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9.09.2009

The Tape Depot ATG Gun + a Giveaway!


{reported by Emilie Ahern}

My hubby and I have always been on a budget. With graduate school, two kids and now student loans, we pinch every single penny. As you can imagine, this is just one of the reasons I began this site. Because my personal searches for honest and unbiased reviews came up empty.

I avoid usually large ticket items, but when a team member reviewed the Scotch ATG Adhesive Gun I was sold and really want to buy one. The only problem? The price tag. Sure, everyone said the gun is worth the cost, but what if I spent all of that money and then I didn't like it? I went in search of a cheaper gun.





My search led my to eBay...a cheapster's best friend. I quickly found a Scotch Brand knock off called "ATG 50 Tape Dispenser" by The Tape Depot. The gun looked almost identical to the Scotch brand gun, with only slightly sharper angles, but was much less expensive. A Scotch brand ATG gun runs around $60 with each replacement roll coming in at around $7 each. This auction boasted the TAPE GUN + 6 ROLLS OF 1/4" ATG TAPE for only $37 (including the shipping). Too good to be true right? Ahem.......right.

There is a seemingly minor difference in design that ends up making all the difference in the world. The problem is the spool which collects the used tape paper. On a real Scotch brand ATG gun there is a cap on the spool the prevents the used paper from sliding off of the spool as it winds. No spool cap on the fakey gun leads to the tape jumbling up and becoming a huge mess. My built up tape eventually popped open the hinged gun front. This leads to having to untangle and reload the gun every 20 minutes during a serious crop...completely frustrating.






I emailed the eBay seller to complain about the gun continually jamming. And in response...drumroll please....they sent me another one. {sigh.} Their intentions were good, but the product is poorly designed.

However, there is one saving grace that can be salvaged from this experience. The tape that they sell will also perfectly fit into your Scotch brand ATG gun. It is much more affordable than the Scotch brand refills and smells much better. I read an entire thread on Split Coast Stampers comparing the real and generic tapes and many preferred the generic over the Scotch brand for tackiness, smell and ease of application.

There is currently an eBay auction for 12 rolls of 1/4" by 36 yards for $22.99 (shipping included) by the seller thetapedepot. 12 rolls of Scotch brand would cost you $84. Now that's a significant savings and one worth checking out. Just don't buy the gun while you're there.



What I liked:
- Similar shape and size as the Scotch ATG gun.
- Better smelling tape.

What I didn't like:
- Design flaw made gun virtually unusable.
- Slightly larger than brand name gun.
- Not quite as aesthetically pleasing with it's sharper angles.

My advice? Spring for the real, honest-to-goodness, Scotch brand ATG gun and then buy tape galore from thetapedepot on eBay. With a Scotch gun that works and economical generic tape refills you may just get the best of both worlds!


Give-away - No, I am not going to give away the crappy extra gun I have. LOL! Not after that review. But I do have three 1/4"x64YD tape refills for a lucky commenter who would like to give it a go in their name brand Scotch ATG gun. Leave a comment here by Noon EST tomorrow (Thursday) for your chance to win!

(10 extra credit points if you are humming the "Hannah Montana" theme song)
.

57 comments:

heather skye said...

I am ALWAYS humming some Hannah Montana song....or High School Musical..or just a random Disney cartoon....but I digress;) LOVE the review.

Tara said...

I love my ATG gun! Best adhesive out there.

Holly said...

I have the real gun, not the knockoff. My refills don't smell ... ? Which I would notice, since I'm the one who always thinks stuff smells (am I the only one who thinks brand-new puffy Thickers smell funny?) Anyway, I actually prefer the Scotch refills to the generic ones. I get them for $3.50 from www.framingsupplies.com. Great service, good shipping, ordered from them several times and have always been happy. Go in with a friend (or three) to save on shipping.

Erin said...

Thank you for the chance to win....

Maya said...

Wow, thanks for the review! I have ATG gun and LOVE it, but I didn't use it for a while because.... I am out of the refills! It is nice to know that there is a cheaper option.

Amanda said...

I don't have this, but it looks awesome!!! Thanks for the review!

ArlaMo said...

I have an ATG gun - bought it after seeing a myriad of reviews on 2Peas, but I can't load the darn thing right. For some reason, my computer won't play the how-to video on Scotch's website. So...I'd love some refills to try again with! I've already ruined a couple of the expensive ones, lol.

Jingle said...

I LOVE my ATG!!!! It just always works when I need it to! I actually ordered my tape from the tape depot (their online store, rather than ebay) and so far it seems to be working well. I just switched the role out last night, but it hasn't caused any problems! LOL!

Melinda AKA medialady said...

I have the ATG and love it! (I just wish it was a little smaller for taking to crops because it hangs out of my bag and I drop it.)

Beedubya said...

See? Told ya! LOL! I'm just joshin, ya, Emilie. This is precisely why I love TSR! You guys make the gaffs for us and then tell us all about it. Great review, lady!

Deb said...

Have you considered the Glue Glider Pro or Glue Glider Max from Glue Arts? I have the Pro, which fits nicely in the hand, is much less expensive and the easiest "gun-style" adherer that I've encountered. It couldn't be simpler to refill either. You can check them out here:
http://www.gluearts.com

asby said...

I love my ATG and have sold an number of others on how it is Faster, Simpler, Easier!

If you buy in bulk (with friends) you can really save on your refills. My group buys around 10 boxes (of 12 rolls) at a time and we get it for less than $2 per roll. And yes it is acid free.

AJ said...

I buy my tape from Tape Depot- but it's for my ATG baby!! The only one!! :)

Lovin' Life said...

Oh soooo good to know, thanks for another awesome review!!!!!!!!!!!!

nina said...

Great review! Timely too for me as I only have 1 roll of Scotch left. I just got my ATG this year (after MUCH perusing of reviews) and am very happy with it. Hard to get refills in Canada (either way expensive or sold out) so I'm curious about this tape.

marla said...

What an AWESOME giveaway!!! I LOVE my ATG gun. It was the best investment I have made with scrapping tools!!!

Aly D said...

thanks for the honest review--good info to know!

Heidi Y said...

I have been hesitating on getting one, too, but now after reading the reviews, I'd like to give it a try... Thanks for the giveaway!!

rush8888 said...

it's too bad that the knock-off doesn't work as well as the real thing. thank you for letting us know.

Lisa Cutler said...

I have an ATG (the real thing) and wish they had a repositionable adhesive. I also use dotto repositionable and when I do the math on what the refills cost, its much cheaper to use the ATG if you are a power scrapper or do lots of minis that really need perm. adhesive.

Someone else above me already mentioned www.framingsupplies.com where i get mine.

I assume the off brand refill is acid free?

Glue arts is sold at Hobby Lobby so it could be purchased with a coupon to make it even more cost effective, however, I don't care for their other products so I went straight for the real thing from 3M.

Lisa Cutler said...

and to ArlaMo, go to you tube and search on Scotch ATG gun for lots and lots of videos on how to load. Once you do it correctly once, you never forget.

Amie said...

I'm getting one (I think) for my birthday next week. I believe my hubby bought it off ebay...I sure hope it's the right one!

Linda Peterson said...

I would love to win the tape. I use my ATG gun all of the time.
Really appreciate all of your reviews.
Linda Peterson

Rebecca said...

Thank you for a thorough and honest review. I'm buying my ATG this week and you saved me some heartache and money! Thanks again!

Rebecca said...

I have the ATG and I buy my refills here:
http://www.framingsupplies.com/3M/3MATGTape.htm

and they are much cheaper than $7 a roll, but the other brand is still cheaper so I would love to give them a try.

kgscrapper said...

I have an "Off Brand" ATG that I purchased at a CK Convention and have never had problems with the used tape paper becoming tangled. It did however take me approx 47 tries to get it reloaded the first time. Now I refer to a you tube video everytime I need to reload.

At The Tape Depot website, if you like to stock up or get a group of your scrappy friends together you can get 144 rolls of 1/4 inch by 36 yard tape for $168, which figures out to be $1.17 per roll. Also, The Tape Depot offers free shipping for orders over $50.

hattrikk said...

Thanks so much for an honest review. I, too, have been on the fence about whether it would be worth it to bite the bullet and go for the ATG -- and I also would have been the one to go for the cheaper ebay option. Thanks for saving me $$ in the end :)

Rbarakat said...

Great review! I finally bit the bullet and bought one- um LOVE it! The only bummer is having to order the tapes online, and remeber to do it before I run out!( Nobody sells that here!)BTW - Thanks now I'll have that song stuck in my head all day! LOL!

love scrapping said...

I love my ATG! Thanks for the tip on finding refills at eBay!

Karen said...

I JUST broke down and bought an ATG gun so when I started reading the review, I thought, "Oh, NO, I should have waited." But although I'm sorry the one you bought didn't work out, I am really glad to know about the cheaper refills. I must admit, it took a few projects before I was comfortable with the much bigger dispenser, but it does seem to work really well.

Kali said...

I have the ATG 50 and have had the used paper come off of the roll a couple of times, but very rarely. I love it! I use the 1/2" or 1" tape - looks like you have used the skinnier stuff, so maybe that's the difference?

Lunda said...

Love your review, I love my ATG !

Anonymous said...

I loooooooove my ATG gun... don't know what I would do with out it!
The cheaper refills peek my interest though... Although I find that the refills are still cheaper than the stuff I used to use anyway!
Thanks for the review- it cemented the fact that I already had the great gun!
Would love to win some refills though!
Diane Cooper
diane7@rogers.com

carpediem said...

Thanks for the review and the heads' up on the tape gun! laura j

Christie said...

I love my ATG! I know it has already been mentioned, but I got my gun and refills from framingsupplies.com. They are very reasonably priced there. Plus you can't beat the humongous bubble-wrap package on your doorstep. :)

susan m said...

I have the Scotch tape gun and LOVE it!!

PattiM said...

I have the ATG but never knew there was generic tape.... Learn something new everyday...I love the ATG, made my life so much simpler

Hugs,

PattiM
(Pattie's passion)

I Scrap So All Moments Are Remembered!

Lisa said...

I love my ATG gun, which I paid about $30 for, and it was the best $30 I've ever spent. As far as smell... none whatsoever. And I am HIGHLY scent-sensitive. If my ATG gun smelled at all, or the adhesive, I'd have already sold it on eBay. And I also pay less than $3 per refill.

Kari D. said...

I have an ATG gun and I love, love, love it!! I paid a ton ($55) for it, but I used a gift certificate so I felt okay about it. Tape refills have steadily increased in price which has sent me searching for cheaper refills. I've never used the generic tape, but I'd like to try it. I buy all my refills at framingsupply.com. I go in with friends so we can order in high quantity and get the cheapest price. I'm on a budget too! Thanks for the great review!

Elsa said...

LOL! You're so funny "not going to give away the crappy extra gun..." Thanks for the chance to win the "good" gun, I have been wanting it forever.

Yaritza said...

Thanks for the review. I've had my ATG gun for a few years. I love my gun and would never get rid of it for anything in this world. Hopefully this will help people save themselves some money and aggravation. Thanks for the chance to win.

Debra said...

Thanks so much for this review. Answered a few questions for me and saved me a bit of money. I've been eyeing a gun off for a while now and after your review found out it was the dodgy one! So, thank YOU!

Lee said...

I am so glad you gave us the comparison. I was thinking about buying the generic but was hesitiant, now I know for sure that I want the Scotch ATG, Thanks again.

Peggy N. said...

"You've got the best of both worlds..." LOL
Thanks for the review. I have the Scotch ATG and love it.

Kim M said...

I have the real Scotch gun but I have been using the Tape Depot refills lately. I have used about 6 rolls of it. Yes, it is way cheaper than the other tape and yes, it does stick down much better but I don't feel like it goes on as smoothly as the more costly tape but to save $$ I will live with it, it doesn't make that much of a difference and what can I say, I am cheap!!

Vicki said...

I know it stinks when we buy something that doesn't work right. Sorry you had that experience. I have one of those cheaper guns and love mine. I was tired of buying adhesive all the time. Love that the adhesive for the atg's last so long. Winning some extra rolls of adhesive would be awesome!

Zarna said...

THANK YOU!!!

Thanks thanks thanks so much for this review!!! I was going to buy that exact tape gun about 3 times and it's only that I keep finding new dies for my bigshot i need more lol

I will take your advice to heart and splurge for the real deal (and save on the tape)

Catherine said...

Thanks for that honest review - I was thinking about getting that very same gun, but now I'll wait and get the ATG when I've got a little extra cash!!

NanaBeth said...

Don't include me in the RAk because the tape won't fit in my Glue Arts Glue Glider Pro-which I LOVE! Just the right size for aging arthritic hands,and I can change cartridges in a snap. They have sales frequently which make it economical to stock up on refills.

lori said...

sorry to hear that your adhesive gun adventure did not stick like you thought it should!! i have the atg gun and i LOVE it... in fact, my puppy LOVES when i change the roll as he ALWAYS gets to play with the leftover paper from the tape. i have some great photos that i have scrapped with him playing with my atg tape, i call him my atg buddy {buddy is his name!!}

so HE and i would love to win your rolls of tape... but next time, get the real thing!! so sorry again!!

Anonymous said...

Awesome review! Thank You!~ Cash is tight these days and when saving to make a purchase like this in an effort to make hobby-life easier .... I sure don't want to make a mistake and make my fun-time frustrating! Thx again!

Robyn said...

I have had the ATG for about 3 years or so and love it. I do purchase my real refills on line at
http://www.framingsupplies.com/3M/3MATGTape.htm
I don't know where your pricing/purchasing your refills but they are way too expensive. Try Framing Supplies and there is a discount for quantities.

Lynette said...

I have the Scotch ATG gun and have used it a lot. My LSS sells the generic for a lot less than the Scotch and that is what I have used. It still isn't as cheap as on line. I will have to check that out.

GLOANN said...

Great review. I love my authentic ATG and have always only used the tape from Scotch. But I am bookmarking this Tape Depot site for when I need to order again. I always do the bulk order. Would love to have the chance to try before I buy. Thanks.

Deanne said...

I too bought a knock off gun!! I wish i had waited for your review.....You are so right! As usual. Thanks for a great review and for the chance to win!

Amanda said...

Thanks for the review of the gun. I have already been using the generic tape and actually prefer it, but now that I know about the gun I won't recommend it to anyone!

Jenny said...

I have the generic one from the tape depot, and so far, no problems here. Well, I take that back...I guess on my first roll I had some problems, but I think I didn't have it loaded right.

It took me a long time to jump on the ATG bandwagon, but I'll NEVER look back! I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!! Seriously, it was one of the best scrappy purchases I've made! :)