The Merco Tape Story

Who We Are

The year is 1972. Marvin E. Rose (the M E R in Merco Tape) is working for one of the largest privately held copper tubing manufacturers in America. Copper tubing is sold to plumbing supply houses who also sell threaded steel piping. All threaded pipes need those threads sealed. As a new solution to an old problem, PTFE threadseal tape is starting to replace the messy sealant paste. But no one could find it.

Once sourced (from France), Merco had its first product and began to run fast and furious. Within 2 years Merco became the largest non-manufacturing sources of PTFE threadseal tape in the country. (At the time it was called Teflon® tape because Du Pont was supplying the PTFE to manufacturers of the film.)

Along the Way

By the mid-1970s Marvin figured he’d sold so much non-adhesive PTFE tape that he should probably sell something that sticks. (We take our hats off to his dry sense of humor). Over the next 50 years Merco has grown to offer one of the widest pressure-sensitive tape inventories of any master distributor, converter, importer and in many cases even mill-manufacturers in the United States.


Two generations later we are still a family-owned business. Our book of business now consists of America’s largest manufacturing and distribution companies. You probably come into contact with our products daily through a Fastenal, Grainger, or Ferguson; a Boeing, Lockheed-Martin or NASA; the Department of Defense, Newport News Shipbuilding or Panama Canal Authority. Yet we are still faithful to our roots and proud to work with literally thousands of independent distributors and corner retail establishments.

Threadseal Tape

We are now one of the country’s leading converters and importers of PTFE thread seal tape. Long gone are 1972’s one grade and color, two lengths and widths. Today it’s 83 different grades, sizes and colors.

We offer our US made Threadmaster® threadseal tape in Standard,
High and Full densities. Each of those 83 varieties exceed our own high standards of quality and performance. Our tape is the product of choice for countless critical and no-fail applications.

You can be assured: if a manufacturer uses our Merco Threadmaster® Thread Seal tape and a faucet leaks or a plane falls out of the sky it won’t be because the thread seal failed!


Duct Tape

Today we stock USA made duct tape from the three major US mills (believe us when we say there are only three - and they are probably not who you think.) We stock product as heavy as 14 mils thick down to a homeowners’ grade 6 mils thick. At last count almost 200 standard variations of grades, widths, lengths and colors. Most distributors don’t stock 200 rolls, we have 200 varieties!

Most importantly? ALL our duct tape is made in the USA. Although China has honed making iPads into an art form it still can’t figure out how to produce a good roll of duct tape.

Masking Tapes

In a nod to our Canadian friends we’ve expanded the paper masking tape universe to include North America sourcing. General purpose, Painters’ masking, flatback, high-temperature, fine line, artists, colored and photography masking.

For modern manufacturing we have man made masking: polyester, polyimide, PTFE, UHMW and more. In fact, we have masking tape most people would never dream was masking tape.


We have an extremely broad selection of gaffers’ tapes for stage, film and
theater. Over 100 different sku for the entertainment, hospitality, graphics, design, and the presentation industries. We can cut widths as narrow as ½ inch and as wide as 58 inches. Our color selection has grown from black or black, to black and white, to colors so bright you’ll need sunglasses. Pastels, neons, primary colors and of course we still offer the traditional black and white. We also offer colored and clear vinyl for dance floor applications, safety warnings, double coated cloth tapes for laying carpets and more.


When it comes to gaffers tape this industry has two players: Shurtape and Polyken. At Merco you can pick either one because we stock both. But unlike some of the other admittedly major converters who cut Shurtape, Polyken (or whatever they can find and then call it their own), we are transparent. We don’t make up names to muddy the waters. Buy your gaffers from Merco and you know you are getting either Shurtape or Polyken.  The name will be on the case and in the core. And if you do buy our generic house brand you can ask us who makes those too. There are no secrets and we’d happy to tell you.

Electrical Tapes

Would you expect anything other than top shelf quality from the owner of All-weather/All-temperature and Flame Retardant in black and colors, price-point general purpose in black and colors, rubber and friction tape. Standard ¾ inch wide and other widths from 12mm to 12”. Thicknesses from 7-mil to 10 mil; we won’t handle anything thinner and you can’t effectively use anything thicker. Bar none - all our electrical tapes meet UL requirements and many meet other even stricter standards.

Carton Sealing Tapes

We cast a wider net here. Yes, our country makes some amazing (mostly other categories of) tapes. But to seal cartons you really pay the price for “Buy-American.” We continue to offer US made and we are damned proud when we ship it, but let’s face it: it’s our job to offer you high quality and the right price. At the end of the day carton tape seals a box that gets handed to the UPS man who hands it to the end consumer who sends it to the land fill. No reason to pay more when you don’t need to or have to. 

We source our carton sealing tapes from America of course, from Europe, South Asia (but at the time of this writing less and less from East Asia.) When it comes to PVC we are one of the few remaining container buyers in the USA. (Interesting factoid: In 1972 PVC was the only choice a shipper had in plastic carton sealing).


Of course, you need to apply tape with something. After years of bringing in commodity dispensers from China we took a giant leap of faith and tried our first container of high-quality pieces from Italy. Night and Day difference. We’ve also been increasing the breadth ever since that first container and now include dispensers for packaging, manufacturing, office, arts and crafts, and many other applications.

Barricade and Warning Tapes

These should be only as durable as is needed to get through your current application. That’s why we offer Caution and Danger tapes from a very temporary 1.5 mil up to 3 mils. Police and Public Safety in 3 and 4 mil only. Anything going anyplace near the ground mics out at 4 to a very beefy 6 mils. Buyers’ choice. We also spec only high-quality lead-free inks for all our undergrounds tapes. No lead in the inks to turn black. 

Why do we take our barricades so seriously? When you are talking miles of tape you really need to buy the right product for your job.

Our tapes are printed on high quality, brightly colored and very durable polyethylene films. We offer all important legends including custom imprints upon request. Did you see our surveyor’s flagging on the splash page? We take our products to the ends of the earth to test performance (and in some cases just to see whether our tape or our tester will cold-fail first)


Even tried and true products from red, white and blue, American brands can end up moving slowly at some point in their life. We are trailer buyers of off priced situations - on the following two conditions: it must be first quality and it must be priced sharp.  Be sure to see our closeout page.


What do we look forward to in the morning? As cliché as it might sound, we look forward to solving your problems with the correct item at the right price with the speed you need, while never sacrificing the service you want and deserve.

From a one-horse pony show back then, to a horizontally integrated provider of adhesive tape solutions today, to continuing to meet your needs tomorrow. We look forward to the challenges, to the opportunities and to the satisfaction knowing we did our best to help you do the job you do best.

Back to today

Look through our site. Examine the breadth of product. Request our catalog or email us with your requirements. Send us your order at a reasonable hour of any workday and your solution could well be on its way that very same day.

After fifty-years-in we are very good, all modesty aside, at both solutions and cost savings for just about every application that uses tape. Make Merco Tape your first go-to for all your tape requirements.


Stick with Merco™