Hand Stretch Wrap or Machine Stretch Wrap?

Which is better for your application – hand stretch wrap or machine stretch wrap? Whether your business has a shipping department or a packaging line or your business is a startup, your company is likely to go through a lot of stretch wrap. Deciding how to wrap your cartons and products should be carefully considered prior to deciding between the two options. One of the most common questions asked is what is the difference between hand stretch wrap and machine stretch wrap? There are several factors to take into account when making your choice.

If you or your employees plan on engaging in human labor, hand stretch wrap is the film you need, as it allows you to manually apply the film directly to cartons and products. Conversely, machine wrap stretch film is designed for use on a simple pre-stretch rotary and core brake machines and is particularly effective and efficient for wrapping more than 15 loads per day. If you are seeking to automate or semi-automate the stretch wrapping process, machine stretch film is the best option.

At Danshar Polybag and Resin Inc. and Toronto Stretch Wrap, we help you decide on whether your business should invest in hand stretch wrap or machine stretch wrap. We can assist you in identifying the type of stretch film which best suits your packaging and palletizing needs. There are three key questions to consider:

  1. How many pallet loads are you currently wrapping and how many pallet loads do you foresee yourself wrapping?

  2. What types of products are you wrapping? Are the products fragile? Are the products in boxes?, Are they irregular in shape? Moreover, are the products stable, unstable, heavy, or light?

  3. How much money do you plan to invest in stretch film? There are different price points for the various types of stretch film and each one has different benefits.  Additionally, if you plan to machine wrap, how much do you plan to spend on the machine? Machines can vary greatly in cost depending on the features and output capacity you require.

Stretch wrap, also commonly referred to as stretch film, is a thin plastic sheet material which is used to wrap pallet loads. The stretchability of the film allows it to effectively contain and secure the products it is wrapped around. The ability of stretch wrap to contain items depends on the percentage of elastic recovery in the film: a higher percentage better secures items throughout the shipping process.

Stretch wrap is available in a variety of widths, thicknesses, and types. Which stretch wrap is most suitable for your application depends on the number of factors, which include how many pallet loads you are wrapping per day, as well as the type and weight of the cartons and products that you are wrapping.  

Hand stretch wrap is designed to be implemented using human labor and requires a handheld stretch wrap dispenser. This type of stretch wrap cannot be used on a stretch wrap machine. Hand wrap is excellent for wrapping many kinds of products and can effectively stack products on pallets. If you are wrapping less than 15 pallets a day, hand wrap will be your best option. Some of the cons of hand stretch wrapping are film waste, uneven film application, tedious, time-consuming work, and manual labor.

For companies that aim to wrap more than 15 loads a day, switching to machine wrapping will translate into significant savings. Hand wrapping is a physically demanding operation, while machine wrapping requires minimal operator involvement and is a quick and simple process. Stretch wrap machine wrapping is the best option for busy companies, who are seeking a cost-effective, professional, and damage-free method to wrap their pallet loads. With machine wrap, labor costs are reduced, and production rates increase.

Platinum Max Shrink Wrap - available in various sizes

Hand Stretch Wrap or Machine Stretch Wrap?

In general, stretch wrap machines are recommended for businesses wrapping more than 15 loads of pallets per day. Stretch wrap machines help minimize waste, ensure a more consistent, uniform application, and secure pallet loads to increase efficiency.

Toronto Stretch Wrap offers the following machine wrap films StretchMax, PlatinumMax, Pro-Max, and Axis Stretch Film.

Toronto Stretch Wrap also offers a variety of hand stretch wrap films, which are particularly useful for businesses that stretch wrap less than 15 loads per day. The hand stretch wrap products that we stock are ready to use out of the box. They are great for businesses that require stretch film, yet do not ship many pallet loads.

The hand wrap stretch films that we offer are Platinum Max Hand Wrap, V-Maxx Pre-Stretch Hand Film, and Max Wrap Hand Film.

To find out which hand stretch wrap or machine stretch wrap is ideal for your application, please contact Toronto Stretch Wrap. We are here to answer any inquiries or questions you may have. We have decades of experience in assisting businesses locate the type of film that best suits the needs of their business.

We happily serve clients in Toronto, North York, Vaughan, Thornhill, Richmond Hill, and cities in the GTA. We also serve clients nationally across Ontario.

More Stretch Wrap FAQs

Please contact us for quotes.

2899 Steeles Ave. W.,
Units 9 & 10,
North York, Ontario
M3J 3A1


Fax: 1-855-669-6184

For skid quantities of stretch wrap, resin, or plastic bags only, please call


By appointment.

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