Start Collar vs Take-Off: Choose One for Your HVAC!

The connection of pipes and shafts is an important consideration if you are planning on making an HVAC system.

However, choosing the right connection can be tricky, especially when choosing between a start collar and a take-off.

So, what should you use in start collar vs. take-off?

A start collar is a process of connecting a round pipe with a flat surface. On the other hand, take-off deals with rectangular ducts. In take-off, various openings from the rectangular duct are made. These are square, double-round, or branch-like openings from rectangular ducts.

Start Collar vs. Take-off: A Quick Comparison

Now let’s see a quick comparison between these two.

Factors to compareStart collarTake-Off
Used inInsulated duct, circular pipeSquared shaped ducts
Purpose of useTo connect duct boardTo cut entry at ducts
PriceAround $8Approximately $10

Let’s proceed with a detailed review.

Start Collar vs Take-Off: A Thorough Comparison

Start collar and take-off both barely have any differences. The difference is as slight as the difference between ul 723 and ul 181

However, we are here to figure out the specific differences. Thus, let’s go for an elaborated analysis.


Start collar is a connection process. Start collars are used to connect pipes at any HVAC box. Also when you have to extend a line in an HVAC system.

This is something that basically connects the flat surfaces with the round pipes.

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Source: youtube

Now let’s see what take-off is. Take-off is the method of cutting holes in any HVAC box, particularly on rectangular duct boards.

Sometimes, you may have to modify the existing HVAC system. For that, obviously, you have to customize the connections at the plenum. This is the moment when take-off is used. Typically holes or entries are cut into the rectangular ducts. 

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Source: imperialgroup

Thus, if there’s any need for connections at the existing box, they can be added to these holes.

Hope now you know the actual meaning and purpose of both start collar and take-off.

Method of Use

Both the start collar and take-off have differences.  So far, we have figured out the purpose of their use. 

Now it’s time to see how to use this connection in the HVAC system.

To use take-off, firstly, you have to pick the duct box. Then mark the place where you have to place the take-off. Then take a snip cutter and remove the material. 

And there you go! Technically this is the take-off process. You have to make the entry point at the HVAC system. That’s it!

Once take-off is done, then the process, start collar, starts. It’s the process of connecting new pipes to the entry points at the plenum. 

So, pick the start collar after making the holes at the shared shape duct box. Then attach it to the hole. 

This is the overall process of using the start collar in a duct system.

Available Designs

Speaking of designs, you will find various designs of take-offs. However, start collars do not have as many variants as take-off. 

Still, let’s glimpse the available designs of both start collar and take-off. After all, you must know about the designs. To modify the HVAC system of course!

Generally, a start collar can be of two types. One is the straight collar. And the other one is the dovetail start collar.

Now, what could be the main difference between these two types of start collars?

The major difference is at the junction point. The junction point of the dovetail start collar is divided into multiple small rectangular segments, just like a dovetail. 

When you join the start collar, you can fold and attach them to the HVAC system. 

In this case, you have to firmly attach the folded tabs.

On the other hand, the straight start collar is completely straight and cylindrical. The start collar does not have any folded tabs at the joining sections. 

And generally, this type of start collar is added with the help of adhesives since there are no tabs that can be folded and attached.

If you’re confused about choosing start collars, don’t worry. Here’s our recommendation for starting collars.

Duct Outlet Start Collar HVACGrab it today!
The Sheet Metal Kid Duct CollarGrab it today!
Sheet Metal Ductboard Start CollarGrab it today!

Take-off is mostly of two types. One is the top take-off, and the other is the side take-off. 

Well, the names are quite explanatory. The top take-off is usually used at the upper portion of the plenum. 

In this case, the entry point is made at the top surface of the rectangular duct box.

Meanwhile, the side take-off is entry points made at any side of the plenum. Use side take-off if you have round pipes to connect at any side of the duct box.

There are many take-off start collars available too.

Final Verdict: Which One To Go With?

All right. It’s time to settle from either start collar or take-off. Truth be told, both are connection methods. And they can be used for customizing the duct system.

If you want to add new connections to your HVAC system, go with a start collar because it’s the purpose of making it in the first place.

Besides, it’s an economical process to add new pipes. So if you are thinking of extending ductwork, use a start collar.

But if you wanna create new entry points at the duct system, use take-off. Cutting is fairly easy here. Here’s our recommendation for the finest ready-made take-offs out there.

AC Infinity 6″ Ducting Take-Off CollarBuy from Amazon!
Speedi-Collar SC-06DBuy from Amazon!
Ductboard Take off COLLARBuy from Amazon!
8″ Round Take-Off Collar Buy from Amazon!
TOP TAKE-OFFBuy from Amazon!


Do I Have to Use Bolts to Connect The Start Collar?

It is not mandatory to use bolts connecting the start collar. There are several ways to connect the start collar. Some start collars come with a ‘sticky tap’ feature. You can just simply stick the collar at the junction point. 

Do I have to Maintain Distance to Set Up Take-off?

Yes. You have to maintain a minimum distance to set up the take-off. The process is known as the law of two-foot. The take-off should be 24 inches from any branches of the duct. This is the minimum distance. Otherwise, the flow inside the duct system can get compromised.

Is There Any Way to Increase The Outlet Flow of The Duct System?

You can use filters to increase the outlet flow of the duct system. This way the filths of the fluid will get isolated, and more fluids can get out. Or, you can modify the duct system.


I guess it’s the end of the road! That’s all on ‘Start collar vs take-off’. If you still have confusion, you can go to any sanitary expert. They can give you some heck of tips!

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