Staples attach fabric to upholstery, roofing felt and house wrap to cladding, and documents to each other. Knowing how to choose the correct staple crown will help you make your project a success.
Staple Crown Explained
For most people, a staple is just a piece of wire that punches through several sheets of paper and crimps in the back to hold them together. Do-it-yourselfers are familiar with many other household uses for staples in small projects or large home makeovers. Either way, it’s helpful to understand the terminology that describes the different parts of a staple, so when you’re shopping for these versatile fasteners, you’ll know what the descriptions mean.
The “crown” of the staple is the part that still shows after you punch a staple through the materials you are fastening together. The “legs” are perpendicular to the “crown,” and parallel to each other, and they penetrate the materials. Staple crowns come in narrow, medium, and wide versions.
A narrow crown is less visible after application. It’s the smallest crown type, useful for trim or other jobs where you don’t want the staple to be too noticeable. You may have seen narrow crown staples holding fruit crates, gift boxes or upholstery together, or attaching molding or paneling to walls.
The next widest are medium crown staples. Their wider crossbar connecting the legs makes medium crown staples more versatile, able to fasten sheathing, subfloors, and various types of packaging.
If you’ve ever received a delivery in a large cardboard carton, you’ve probably seen wide crown staples, often copper, holding the flaps of the box closed.
Leg length varies with crown width, and so does the shape of the points at the ends of the staple’s legs. Many narrow crown staples have longer legs for a good grip, and some wide crown staples’ legs are shorter than you might expect. While narrow crown staples are less noticeable, they also don’t cover much territory. The tool you use to do the job must be compatible with the staple you choose. Some types of staples only fit into staplers made by the same manufacturer. An industrial stapler may use staples that come in a coil or roll rather than a bar. Check the specifications for the tool you select to choose the correct staple crown for your project.