If you’re preparing for any crafting, home decorating or reupholstering projects, the staple gun is an inexpensive yet indispensable part of your tool kit. It’s as easy to use as a standard office stapler, but it provides much greater holding power for a wide variety of materials.
Manual Staple Guns
The most basic staple guns are manual, fired by squeezing the handle at the back of the stapler. They’re simple, fast and efficient. Because you power the gun, they’re completely portable and safe to use around water. A new, more ergonomic design called the forward action stapler reverses the handle, so the downward squeeze is right over the firing mechanism. It’s much easier to use and provides a more accurate placement.
Electric Staple Guns
Larger projects call for the more user-friendly electric staple guns. They take virtually no effort to fire, so those bothered by carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive stress injuries will certainly appreciate the electric version. They’re only slightly more expensive and use the same staples as manual models, but of course require electricity. The cord on an electric version is just a few inches long, so plan to have a sufficient extension cord on hand. Cordless versions are also available, though carpenters and upholsterers often forgo electric models entirely in favor of pneumatic guns.
The staple gun is a versatile tool: It performs the most rudimentary home repair jobs, but it’s also the key to fabulous home decorating projects. Here’s just a sampling of what you can do with a staple gun:
- Cover an old footstool with batting and fabric for a like-new piece of furniture.
- Replace window screening on an enclosed porch.
- Close off an under-the-porch space by stapling lattice strips to the framework of the structure.
- Create artwork by wrapping fabric around a plain artist’s frame and stapling to the back.
- Make a simple spring greenhouse with a wood frame and plastic sheeting stapled to it.
Getting great results from your staple gun is easy. If it’s a standard manual stapler, understand that it will take some force at the back of the handle to fire it, so be sure to apply downward pressure over the nose as you squeeze. This will prevent the nose from lifting or shifting as you squeeze. With powered staplers, just remember to press the nose firmly to the work piece.
Staple Gun Tips
A staple gun can cause severe injuries, so always treat it with caution.
- If the gun has a safety lock, always keep it latched when not in use.
- Never point the staple gun at anyone.
- Keep hands away from the nosepiece.
- Never let a child use it.