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Rubber Bands

Rubber Bands
Rubber Bands

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When looking for rubber bands sizes there are so many sizes of elastic bands to choose from. Depending on what job you need the rubber band for is important on the size you require.

Rubber Band Sizes

To help you choose you rubber bands more easily, we’ve compiled a simple guide to help you with the various rubber band sizes.

The common rubber band is a popular office supplies product. It’s used throughout the world for a myriad of different uses. These include holding files and folders together, or maybe additional security to keep food or packing containers or boxes together.

Everyone has seen the popular rubber band balls that are created worldwide. You can buy a much smaller version of these too.

All in all, rubber bands are very useful and sometimes can be an indispensable piece of office stationery.

Standard Rubber Band Sizes

The simple answer is there is no standard rubber band size. This is due to the number of uses that rubber bands can be used for. This is also not limited to the office.

The overall size of a rubber band is calculated by the length. This is generally measured in millimetres.

You can measure a rubber band by lying it flat whilst you measure the length alongside a ruler.

All rubber bands have a number associated with them. The number connected to them is universal. So no matter what brand or elastic bands the size will remain the same.

As there are no standard size rubber bands. it is possible you will tend to see some sizes more than others.

In our sizing chart below this should help you find the perfect size rubber bands that you need.

Rubber Bands Size Chart

Why you buy rubber bands you will know what you need to use them for. This could be general use or maybe for a specific purpose. The rubber band sizing chart below will help you select the perfect rubber bands for your requirements.

Size 8 – 25mm 1.5mm
Size 10 – 35mm 1.5mm
Size 12 – 38mm 1.5mm
Size 14 – 50.8mm 1.6mm
Size 16 – 60mm 1.5mm
Size 19 – 88.9mm 1.6mm
Size 24 – 152.4mm 1.6mm
Size 30 – 50.8mm 3.2mm
Size 32 – 76.2mm 3.2mm
Size 33 – 88.9mm 3.2mm
Size 34 – 101.6mm 3.2mm
Size 36 – 127mm 3.2mm
Size 38 – 152.4mm 3.2mm
Size 63 – 76.2mm 6.3mm
Size 64 – 88.9mm 6.3mm
Size 65 – 101.6mm 6.3mm
Size 69 – 152.4mm 6.3mm
Size 75 – 101.6mm 9.5mm
Size 89 – 152.4mm 12.7mm
Size 90 – 170mm 12mm
Size 170 – 160mm 12mm

Uses for Rubber Band Sizes

Once you have a good understanding of how you wish to use your rubber bands, choosing the correct size will make buy rubber bands much easier.

There is no standard practice of how rubber bands can work for every single job. Luckily, if you are looking for elastic bands for many uses we do have the option to purchase a box of assorted rubber bands. This contains many different sizes.

Heavy Duty Rubber Bands

As a basic guide to heavy-duty rubber bands. For more hardwearing jobs you will likely require wider and thicker elastic bands. Size 89 rubber bands is an excellent choice for a band that is big enough to wrap around a shoebox. A more popular choice for general office uses such as banding files or envelopes together would require size 34 rubber bands or size 38 rubber bands to be on the safe side.


As you can see from the article above there are many uses for elastic bands. They are certainly a popular item of office stationery. Feel free to take a closer look at our full range of rubber bands.

rubber band (also known as an elastic bandgum band or lacky band) is a loop of rubber, usually ring-shaped, and commonly used to hold multiple objects together. The rubber band was patented in England on March 17, 1845, by Stephen Perry. Most rubber bands are manufactured out of natural rubber or, especially at larger sizes, elastomer, and are sold in a variety of sizes.


Rubber bands are made by extruding the rubber into a long tube to provide its general shape, putting the tubes on mandrels, curing the rubber with heat, and then slicing it across the width of the tube into little bands. This causes the tube to split into multiple sections, creating a rubber band.

While other rubber products may use synthetic rubber, most rubber bands are primarily manufactured using natural rubber because of its superior elasticity.

Natural rubber originates from the latex of the rubber tree, which is acquired by tapping into the bark layers of the rubber tree. Rubber trees belong to the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae) and only survive in hot, humid tropical climates near the equator, so the majority of latex is produced in the Southeast Asian countries of MalaysiaThailand, and Indonesia.

Once the latex has been tapped and is exposed to the air, it begins to harden and become elastic, or rubbery.

Rubber band sizes


Rubber band sizes - how to choose

Measuring a rubber band

A rubber band has three basic dimensionslengthwidth, and thickness. (See picture.)

A rubber band’s length is defined as half its circumference. Its thickness is the distance from the inner surface to the outer surface, and its width is the distance from one cut edge to the other.

If one imagines a rubber band during manufacture, that is, a long tube of rubber on a mandrel, before it is sliced into rubber bands, the band’s width is decided by how far apart the slices are cut, and its length by the circumference of the tube.

Size numbers

A rubber band is given a standard or quasi-standard number based on its dimensions.

Generally, rubber bands are numbered from smallest to largest, width first. Thus, rubber bands numbered 8–19 are all ​116 inch wide, with lengths going from ​78 inch to ​3 12 inches. Rubber band numbers 30–35 are for width of ​18 inch, going again from shorter to longer. For even longer bands, the numbering starts over for numbers above 100, again starting at width ​116 inch.

The origin of these size numbers is not clear and there appears to be some conflict in the “standard” numbers. For example, one distributor has a size 117 being ​116 inch wide and a size 127 being ​18 inch wide. However, an OfficeMax size 117 is ​18 inch wide. A manufacturer has a size 117A (​116 inch wide) and a 117B (​18 inch wide). Another distributor calls them 7AA (​116 inch wide) and 7A (​18 inch wide) but labels them as speciality bands.

Rubber band sizes
Size Length (in) Width (in) Thickness (in)
10 1 14 116 132
12 1 34 116 132
14 2 116 132
31 2 12 18 132
32 3 18 132
33 3 12 18 132
61 2 14 132
62 2 12 14 132
63 3 14 132
64 3 12 14 132
117 7 116 132


Temperature affects the elasticity of a rubber band in an unusual way. Heating causes the rubber band to contract and cooling causes expansion.[11] Stretching a rubber band will cause it to release heat, while releasing it after it has been stretched will make it absorb heat, causing its surroundings to become a little cooler. This effect is due to the higher entropy of the unstressed state, which is more entangled and therefore has more states available. In other words, the ability to convert thermal energy into work while the rubber relaxes is allowed by the higher entropy of the relaxed state.

The result is that a rubber band behaves somewhat like an ideal monatomic gas inasmuch as (to a good approximation) that elastic polymers do not store any potential energy in stretched chemical bonds. No elastic work is done to “stretch” molecules when work is done upon these bulk polymers. Instead, all work done to the rubber is “released” (not stored) and appears immediately in the polymer as thermal energy. Conversely, when the polymer does work on the surroundings (such as contracting to lift an object) it converts thermal energy to work in the process and cools in the same manner as an ideal gas, expanding while doing work.

Red rubber bands

Red rubber bands

≈10 Royal Mail rubber bands, on a letter size guide.

In the UK during 2004, following complaints from the public about postal carriers creating litter by discarding the rubber bands which they used to keep their mail together, the Royal Mail introduced red bands for their workers to use: it was hoped that, as the bands were easier to spot than the traditional brown ones and since only the Royal Mail used them, employees would see (and feel compelled to pick up) any red bands which they had inadvertently dropped. Currently, some 342 million red bands are used every year. The Royal Mail no longer uses red rubber bands as of about 2010, the exact date is uncertain, presumably as different areas used up old stock at different rates.

Ranger bands

Ranger elastic bands

Ranger bands made from moped inner tube

Rubber bands for caving

British cave diving style sidemount harness showing snoopy loops used to stow hoses against the cylinders

This type of rubber band was popularized by use in the military. Ranger bands are essentially sections of tire inner tubing cut into various sizes. They have the advantage of being versatile, durable, and resistant to weather and abrasion. They are commonly used for lashings, and can also be used for makeshift handle grips, providing a strong high-friction surface with excellent shock absorption.

Identical loops of the inner tube are used by cavers and cave divers, and in that context are called snoopy loops by the British caving and cave diving community. When they get lost they are recognizable as a common form of litter.

Snoopy loops are easily cut from discarded car and motorcycle inner tubes using a pair of scissors. A knife cut may leave a notched edge which can lead to tearing. Varying sizes of the inner tube are used for different tasks. Uses in caving include sealing cuffs of over suits and collars of boots against the ingress of water, holding kneepads and elbow pads in place or securing dive lines to small rocks .and have been used for first aid for strapping injured joints tightly in place.

Technical divers use small snoopy loops made from bicycle inner tubes to prevent backup lights clipped to a dive harness from dangling, and larger loops cut from car tubes are used to stow hoses against sling or side-mount cylinders.

The exact origin is unknown and has been subject to much speculation. The practice of using snoopy Loops has been claimed to have originated in Greece and spotted by Cave Diving Group members in the late 1970s. The practice was then propagated in Yorkshire Dales. Another claim is that snoopy loops were named by Dave Morris, a Cave Diving Group caver who noticed how they ‘snooped’ around boulders. It was considered a ridiculous name at the time. None of these claims is particularly plausible as the use is obvious and is likely to have originated independently in several places at earlier dates.


elastic bands

Latex rubber elastrator rings and pliers

In animal husbandry, rubber bands are used for docking and castration of livestock. The procedure involves banding the body part with a tight latex (rubber) band to restrict blood flow. As the blood flow diminishes, the cells within the gonads die and dehydrate. The part eventually drops off.

Model use

Rubber bands have long been one of the methods of powering small free-flight model aircraft, the rubber band being anchored at the rear of the fuselage and connected to the propeller at the front. To ‘wind up’ the ‘engine’, the propeller is repeatedly turned, twisting the rubber band. When the propeller has had enough turns, the propeller is released and the model launched, the rubber band then turning the propeller rapidly until it has unwound.

One of the first to use this method was pioneer aerodynamicist George Cayley, who used rubber band-driven motors for powering his small experimental models. These ‘rubber motors’ have also been used for powering small model boats.


A rubber band ball

A rubber band ball made from over 3,000 individual rubber bands.

rubber band ball is a sphere of rubber bands made by using a knotted single band as a starting point and then wrapping rubber bands around the centre until the desired size is achieved. The ball is usually made from 100% rubber bands, but some instructions call for using marble or a ping-pong ball as a starting point.

Notable rubber band balls

The Worlds biggest rubber band ball

Milton’s former world record size ball

The world’s largest rubber band ball as of November 19, 2008, was created by Joel Waul of Lauderhill, Florida. He is currently the World Record Holder according to the Guinness World Records. The ball, which previously sat under a tarp in Waul’s driveway, weighs 9,032 pounds (4,097 kg), is more than 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) tall (which implies about a 20.68 feet (6.30 m) circumference), and consists of more than 700,000 rubber bands. It set the world record on November 13, 2008, in Lauderhill, Florida with rubber bands contributed by, a physical therapy company.[24] The ball is now owned by Ripley’s Believe it or Not!.

Steve Milton of Eugene, Oregon previously held the record for the biggest rubber band ball beginning in 2006. During the construction of his rubber band ball, he was sponsored by OfficeMax, who sent him rubber bands to use for his ball. His ball was approximately 175,000 rubber bands, 5.479 feet (1.670 m) tall (circumference: 18.996 feet (5.790 m)), and weighed 2,088.14 kilograms (4,603.6 lb). He began building the ball, with help from his family, in November 2005 and would store the ball in their garage.

Before Steve Milton, the record was held by John Bain of Wilmington, Delaware beginning in 1998. In 2003, his ball weighed around 3,120 pounds (1,420 kg), consisting of over 850,000 rubber bands and is 1.52 metres (5 ft 0 in) tall (circumference: 4.6 metres (15 ft)). He put the ball up for auction in 2005, but he and his ball participated in Guinness World Records Day 2006. The bands were donated by two companies: Alliance Rubber and Textrip Ltd./Stretchwell Inc.

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