What is the best pallet wrapper for your business?

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In the world of logistics and warehousing, efficiency and security are paramount. Safely and securely preparing your shipments is crucial, which is why pallet wrapping is a vital step for many businesses.

Choosing the right pallet wrapper can streamline operations, protect your products, and ultimately save you time and money. But how do you decide which pallet wrapper is the best fit for your business?

In this article, we’ll give you an overview of what a pallet wrapper is, the types of wrapper available and tips to help you choose the best pallet wrapper for your needs. We’ll also discuss how pairing the right stretch film with your chosen equipment is critical.

pallet wrapper

Understanding pallet wrappers

What is a pallet wrapper?

Pallet wrappers are machines that are designed to apply stretch film to a pallet of goods. Most pallet wrappers work by winding film around the pallet, binding items together, providing load stability. This helps secure the goods for safe storage and transport. These efficient devices are also known as pallet wrapping machines or stretch wrappers.

Stretch wrapping machines come in various configurations, from manual and semi-automatic models suitable for smaller operations to fully automated systems capable of handling high-volume production environments. Understanding your specific needs and requirements is key when choosing the best pallet wrapper for your business!  

pallet wrapper

Types of Pallet Wrappers

There are various types of pallet wrappers available on the market. From manual handheld dispensers, through to more complex machinery. Let’s take a look at them:

Manual pallet wrappers and dispensers

Ideal for smaller businesses with moderate wrapping needs, these dispensers require operators to guide stretch film around a pallet by hand. A great example is our ergonomic Wrapplicator. Its design means operators need to bend less and can just use one hand to apply the film. Manual floor standing pallet wrappers are available too. While manual stretch wrappers are a cost-effective option, they may not be the most effective choice for businesses wrapping more than 15 pallets per day.

Semi-automatic pallet wrappers

These machines automate part of the wrapping process, typically while rotating the pallet on a turntable while applying the film. An operator is responsible for moving the load on and off the turntable or to the wrapping area – hence the machines are classed as semi-automatic. A good example is the popular Lantech QL400 turntable pallet wrapper.

Fully automatic pallet wrappers

Designed for high volume environments, these powerful machines can wrap multiple pallets quickly and efficiently, with minimal operator intervention. Fully automated stretch wrapping machines can often be integrated into packing lines, and form part of a pallet’s movement through the warehouse.

Within these broad categories of pallet wrapping equipment, there are lots of key features and model types to consider too.

  • Vertical wrapping, turntable machines – these stretch wrappers apply film vertically, going up and down the pallet. They often feature turntables that rotate the pallet for easy film application or work as a rotating arm stretch wrapper (see below).
  • Horizontal wrapping machines – for long profile items, horizontal stretch wrapping machines are also available. Rather than a turntable, these have a conveyor that feeds a product through a tunnel or ring to be wrapped.
  • Rotating arm pallet wrappers – good for heavy products or more complex load profiles, these machines feature an arm that rotates around the pallet to apply the film.
  • Robot pallet wrappers – rather than a static machine, robot pallet wrappers are portable and move around the contours of a pallet to apply the film. They’re a good choice for heavy or irregular loads, as well as environments where you have multiple wrapping stations, as they can be moved with ease.
  • Core break or power pre-stretch machines – most semi and fully automated pallet wrappers will either operate as a core brake machine or a power pre-stretch machine. The main difference between core break and pre-stretch machines is the type of film they use. Pre-stretch machines need to be operated with pre-stretched film. Core break machines work with standard stretch wrap.
pallet wrapper

Tips for choosing the best pallet wrapper for your business

So, now you know about the different types of stretch wrappers available, but what is the best pallet wrapper for your business?

Every business will have different needs and challenges, combined with the choice out there, it can be hard to decide which type and model of machine is right for you!

  1. How many pallets you wrap per day – if you’re wrapping less than 15 pallets each day, a manual stretch wrap dispenser or free-standing manual wrapping machine may be a good choice. If you’re wrapping 15 or more, we recommend looking at semi or fully automatic pallet wrappers.
  2. Load profile and stability of load before wrapping – how is your load shaped? Is it very heavy? Can it be moved or does it need to remain static before wrapping? For more complex load profiles or pallets that can’t be moved, robot pallet wrappers, rotating arm machines or even horizontal stretch machines might be right for you.
  3. Load stability – once wrapped, does the machine you’re considering provide secure and consistent load stability during shipping and transit?
  4. Cost to wrap pallet – the type of machine and film you use can influence how much it costs you to wrap a pallet. With all costs factored in, does the machine you’re looking at provide a lower cost per pallet?
  5. Plastic waste and material use  – if you want to wrap more pallets with less film, investing in a good pre-stretch pallet wrapper can be key. They often work well with thin, high-performance films. Performance films can help reduce the weight of the material you use and the waste you create.
  6. Packing space and warehouse movement – how much space to do you have for wrapping pallets? Do you pack in one area or more? The footprint available in your site will influence which pallet wrapper you can choose. For example, robotic wrappers may offer more flexibility if you often need to move within your warehouse.
  7. Budget – ultimately, you need to factor in which machine will deliver a return on investment for you. The initial costs can be daunting, but they often payback quickly and for many pallet wrappers there are finance options available to spread the cost.
pallet wrapper

Why the right stretch film is important

In addition to selecting the appropriate pallet wrapper, choosing the right stretch film is equally important. If you choose the wrong film, it can lead to poor load stability and product damage. Not ideal!

Things to consider when choosing the right film include film performance, pre-stretch capability and compatibility with the machinery you’re choosing. It’s worth noting that film thickness can sometimes be misleading. Many high-performance films are quite thin but provide the performance of a traditionally thicker film!

By investing in high-quality stretch film that complements your pallet wrapper, you can enhance load security, minimise product damage, and improve overall operational efficiency.


In conclusion, selecting the best pallet wrapper for your business involves careful consideration of your specific requirements, budget constraints, and long-term goals.

Ultimately, whether you choose manual, semi-automated or fully automated machinery, selecting the right pallet wrapper and stretch film is essential for maintaining the integrity of your shipments. Assess your options carefully and invest in a solution that meets your needs both now and in the future.

If you need help evaluating your wrapping needs or want a recommendation of the best pallet wrapping machine for your business, check out our stretch wrap review service. Alternatively, contact us to speak to one of our experts.