A common saying claims that “perfect” is the enemy of “good.” We understand, in the sense that perfection is unattainable so you just have to go with what you have. With that said, we would add that “good enough” is the enemy of “great.” Shippers should never settle for anything less than the best.
As one works to send out shipments with properly protected packages, they may need to make all kinds of decisions. Even seemingly simple ones, like choosing between poly bags with 4 Mil or 2 Mil thickness, can benefit from serious consideration. If you have never even thought of asking this question, let alone weighing which option is better in which situation, this guide is for you.
The Measure of a Mil
Let us cut off your assumptions right here: “Mil” is not short for milliliter and is not even a unit of volume. It is not short for millimeters, either. It refers to the Latin word for “thousand” and, in this context, means one-thousandth of an inch. People use this tiny unit of measurement to determine the thickness of exceptionally thin objects.
There are plenty of useful applications for Mil measurements. One excellent example is choosing strings for a guitar. Thicker strings produce more bass and require more finger strength. Thinner strings produce more treble and are easier on beginners. The measurement is so important that sets are commonly labeled by the thickness of the thinnest string.
We chose this example because the difference is easy to identify. Ask any aficionado of the instrument and they could pluck two guitars with two distinct sets of strings for you. One with a 9 Mil string will have a different tone than one with an 11 Mil. If you would not expect two units of such a small measurement to make such a difference, the proof is in the sound.
Using Mil in Resealable Poly Bags
Mil may be a good unit for getting a specific sound out of a six-string. However, this blog is not for musicians, but employees involved in the shipping industry. What does this type of measurement have to do with that field of work? This particular article’s narrow focus has to do with resealable poly bags.
There are quite a few ways to classify these bags. One is the thickness of their material, which is more important than may be apparent. It factors directly into how much weight each bag can hold, and how long it can hold objects without tearing from strain. The thicker they are, the stronger they are and the longer they last.
2 Mil and 4 Mil are perhaps the most common “sizes” for resealable poly bags. Anything less would be thinner than human hair and too weak for all but the most short-term storage purposes. Anything thicker can help for transporting objects with sharp corners. Even so, they are not the most practical choice for anything that does not threaten to puncture the material. The question now is which kind is useful in which situations. We provide our answers below.
The Advantages of 4 Mil Thickness
4 Mil may not seem big, being just a few thousandths of an inch. Then you learn that bread bags are usually 1.5 Mil, and suddenly 4 mil seems unusually thick. In fact, within the field of shipping, resealable poly bags of this thickness are considered appropriate for heavy-duty shipments.
For example, industrial parts weigh more than most other shipments that fit inside these small containers. As a result, they require more thickness for safe and secure transportation. 4 mil bags are ideal for metal objects in general, such as tools and hardware, and fasteners. A good rule of thumb is to use these for items that have any real heft to them.
Another great advantage of bags with 4 mil thickness is that they last longer. The idea behind resealable shipping containers is that you can open and close them any time you need. They can therefore be reused as a cost-cutting measure, so long as the bags are still in good shape. Thicker bags maintain their quality for longer periods and can have a longer lifespan. This also makes them better for longer-term storage, if that is ever a concern.
The Advantages of 2 Mil Thickness
Now that we have discussed the significant advantages to using poly bags with 4 Mil thickness, anything thinner might seem like a downgrade. Despite that impression, 2 mil poly bags are available for a reason. Sometimes, less truly is more. If 2 Mil thickness is good enough for your average department store’s shopping bags, it may yet be good enough for resealable poly bags.
The reference to department stores is apt when discussing the applications of bags with 2 Mil thickness. They are ideal for a vast variety of shipments, including just about anything you could get at a mall. If they are not heavy-duty enough for industrial, they may be sufficient for replacement parts on simple machines. Food can be preserved. Clothing and jewelry may also be light enough. If the item is not heavy-duty and cannot puncture the material, 2 Mil is usually a good way to go.
4 Mil is thick enough to handle all those shipments too. However, they may be too thick, and using them may be overkill. You would be better off keeping plenty of bags with 2 Mil thickness handy and saving 4 Mil bags for shipments that require such thickness.
Resealable 2 Mil & 4 Mil Poly Bags at Tigerpak
Resealable poly bags with 4 Mil and 2 Mil thickness both have their uses. Even the latter is not as flimsy as it may look, so keeping plenty of both around your workspace will be worth your while. If you want bags of great quality, as opposed to “good enough” quality, Tigerpak can help. Visit our store today and check out our diverse selection of excellent poly bags in various thicknesses.