pallet wrapped in stretch film

What’s the Difference Between Cast Stretch Film and Blown Stretch Film? Which one should you buy?

Stretch film is used to hold boxes and products together on a pallet for safe transportation and storage while also providing protection of the items. Stretch film is commonly available in two types, cast stretch film or blown stretch film.

TL;DR scroll to the bottom of the page for a quick comparison chart highlighting the differences between cast and blown stretch film.

What's the Difference?

Differences in extraction methods give the two films different attributes.

How is Cast Stretch Film Created?

Resin beads are fed into a heated barrel and pushed through a narrow slotted die using a cast extrusion process. This creates a sheet of film that is then fed along a rolling path that cools and solidifies the film before trimming and rolling. The result is a smooth, clear film. Stretch wrapping machines can only be used with this type of film, however you can use this film with a hand dispenser as well.

How is Blown Stretch Film Created?

Resin beads are again fed through a heated machine, then forced through a circular die and blown out vertically into a bubble. The resulting bubble is then collapsed and flattened by the rollers as it is shaped into rolls. Blown stretch film is commonly used for hand stretch wrap and cannot be used on a stretch wrapping machine.

How Do I Use Stretch Film?


Commonly referred to as “hand film,” blown stretch film cannot be used on a stretch wrapping machine. It’s made specifically for use with a hand stretch wrap dispenser. There are several dispenser options to choose from to speed up the wrapping process.

Applying stretch film by hand allows you to wrap a variety of products and stacks of goods on pallets. This type of film is a good choice if you are wrapping under 50 pallets per day.

stretch wrap handles
stretch wrap machine


Machine stretch wrap is faster to apply than hand stretch, has a lower film cost than hand film, is safer, and boasts better load containment.

The use of machine stretch film requires a stretch wrapping machine. A stretch wrapper can be a significant investment, and your budget may prevent you from purchasing a stretch wrapper, in which case you may have to use hand stretch film.


What Type of Stretch Film is Better?

Choosing the best stretch film is dependent on your wrapping needs. Some factors that need to be considered before deciding which film is best suited for your situation include environmental conditions, storage and transportations processes, load retention, film memory, film yield, puncture resistance, cling, visual clarity, and unwind noise.  

7 Attributes to Consider When Buying Stretch Film

Cast Stretch Film Blown Stretch Film
Clear, allows for easy scanning of barcodes and labels behind film, high gloss
Milky, translucent color, medium visibility, medium gloss
Quiet when unwrapping
Loud, squeaky caused by stickiness when releasing from roll
Horizontal strength only (allows for clearness), stretches easily, high tear resistance
Horizontal and vertical strength allows for superior puncture resistance, best for heavy, sharp, or irregular pallet loads
Single-sided or two-sided cling options, easier to unwind
Sticks to itself, high cling allows for increased load retention
High yield, increased stretch to wrap more pallets with less film
Medium yield, less stretch requires more film
Minimal shrinking back to original state after stretching
Less likely to shrink back to original state after stretching

Common Stretch Film Markets: Bottling and Canning, Landscaping, Construction, Electronics, Automation, Food Industry, Paper Industry, Carpeting, Furniture Industry, Packaging Industry, Medical Industry, etc.

Ready to save on stretch film? Contact PAX Solutions.