Modern desks, whether at home or at work, are understandably centered around the computer. The fixtures of yesteryear that revolved around paper output like staplers, in and out boxes, and filing cabinets are increasingly relegated only to certain industries.
That being said, these implements still have their place, of course. Despite never being more than five feet from my smartphone, I still have a calculator on my desk for quick things, for example. For a variety of reasons, you might also have the venerable Scotch tape dispenser. The absolute ubiquity and usefulness of Scotch tape ensures its place on our desks and in our hearts.
There are plenty of uses for the stuff such that it makes sense to keep it on hand. Stylecaster offers 12 uses, including keyboard cleaner and emergency lint roller. A post on The Secret Yumiverse offers a cute, cartoony rendering of uses for you to consider.
Whatever you decide to do with the tape, if it will take up space on your desk, you’ll want to get a cool dispenser for it. Sure, you could go with the plastic, disposable dispenser that comes with it. But consider this: co-workers and family members are liable to walk off with this, whereupon it will disappear forever. There’s also the standard Scotch black dispenser, but where’s the fun in that?
No matter what you choose on our list, you’ll want to pick up some refills of the tape itself. The classic Scotch Magic Tape is available in packages ranging from one to 24 rolls. The Staples variant is just a bit cheaper and comes in packs of 12 or 24.
In order to honor the significant role of this humble utility player, here’s our list of the best cool Scotch tape dispensers.
1. Acrimet Tape Dispenser
We start with a subtle variation on the classic tape dispenser. This one looks a bit more designed and contemporary. Fits perfectly on the modern desk. It’s on the light side for a weighted-base dispenser, but does have the requisite anti-skid base for one-handed operation. If the white doesn’t do it for you, it also comes in red, silver, blue, and pink.
2. NPW-USA Unicorn Tape Dispenser
For something a bit more whimsical, what could be better than a unicorn? This six-inch unicorn will charm anyone coming to grab a length of tape from your desk. Speaking of, this ships with two rolls of the fantastic pictured rainbow tape, after which you can continue using standard Scotch tape refills. One possible downside is that it’s made of plastic and therefore pretty light, so one-handed operation might be out. Perhaps an assist from Magic Tape’s brother double-sided tape could affix it in place?
3. Blanche Butt Station
Continuing on the whimsical theme, this one is worthy of inclusion on our novelty gifts post. This tape dispenser is totally ridiculous, so it makes a good gag gift or complement to a light-hearted office. It’s not just a tape dispenser, either, as there’s a spot for a pen, memo pad or index cards, and paper clips. In addition to the blue and green versions, there’s a purple version. It’s goofy but useful.
Price: $9.88 (62 percent off MSRP)
4. U Brands Copper Wire Tape Dispenser
For a sense of sophistication, try this attractive copper wire piece. It combines a kind of weightlessness with the high end polished metallic finish, which is actually a little closer to rose gold. The spindle that holds the tape is a clear piece of solid acrylic. Unlike the next option on our list, this fine piece won’t cost you very much, either, although tape is not included in the package. U Brands has a whole set to go along with it that includes a file organizer, letter sorter, letter tray, and pencil cup. You could extend the set with an Post-It dispenser or Duobey paper clip holder.
Price: $5.22 (42 percent off MSRP)
5. Cute Bunny Desk Tape Dispenser
Maybe cute is more your speed. In that case, maybe you’d like to be served tape by this little bunny. The dispenser isn’t weighted, but the base is stable enough that one-handed operation should be no problem. To augment this, you can get the bunny desk organizer, whose ears are made of scissors and who holds a carrot full of paper clips. Both the tape dispenser and desk organizer are available in black, as well.
6. Cosa Nova Wood Print Tape Dispenser
While not made of real wood, this dispenser features a wood grain pattern on the outside that might fit in natural finish offices, both at work and at home. The bottoms is weighted for easy one-hand operation and is made of durable plastic. You could also opt to buy this in a set with a stapler and staple remover. They also make one in a marble print.
7. Scotch Globe Tape Dispenser
No, not that sort of Scotch globe. Not to be outdone, Scotch has its own entry in the world of cool tape dispenser with this miniature globe. Perfect for schools and travel agencies, buy this to inspire a sense of adventure with each adhesive strip.
8. Hacoa MT-tile Wooden Tape Dispenser
Okay, it’s true — this isn’t a Scotch tape dispenser. But, given the extreme popularity of Washi at the moment, we felt it was appropriate to include a dispenser aimed at the printed tape. Sized to fit the standard MT Washi tapes, this excellent, compact dispenser should more than meet your needs when it comes to taping things. The cutting surface is made out of grooves in the wood. Introduce a little fun into your taping chores.
9. j-me Cassette Tape Dispenser
For anyone who spent hours making mixed tapes, this tape dispenser will recall a simpler time. It’s also the answer to a Before and After round on Wheel of Fortune. This dispenser includes both the weighted base and non-slip rubber bottom to ensure one-handed operation. Red and black appear to be available at the time of this writing.
10. ArtsOnDesk Modern Art Tape Dispenser
Returning briefly to ultra-modern, high-end looks, this stainless steel tape dispenser looks like it belongs outside a museum for modern art. It’ll accompany just about any decor, and is finely crafted to withstand many years of use. The use of steel makes this more than heavy enough for one-handed use. ArtsOnDesk makes a matching business card holder, phone stand, and paper clip holder. Blomus makes a few pieces that will match, as well, including a pencil holder, filing tray, and notepaper holder.
11. Scotch Silvertech Desktop Tape Dispenser
The number one best-selling tape dispenser on Amazon is an updated take on the company’s standard dispenser, though not in the same direction as Karim’s. If you want something absolutely reliable and purpose-built for the task, albeit a little livelier than the bog-standard option, this is the one for you. This price doesn’t include any tape, but for a little over $16, they’ll throw in six rolls.