I Wrapped my iPhone 6 Plus in Glock Grip Tape, and it was Glorious
Jon Stokes 01.02.15
I recently picked up the Springfield Armory XD Mod.2 after reviewing it, and despite the amount of grip already included on the gun, I added a small bit of GT5000 grip tape where the left thumb sits in a thumbs-forward grip. So I had quite a bit of the stuff left over, and I’ve since found two great non-pistol applications for it. I’ll write about the first project a bit later, but today I want to show off what I did last night. Behold the Glockified iPhone 6 Plus.
But for me a phone is a tool, and I haven’t used a case for a phone in the last ten or so years. My phone goes in my pocket, it gets scratched and scuffed, and I don’t care because I replace it every two years anyway. In other words, I baby my phone about like I baby my Leatherman Wave, which is to say, not at all. I use it hard, and when it’s toast, I get a new one.
Because my phones are tools, I don’t hesitate to mod them, even if said mods don’t add much to the appearance. For instance, the one mod I’ve done with my last four phones is to add a small square of Velcro to the back. I have a corresponding patch of Velcro on the dash of my car, and that’s how I mount my phones to my dash. I just stick it on there with Velcro. It’s cheap, it’s handy, and there is zero fuss. I can mount my phone instantly and without looking while driving, and unmount it just as easily. Anyway, this mod means that all my phones have an unsightly patch of Velcro on the back, but again I don’t care. It’s a tool first and foremost.
With the current mod, I opted to spring for an in-car mount so that I could forego the Velcro and add the grip tape, and I must say that I’m extremely pleased with the results. My cuts weren’t perfect, but they’re good enough. You have to look pretty closely to see where the tape strip joins are. The result is an extremely grippy phone that has zero added bulk. It’s not only easier to manipulate one-handed, but it also does not slip out of my pants anymore when I sit down. The end product is so good that I think the company that makes the tape should do a dedicated iPhone tape package and sell it for that purpose.
In case you’ve not encountered this particular brand of grip tape before, it’s a great alternative to common mods like skateboard tape because the latter can scuff and scratch clothes and other objects. GT5000 is just very thin rubber with an adhesive backing, which means that it won’t harm anything that it comes into contact with, but it’s still really grippy, even when wet. The fact that it’s rubber also means that it’s forgiving to work with as it can be stretched and molded with a heat gun. So even if your cuts aren’t perfect, you can still shape it a bit after it has been applied.
As for how I did this, I just sat down at the kitchen table with a pencil, a heat gun, a cutting board, and a razor-sharp knife (I used my Spyderco Dragonfly II, but I recommend a razor blade). Whatever you use for the cuts and finishing touches, it should have a very thin blade and be razor sharp. I did some initial sizing of a strip and marked out the cut lines with a pencil on the grip tape’s paper back, then I cut three strips of equal width. I applied the strips starting at the bottom, and after each was applied I used the knife to trim off any excess. This probably left some scratches on the metal underneath the tape, but again, I don’t care. I can’t see anything, and if I could I wouldn’t care.
For a finishing step, after trimming everything up with the blade, I went over with the heat gun and made sure everything meshed and molded the way it should. I did end up with a very small bubble in the lower left-hand corner; you can see it in one of the shots. I’m not sure why it’s there, but it’s not enough for me to care about.
Like I said above, I think the guys who make this tape should put out a smartphone-specific kit. This mod is that good. If you’re at all interested in this, then get some tape and go for it. You won’t be disappointed. And if you hate it, you can always just peel it off again.