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Staple guns are useful and versatile tools; there is no question about that. However, even though most of them look quite similar to each other, the components “under the hood” are what counts in the end of the day.

Unfortunately, many people aren’t aware of the pros and cons of different staple gun types, and that’s why a lot of consumers end up buying something that either doesn’t meet their expectations or is overpriced. In both cases, the end result is unfavorable for the user.

Electric vs Pneumatic Staple Gun
If you’re planning on getting a staple gun for yourself, but you aren’t sure which type to choose – check this article out. We made a list of the things you should know about both types if you haven’t done research already. This way, you can pinpoint exactly what you need and want instead of guessing or buying the first thing you stumble upon that seems appealing enough.

Pneumatic Staple Guns


Most people use pneumatic guns in construction. When it comes to the design, these tools resemble a real gun with a trigger and cartridge. Pneumatic units use compressed air as a power source which is why they are considered suitable for heavy-duty projects. As you may know, compressed air is a great source because it offers an immense amount of instant power for a fairly low price.

Getting used to using a pneumatic unit isn’t as big of a deal as some people think. While most models look robust and complex, the whole concept isn’t particularly hard to comprehend and master. The number-one thing you should think about when working with these machines is your personal safety. “Safety first” has been a motto for decades among both DIYers and professionals, and that should be more than enough to persuade you to focus on your safety instead of jeopardizing your well-being for whatever reason. Bear in mind, misuse of a heavy-duty tool can cause severe consequences, sometimes even fatal.

Advantages of Pneumatic Staple Guns


One of the biggest reasons why people decide to invest in this type is its raw power. If you’re planning to tackle a heavy-duty project, an electric gun isn’t the best idea due to certain limitations, especially when it comes to the output intensity. Pneumatic units are, hands down, the best possible solution for bonding construction materials.

The other thing that makes this particular type worth investing in is the low-maintenance factor. In other words, these machines require far less maintenance in comparison to their electric competitor. Now, that doesn’t mean they require absolutely no maintenance. It’s important for you to remember that because many people decide to neglect their machines just because someone said they don’t require any maintenance whatsoever. You should still make a schedule and check out the machine every couple of months to make sure everything is as it’s supposed to be.

Apart from high performance, pneumatic units also offer longevity and durability. Because they are far less complex and have fewer electronic parts in comparison to others, they are thus more reliable and have a bigger lifespan. It’s important to point out that the overall state of your unit depends on the way you handle it. In other words, if you’re not using it properly, most of these advantages don’t apply.

Disadvantages of Pneumatic Staple Guns


The biggest issues of these units are mostly related to the air compressor. People who don’t like a bulky and loud piece of equipment by their side definitely tend to avoid these machines. The first thing that bothers most users is the lack of portability. While one cannot say that these units aren’t somewhat portable, they are definitely not easy to transport from one place to another, even if you own a seemingly lightweight compressor.

Safety concerns are also much higher than they are with electric units. There are more components that are prone to failure thus increasing the safety factor to a higher level. This fact shouldn’t discourage you from utilizing air-powered machines because as long as you follow the safety-related rules, everything should be fine. It’s important that you remember not to lose focus and wear safety equipment at all times, especially ear protection due to the high amount of noise the compressor is able to produce.

Speaking of noise, it is one of the few deal-breakers for most people nowadays. As you can assume, these machines produce quite a bit of noise and it’s not something everyone is comfortable with. Even though it’s an easily solvable predicament with a pair of earplugs, some people just don’t like to be exposed to high levels of noise at all times regardless of the protection they are using.

Electric Staple Guns


As the name suggests, these units utilize electricity as a power source. It’s usually a good thing for most DIYers while it’s quite frowned upon by devoted professionals. The main reason why people decide to go with electric units is – affordability. In other words, this type is significantly cheaper than its air-powered competitor. The overall difference in size between these two types is also a significant factor. The electric models are much smaller and more compact thus being an ideal solution for various home improvements and light-duty projects.

If you’re planning on working with particularly thin or fragile materials, buying an electric model is one of your safest bets. Because it doesn’t output as much power as its pneumatic counterpart, it’s ideal for handling more sensitive materials. As far as the safety goes, these models don’t require as many precautionary measures, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous, especially for absolute beginners. Make sure you read the instructions and always follow the safety regulations in order to avoid unpleasant scenarios and painful consequences.

Advantages of Electric Staple Guns


As we said, one of the biggest differences between electric and pneumatic units is in the price, electric being the cheaper solution. Therefore, people that either don’t have a large enough budget or simply don’t need a heavy-duty tool usually end up opting to buy this type. These machines are also significantly smaller and more portable in comparison to air-powered ones for one simple reason – they don’t require an additional compressor at all times.

Speaking of portability, electric models are the way to go if you’re looking to move the unit from one place to another frequently. Also, if you’re not comfortable with high levels of noise, the only logical thing to do would be getting an electric gun instead of a pneumatic one.

Due to their more simplistic design and concept, these units are also considered to be quite safe to work with. Bear in mind that doesn’t mean they are absolutely safe per se, but as long as you follow the regulations, there shouldn’t be any issues with operation, let alone with injuries. On the other hand, if you decide to neglect the safety concerns, there is a good chance you’ll end up hurting yourself one way or another. In simpler words – Safety first!

Disadvantages of Electric Staple Guns


While the vast majority of people have access to electricity, it’s not always easy to find an outlet, especially if you’re planning on working outside your home. For example, if you want to tackle a project in your yard, there is a high possibility that you’ll need an extension cord. Now, that doesn’t seem as too big of a deal, but you would be surprised at the number of people that aren’t aware of the dangers related to utilizing low-quality extension cords. As with all other electric units, you have to pay attention to the resistance and overall maximum capabilities of a particular extension cord. In other words, make sure you buy a high-quality one or else you’re going to jeopardize both the integrity of the machine and your personal safety.

The cost of running an electric model is far higher than using an air compressor. It’s usually not a significant factor for most people, but it adds up over time and it can turn out to be a costly endeavor in the long run. However, it all depends on the cost of electricity in your area, how often you use the unit and etcetera.

Last, but not least, these guns are notorious for having a high rate of failure, especially when used frequently and on a daily basis. It all depends on the quality of production, but you should be aware of this as it could make you change your mind and go with pneumatic units that are less prone to failure.

The Verdict


So, which type is the better one? Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer as it solely depends on your personal preferences, requirements, and expectations. If you’re an occasional user, we recommend going with electric models as they are easier to use and don’t require as much expertise. On the other hand, if you’re a devoted professional, then you probably already know that pneumatic models offer more versatility and far better power output.

The final answer, as well as our advice, is to determine your goals and expectations first, and then research the viable models accordingly. That way you’ll save a lot of time, effort, and most importantly – money.