Staplers come in various sizes and types. Some are manual while others use electric or pneumatic power to drive staples into materials and fasten things together. There’s a surprisingly broad range of staplers and the sizes of staples that go in them. Check out our guide to different stapler sizes.
The Long and the Short of Staplers
Manual staplers used at home or at the office come in several different lengths. Sometimes we describe them by the length of the strip of staples that load into them. Most standard office staplers are “full-strip” staplers. With these, you can load an entire strip of staples into the magazine all at once. These full-strip staplers are good for everyday use in office environments, where people might need to staple 20-50 pages together regularly.
“Half-strip” staplers are just what they sound like—half as long, accepting only half a strip of standard staples at a time. These occasional-use staplers are for light duty where you won’t have to staple more than 15-30 pages together.
In the stapler world, however, there’s another important way length comes into play. Sometimes you’ll need to insert a much wider or longer set of paper into a stapler. Or you may want to staple something to a page, a scrapbook, or a piece of cardboard in the middle. Standard staplers can’t reach that far into the center of a document or art project. That’s where “long-reach” staplers come in handy. These have either a longer stationary or adjustable arm, allowing you to position the stapler much farther from the edge of whatever you are stapling.
Kids love those adorable mini-staplers that come in bright colors and can’t fit many staples. They’re best for home or hobby use. Mini-staplers are cute, but children might mistake them for toys, so keep kids under supervision if they’re using staplers for their arts and crafts projects.
Manual, Electric, and Pneumatic
Even the strongest hands have their limits in terms of squeezing or pressing down on the handle of a stapler. Staplers that use non-human-generated power vary in size from demure electric office staplers to large construction and bindery staplers. Construction staplers and nail guns may use manual, electric, or pneumatic power, depending on the job, and the size of the tool may correspond to the type of power it uses. Product descriptions should provide a good guide to different stapler sizes.
Staple guns have different size “magazines,” where the user loads the staples, so it’s important to know the “crown size” (the width of the horizontal part that shows after the stapler drives a staple into materials) of the staples that fit in the stapler. Carpenters, roofers, and flooring workers use these electric or pneumatic staplers to drive nails into studs or subfloors to joists. Roofers use manual slap or hammer staplers to whack roofing felt onto roofing before they install shingles, and other construction professionals may use staple or nail guns to attach house wrap or siding.
Users can identify staples by the gauge of the wire they’re made of and by the length of the staple’s “legs,” the vertical part that punches through the materials the user is fastening together. These measurements are expressed in millimeters. For example, a 24/6 staple consists of 24-mm wire with 6-mm legs. Standard office staplers usually take 26/6, 24/6, or 26/8 staples. Those cute little mini-staplers may use number 10 staples, which are 10-mm wire with 4-mm legs.
Staple wire can be flat or round, depending on the intended application. The leg length also varies widely. Look around your home, office, and local countryside, and you’ll notice many different kinds of staples in use for different things. If you’ve had a large item delivered recently, you may see flat copper staples securing the bottom of the carton it came in. Look closely at a wooden fencepost, and you may see curved-crown staples with longer legs holding fence wire to the post. In the home, similar staples fasten cable TV wires to baseboards or crown molding to ceilings.
Binderies and upholstery shops use larger industrial staple guns or machines to create booklets or cover furniture frames with upholstery padding and fabrics. Some more unusual large staplers include steel strapping tools for industries that package materials in bales, crates, or on pallets. These strapping staplers punch holes in steel ribbon that goes around stacks of boxes or individual crates to make a sealless notch punch joint, which prevents the ribbon from reopening in transit. Heavy-duty fence jobs may require large pneumatic fence staplers to attach electrified wire or wire batten fencing along the posts of a fence line. This kind of fencing is usually for keeping livestock within a defined area, so it has to be strong, and the wiring must be firmly attached to deter livestock from trying to push through.
Strip nailers and “scrailers” have long magazines that hold a strip of nails held together with paper or wire. This type of nail gun distributes the weight of the nails along the long arm, creating a better balance for the user. A scrailer drives a hybrid-type of nail that looks like a half screw, half nail, hence, “scrail.” You may see these large nail guns in use with decking, framing, and even driving pins into concrete.
Packaging industries or manufacturers that make items sold in bags may use a special stapler called a “hog ring tool” or hog ring stapler. These are a kind of plier-stapler hybrid that fastens wires together or seals bags and netting with a C-shaped ring. You may see these kinds of rings holding large bags closed or providing seals to bags that must be watertight. You may have encountered them on heavy burlap bags, attaching netting, closing net bags, or even on some parts of bedding.
Spend some time browsing our selection of staplers, large and small, for a large variety of uses. We at Staple Headquarters will help you choose the tool and supplies that are right for your job.