How to Refill a Standard Stapler

How to Refill a Standard Stapler

Refilling a stapler doesn’t really cross our minds until we run out of staples. At home, it doesn’t happen as often as at the office, but either way, you’ll have to refill your standard (or mini) stapler eventually. We’re happy to present this step-by-step guide on how to refill a standard stapler.

Check to See that You Have a Supply of the Correct Staples

Standard staples are easy to come by, but they don’t fit in or work in some mini-staplers; likewise, staples made for some mini-staplers won’t fit standard sized ones. Standard staples do fit in some types of specialized staplers, like the Bostitch B440SB booklet stapler. Find the brand name of your stapler and check online to make sure you have the right type of replacement staples on hand. If not, you can order them for delivery.

Open the Stapler

Most standard and mini staplers will open up when you lift the top section—you might have to pinch little latches or tabs on the side, but then the stapler should open up flat (the top will open all the way to form a straight line with the bottom part). Some staplers have a spring mechanism in the magazine, which is where you will put the new staples, but it should stretch back enough for you to open the stapler up. Hold the bottom with one hand and open the top with the other.

Some standard staplers open from the back, and a latch releases a spring-loader, revealing the magazine where you’ll load the staples and then replace the spring mechanism. Others load from the front with a similar latch system.

Make sure the magazine is clean and free of debris such as bits of shredded paper or single staples lying sideways or flat. Some staples may have even become wedged into part of the inside of the stapler where they are not supposed to be.

Load the Staples

Now that the stapler is open flat, you can see the magazine, which is the channel that holds the staples inside the bottom part of the stapler. Staples come in sticks or rows—if the row you have is too long for your stapler’s magazine, you can just break off the extra staples and use them another time.

Put the row of staples in the channel with their “legs” facing down. The legs should fit down on either side of the magazine in the little ditch or canal on either side of the magazine. The staples won’t fit otherwise.

Close the Stapler

Once you ensure the new row of staples has settled into the magazine with the legs of the staples fitting down along each side, it’s time to close the stapler. Don’t be surprised if this step is harder than you thought it would be—you may have to smack it shut, even push hard enough to eject a staple, to get it to close.

Test the Stapler

Get a few sheets of scrap paper and test the stapler to make sure the staples eject straight and don’t get stuck. If the stapler jams, it’s probably because the staples are crooked, or a single staple is stuck. Open the stapler again and take a look. Tweezers come in handy to remove any staple that has gotten stuck or deformed, causing the jam.

There you have it! You’ve learned how to refill a standard stapler.