Choosing the Right Tear Notch for Your Custom Packaging

A tear notch in a packaging pouch allows the end-user to easily access the contents within a sealed package without needing any scissors. An intact tear notch also tells the consumer that the package has not been tampered with.

We typically apply tear notches directly beneath the heat seal region. On tamper-proof packaging, you'll see this right below the factory-sealed area. Usually, a tear notch is located just above the zip closure, if there is one.

TIP: For pouches with zippers, the optimal place for tear notches is 0.25 inches from the zipper. 0.5 inches below the seal zone is a great placement for pouches with zippers and hang holes. If the pouch has no zipper or hang hole, 0.375 inches from the top is the best location for tear notches.

Tear notches are certainly an optional feature, and for sure, you can do without these add ons to your custom packaging pouches. However, the simple addition of this notch means you provide your customers with a highly user-friendly feature.

As mentioned earlier, tear notches are easy to install virtually anywhere below the top of any flexible pouch or mylar bag, but the positions listed below are the best.

Getting Your Tear Notch Positioning Right for Your Packaging Needs

Tear notches and zippers are combined with hang holes to create a unique look for your product. Many brands have tested this kind of custom pouch configuration, which is a great product presentation model.

Use the chart below to identify the ideal location for your tear notch. If the chart is not clear enough for you, don't worry. After placing your order, our packaging experts will ensure that your project has the correct specifications based on what you need.

Zipper LocationHang HoleTear Notch Location
1.5" down from topYes, Center Punch1" down from top
1.25" down from topYes, Center Punch.75" down from top
1" down from topYes, Center PunchNot advised
1.5" down from topYes, OSHA or Delta1" down from top
1.25" down from topYes, OSHA or DeltaNot advised
No ZipperNo Hang hole.5" minimum
1" from topNo Hang hole.5" down from top

What are laser-scored tear notches?

Laser scoring allows you to easily open packages with a more consistent outcome because this technology guarantees a nice, even tear from one side of your pouch to the other.

Creating this kind of tear notch is straightforward: A laser beam seals the edges and zips through the pouch material. By using a laser, we know the depth of the score marks is consistent. The act of sealing also strengthens the final pouch product.

This technology enhances an excellent customer experience and allows you to outperform competitors with poorer packaging. Consumer tests have identified that most people favor laser-scored packaging since it is easy to open, and laser scoring delivers the convenience that modern consumers desire.

Laser scoring is especially essential in applications like medical equipment, where every second counts.

When to Apply Laser Scored Tear Notches

When your product requires easy-open or re-closable scores, laser scoring is an excellent addition to the manufacturing process. You can also use this for product identification or engraved security.

Here are a few instances where laser-scored tear notches may be a necessary feature.

1. For aesthetic appeal

Even when you don't require a tear notch, you can use it for the sake of a better product presentation. While it may seem insignificant now, it is yet another method to leave a lasting impact on your customers.

2. To preserve important graphics or text

If you have specific lettering or graphics that you don't want to be torn off as your custom packaging pouch is being opened, the laser-scored tear notch will come in handy.

3. To prevent the tear from getting stuck in the hang hole when opening

One challenge that arises when there is insufficient space between the hang hole and the tear notch is that the rip may swerve into the hang hole area, making it harder to open your package.

Your customer will receive another chance to attempt from the opposite side. If that doesn't also work out, they'll have to find their scissors.

4. When the space between the tear notch and hang hole is not enough

When this happens, it may be difficult to get your heat sealer to seal the bags in the appropriate position. Always remember to seal above the tear notch and beyond the hang hole.

If you seal past the tear notch, the bag will remain sealed even after the consumer tears off the top. Then they must snip the top off using scissors or teeth.

How Do Laser-Scored Tear Notches Work?

We simply add a little laser score from one tear notch to the other (essentially, a slit). The laser score directs the tear, so it rips precisely straight across the bag when the user shreds the top of the package.

It's almost imperceptible so that it won't detract from the appearance of your bag. It's also strong enough to resist ripping apart on its own.

Contact us at any time if you have any questions about tear notches or would like some samples to try out.


- Choosing Tear Notches for Custom Packaging FAQs -

What is a tear notch?

A tear notch is a small opening in the end seal that makes it easy for consumers to tear the packaging film and access the product. A carbide notch punch is affixed to the jaw's sealing face to create the slit.

What is laser scoring?

Laser scoring is a process needed to ease package opening. This process uses a laser to create a consistent tear from one side of the packaging pouch to the other.

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