General Purpose Tools

Rescue Tape

Silicone tape

Rescue Tape ($8 per roll) is a brand name for silicone tape. I’ve been using it (and other brands) on and off for a decade now and if there’s one thing I had to have and couldn’t live without, it’s this. I have a roll in my car, in my laptop bag, and virtually every else. I’ve repaired dozens of pipe leaks with it and have even used it when I badly cut my arm clearing brush miles from a hospital.

Supposedly it can even be used as an emergency fan belt. I’ve never had to try it, but I can say it will patch a radiator hose and it even worked (for a little while) on the high-pressure side of my car’s air conditioner! There are lots of day-to-day uses for it as well. For my electronics work I use it to insulate the underside of the boards I’m soldering so they don’t short out, and it has no problem dealing with 750 F high temp soldering either.

The best part is that it’s cheap enough that I even use it like shrink wrap, especially helpful if I manage to buy something that has a lot of long unruly pieces that need to be bound together.

-- Jeremy Pavleck 01/28/19

(This is a Cool Tools Favorite from 2011 — editors)

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