How To Use a Strapping Machine

The two most common strapping machines are hand-held tensioners and stand-alone strapping machines. Handheld tensioners pull strapping tight around boxes while a strapping seal is crimped to hold the strapping in place. Stand-alone strapping machines use a foot pedal or photo eye to strap boxes as they move through the machine. Perfect for strengthening heavy boxes and bundling more than one item.

Look at the images and steps below to see how to use each type of strapping machine. Obtain a stronger and more secure package by strapping boxes with a strapping machine.

How do you use a handheld strapping machine?  

A handheld strapping machine is most often a tensioner that will pull polyester, polypropylene, or metal strapping tight. As the tensioner is holding the strapping tight, a crimper and strapping seal are used to secure and hold the strapping tight so the tool can be removed. Some handheld strapping machines are all-in-one tools including tension and sealing capabilities.

Step 1. Wrap the strapping around the item being secured

Step 2. Bring the ends of the strapping together leaving 8 to 10 inches on each side.

Step 3. With the side closest to the operator on top, place the strapping into the tensioner

Step 4. Close the tensioner and ratchet the two ends tight.

Step 5. With tension tight, place a seal around the strapping and tighten with a crimper

Step 6. Remove the crimper and tensioner along with excess strapping ends.

Handheld strapping machines are an affordable way to secure shipments. Most handheld manual systems can be purchased for under a few hundred dollars with strapping included. Strengthen boxes, bundle loads, and secure products to pallet shipments with a handheld strapping machine.

How do you use a stand-alone strapping machine?

Stand-alone strapping machines can vary on size, quality, and efficiency. Some of the basic strapping machines require the user to wrap the strapping around the item(s) being wrapped and insert the strapping end into the machine for every package. In contrast to fully automatic machines on lines that do not require any human interaction. Skip the second step if inserting the strapping end is not required for the machine being used.

Step 1. Turn the power on and allow the machine to heat up.

Step 2. (optional Depending on Machine) Wrap the strapping over the product or products being secured and insert the end into the strapping machine.

Step 3. Be sure the strapping is properly positioned on the box. Some boxes may require two or more straps in the same direction.

Step 4. Press the foot pedal or position the box over the photo-eye (if applicable) to apply a strap.

Step 5. If the item(s) needs an additional strap on the same side, position the box properly and apply an additional strap.

Step 6. After the first straps are applied, rotate the box to make a strap perpendicular to the first straps. Apply a second strap if needed.

Strapping machines require a larger initial investment than handheld tensioners but are much more efficient. It is important to be mindful of the arch size and the size of boxes being wrapped. The right strapping machine can secure products in seconds.

Call 1-800-441-5090 with questions about strapping machines or shop online at

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