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Edge Protectors 101: Everything You Need to Know

Edge Protectors 101: Everything You Need to Know

Delivering damaged goods can often have a greater impact on your business than on the customers you serve, especially in the packaging industry. 

When a customer receives a damaged package, it gives them the impression that your business is careless or cannot effectively deliver goods. On a similar note, it indicates to your potential customers that they can expect to deal with lost time and damaged products when working with your business.

By protecting your products in transit, you’re also protecting the good name of your business. That’s why it’s important to fortify the most vulnerable parts of a package against impact, side, or corner damage. 

One of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to safeguard goods is by utilizing edge protectors.

You may be wondering: what are edge protectors and what is the purpose of edge protectors? We’re going to cover that, along with why they’re useful, and everything else you need to know about edge protectors also known as corner boards.

What are Edge Protectors?

Edge protectors reinforce a package, palletized load, or stack of boxes. They can be applied to every corner for maximum protection, support, and stability, or they can be used as needed to protect against damage from strapping and provide additional layers of support.

What are Edge Protectors Used For? 

Edge protectors, sometimes called corner boards or edge boards, are incredible at securing the most vulnerable places on a package, the edges, because they are able to provide uniform weight distribution. Acting as an internal pallet reinforcement, they create stability for multilevel stacking by moving more stress to the edges of a container.


By strengthening the edges, a corner board turns one of the weakest and most damage prone areas of a package into a support beam. In doing this, the package or load gains increased structural stability and stackability. An additional benefit is that they also increase the effectiveness of stretch wrap, plastic strapping, or tape by further securing the load.

What is the Purpose of Corner Boards? 

Corner boards or edge protectors provide several layers of protection past simply strengthening boxes and improving stackability. They protect edges and corners against blows, scratches, and damage from straps, as well as prevent secured packages from colliding, falling, or shifting during transit.

You can easily use edge protectors to add an extra layer of protection to your goods, saving you money that otherwise would have been spent replacing damaged goods or recouping lost time. 

What are Corner Boards Made Of? 

Most edge protectors are made by laminating together multiple layers of 100% recycled paper. These layers are formed with water-based adhesives, then shaped into a rigid right angle, or “U” shape, before finally being coated with a biodegradable, water-resistant coating. 

Edge protectors have an almost unlimited variety in shape, thickness and size. The shape can be molded to almost any configuration to protect 

Some corner board manufacturers also offer the option to print custom graphics onto the board. While this is only a visual difference it does a fantastic job advertising the manufacturer throughout the life of the shipment and beyond. An added benefit is that printing is offered at a very low cost for large orders.

Selecting the Right Edge Protector


All in all, edge protector are an incredible option if you’re looking for an affordable and effective way to protect edges, strengthen boxes, and facilitate stacking. But before you can buy any corner boards, you need to know how to select the right one for your operation. 

How to Measure Edge Protectors

There are four measurements to consider when selecting edge protectors:

  1. Leg length A
  2. Leg length B
  3. Board Length
  4. Caliper

Leg length determines the length of each side of the edge protector. Leg lengths are measured independently of each other because they can be different lengths. Most corner board manufacturers can do custom leg lengths depending on your needs.

The longer the leg, the more protection it provides against strapping. Most corner board manufacturers offer leg lengths ranging from 1.5” to 3”.

Board length is equal to the overall length of the corner board. You can always cut a corner board shorter, so it’s common for businesses to order their corner boards longer than needed. Corner boards are largely available from 6” to 240”. 

The last measurement you need to consider is the caliper. Caliper is the thickness of the corner board and is measured in thousandths of an inch. You can commonly find caliper sizes ranging from .080” to .3”. 

How to Choose Corner Board Strength

The strength of a corner board is directly tied to its caliper, or thickness. There are three levels of thickness: 

  • Light Duty Caliper Corner Boards 
  • Medium Duty Caliper Corner Boards 
  • Heavy Duty Caliper Corner Boards

Light Duty Caliper Corner Boards 

Light duty calipers range from .080” to .150”. Corner boards that fall under this caliper range are best used for reinforcement purposes. The corner boards will provide additional strength to boxes, as well as protection from strapping, but that’s all. 

This is the way to go if you’re trying to save on cost. There is no need to go for the strongest and most expensive corner board when a light duty one will do the trick. 

Unless you’re going to be stacking boxes, stick to light duty corner boards. Light duty will handle the pressure of strapping and protect the corners, but it provides the least amount of stability and stacking support compared to the other two calipers. 

Medium Duty Caliper Corner Boards 

Medium duty calipers range from .160” to .200”. Corner boards that fall under this caliper range are effective supports. They will provide better weight distribution, which makes for a safe, stable base if you need to stack another box on top.

This is the best option if you stack boxes for transportation. It’ll provide protection than light duty, is stronger, and has the added benefit of improved stacking. 

Heavy Duty Caliper Corner Boards 

Heavy duty calipers range from .225” to .300”. These are the strongest, thickest corner boards you’re going to find commercially available. Anything thicker than this will probably have to be custom made for the order. 

This is the best option for multi-layer stacking, stabilization, and overall protection is heavy duty. They add the most strength to a box, providing it with sufficient weight distribution to promote the highest level of stability. If you’re worried about goods falling over in transit, these corner boards are your solution.

Final Thoughts

Your customers deserve the highest quality service, it’s why they went to you in the first place.  An investment in edge protectors is an investment in the safety and well-being of you and your customer’s products. 

The best thing you can do for your customers and your business is to ensure the highest quality services by investing in high levels of protection. 

Edge protectors or corner boards are a great, affordable option if you’re looking for high quality protection. They protect goods by improving box strength and load stability, saving you money in the long run on lost time and damaged goods.

With custom graphics, you can even use edge protectors to expand and advertise your brand. 

If you’re interested in ordering edge protectors or corner boards, or have any questions about how you can use corner boards to improve your transportation operation, consider reaching out to an Imperial Dade facility near you. 

At Imperial Dade, our experts are highly experienced in shipping, transporting, and packaging goods. Reach out to one of our packaging experts today for a free consultation of your packaging program. 

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