Stretch Film

Traditional Hand-Applied Stretch Wrap vs Precisionrap

6 mins

The shipping and logistics sector has grown rapidly due to the growth of the ecommerce industry – and this upward trend does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. This means that the need for optimal packaging solutions has become more important than ever before.

Across many warehouse and other business operations, stretch wrap is a product used thoroughly on a daily basis. In fact, it is estimated that in the UK alone 150,000 tonnes of pallet wrap is used per year!

Stretch Wrap is essential for keeping pallets secure, but which one is the best for your business? While Traditional Stretch Wrap has its benefits, it does come with its drawbacks too, so could Precisionrap be a better fit for you? In this article, we will explore these two types of hand-applied stretch wrap so that you can make an informed decision.

Traditional Hand-Applied Stretch Wrap

Traditional Stretch Wrap is used manually by simply winding the stretch film around the pallet. It is usually used to reduce problems that can occur during transit such as product damage, tampering and loss. It comes in a variety of thicknesses, width, and formulations so that it can secure and protect a variety of product sizes.

What are the benefits of traditional hand-applied stretch wrap?

Some benefits include:

  • Reduces contamination: Traditional Stretch Wrap minimises the chances that boxes are contaminated
  • Reliable protection: Protects the product inside from any damage, dust, or moisture. The protection can be enhanced further by using a pallet wrap machine that will ensure the stretch wrap covers the product more effectively
  • Protects from moisture: Keeps packages clean and dry so that customers are satisfied when receiving their product

What are the disadvantages of traditional hand-applied stretch wrap?

Despite the benefits, traditional hand-applied stretch wrap does have its disadvantages. For example, it can cost your business time and money and lacks optimal stretch and consistency. To help you make an informed decision, here are the disadvantages that come with traditional stretch wrap:

  • High Operator Fatigue: Hand stretch films can be quite heavy and can weigh as much as 4-8 pounds per roll. These heavy rolls can make hand wrap difficult to apply to a pallet and increase worker strain overtime, which can lead to employees getting strain and motion injuries.
  • Costs time and money: Traditional stretch wrap takes more time to wrap as it lacks optimal stretch and consistency, resulting in employees having to work harder to use it and thus leading to repetitive strain injuries. Traditional stretch wrap also requires excess film to complete the job effectively, which equals extra costs as you run out of pallet wrap faster.
  • High Risk of Worker Injury: Hand-applied traditional stretch wraps are commonly used while walking backwards. This method of application can be dangerous due to the user being unable to see what is behind them. It’s not uncommon for employees to trip over pallet edges!
  • Inconsistent Containment: Manual application processes can result in inconsistent containment strength. This is because traditional stretch wrap requires a strong pulling force to create the stretch rates needed to hold the pallets securely. When employees are fatigued, these stretch rates can decline, resulting in unstable loads.
  • Increased Packaging Waste: Traditional rolls of hand-applied stretch wrap can become damaged easily. Once a roll has been damaged, whether that be by being dropped or struck, it is no longer usable. This is because once compressed, this type of stretch wrap is very difficult to separate.

Of course, one way to solve these issues is by investing in a semi-automatic or automatic pallet wrap machine, which will wrap pallets manually, reducing chances of any workplace injuries. The difference between using machine stretch wrap compared to hand stretch wrap can be seen in this ultimate wrap battle video.

Our bestseller in stretch wrap is Machine Applied Stretch Wrap (MWrap) as it utilises the latest technology in film production. MWrap is a reinforced, stronger film that is thinner than conventional micron measured films. It’s durable, reliable, and allows for easy wrapping of pallets.


As we have discussed, traditional stretch wrap is likely costing your business time and money. It lacks optimal stretch and consistency, requires excess film to get the job done and can lead to repetitive strain injuries. So, could switching to a smarter pallet wrap solution be the right decision for your business?

Featuring a durable, ergonomic dispenser and high-performance stretch film, the Precisionrap handheld system ensures efficient wrapping and film usage with its pre-stretch solution offering perfect load containment for your pallets. Switching to Precisionrap over traditional stretch wrap will also result in less waste as you will be achieving the same or better load stability with significantly less film by weight and no cores to dispose of. In fact, on average customers see their total film consumption by weight drop a minimum of 35%!

If you are struggling with workplace injuries that can occur with using traditional stretch wrap, the Precisionrap dispenser is lightweight, so it reduces operator strain and injuries. This means that you can still wrap pallets by hand using the dispenser, without the need of investing in a machine to wrap efficiently and reduce injuries.


What are the benefits for Precisionrap?

  • Improves load containment: proven to provide an average of 50% more containment force than traditional hand wrapping techniques
  • Speeds up pallet wrapping times: typical loads see a 33% increase in pallet wrapping speeds, without compromising on quality. The statistics speak for themselves!
  • Safe to use: reduces risk of occupational accidents as no bending over or walking backwards is needed whilst strapping
  • Consistent quality: Precisionrap has a consistent ‘machine-like’ application and control resulting in optimum film tension and load containment
  • Safe and easy storage: magnet pads attached to the dispenser allow for safe, easy, and out-of-the-way storage – means no tripping hazards!

To see how to wrap pallets using our new Precisionrap, check out our video below showing Precisionrap in action!

What are the cons for Precisionrap?

It all depends on your business when it comes to which stretch wrapping solution is best. Precisionrap is better for those who are wrapping smaller quantities. If your company tends to wrap larger volumes then Precisionrap will not be the solution for you, and it may be more beneficial to invest in a stretch wrapping machine instead.

Stretch wrapping solutions from Swiftpak

At Swiftpak, we have over 45 years of experience and can suggest the stretch wrap solution your business needs to thrive. Whether it be our high-performance Precisionrap or our Machine Applied MWrap, we will ensure you can provide consistent load containment every time.

Contact our friendly packaging experts today to find out more.