In packaging terminology, the stock is the word used for material. Every stock is different and has its unique qualities. Different factors like customization options, durability, eco-friendliness, and overall presentation of every packaging box depend greatly on the nature of the material.
This page is to help you get an idea of different stocks to assist you in making the right material choices.
Card stock or cardstock is one of the most common packaging material options out there. Another name of this material is white cardboard. It is made from wood pulp, and it is sturdier and more durable than paper. Its smooth surface and white color make it perfect for various printing and finishing details. Its highly customizable surface is suited for printing and finishing customizations. You can get digital printing, screen printing, and offset printing options with both CMYK and PMS colors.
As for finishes, you can get matte, gloss, and soft-touch. Also, there are many addons like embossing, debossing, UV coating, and foiling. Also, you can add many design customizations like die-cut windows with PVC sheets, etc. Lastly, in addition to making boxes, cardstock is also used to make packaging inserts. In short, it is one of the most useful box-making materials out there. You can get cardstock in the thickness range of 12pt to 24pt.
Kraft stock is an eco-friendly packaging material with a brown surface. It is made from wood pulp through a chemical procedure known as the Kraft process. Like cardstock, it is also a sturdy and durable packaging material. In the strength and sturdiness department, Kraft and cardboard are almost the same. However, the difference is clearer when it comes to customizability and presentation. Kraft boxes have a brown and grainy surface which does not offer the accuracy in printing details as in the case of cardstock. Also, when it comes to finishes, these boxes are usually used with their natural finish.
It is compatible with all the finishes as cardstock, but laminations are still avoided to keep the packaging eco-friendly. Therefore, people usually add die-cut windows and another such packaging, making customizations to enhance the presentation. Besides boxes, this material is also used to make packaging inserts like fence partitions. The thickness range of Kraft is as the same range of cardstock(12pt to 24pt).
Buxboard is another material option that is both eco-friendly and biodegradable. These boxes are made from mixed recycled pulp and stocks that can dissolve with time and become a part of nature. Such qualities make this material the first choice of brands that search for greener packaging solutions.
Buxboard stocks are also highly customizable, like cardboard. You can get excellent results of any type of printing(offset, digital, and screen printing) with similar accuracy as cardboard. Also, you can get all the finish options like matte, gloss, stamp foiling, embossing, debossing, UV coating, lamination, etc. But again, adding such customizations can alter the material’s original eco-friendly nature. The range of thicknesses in this material range from 12pt to 16pt. To make inserts from the buxboard, layers of sheets are often pasted on each other.
Stock Thickness(Cardstock, Kraft, and buxboard)
The sturdiness of any packaging depends on the material thickness. Material thickness options you usually get in box-making materials start from 12pt and go upto 24pt. Following are the uses of packaging boxes of different thicknesses in the given range:
12pt is the thinnest option of stocks. These boxes are generally made for small and light products like dropper boxes and lipstick boxes. You can get custom packaging boxes made within this option in cardstock, Kraft, and buxboard.
14pt is slightly thicker than 12pt; thus, it is more durable. Again, this stock option is better suited for making boxes for smaller products. Also, you can get 14pt thickness in all three material options.
From 16pt onwards, the packaging boxes are sturdier. Boxes made from this material thickness are suited for both small and medium-sized retail products. You can get boxes made in Kraft, cardstock, and buxboard options. Apart from boxes, the packaging inserts are usually made from this thickness and above. It is the highest measure for buxboard. For higher material thickness, two or more sheets of buxboard are pasted on each other.
18pt is a suitable stock thickness for making medium to large packaging boxes. These boxes are sturdy enough to withstand retail and shipping procedures. Besides boxes, 18pt is also suitable for packaging inserts like punch inserts and fence partitions. Both Kraft and cardstock materials are available in this thickness option.
20pt is a highly durable stock option used to make product packaging for bigger and heavier products. These sturdier stocks ensure product safety in harsher shipping and retail procedures of products. You can get either Kraft or cardstock in this thickness.
22pt is the second-highest material thickness you can get in Kraft and cardstock. So, boxes made of this material are very sturdy and can withstand harsh conditions. Boxes of this thickness are usually used for fragile products like the ones made from glass. Both boxes and inserts are made from this material.
24pt is the highest thickness you can get for cardstock and Kraft. These boxes are used to pack bigger and heavier products because of their higher durability. Besides packaging boxes, inserts made from this material are also excellent in keeping the products safe in their place.
Corrugated material is known for its endurance, shock absorbance, and sturdiness. This material has two flat layers and a fluted layer sandwiched between them. You can get any level of product safety in this with thicker corrugated stocks. The customizability of the material depends on the outer surface. If the surface is bleached white card, you get the same printing and finishing options as usual cardstock. In contrast, the unbleached surface offers personalization options we see with Kraft material. Within this material, you can get various thicknesses. Also, this material is suitable for making both boxes and inserts.
Corrugated Stock Thicknesses
Unlike Kraft and cardstock, the thickness of corrugated stocks is not mentioned with pts. Instead, corrugated stocks have different names based on thicknesses. The range starts from A-flute and goes up to F-flute based on the thickness levels. All the thickness options are available in both white card and Kraft.
A-Flute is the thickest and the most durable type of corrugated material we use for making boxes and inserts. Boxes made of corrugated are used for packing equipment, electronics, and fragile products.
B-Flute is a millimeter thinner than A-Flute. Yet, boxes and inserts made of this material are very sturdy. The use of boxes made of this thickness has similar uses to that of the packaging made with A-Flute material.
C-Flute is another sturdier corrugated option. Because of its high thickness, the boxes made with this material are only second to A-Flute in sturdiness. Therefore, uses are similar to boxes and packaging inserts made of this material.
E-Flute is a more common material thickness used for a lot of products in our daily routine. Packaging boxes used for apparel, glass products, and various other routine items. These stocks are versatile because of their thickness.
F-Flute is the thinnest corrugated stocks option you can get from us. It is usually selected when customers want one-up durability than standard cardboard.
The rigid material is made with many layers of stock pastes upon each other. Because of its such making, the material is highly durable and is usually used to make luxury packaging solutions. Counter-top displays, watch boxes, jewelry packaging, makeup boxes, and many other such products are packed inside rigid boxes.
This material is also used for making packaging inserts for luxury products. Its customizability is the same as that of cardstock. So, the printing results and finish options are there. A famous example of Rigid boxes is of magnetic closure boxes.
Thickness Options of Rigid Material
Like corrugated and cardstock, Rigid material has its own units of thickness. Rigid stocks are usually available in two options of 1000gsm and 1200gsm. Regular Rigid stocks are of 1000gsm, whereas 1200gsm is used when you need an even higher durability and sturdiness.
If you still have any confusion about stocks, our design team is here to help you. Also, if you want more in-depth knowledge, our packaging-related courses are in the making as well. You can check it out by signing up for our newsletter.