Rescue Tape

Rescue-Tape-Self-Sealing-Repair-Tape-RED.jpegRescue tape 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 everywhere 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 Rescue Silicone Repair Tape $10 Don't forget to submit a tool!


  1. This stuff is aces! Been using it to slowly replace my failing cardiovascular system since the mid 80s. my body is 25% silicone now (actually less than average here in la ;-) just razzin ya)

  2. It is a great material, though I’m skeptical about the fan belt – it’s stretchy, and not terribly strong, though maybe if you wrapped several thickness’ worth… Anyhow, the thing that makes it distinctive compared to, say, duct tape, is that it fuses into a lump of rubber when wound around something (it has no adhesive, but if wound tightly can seal leaks in plumbing and hoses). And it has silicone’s high temperature resistance (the reddish orange types are the most heat resistant, iron oxide in the mix).

    1. Oh, you already answered my question about the adhesive.

      I remembered my dad having a roll of something like this on his workbench when I was barely tall enough to reach the sharp objects, but never ran across it again despite at least once every couple of months in the last 35 years thinking “man, I know what would be perfect for what I need” then using duct or electrical tape instead. The memory is so strong I even remember it was a dark burnt-orange color.

  3. I’ve used something similar, I don’t remember the name but it looks like black electrical tape when its backing is removed. I’ve used it to fix leaks and various other things as well…good stuff

  4. You know what I love about the Cool Tools website? It has an RSS feed I can (and do) subscribe to, to follow the items posted there. Seeing everything posted there re-posted here, I just don’t think it’s necessary. It simply increases the noise.

    1. You know what I love about the Boing Boing site?

      That it has SO MUCH WONDERFUL in one place every day, that I don’t need RSS feeds at all.

      It all comes to me under one website, pretty much all day long 7 days a week.

      Ain’t technology grand?

      1. You know what, you’re right! BB is a wonderful site, that stands all on its own, and KKCT is attractive enough that it doesn’t ‘need’ help from BB to get me there.

        Imagine trying to look at all the posts on digg and reddit everyday — there’s so much duplication, it’s stupid.

        I just preferred it when they were separate. :-)

        1. I thoroughly enjoy the Cool Tools posts here. There’s like one every few days. How could you possibly find that distracting?

  5. Is this the self-adhesive stuff, or does it have a glue on one side like “normal” tape?

    This is probably a dumb question, but is there a particular reason it’s called “rescue” or just a reference to broad application in unforeseen ways?

  6. Beware that this self amalgamating silicone tape comes in various qualities and is quite expensive per roll for the decent stuff. A lot the trade counter rolls that creep up on ebay are REALLY thin where as the ‘rescue tape’ branded stuff is quite thick.

    For my use I prefer the old school rubber based self amalgamating tape used to seal antenna joints – radio ham here. It forms a much nicer longer lasting seal than the silicone stuff and for the price per roll doesn’t make one cry when take a knife to it for removal.

    I picked up a few rolls of self amalgamating camouflage tape from a surplus store, the tape is porous and elastic and bonds to itself to disguise geocaches, stealth antenna installations and sniper rifles without leaving a sticky residue when it’s time to take it off.

  7. I have a pack with six different colors of this stuff.

    It’s the kind of thing, like a glue gun, where it’s so much fun to use that you have to stop yourself from actively searching for places to use it.

  8. I used it to wrap the turbo hoses on my car to make them match the colour of the other silicone hoses. It also worked to patch a leaky radiator hose, and lasted out an 8+ hour drive back home before replacing it. It probably would have made a permanent repair if I’d just left it. I wouldn’t use it for a fan belt, but it does work for sealing outdoor electrical connections and it works really well for making non-slip tool handles.

  9. Just tried to use this to repair my lawnmower’s handle bar. The two sections had been tweaked and torqued over time and the bolts no longer held tight. Wobbly loose mower handle.

    No go. :( The tape is too flexible for this sort of application.

  10. This stuff is also called F4 tape. It was used on F4 jet fighters a lot, and thats how it got that name.

    There 2 types also, low temp black with green strip. And orange high temperature kind.

    Also makes a great bouncy ball.

  11. I used this to repair a leak recently, and it really didn’t work.

    It stuck to itself, sure. It really fused together. It also bonded tight around the pipe.

    The problem was that it’s stretchy, and the leak continued to leak under the tape. It started inflating the tape like a water balloon. By the time it got really big, the balloon sprung a leak and it was no good.

    Dunno if maybe my leak was too big, but I used nearly a whole roll on that thing.

  12. Hey Jeremy how comes you have come across so many leaky pipes? I doubt I’ve ever come across more than a handful in my entire life but you’ve repaired “dozens”!

  13. there’s many dealers out there that have this on the shelf right now.
    Last time I checked, the “as seen on TV” shops were pushing this stuff, but be careful about how you buy it. They have multiple sizes, some wider than 2″, but average width is 1″. Where they screw you is the amount. Some prices were as high as $19.99 for a set of two rolls, each measuring 1″ by 60″ for a total of ten feet of tape. Kinda expensive in that shop…
    Then found a hollywood lighting supply company where it’s way less in price, best deal was $12 for a roll of 1.5″ by 10 yards (30 feet!)

  14. called “Magic Tape” in Canada – sold in most hardware retail (Cdn. Tire, Home Hardware, Home Depot, etc.)

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