MAKE:TNT Tools 'n' Tips

Safety-Walk Tape

by Andy Ihnatko

As seen in MAKE 04 Toolbox

Hardware stores and home centers sell some wonderful stuff made by 3M called Safety-Walk. This self-adhesive roll of gray, nubby rubber comes in 1-inch and 3-inch widths. It’s intended to add skid-protection to stair steps, but I always have some of it on hand because it’s terrific for making personal electronics easier to handle.

I’ve got a strip on the slick silvery back of my iPod. It prevents the thing from sliding off the passenger seat of my car when I apply the brakes. I’ve got it on the back of my Sony 616 phone; now, it doesn’t escape from my fingers when I dig through my pocket to answer it, it doesn’t fly out of my hands as I’m fumbling for a pen, and it won’t slip out of my pants pocket when I sit down. A thin strip runs along the bottom edge of my LifeDrive PDA. Result: when I’m eating at my favorite luncheonette, I can lean it against the napkin dispenser and watch a movie without it sliding flat against the counter.

And as I write this, three strips are on the bottom of my PowerBook, keeping it glued to my lap or to a tray table and stopping any suicide slides before they get started. It easily trims to any size and it blends so well with the modern metal-and-black style of modern electronics that it almost looks like a built-in ergonomic feature.

It’s only about a buck a foot, too. Have this stuff in the house somewhere and it’ll get used.

hardware stores