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The steel strapping tools industry is expected to grow to $2.75 billion by 2022. These are the devices used to make the strapping process possible. Strapping, also known as banding, refers to applying a strap to an item to reinforce, hold, fasten, or combine it.

The strap is commonly referred to as strapping in the packaging industry. The strapping is a very flexible flat material, mostly made from steel or some forms of plastic.

Read on!

Why Steel Strapping?

Steel is the oldest and strongest strapping material. It’s available in a variety of thicknesses and widths.  The strappings also come with variations in the grade of the steel.

Steel is used for heavy-duty holding where minimal stretch and high strength is needed. Most steel strappings have finished made of wax, paint, wax, and paint, or zinc. The wax helps in easing transmission around the bundle.

It’s ideal for use on strappings used with certain types of tensioners. Sellers of steel strappings sell them by weight as opposed to length. This is because steel goes through a natural process of expansion and contraction.

Steel strapping is used in both vertical and horizontal bands. The load is spread at the corners using edge protectors. Since the tensioned strap can cause damage to the package, the edge protectors also serve to offer protection.

Steel Strapping Tools

The equipment available for strapping comes in two major types. There are hand-held tools, and then there are strapping machines. A dispenser is used with the two kinds of tools to dispense the strap. The dispenser, in some devices, is built-in while in others it comes as a separate unit.

This is especially the case for machines with a large arch. The dispenser can automatically load or threads new coils.

In the hand tools category, some are automatic while others are manual. Manual tensioners and crimping systems are best used for low-volume applications. The automatic ones are for high-volume workloads are battery-powered.

Both types are available as combination tools, with functions like sealing, tensioning, and cutting. Steel strapping hand sealers use a seal or seal-less joint. Specific examples of steel strapping tools are as follows.

1. Steel Strapping Tensioner Tools

Tensioners are among the more than 100 different steel strapping tools available. However, through classification, it gets easier to know precisely what you need for a specific function.

The tensioner strapping tools are used for tightening loops of strapping that surround the package. Some types of steel tensioners are as follows.

Conventional Feedwheel Tensioners

With this type of tensioner, the strapping travels between the feed wheel and the tool base. The feed wheel has a serrated surface that bites into the surface of the strapping as it turns. The top overlapping strapping is pulled around by the feed wheel while the lower one is held in place by a toothed gripper.

Conventional feed wheel tensioners reduce fatigue by ensuring the tension applied remains consistent throughout the strapping process.

Push Type Feedwheel Tensioners

The push feedwheel tensioners pull the strapping with a rotating feedwheel. Their difference from the conventional type is that they don’t have a base plate. They are used for strapping around irregular shaped loads.

Just like their conventional type feedwheel type, they are available in pneumatically powered versions.

Windlass Tensioners

These types of tensioners use pre-cut strapping. The ends of the strappings are fed around the load using a thread-on seal. They feature a serrated gripper that holds the bottom strap in place. The top strap goes into a slot located in the windlass shaft.

As the handle of the tensioner turns around, the strapping winds around the shaft. It’s ideal for strapping that requires higher tension.

2. Sealers

Sealers are categorized depending on how they close the strap. The two methods are crimp and notch.

Notch Sealers

The function of notch sealers is to cut the seal and overlapping strap edges. They form pairs by interlocking tabs at the edge of the strapping and seal. The sealers form regular notch points by bending the notches downwards toward the load.

Others bend the notches upward to create reverse notch joints. This type of groove is ideal for loads that can get damaged by the seal.

Crimp Sealers

Crimp sealers are ideal for creating joints with more than 90% of break strength. Because of this high joint strength, the seals are suited for medium to heavy-duty steel strapping uses. They work best with dry steel strapping because of the friction between the seal and the strap.

3. Combination Tools

Combination steel strapping tools work in the same way as tensioner, sealer, and cutter. They eliminate the need to have the three tools separately. Combination tools are available in three different series, namely S-series A-series, and P-series.

Each device in each series has the same design, and the letter combination begins with the letter of the series. For example, Al-12 and Al-38 both belong to the A-series.


These automatically feed seals from the seal chamber to the jaws. The tools tension, seal, and cut off the strapping. The tools in this series include AL, AM, and AH. L is for light-duty, M for medium, and H for high-duty.


One of the manual tools under this series is the SCM. It’s designed for steel strapping of sizes ranging from ½” to ¾” Magnus.

Another tool is the S-Series Pneumatic that comes with is used for models SLP, SPC-3431 and 5PC-113. The 5LP is used for heavy-duty loads. It works well with ¾” and 1.25″ heavy duty strapping.


P-series tools refer to push, tension, seal, and cut off strapping. They are used on round or irregular shaped loads like PVC pipe, angles, and fence posts. They are pneumatically powered and integrate a push-type tensioner with a notch sealer.

On the downside, seals must be pre-threaded onto the strapping before tension is applied. Some tools under this series are PNSC-2, PRHR, and PRHM.  

Final Thoughts

Steel strapping for your packaging, whether for storage or transportation, can be hard to achieve without steel strapping tools. It’s essential that you have the devices in your toolbox. This is especially true if you handle large loads frequently.

Among the tools you need are tensioner tools, sealers, and combination tools. Each type of device comes with various models. You can choose depending on your workload and the type of load in question.

If you have any questions or you need help, be sure to reach out to us today.


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