A lot of times when I use some kind of tape roll, I just fold it and then when I want to use it again, I spend some agonizing moments trying to find the beginning of it.

What can I do to find the end of the tape more easily?


11 Answers 11


Fold the tape back on itself. One fold works great, and you don't need a lot. One to two centimeters is enough.

Doing it a couple of time will give you more to hold on to making it easier to peal, but will waste more tape the more you fold.

  • This works once you have found the end, but not to find the end if it is stuck back on the roll without being folded.
    – Willeke
    Commented Jan 15, 2018 at 19:47
  • This also means a) remembering to re-fold it after every use, and b) having to cut off and discard the folded end when using it.
    – gidds
    Commented Oct 20, 2023 at 22:21

I have found two solutions to this problem:

  1. Putting a small piece of paper at the end of the tape when I last use it, or
  2. Putting a small paperclip at the end of the tape.
  • 2
    You could also fold some tape back on itself. Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 22:54
  • @QuyNguyen2013 add that as an answer Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 22:55

Folding it over is definitely the best idea. For when you've forgotten to do that, run your fingernail along the corner of the tape for the full circumference of the roll. Your nail will catch on the corner of the tape end. If it doesn't then run your fingernail in the opposite direction.


If someone was careless enough to not employ one of the preventive methods above to make finding the end easy next time, then you can try:

  • scrape around the tape roll with your fingernail, feeling for the slight rise
  • lightly trace a stick of chalk around the tape to make the end easier to see

Put your hairdryer on hot then aim it at where you think the tape starts.The hot air loosens the adhesive making it easier to scratch the tape end off the roll.


I have an easy solution. Bend the tape backwards so that it will not stick back to the roll by itself. Then next time when you use again, it is still sticking out. I made a video showing how: https://youtu.be/QeGyVtNXf7w

  • That answer has already been given.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Jan 15, 2018 at 11:01
  • 2
    I think the already given answer you mean is fold the tape end inward, so that it stick to itself. Mine is different, you don't need to waste that part of tape.
    – Zone Thin
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 12:52

Put it in a tape dispenser (available in various sizes from tiny up to and including hand held parcel-tape "guns") - it sticks to the blade so the whole question does not even arise.


To prevent the tape sticking to the roll I often use a bit of plastic or a bit of tape already folded over. Stick the end of the tape to that and it will both show where the end is and allow for removing the marker and not losing tape. Keep the marker, it can be used many times.

Once the end has gotten stuck I prefer the run your mail over the roll method, which you might need to do in both directions. However, if your sight is good, looking for the end can work, especially if you can use a strong light focused on the roll. Let the light play on the surface, the outer circumference of course, and see if you can see that slight bump.


If somehow I forgot to fold back the end of the tape I would slide the blade of a snap off knife around the roll of tape until I meet the end.

Then I would carefully lift the end of the tape with the blade.


I've used all the tricks shown above at various times and they work well with Selotape. Scotch Tape as used on parcels is very thin and it is nigh impossible to find the end. Mine broke in the dispenser. Cutting through is fine but then you get many layers and being so thin not every one is cut through and it comes off diagonally. I persevered and afer half an hour and twenty times around the roll I got there. Much easier to ditch it and buy a new roll!


Take a razor blade or utility knife and slice through the first layer of tape. Then peel it off from wherever you sliced it; you can use the blade to lift the tape as well. One way or the other, you'll find the end.

  • 7
    This doesn't find the end it makes one :[
    – Vogel612
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 23:17
  • 1
    It can also cut through several layers of tape, and thusly make the end you find only a short length
    – holroy
    Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 16:05

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