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Steel Strapping Tools

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

If you use steel strapping in your packaging process, understanding the various tools and what they do is critical. The two categories of tools we will be discussing are tensioners and sealers. 


Tensioners are used to tighten a loop of strapping around the packaging. The two most common types of tensioners are feedwheel and windlass. Feedwheel tensioners are used by layering the two ends of the strapping onto each other and placing them in the feedwheel tensioner. The operator then cranks the handle up and down to create tension. Once the proper level of tension is achieved, a seal is placed over the 2 layers of strap and crimped or notched into place.

The windlass tensioners are heavier duty tensioners and are used in mostly cargo applications. This tensioner uses the windlass part of the tensioner to tighten or create tension. The windlass mechanism makes it possible for operators to get the higher tension required for certain applications like cargo or larger loads.


There are two main types of sealers for steel strapping, notch or crimp. These types are characterized by how they close or seal the strap after a tensioner is used. Notch sealers mechanically cut the seal and overlapping strap edges. This “notch” or cut forms pairs of small interlocking tabs at the edge of the seal and the strap.

Crimp sealers deform the edge of the straps and sea,l which creates a frictional bond between the two. This sealer type has a high joint strength and is well suited for medium and heavy-duty steel strapping applications.

As with any packaging process, knowing your requirements and what type of load you will be using your strapping on is critical to picking the right tools and seals.