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A staple gun is a powerful tool that’s used to drive the metal staples into various kinds of materials. They are most commonly used for fastening materials onto masonry, plastic, and wood. In simple terms, a staple gun would be a faster, more powerful, and bigger version of the office stapler.

It’s a very useful tool, but only when used mindfully and safely.

How To Fix Staple Gun Problems

It’s not a plaything – toying with it usually has bad results. If you’re aware of its possible problems and dangers, it will be easier for you to use it in a safe way.

In this article, we’ll inform you about some common staple gun problems that you need to know about even before you decide to use it for your DIY project – read on!

Jamming


Whether you’re an owner of a manual or electric/pneumatic model, your staple gun might get jammed after repetitive use. It’s the most common issue of them all, and here’s how to fix it:

Manual Staple Gun

  • Step #1 – The first thing you’ll have to do here is to slide out your gun’s pusher rod. It’s a thing that runs through the entire length of the device’s magazine, and its purpose is to push the staples up and feed the gun’s chamber with them. In most models, there’s a tab or a knob at their bottom, which is connected to the pusher rod. Once you find it, grab it and give it a good pull. You will probably have to push it in, in order to clear the latching spot.
  • Step #2 – The next step would be to remove the screw that’s located at the bottom of the device’s magazine. The purpose of this screw is to prevent the gun’s magazine from being removed or fall out during use. Take a screwdriver and merely remove the bolt, and then leave it at a visible place. Some models will have locking screws on their bottom sections – they will have a nut on one side, and you’ll have to hold it in place before you can remove the screw. To do this, take a pair of pliers and hold the nut with them while you’re unscrewing the previously mentioned bolt.
  • Step #3 – Now that you’ve removed the screw; it’s time to reach in and remove the magazine. It should come out at the bottom of your manual model.
  • Step #4 – The next step would consist of clearing the jam. When it comes to manual staple guns, the jam usually occurs at the top, right where the staples are discharged. By taking a closer look, you’ll probably notice a staple stuck in that area. To remove it, you will need a pair of needle-nose pliers. Pinch the stuck staple with them and pull it out towards yourself.
  • Step #5 – At this point, you can reassemble your manual staple gun. Start by putting the magazine back into its place, and then add the retaining screw and the pusher rod. Essentially, it’s the same process like when you disassembled the device, only reversed. That’s it – you’ve successfully unjammed your manual staple gun!

Electric/Pneumatic Staple Gun

  • Step #1 – The first step would be to release the trigger and then unplug the device. If you notice that your gun is jammed, never try to dislodge it by repetitively pulling the trigger. The internal safeties of some models are capable of preventing the device from firing. Once you’ve released the trigger, unplug your corded model, and turn off the switch if the gun has one. If you’re an owner of an electric model, on the other hand, you can simply remove the battery pack. Similarly, the pneumatic staple guns should be released from the air hose.
  • Step #2 – Now would be the time to remove the staple clip. Most models have a small release lever that’s located at the bottom of the magazine, which you should pull and see the magazine get unclipped. After that, you can pull on the magazine until it’s disconnected from the tool.
  • Step #3 – The next step is to take the needle-nose pliers and remove the staples. Some jams will be caused by the failure of staples to get properly ejected from the magazine – they might even be squashed by the other staples in the magazine. In other cases, the staple has left the magazine but only partially, and is stuck in the gun’s opening. No matter what your particular situation is, take a pair of pliers and pull out the staple from the place it’s stuck at. Do it gently as hasty action might cause damage to the magazine.
  • Step #4 – As we said, the discharge area is another place where the staples might get stuck at. For some models, you won’t have to use the pliers – a tap on the base of your model might be capable of clearing the jammed staple. Check the user manual to find out if your model can do this.
jamming staple gun

Multiple Staples


When you buy a new staple gun, an issue you might run into is to have your model dispense a few staples from its gun at the same time. It’s a very discouraging problem, especially for those trying to complete their project in a timely manner.

In some cases, this issue can be resolved by adjusting the firing mechanism or the staples themselves – it’s a quick and easy solution. However, it’s not something that always works, as your model could simply have a defect from the manufacturer. If that’s the case, you’ll have to return the gun and get another brand.

Hard-To-Pull Trigger


In some cases, the trigger of the staple gun can be very hard to pull. These devices can take a considerable amount of pressure in order to fire a staple – not everyone is able to use them.

The reason behind this issue is probably the design of your handle. The company that manufactured the model could redesign its grip in a way that will let the customer apply a more substantial amount of pressure when using the gun. This can be done by adding a longer handle.

Electricity is dangerous when not handled correctly. The risk of injury, damage to your battery or jump starter, and fire is ever present. It’s a good thing portable jump starters have several built in safety features.

  • Short Circuit Protection – prevents high current from passing from positive to negative clamps when accidentally touched together
  • Over-current Protection – prevents damage to the jump starter by keeping it from supplying more current than it’s peak limit
  • Overload Protection – keeps the jump pack from receiving more current than the manufacturer’s specifications when being charged
  • Over-voltage Protection – keeps the jump pack from receiving more voltage than manufacturer’s specifications when being charged
  • Overcharge Protection – when the jump starter’s batteries are full, this will “float” charge the unit and keep excess voltage from being applied to the cells

Clogged Hammer


The reason behind your hammer’s inability to hit the individual staples in a correct order could be a misshapen staple. You’ll have to check if you’re using the staples of the right size. If you are, it’s time to open the device and check its hammer by applying some pressure on the stapler’s head. The hammer should be capable of sliding downward without any impediment.

Fortunately, most obstructions can be dislodged with a simple screwdriver. In case your hammer is clogged by things such as gunk, grease, and dirt, you can use a degreaser – white vinegar or WD-40 should do the trick. Additionally, putting some lubricant on the hammer is sure to ease the tensions and allow the whole device to function more smoothly.

Worn Out Spring


If the spring of your model simply can’t maintain enough tension, the model won’t produce enough force to continuously fire new staples.

To test the spring of your model, carefully open the device, and then slide the spring back and let it go. The spring should quickly get into contact with the bar of staples. If you notice that the spring’s reaction is too slow, it’s probably the time to buy a new staple gun.

dewalt staple gun

Accidentally Letting Off the Staples


Modern devices of this type can shoot several staples per one minute with much ease. This is particularly true for the electric models. They are easy to operate, and that’s precisely the thing that makes people think that it’s easy to accidentally fire off a shot.

Always be aware of where your device is pointed at, and never wave it around. Keep it pointed downward – if an accidental shot occurs, it won’t injure anyone. Also, don’t forget to always wear your safety glasses and thick gloves when operating a staple gun.

Effectiveness


Sometimes, your staples won’t go all the way into the material for some reason. If that’s the case, you’ll have to make sure you’re using staples of the correct size.

Some types of staple guns can be difficult to load due to their unusual design – not all models function and operate in the same manner.

Design


While working on a project, you might notice that you can’t reach some areas with your device – they’re simply too difficult to get to. The design of your model prohibits you from getting to the desired location.

If this impedes your progress, you will have no other choice but to find another method to complete the task – it’s as simple as that. Sometimes, a good old hammer and some nails can do a better job than your modern electric/pneumatic device.

Conclusion


As you can see, these devices are easy to operate, very powerful, and certainly capable of boosting productivity when it comes to nailing tasks. But they also jam very easily and are responsible for almost 40,000 hospital visits each year. With the above mentioned tips in mind, you’ll know how to properly fix each of the most common problems and how to avoid getting injured by this tool. Good luck!

Common Staple Gun Problems and How to Fix Them

by Tyler Saunders time to read: 8 min
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