Using Masking Tape?

Is there any down side to using masking tape like this:

To cover wood and protect against soot? Or is there something else I should use?


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Many of us use rolls of so-called “transfer tape”, such as this:

The advantage is that it comes in a large size and you can get different levels of tackiness that may work better on certain materials.

Just make sure what you get is paper, you don’t want to laser vinyl and release the deadly neurotoxin.


Thanks @chris1, I’ll give that a try. The stuff I showed is paper and readily at hand (for me) but I like what you recommended better.

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Technically you can use this, but you have to be perfect with the seams. A slight gap between pieces of tape can result in a line the width of the gap down your print that is slightly deeper (less material to cut through) and a slight overlap will result in a raised line the width of the overlap (more material to cut through). I hope this makes sense.


I’ve used it. and it sucks up laser power, that blue tape. you gotta turn up your settings! and sometimes on a lower power engrave or a score, it leaves a blue residue behind…


I actually use this tape somewhat regularly for CNC routing and painting. A muriad of other wierd uses too. I am very familiar with lining up the seams. I am looking forward to trying this transfer tape. Thanks for all the responses!

I haven’t used painter’s tape yet. I’ve always used good ol’ fashioned beige masking tape. Except I get the 2" rolls of it help reduce the number of strips I have to use. Because, as stated above, gap or overlap can cause noticeable differences depending on the material. However, I’ve found that with good lighting and eyesight I’ve been able to butt the edges of the tape against each other quickly and easily.

I think you’ll find that the transfer tape also comes out cheaper per square inch in the long run. I’m a miser with spending money on things like that but it’s definitely worth the higher upfront cost.


Find the wider rolls of paper transfer tape. At LEAST 6". Trust us. Weeding is already a PITA, with a bunch of strips of 2" tape, it can be triple or quadruple the pain.

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Masking tape can be found in 12" widths as well. I have a roll I got from a banner printing supply company.

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The longer it is on the harder it is to remove and I have even seen it lift wood grain on raw wood.
Transfer tape rolls just work better. (slightly more work since has to be squeegeed down with a flat edge to remove air bubbles, but weeds easier - you can even use the blue tape to weed it).

DO NOT use that brown shipping tape. It is impossible to remove once heated.


If anybody is still there to respond to this, does this tape work too then? It being clear-ish isn’t an issue, right?

no, you want a paper-based tape, not a film-based tape.

Hey. New to this space. My GF will be in the end of September. Could you explain more about the neurotoxin stuff? Just want to make sure I don’t make a mistake like that. Also, would toxins get pushed out through air vent? Thanks @chris1!

So… This?

@MikeyJ you’ll want to avoid anything that might have PVC in it. When cut it releases chlorine gas which is not only harmful to you but the machine too. There are other things too but that’s the one I know.

I mean it’s only 3” wide, more expensive than proper masking, and probably high tack, but it’d probably work. You’d struggle to apply it, it’d be difficult to remove from lots of materials, and it might leave a residue on your pieces depending on its adhesive. I’d stay away.

You really want purpose-made transfer tape. People have posted links to the correct stuff in this thread already but here’s another:

I’m mostly trying to find something from Amazon that works because I get points back and it is usually less expensive. That’s why I was still asking. It may just be though I can’t do that, unfortunately. Thanks for links!