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Stretch Wrap 101: How to Save Money with the Right Stretch Wrap Dispenser

Stretch Wrap 101: How to Save Money with the Right Stretch Wrap Dispenser

Many businesses waste stretch wrap without realizing it. 

For example, if staff are not taking full advantage of its stretch wrap’s elasticity your business is using more than needed, leading to wasted product and higher costs. 

How can you be sure your business doesn’t make the same mistake? One way is to make sure that you’re using the most effective stretch wrapper for your shipping or packing operations. 

There are a lot of options out there, and that can make it difficult to know which one is best for you. 

Today, we’ll be covering the different types of stretch wrap dispensers and stretch wrappers: automatic stretch wrapper, semi-automatic stretch wrapper, and some common stretch wrap dispensers. 

By the end of the article, you’ll learn enough about each stretch wrapper and stretch wrap dispenser to help you decide which is the best option for your operation.

What are the Different Stretch Wrap Dispensers

Why use a stretch wrap dispenser when you can just use your hands, right? Wrong. 

Stretch wrap dispensers are incredibly useful for applying stretch wrap because they provide the user with various benefits and abilities. Generally, stretch wrap dispensers add tension control and are ergonomically designed, making for more efficient application. 

As a result, you’ll see increased time savings, decreased material waste, and big cost savings!

Here are the different types of stretch wrap dispensers: 

  • Hand saver dispenser
  • Mini stretch wrap dispenser
  • Stretch wrap dispenser 

Hand Saver Dispenser

This stretch wrapper comes in two pieces, often in the shape of a ring. This is so that it can attach on either side of a roll of stretch wrap. 


The main benefits of the hand saver dispenser are that it’s very cheap, super lightweight, and highly portable. It’s a great stretch wrapper for a worker who has to run around the warehouse all day but doesn’t want to lose track of their dispenser, as it will easily fit in one of their pockets.

The power of this little stretch wrapper may not be immediately clear, but after you use it once you’ll notice how much easier it makes the stretch wrap application process. It allows the operator to apply stretch wrap for longer before they have to take a break from discomfort, which is a good way to boost productivity. 

More importantly, though, it allows the operator to apply tension control when wrapping. With tension control, you can reduce film wastage by achieving higher and more consistent levels of stretch than by hand. 

Mini Stretch Wrap Dispenser

The mini stretch wrap dispenser is a handle that can fit a roll of stretch wrap onto it. 

This tool works by fitting a roll of stretch wrap onto the handle so that the roll sits snug. The only real downside of the mini stretch wrap dispenser is that it can be difficult to use with a long roll of film, as it will become top heavy and unwieldy. 

Knowing that, make sure to take the length and weight of the rolls you use into account before investing in some mini stretch wrap dispensers.


This stretch wrapper is also cheap, lightweight, and portable, but it’s not as small as the hand saver dispenser. While it may not fit in your back pocket, the mini stretch wrap dispenser is still easy to carry around. 

Typically, the handle is ergonomically shaped with maximum comfort and minimum hand fatigue in mind. The mini stretch wrap dispenser also provided a higher degree of tension than the hand saver dispenser.

Stretch Wrap Dispenser

The most common type of stretch wrapper can go by many names. Sometimes it’s called an industrial stretch wrap dispenser, sometimes it’s called a handheld stretch wrap dispenser, but we’re just going by what it’s commonly referred to as, a stretch wrap dispenser. 

These stretch wrappers can come in a variety of shapes, but typically what you’ll see is a long rod for the roll to go on, with an ergonomic handle at its base. 


User comfort is at the forefront of this tool’s design, making it by far the easiest on your hands and back to use. 

One tradeoff with this stretch wrapper is that it’s not as small or lightweight as the others. Regardless, the stretch wrap dispenser is portable and can easily be carried from pallet to pallet. 

The stretch wrap dispenser also provides its user with the most effective tension control, allowing them to take advantage of the film’s maximum stretch rate. It’s able to reduce product waste and increase time savings more effectively than the other hand tools we’ve covered, making it the ideal choice if you’re not on a budget. 

While this is the most expensive hand stretch wrapper in this article, you’ll find the price is low compared to the stretch wrapper machines.

Stretch Wrapper Machines

While using a hand stretch wrap dispenser can help boost productivity, there is a limit to just how much you can do with one. For example, if you’re running an operation that requires more than 20 loads to be wrapped per hour then you’re going to need a stretch wrapper machine.

With stretch wrapping machines, you can choose between automatic and semi automatic. Base models are about the same price, but there are different varieties, bells, and whistles that can make the price fluctuate. 

Semi Automatic Stretch Wrapper

Semi automatic stretch wrappers are capable of handling low-volume operations, around 20 loads an hour. The only downside here is that an operator is required for the machine to do its job. 

It’s not a very involved process for the operator, though. They have to place the pallet on the machine, apply the stretch film to the load, and initiate the wrapping cycle. Depending on the machine, they may also have to cut the stretch film at the end of the wrapping cycle. 

Once loaded and initiated, the machine applies and wraps the load on its own. 

These machines work fast. While the operator is setting up for the next pallet, the semi automatic stretch wrapper is able to wrap the previous load. Once the operator comes back, the machine is ready for the next load. 

Semi-automatic stretch wrappers are useful for all wrapping operations, but if you don’t have the space or budget for an automatic stretch wrapper, then this machine is the way to go. 

Automatic Stretch Wrapper

Automatic stretch wrappers are able to handle high volume operations with ease. 

It’s able to handle such a larger output than the semi automatic stretch wrap machine because automatic machines are able to do everything on their own. A conveyor belt brings the load to the machine, where the machine interprets the height of the load, wraps it, then cuts and seals it. 

Because every step is automated, fully automatic stretch wrap machines are capable of wrapping up to 120 loads per hour for maximum productivity. 

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of opportunities to save when it comes to the application of stretch wrap. Most importantly, by investing in a stretch wrap dispenser or a stretch wrapper you can save on product waste and time lost, while boosting productivity for your workers. 

If your operation wraps less than 12 loads an hour, then a stretch wrap dispenser is all you’ll need. But, if your operation wraps 20 loads or more an hour, then you’re definitely going to want to check out a stretch wrapper. 

If you have any more questions about whether hand tools or machines are right for your business, contant an Imperial Dade facility near you, where our industrial packaging experts have the experience and insights to optimize your shipping and packaging operation. 

Reach out today for a free consultation and one of our experts will work with you to evaluate the needs of your business. 

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