Types of Rubber Bands

by Krista Sheehan ; Updated September 26, 2017

Rubber bands have become so commonplace in our daily lives that we often don't think of them at all. Yet, surprisingly, rubber bands have come a long way from the ones you see wrapped around your letters from the post office. It is important to know the different types of rubber bands to ensure you are using the proper band for your needs.

Standard Rubber Bands

Standard rubber bands are for general purposes, such as holding office supplies together, separating stacks of papers into groups, or holding a piece of plastic wrap over a bowl. These rubber bands are usually available in a wide variety of sizes, thicknesses and colors. Standard rubber bands might be small enough to wrap around a toothbrush or large enough to wrap comfortably around a large bowl.

Industrial Rubber Bands

Industrial rubber bands are large and thick, making them appropriate for large industrial jobs. They are made of heavy-duty rubber materials and can typically stretch two to three times their resting length. Industrial rubber bands come in a variety of sizes, and they can also be custom-ordered to meet your company's specific size requirements.

Latex-Free Rubber Bands

Most rubber-band manufacturers offer a line of rubber bands that are made without latex, to avoid complications in people with latex allergies. These bands are also called "synthetic bands" and they do not contain any natural rubber. Nevertheless, these latex-free bands provide excellent strength and stretch. It is recommended that latex-free bands be used in medical, laboratory and educational settings.

Produce Rubber Bands

Produce rubber bands are used to hold together large bunches of produce, such as celery, broccoli and asparagus. These bands are often flatter than standard rubber bands, with less stretch. They are typically not intended for re-use, so the quality of the bands is not as high as with other rubber bands. Produce bands can be customized by size and color. Certain manufacturers will imprint the bands with the store name, product identification code or a special message.

High-Temperature Rubber Bands

If the rubber band will be used mainly outside or in unusually high temperatures, it is important to use a rubber band that is specifically formulated to withstand heat and UV rays. Regular rubber bands could break or lose their elasticity in hot conditions, and the UV rays have been known to damage the rubbers used in most bands.