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Fasten Securely with Staples and Staplers

Staples are, if you think about it, a bit of a marvel. They're each a single piece of metal, and yet their two simple bends make them ideal for fastening items together. From the thin, folded staples that hold your documents together to the thick, hearty staples that hold pieces of wood together, staples are one of the most common fasteners out there.

Desktop staples and staplers

Many offices use staplers to join documents together. Small and easy to use, office staplers are an iconic workplace tool. Different options will be fixed or flexible; small or large; and some models may flex open or turn around to affix items to surfaces such as walls and boards. Each model of stapler has limitations on the size of staple it can use, so make sure to purchase the right size of refills for your office stapler.

Staplers for use around the house and on upholstery

Heavy-duty staple guns offer more power than the handheld stapler kept on your office desk. These tools typically use compressed air systems to push staples into denser surfaces such as wood, and are referred to as pneumatic staple guns. Electric and manual staple guns are also available; however, it's important to note that manual staple guns require more force to operate.

Heavy-duty and industrial-grade staplers are an excellent choice for tasks such as upholstery and home carpentry. The simple, repetitive nature of a staple gun makes it a good choice for affixing separate materials in many places, as it saves time without the need to pre-drill holes.

How do I know what type of staples to buy?

Staples come in many different shapes and sizes, so it's important to pick the right one for your task. 6mm (1/4 inch) staples are found in your typical desktop stapler, while pneumatic nailers more typically use 18 gauge crown staples. These 18 gauge staples work well to fasten materials to wood, but they're relatively short, thick, and visible. Fine staple wires will have a larger number attached to their gauge, such as 21 or 22, while heavy staple wires have smaller numbers, such as a 15 gauge.

Also important are staple depth, width, and shape. Shallow staples, for instance, have a height of just a quarter inch: you might see these on items like shallow-profile stretched canvas, but they won't even reach the bottom of a roll of carpeting. Read guides and reference similar projects to determine what kind of heavy duty staple you'll need, from a squared-off T20 to a curved T25, made with a round crown to secure low-voltage wires.