Many parts of your home are held together with staples. If the only image that comes to mind when you hear the word “stapler” is that of the standard office variety, used to hold documents together, your world view is about to expand. Pros and do-it-yourselfers know the importance of staplers in construction. Below we share some examples of how staplers help put buildings together.
Staplers and Nail Guns – There’s a Difference
Both staplers and nail guns fire fasteners – they just fire different kinds. Staplers fire a fastener with two legs (the parts that penetrate the material, perpendicular to the surface) and a crown (the part that is parallel to the surface being fastened, that remains visible once it embeds in the material). Different nail guns fire nails of various shapes and sizes. Unlike a staple, all nails all have just one point, not two. Both are essential in construction for different jobs.
Construction Staples Hold, Then Hide
Staplers take care of many parts of a construction job that are ultimately hidden. Construction staplers hold sheathing for roofs and floors and fasten roofing felt and house wrap. They can be used to lay carpeting and assemble cabinets, applying fasteners in a way that makes them inconspicuous. Specially designed flooring staplers fire fasteners at just the right angle to hold tongue and groove hardwood flooring together. They work unseen, will not split floorboards, and can hold insulation. Staplers that fire fasteners with rounded crowns can hold media cabling in place within walls or along baseboards, straddling the cable without puncturing it. Staplers hold furniture frames and upholstery when the house is finished and ready to be furnished.
Electric and pneumatic staplers are most common in construction, with the notable exception of the hammer stapler. That handy manual tool looks a lot like a hammer but fires a staple into place when the user whacks it manually against a surface. Roofers use hammer staplers to fasten roofing felt to the sheathing, and they are also useful for fastening house wrap. They are easy to maneuver and fast. Since the roof felt or house wrap won’t be visible once the shingles and siding are installed, the staples don’t have to look perfectly symmetrical or straight.
Distinct from Nail Guns
Carpenters and builders use nail guns to frame walls and may choose them over staplers to attach plywood sheathing. Special types of nails called “brads” have very small heads. Nail guns fire brads to fasten trim, molding, and baseboards. The need for the fasteners to be unnoticeable when applying details like trim is something brad nailers have in common with staplers.
Staplers are important in construction and work in tandem with nail guns to get home building, renovation, and remodeling jobs done.