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Strong Cardboard Boxes: Glued vs Stapled, which is Right for your Business

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Strong Cardboard Boxes with handles

We all use cardboard boxes, but we can still overlook the benefits of the different styles. Whether you're moving house, shipping items, sending packages, or just need some storage, sturdy and reliable boxes are a must-have. With so many cardboard box types available, it's hard to know which ones to choose. How the boxes are held together, whether they are glued or stapled, does matter, and is often where cardboard boxes can fail when used in storage or during transit. While both glued or stapled boxes are strong and durable, they have unique benefits and uses. Let's delve into the details and discover what sets these boxes apart, and which is best for your business.

Benefits of Glued Cardboard Boxes

As the name suggests, these boxes are held together with glue. The glue is applied to the edges of the box to create a strong bond. 

  1. One of the best things about glued boxes is their clean, sleek look. Since there are no visible staples on the surface of the box, they're perfect for branding and displaying products. They look professional when shipping your items to customers too. 
  2. Glued boxes are also easy to stack - another tick in the right box - as there are no protruding staples that could cause damage to the boxes below. Making short-term storage less of a hassle.
  3. The adhesive used in glued boxes is usually water-based, which is eco-friendly and easy to recycle. Always something to look out for - it's better for the environment, and a plus for your business image too.

Glued boxes do have their limitations. Though strong and reliable, they may not be as durable as stapled boxes, especially if exposed to moisture or extreme temperatures. But they might still be exactly what you are looking for. 

Benefits of Stapled Cardboard Boxes: Heavy-Duty and Durable

Stapled boxes, on the other hand, are held together with metal staples, which are placed along the edges creating a secure seal. The metal staples provide extra strength and durability, making stapled boxes ideal for heavy-duty applications.

heavy duty cardboard boxes
  1. This extra strength is one of the advantages of stapled boxes. The metal staples can withstand a lot of pressure and weight. This makes them ideal for packing and transporting heavy items, such as books.
  2. Stapled boxes are also highly durable. The staples will not weaken over time as easily, even if the boxes are exposed to moisture or extreme temperatures. They can be perfect for long-term storage and for shipping items across long distances.
  3. The metal staples can also be recycled, and you can usually leave the staples in when you drop off your used box for recycling (check first how this works in your local area).

Stapled boxes do have their drawbacks. The metal staples can protrude from the surface of the box, making them less aesthetically pleasing than glued boxes. They can also be difficult to stack, as the protruding staples can cause damage to the boxes below.

When to Use Glued Cardboard Boxes: Lightweight Items and Marketing Displays

  1. Glued boxes are ideal for lighter items that aren't going to put excessive strain on the box. For example, they are great for packing clothing, linens, or other soft items. They are good for lightweight, delicate items that need to be protected from scratches or other damage during transport. 
  2. Glued boxes are also a good option for shipping shorter distances, such as local moves or deliveries. 
  3. If you display your products on store shelves or at trade shows, glued boxes’ clean, streamlined look is ideal for a professional branding and marketing image.

When to Use Stapled Cardboard Boxes: Heavy Items and Long-Term Storage

Cardboard box strength testing and automated assembly
  1. When it comes to heavy items, stapled boxes provide an extra level of support. The metal staples that secure the box provide additional reinforcement during transportation or storage.
  2. Stapled boxes are a great option for long-term storage because they can withstand being stacked for a long time without losing their structural integrity. Metal staples will not weaken or degrade as quickly as glue with exposure to moisture. This makes them an excellent choice for items to be stored for months or even years, as they will hold the box together until they are ready to be used or moved.
  3. If you need a sturdy, practical option, stapled boxes could be just what you need.

Consider Transport and Storage Conditions: Moisture and Extreme Temperatures

Both glued and stapled boxes can be affected by extreme temperatures and rain. 

Glued cardboard boxes can be more susceptible to damage from moisture. The glue can become unstuck. A good quality cardboard box will likely have good quality water-based glue that will reduce this issue. 

Staples, on the other hand, can rust if they are exposed to rain or damp conditions. As with glued boxes, the higher the quality, the better the staples. Good-quality cardboard boxes will have rust-resistant staples. It's equally important to choose a good quality box, regardless of the type.

Making the Right Choice When Choosing Your Cardboard Box

So, there you have it – overall, the choice between glued and stapled boxes will depend on a variety of factors, including the weight and size of the items you are packing, the packaging look or image you need, the shipping distance, your storage needs and the environmental conditions that the boxes will be exposed to.

At The Packaging Club, we offer a range of high-quality cardboard boxes and packaging solutions to suit your needs. We have double-walled cardboard boxes that are specifically designed for storing or shipping heavy goods. Or, for those lighter items, check out our singled-walled cardboard boxes. If you're on the market for a customised solution, check out our bespoke packaging here.

With these tips in mind, you'll be able to choose the right box for your needs and ensure that your items are packed and shipped safely and securely.

This article was written by...

EJ Sinclair

I’m a research advisor and writer. I write on a range of topics, and I’m always interested in expanding my fields. My background and Masters degree are in aviation technology, which I can apply to an array of industries.My goal is to provide readers with interesting perspectives that are both informative and engaging.When I'm not writing or working, I like spending time with my family, reading good books, going on interesting walks with my dog, or exploring new cycling paths. Always looking up at the sky.

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