Decoding Rubber Band Sizes

Decoding Rubber Band Sizes

Rubber band sizes are a little confusing, since they don’t seem to follow any rhyme or reason. It’s not like the bigger the number, the bigger the band. So I reached out to the folks at Alliance Rubber Company, one of the  largest manufacturers of rubber bands in the country. Even they didn’t know where the numbers come from.

What they could provide is a rubber band size chart matching sizes to actual dimensions, as well as tips on the best ways to go about choosing your rubber bands.  The wider the rubber band, the less it stretches and the tighter the hold.


Best for packaging pliable goods. Best for fast application and repeat use. Best for everyday office use. Best for binding sturdy items. Best for single applications and tight holds.

As for length, choose a rubber band length of about half the circumference of the item(s) you’re banding.  So, if you are using a rubber band to strap a few file folders together, your rubber band should be about six inches or so. Since rubber bands stretch, it doesn’t have to be exact. But if you have no idea of the circumference of your items, use a string to measure.

Rubber content is also an important factor in choosing the best rubber bands. It affects everything from tensile strength to how many bands you get in a package. You can find these details and more in the Rubber Band Buying Guide at

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