Q: Is it possible to use these strips horizontally?

A: Absolutely! Since they function like museum gel vs museum putty, when you detach the item you’re hanging, you can access the pull strip to peel it off the wall.

Q: Can this potentially damage wallpaper?

A: No, it’s easy to pull off without causing any damage.

Q: Can these strips be utilized to mount under-counter LED light strips?

A: I suggest using Command Strips for 24×36″ framed items, with a maximum of four pairs, and we recommend using two people for installation. If you wish to test it yourself, you can do so at your own discretion.

Q: I have several IKEA Billy bookshelves that I used to create a library in my basement. Do you think multiple command strips could help prevent them from leaning?

A: Yes, they can certainly help in preventing the shelves from leaning.

Q: Can I attach these strips to the back of a jumbo command hook?

A: Personally, I have done so, and they worked great for me.

Q: Are command strips resistant to humidity and water? I want to hang a mirror in my bathroom on the door.

A: I used them in my bathroom about eight months ago, and I haven’t encountered any issues. The mirror is still securely hanging. But if you still hesitate on the humidity, adhesive for shower panels how to fix shower wall panels would be a better option.

Q: Can these be used on metal surfaces?

A: There shouldn’t be any issues as long as the metal surface is indoors.

Q: Can I use these on wallpaper?

A: Based on the information provided, it should work on any smooth surface. Although I have used them on painted walls, the adhesive seems strong enough to hold pictures on wallpaper. Just make sure to rub a little alcohol around the area and wipe it dry before hanging the pictures.

Q: Do these adhesives have the same weight-holding strength when applied to ceilings for hanging items?

A: Yes, they do, but I highly advise against using them to mount a mirror above a bed with these strips…

Q: Will this work for hanging a quilted fabric wall hanging without a frame?

A: I wouldn’t expect it to work well. These strips don’t seem to adhere to fabric surfaces effectively.

Q: Is Command Strips suitable for outdoor use?

A: I would be hesitant to use Command Strips outdoors. The adhesive is not very strong, and its durability under varying temperatures and exposure to moisture is uncertain. Indoors, where temperatures are typically more moderate and moisture is minimal, it performs better.

Q: Can I safely hang a bulletin board using these strips?

A: Yes and no. It will remain hung for several months, or even years depending on the weight, but I’ve noticed that items hung with command strips eventually fall unexpectedly.

Q: Can Command Strips be used to hang canvas paintings?

A: Yes, I believe it should work well for hanging several canvas paintings.

Q: Can these strips be used to hold a small child’s urinal?

A: If the urinal is made of plastic, then yes, I would say it’s suitable for that purpose.

My Hands-on Test: Gorilla Tough & Clear Mounting Tape

Gorilla Tough & Clear Mounting Tape
I decided to give this tape a try after a disappointing experience with a clear hanger from a different brand. Despite the previous company’s claim of supporting 22 pounds, it fell off my window casing and damaged a 10-pound stained glass art panel.

✅Pros: Gorilla Mounting Tape

Hoping to avoid such mishaps, I turned to Gorilla tape, which boasts a weight capacity of up to 38 pounds. Only time will tell if it lives up to that claim, but so far, it has been easy to use and can be cut to fit custom shapes. One notable difference between Gorilla tape and other brands is that it’s a permanent solution.

Mounting Tape and mounting tape
Secure your dashcam with Gorilla Tough and Clear Mounting Tape, ensuring a reliable and sturdy attachment for your camera.

Adhere 3D wall Panels on Walls

One of the first ways I used this tape was to place 3D wall panels and mirrors on my walls. To my surprise, after three days, I decided to rearrange a few of the mirrors, and the tape held up perfectly. With a simple twist, the mirrors came off without damaging the wall.

It’s truly amazing! Even after two months, everything is still securely in place. This tape is perfect for renter-friendly tasks.

Put up Large Paper Displays

I also utilized this tape to put up large paper displaysemoticon - large paper displays in the school hallway in the school hallway. Having tried different types of tape in the past, I can confidently say that this one works the best. The only minor issue I encountered was that it can be a bit difficult to cut with scissors due to its strong adhesive properties. Other than that, it performed exceptionally well.

❌Cons: Gorilla Mounting Tape

Gorilla Mounting Tape didn’t adhere as well as expected to certain surfaces, particularly those with low surface energy or rough textures. These surfaces may include:

  1. Low surface energy plastics: Some types of plastics, such as polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE), have low surface energy, making it challenging for any adhesive to bond effectively.
  2. Uneven or textured surfaces: Surfaces with a rough texture, like textured walls or uneven wood, may not provide enough contact area for the adhesive to create a strong bond.
  3. Porous materials: Porous materials, such as untreated wood or certain types of stone, may absorb the adhesive, reducing its ability to form a secure bond.
Gorilla Tough & Clear Mounting Tape

FAQ: Gorilla Mounting Tape

Q: Is it easy to remove the tape without damaging the wall paint? I need it for a floral wall at a wedding venue.

A: Unfortunately, removing the tape without causing damage is quite challenging. In some cases, you might be able to heat and carefully peel it off, but usually, you’ll need to fill and paint the area where the tape was attached. This shouldn’t be a significant issue if you plan on doing touch-ups when leaving an apartment, but it might be inconvenient if you’re looking for something easily removable.

Q: What is the thickness of the material? Please don’t just say it’s 1 inch wide.

A: The Gorilla Tough & Clear Mounting Tape has a thickness of 39 mils.

Q: Can Gorilla Mounting Tape withstand outdoor use for several months, even when exposed to rain?

A: Gorilla Mounting Tape is resistant to water but not completely waterproof. While it can be used outdoors, we advise against using it in areas that are consistently exposed to heavy rain or excessive moisture.

Q: Will Gorilla Mounting Tape adhere to vinyl or leather/pleather? I want to attach something to the arm of my chair.

A: Gorilla Mounting Tape is compatible with most plastics, excluding polyethylene and polypropylene. However, we do not recommend using it on delicate surfaces.

Q: Does it provide enough flexibility to reposition vinyl siding that popped out without permanently adhering it in the wrong spot? Does it allow for expansion?

A: Yes, it does.

Q: I had a bad vinyl siding installation, and now one piece has popped out. It won’t fit back into the groove, and redoing all the siding seems to be the only solution. Can Gorilla Mounting Tape hold it in place?

A: Unfortunately, no. It didn’t even manage to hold my artwork on the wall. It fell off with a loud crash in the middle of the night.

Q: Can Gorilla Mounting Tape be used on a laminate floor?

A: I believe it would work. I’ve used it to secure my car floor mats for a long time, and they’re made of carpet.

Q: Is it suitable for mounting rear louvers on the exterior of my car’s back windshield?

A: While they may claim that it works, personally, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Q: Can Gorilla Mounting Tape hold a sign on a wooden door?

A: I’ve used it successfully to secure a 16″ steel art piece on the wall for the past 7 months without any issues.

Q: Can I use Gorilla Mounting Tape in the shower to mount a dispenser?

A: The Gorilla Tough & Clear Mounting Tape is water-resistant but not waterproof. Additionally, it is not recommended for mounting objects that exceed 0.75″ in depth.