Standard Stretch Film

Pre-Stretched Film

Did You Know Purchasing Un-stretched Regular Film Could End Up Saving You More Than Purchasing Pre-Stretched Film?

Here’s How…

A 20” roll of manufactured pre-stretched stretch film costs about $31.35 per roll and gives you 5,000ft of surface area to work with, while 5,000ft of regular stretch film costs $64.00 per roll.

1 Pre-Stretched Roll  20” x 5,000’ =$31.35

1 Regular Roll              20” x 5,000’ = $64.00

Naturally, the $31.34 of previously pre-stretched film would appeal to most plant managers. However, when operating under the correct settings, there could be more to gain from stretching film using a stretch wrapper.

If you have a quality stretch wrapper that is operating at 200% stretch (80% of its ultimate-stretch**), the regular stretch film at $64.00 per roll could potentially give you 15,000 ft. as opposed to the manufactured pre-stretched film coming in at 5,000ft.

Pre-Stretched = 5000’/$31.35= $.00627 per foot
Can’t get stretched anymore

Regular = 5000’/ $64.00 = $.0128 per foot
Using a pre-stretch carriage on a wrapper, this film will stretch 3x as more at 200%

  = Equiv. 15,000@200% = $.004267 per foot
     5000ft. of regular film is really 15,000ft. when using a pre-stretch wrapper.


Pre-Stretched @ $ .00627 per ft vs. Regular @ $.004267 per ft.*
15,000ft. of Film $94.05 vs. 15,000ft of Film – $64.oo*
*Highlighted portion indicates better value

Common Misconceptions

#1. Pre-stretched hand wrap greatly reduces the amount of labor required to wrap a pallet.

FACT: Although hand wrapping using pre-stretched film reduces the amount of energy exhausted by the worker, obtaining a machine that has a pre-stretched unit requires little-to-no energy. Thus, pre-stretching the film using a stretch wrapper ultimately retains the health, energy, and safety of your employees more than pre-stretched film does.

#2. Stretching the film activates its elastic memory, triggering the film to return to its original state.

FACT: On the contrary, film does not have elastic memory. Stretch film doesn’t go back to its original form. Once film has been stretched between 70-80% of ultimate stretch, there’s no more stretch to give. When a load is being transported on a rocky truck, what keeps the pallet from toppling over is film resistance. It can’t get any looser because it has already been stretched to 80% of ultimate. On the contrary, when the film is not stretched enough, it can become loose once the pallet shakes resulting in a poorly secured load.  If the film is not stretched to 70-80% of ultimate, most managers over-compensate by using more film to tightly secure the load. Managers will use more film because it  requires more energy to stretch more film (or thicker film) than less film.  However, if the film was already stretched to 80% of ultimate (80% is usually where the film required a ton more force to stretch just a little) the energy required to stretch will be equivalent to the energy required to stretch more film, or thicker film.  Thus, less film stretched at 80% will require the same energy to stretch more than heavier film stretched at 60% of ultimate. All in all, you achieve better load holding force by stretching the film yourself using powered pre-stretch wrapper.

#3 Wrapping with pre-stretched film will save you money.

FACT: Although regular stretch film comings in at a higher cost, it winds up more valuable than pre-stretched film because you’re getting more use of regular film while consuming less. By choosing to stretch your film using a powered stretch wrapper, you save money on film and overall lower operating costs.

#4 Producing Pre-Stretched Film using a Stretch Wrapper is always the best option 

FACT:  Not all stretch wrappers product the same results. Most stretch wrappers stretch up to 200%  whereas, higher end stretch wrappers can stretch up to 400% and beyond. Most standard film will stretch at least 300% requiring 240% stretch to get to 80% of ultimate.  Most high end films ultimate stretch will be 375%+ stretch requiring your wrapper to stretch at 300% consistently making it impossible for humans and most machines.

The same occurs if you put a high end film on a machine (ultimate 375%, machine stretch 300%) and only stretch 200%. As the pallet vibrates on the truck, the film can stretch another 100% causing the film to loosen as the pallet travels.  The quick fix that most managers implement here is using more film on the load to minimize the stretch, but it might be best to upgrade a machine that can stretch at 300%.


If your operation requires that you only wrap 3-5 pallets a day, you should be using pre-stretched hand film. However, if you’re wrapping more than 10 pallets a day, you should use a stretch wrapper and film that has been tested to work together and stretch the film at 80% of ultimate in order to achieve greater load holding force at an overall cheaper cost.


If you’re in the market for a new stretch wrapper, contact the experts at Best Packaging by clicking here, or calling (888) 930- BEST. We’ll help you choose the right machine for your application.