Best Staple Guns in 2023 – Top Picks, Guide and Reviews
If you’re looking for fast and secure adhesion — you need a staple gun. They’re the optimum tool for fastening lighter weight materials, such as soft timbers, board, paper, plastic, fabric, and wire. You don’t even need to be a tool expert to wield these machines! Simply locate the gun over the area to be secured — squeeze the trigger — and you’re done! Ideal for crafters, hobbyists, artists, and carpentry work, the best staple guns are reviewed on this site, together with product advice and information.
Types of Staple Guns
Manual Staple Guns
This Affordale and with no external power requirements – the manual staple gun is a must-have for the general householder. Highly portable, this tool is perfect for light work, such as fabrics and picture frames – but, you need a little strength to operate the trigger!
Electric Staple Guns
Powered by either a mains cable or a rechargeable battery — an electric gun takes the physical effort out of stapling. With the ability to use brad nails as well as staples — they’re suitable for thicker timber, carpeting, and installing insulation sheets.
Pneumatic Staple Guns
Designed for heavy-duty use — the pneumatic is the professional choice. They make light work of thick timbers and withstand repetitive use. The only downside is you need a separate air compressor to power the unit.
Upholstery Staple Guns
Ideal for the furniture manufacturer and restorer — these guns can cope with finer wire staples than the more ‘industrial’ machines. This means that your handiwork is secure — but the metal fasteners remain inconspicuous.
Staple Gun Top Picks
Here’s our Top Pick for Each Category
|Check Price at AmazonDewalt DWHTTR350 Review Dewalt DWHTTR350 Review|
|Check Price at AmazonStanley TRE550Z Review Stanley TRE550Z Review|
|Check Price at AmazonWEN 61720 Review WEN 61720 Review|
|Check Price at AmazonPorter-Cable US58 Review Porter-Cable US58 Review|
Finding the Best Staple Gun – Buying Guide
A great variety of factors come into play if you want to find the perfect stapler for your projects. You should pay attention to many elements, so you don’t end up with a tool that’s not suitable for your needs. Therefore, take a look at these tips and try implementing them when you make your purchase.
Different Types of Staple Guns
As you may know, manual staple guns are the most common. Almost every household has one — they are such useful and versatile tools. However, there are some things you need to think about before purchasing a manual staple gun for your projects.
First of all, check out the weight of the product. If it seems too heavy, don’t buy it. The reason is pretty simple – you’ll get tired quickly, especially if you decide to tackle a large project. Lightweight units are your safest bet.
The second thing you should consider is safety. Check and research the safety aspect of the product you’re considering. If the manufacturer doesn’t point out exactly how safe it is and which safety regulations it has passed, it may be a good idea to skip that particular model.
The amount of power used to operate the lever is also one of the crucial things to look for. If it’s a stiff lever, you’ll probably have to use some raw muscle power in order to operate the unit. Consequently, it all comes down to fatigue once again. When handling smaller projects, it shouldn’t be an issue if the lever is stiff. However, larger tasks require less labour-intensive units — you don’t want to take a break every 15 minutes due to fatigue and muscle pain.
Therefore, look for light, affordable, safe, and reliable models. There are numerous on the market, but only a few worth investing in. Take a look at our reviews, we’ve narrowed them down so you don’t have to.
When electricity is involved, the first thing you should think about is safety. In fact, it’s the most important aspect of every electric nail gun.
One of the greatest advantages of an electric unit is that you don’t need to use force to operate it. Whether it’s battery-powered or corded, the amount of invested effort stays the same. When it comes to choosing between corded and cordless, both have their advantages and shortcomings.
The obvious plus point for cordless units is the fact that you won’t have issues with the cord tangling, tripping over it, etc. On the other hand, batteries need to be recharged, while corded units don’t.
As you can see, the paramount thing you should think about when buying an electric model is how to eliminate the chance of injury. Furthermore, if you have a big working space, you should consider using an extension cord. Keep in mind that you need to use a high-end extension cord to eliminate the risk of a shock which requires more investment and money.
Apart from the power source, the main difference between electric and manual models is that these are able to tackle massive projects with less likelihood of fatigue. Therefore, if you’re planning on undertaking a large DIY project, we suggest you seriously consider buying an electric unit. You’ll avoid fatigue, stress, and you’ll save a lot of time.
Pneumatic units often require some previous experience and knowledge. Therefore, if you’re a beginner, make sure you follow some of the basic rules when it comes to handling these tools.
When it comes to this type, the price usually determines the overall quality of a unit. In simpler words, you get what you pay for. In general, cheap units aren’t a good solution, especially if you’re looking for a long-term investment. These tools should last for some years, even decades. So, once you make a purchase, you shouldn’t need to think about replacing it for a long time.
Finding a suitable model will be easier if you check our reviews out. We’ve covered some of the best nail guns on the market — all you need to do is choose the one you find the most suitable. Before investing in a pneumatic gun, first make sure you have the correct compressor for it. Obviously, if you mess this step up, you’ll end up with a useless tool in your hands, or the expense of buying a suitable compressor.
Because pneumatic staple guns are heavy duty, make sure the warranty conditions are favorable. Some companies issue pretty unfavorable warranty conditions if you read the small print. We’re not saying these devices break frequently, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Always remember to use gloves and goggles — which should be your primary safety equipment in the first place. One last thing you should check is the safety features regulations. Because pneumatic guns use high velocity to deliver the nails or staples, this is of utmost importance.
The depth of penetration is the main factor you should look for in staple guns for upholstery. Whether you’re working with soft or hard wood, an upholstery gun should be able to penetrate it as deep as possible.
The weight of the tool is also a crucial feature. Because reupholstering furniture usually takes quite some time, a lightweight model is preferable. Anything above 2.5 pounds should be considered heavy and avoided if possible. However, there are some exceptions. For example, if the penetration depth of a particular model suits your needs but it’s on the heavy side, don’t dismiss it at first sight. It’s better to invest in performance than in personal preferences. In the end, the ideal solution would be the combination of these two elements.
Most upholstery staple guns use air as a power source. Of course, you’ll also need an air compressor to be able to operate these units. When ordering a unit, take special care to check the output valve — if it doesn’t fit your compressor, you will be unable to combine the two.
Your budget is what will ultimately dictate the model you’re going to buy. Don’t hesitate to invest a bit more in a high-end model if you can afford it, because it’s going to repay you relatively quickly.
Thing to Consider When Choosing the Best Staple Gun
There are a few factors to review before choosing your staple gun. Apart from some obvious factors you should pay attention to, there are others you may not have thought about. Take a few minutes to read this article so that you can get an insight into the mandatory considerations that will ensure you buy a quality and reliable tool.
As we already covered, there are three main sources of power for these tools — manual, electric, and air. Choosing the right one depends on the size and number of jobs you’re planning to do. If you’re just a DIY enthusiast with a few small-sized tasks on your agenda, manual and electric models are sufficient. On the other hand, large projects require more power and consistency, which can be better achieved with air-powered units.
Manual units are the cheapest ones, but also the most underwhelming category, especially if you’re prone to fatigue. It takes some power and effort to operate a manual staple gun, and not everyone is able to do this. If this sounds like you, we suggest you opt for electric models. Air power is the ultimate source. You can tackle a vast number of projects with an air-powered gun. However, this type is the most expensive as well as the most complex one. It requires experience, knowledge, and — most importantly – safety awareness.
The market is filled with so many staple gun manufacturers, and many companies claim that their products are the best. Make sure that you conduct thorough research about a particular company before opting for their product, particularly if it’s a little-known company. Many will lure buyers by offering lower prices than their competitors, but for a substandard product.. Therefore, if you stumble upon a cheap model which seems pretty good — don’t buy it without checking it out first.
Read product and company reviews from previous consumers and check the small print in the warranty. While some products may perform well for six months or a year, you could find yourself looking for a replacement very quickly. High-end models from reputable companies will generally have excellent warranty periods. Use that information as your starting point when choosing the best product for your money.
Customer support is also quite important. Established companies usually have a team of customer services staff, ready to help you by offering solutions to any problems that arise.
Important Features to Look for
When Buying a Staple Gun
Pay attention the following when buying a staple gun. Many people don’t consider these parameters, and end up with a device that doesn’t meet their requirements. To avoid such a scenario, read this section for a good insight into what features to look for.
Jamming is a pretty frequent occurrence with staple guns. However, many companies now integrate a useful anti-jamming mechanism in their tools, which alleviates the hassle. Even though most units have this feature, they’re not all of the same quality. Therefore, a quality anti-jamming mechanism is one of the most important features to look for when purchasing a nail gun.
The easiest way to evaluate whether it’s a good system is by reading customer reviews. You can rest assured that people will indeed point out a gun’s inability to cope with regular jamming, as it’s one of the most frequent problems of these tools in the first place.
Nail Depth Adjustments
Even though it may sound pretty irrelevant if you’re a DIY enthusiast, the ability to adjust a staple gun’s depth penetration is quite important. Setting up the appropriate depth can make or break a project, especially if you’re dealing with upholstery. Inconsistent penetration can damage the material, break the wood, and more.
Many guns offer various adjustments, but it’s all about the precision. It’s no use having a rotating knob on your gun if it doesn’t work properly. Some cheaper models have a serious problem with precision and adjustments, so keep an eye out for that.
Nail Size Adjustments
Many staple gun models can only use one or two nail sizes, which can be quite a burden if you’re planning to use your new tool for different tasks. If you think you’ll be using multiple nail sizes, look for models that accept a good range of sizes. You can ignore and avoid this step if you’re just looking to buy a tool for an occasional DIY venture, but if you’re a professional, aim for a model that offers some versatility.
The Swivel Tube
This step applies only for air-powered guns. It’s a useful component that prevents tangling and issues with the connector and tubes. Also, you can handle the tough-to-reach spots much easier if you have a swivel tube installed onto the unit.
Best Staple Guns from Each Category
Dewalt DWHTTR350 – Best Manual Staple Gun
As far as the manual guns go, this Dewalt staple gun is one of the best. It performs well and offers a safe way of tackling some minor DIY tasks. Although it’s considered a heavy-duty tool, you might want to look for an electric or pneumatic model if you’re preparing for a massive project. However, it’s an ideal solution for minor fixes and repairs around the house.
The main advantage of its neat design is the durability. While some people aren’t satisfied with the plastic look, you can rest assured that it’s sturdy enough to withstand quite a beating — the components under the plastic covers are made of aluminum.
One thing you might not like is the stiffness of the lever — this model requires a firm grip. Some people find it annoying, especially if you’re planning to tackle a large project. Apart from that, there are no other major drawbacks.
As far as advantages go, there are numerous. One great benefit is you can use almost any 18-gauge staples and nails. Therefore, the cartridges are pretty accessible and also quite affordable. Furthermore, reliability and durability are guaranteed with the Dewalt DWHTTR350. You don’t have to worry about sudden malfunctions and unpleasant surprises — it performs as advertised.
Heavy-duty tasks and everyday projects don’t pose a threat — in fact, it’s perfectly capable of tackling any major task with ease. However, the downside of this particular model is that it has a somewhat premium price, especially when compared to other manual staple guns on the market. But, the excellent performance and flawless design justify the higher price.
Our Rating: 4
Our Rating: 4
When it comes to sheer power and effectiveness, the Stanley TRE550Z is one of the best on the market. This electric nail gun is perfect for heavy-duty DIY projects, upholstery, and most of your small repairs around the house.
One of the main trumps of this particular model is the ease of use. While many people are hesitant when it comes to using electric-powered tools, this unit doesn’t require any previous experience or knowledge. As long as you follow the instructions and use it in a proper manner, there won’t be any problems.
It features a dual power level which allows you to fine tune the device, according to the material you’re dealing with. The power cord is eight feet long, which is okay but not impressive — you may find the need to use an extension cord for some projects.
This model uses Stanley Sharpshooter TRA700 series or Arrow T-50 heavy duty staples and 1/2-, 9/16- and 5/8-inch brads. Luckily, these are all accessible and affordable, and you won’t have any budget issues. Speaking of budget, the price of this staple gun is a pleasant surprise. Considering its quality and excellent performance, the price is more than acceptable.
Electric models often have jamming problems, and that’s one of the main reasons why people avoid investing in them. However, the Stanley TRE550Z features a quick-jam-clear mechanism which saves a lot of time and nerves.
The design is quite innovative and efficient. The model has a flush-nose design, which has proved to be most effective when it comes to stapling in tight spots. It also has a low-brad window, responsible for notifying you when it’s time to reload.
One of the few disadvantages that reviewers mention is that it isn’t suitable for dense and heavy wood. Therefore, if you plan to replace upholstery on some antique furniture, for example, it’s probably a good idea to find something with more power.
WEN 61720 3/4-Inch to 2-Inch 18-Gauge – Best Pneumatic Staple Gun
When versatility is required, the WEN 61720 seems like the best solution. This pneumatic staple gun has everything you’ll ever need for your DIY projects. In fact, even if you have any professional plans, this model will be your faithful servant. It’s made of lightweight aluminum combined with protective plastic parts. In other words, it’s durable, to say the least.
The vast array of auxiliary features makes it perfect for different tasks. Whether you’re planning to staple planks or heavier wood, the depth of penetration doesn’t suffer. You can also customize the depth by fine tuning the adjustment wheel. The quick release magazine ensures a flawless flow of staples. Jamming is a rare occurrence with this model, but if it does happen, just use the quick release mechanism to clear the jam, saving a lot of time and effort.
The exhaust port lets you control the direction of the outputted air. It means that you have full control over the air flow, which is one of the important points for pneumatic guns. Safety is also on a pretty high level. The WEN 61720 features a contact trip, which is responsible for maximizing safety and minimizing misfires. The magazine holds up to a hundred nails, ranging from ¾ to 2 inches.
The thing you might not like about this particular gun is the little-known brand name. People usually avoid buying products from unknown companies. The warranty conditions aren’t exactly ideal, and the quality control is questionable. Some customers reported that they received faulty products. Therefore, there is some risk of getting a broken model, but replacing it shouldn’t be a big deal. However, it does take some time to get a new one, and it’s also a pretty unpleasant situation in the first place. Occasional misfires are also possible, but the quick release mechanism solves the problem within seconds.
The price is great, but you’ll get what you pay for. You shouldn’t expect miracles from this model, but it offers more than enough efficiency for occasional DIY projects.
Our Rating: 4.8
Our Rating: 4.8
Upholstery is a pretty tough and complicated job, especially if you don’t have the required tools. The vast majority of these guns are either too cumbersome or heavy. However, the Porter-Cable US58 offers a great solution for all your upholstery project work.
The lightweight design is what makes this particular model worth checking out. Instead of carrying a heavy gun around while you’re reupholstering furniture, this device weighs only around 2 pounds. If you work with these tools on a daily basis, you’ll greatly appreciate this feature.
It’s also quite small and very easy to use. In fact, you don’t need any previous experience or knowledge to operate this particular gun — just follow the instructions in the user manual. The Porter-Cable US58 uses air to operate, which is one of the best power sources in the world of staple guns.
Users mention that it’s prone to somewhat frequent misfiring, which could affect the overall quality of production. Granted, it’s not a high-end product per se, but if your new staple gun often misfires, it should be returned to the company to rectify. Other than that, the only issue for us was the fact that it doesn’t come with any staples included. Although, when you buy a wallet, does it come with money?
The price is high, compared to other models on our list, but we feel it’s worth every cent. It’s a reliable tool (despite occasional misfires), and it’s quite straightforward. The safety features are good, so you don’t have to worry about injuries.
Nail Gun Injury Prevention – Safety First
While they are pretty handy and useful tools, nail guns can also be quite dangerous and cause severe injuries. According to some reports, over 40,000 people a year end up in the emergency room due to injuries caused by these tools. To avoid a hospital visit, read our safety section to get a general idea of what not to do when you’re around these tools — and how to handle them properly.
Frequent Factors That Cause Nail Injuries
Some of the most common injuries are caused by:
- Ignoring safety systems
- An incomplete (faulty) gun
- Surprisingly high penetration
- Bad positioning
- Unintended nail discharge
What Can I Do to Avoid Accidents?
Knowing there is risk involved is not enough, you need to know how to avoid getting into trouble. We have covered a few tips on how to safely operate your staple gun.
Understand Your Stable Gun
Knowing exactly which safety mechanisms are in question is mandatory. When you decide to invest in a staple gun, make sure you cover the safety aspects first. Trigger mechanisms are also a big part of safety awareness. For example, if you think you’re using a sequential trigger instead of a contact one, the consequences can be quite painful.
Always Think About Your Hands
Whether you’re wearing gloves or not, you should be aware of your hand placement. Some models have a surprisingly high penetration which is good for the most part — unless you’re holding your hand directly under a piece of wood. If you misjudge the penetration and length of the nail, you can pierce right through the palm of your hand in an instant. As you may expect, this is not a pleasant situation to be in.
Danger of Ricochet
Some surfaces cannot be pierced by conventional nails, which can lead to ricochet. A nail can bounce off a particular surface and hit you. If you’re dealing with a high-powered pneumatic or electric gun, that nail travels pretty fast and could pierce through your skin like a hot knife through butter.
Always make sure you have the right type of nail for the surface you’re working on. The output power of your gun also plays a significant role in the equation.
Wear Safety Equipment at all Times
We all know that someone who doesn’t want the hassle of wearing goggles, gloves, and other safety equipment. However, it can sometimes make a difference between life and death, especially when high-powered nail guns are in question.
ALWAYS wear the recommended safety equipment, so you are less likely to worry about risks of injury, because you’ll be safe. Remember, even people who wear safety gear at all times can experience various accidents with nail guns. But the protective equipment provides less likelihood of serious injury.
Hit the Surface You’re Aiming For
Missing the spot can turn the nail into a dangerous projectile, which can end up in someone’s body. Before squeezing the trigger, always make sure you’re aiming at the right direction.
Some other important tips
Keep your staple gun out of children’s reach. No matter how skilled and proficient they are, a child can easily mishandle the gun and cause severe injuries to themselves or others. Children are usually quite curious; therefore, keep your tool in a safe and hard-to-reach place, for the sake of their safety.
Don’t modify your nail gun. A lot of mechanics, engineers, and repairmen think they can make the gun perform better by modifying or bypassing safety features. The safety features are there for a reason — don’t disable or tamper with them.
Do not point the staple gun in the direction of other people, especially if it’s loaded and plugged in. Just like with firearms, don’t mess with the odds, it’s not worth it.
If jamming occurs, separate the gun from its power source before dealing with the issue. It takes only a few seconds, and it could save your life. Never squeeze the trigger while the gun isn’t pressed against the surface.
Staple Guns FAQ
1. How to load a Staple Gun?
The answer to this question depends on what type of a device you have. Here’s a short loading tutorial for each type:
Bottom Loading Electric Staplers
- Once you locate the magazine release button, press it and slide the magazine out.
- Hold the device upside down, insert the strip of staples and slide it back in. A “click“ sound will notify you that the magazine is in the right place.
- Turn on the stapler and try it on a piece of wood.
Top-Loading Pneumatic Staplers
- Disconnect the device by pressing the “on/off“ button and loosen the nut (situated on the back of the stapler), to disconnect the hose release.
- Disconnect the magazine follower by pushing the lever and pulling it away from the unit as far as it will go.
- Lay the strip of staples into the stapler’s rail.
- Push and release the lever to unlock the follower. Give the unit a small push if it doesn’t automatically push the staples into the gun.
- Plug in the compressor, connect the hose, turn on the compressor, and then test the stapler on a piece of wood.
- Once you remove the tape covering, press the small button on the back of the device to release the magazine.
- If your model is old and sticky or roughened up, carry out the previous step as gently as you can.
- Put a row of staples onto the track, push the magazine back into the unit, and test it out on a piece of cardboard.
2. How to Use a Staple Gun?
Using this device for the very first time can be a bit intimidating, but there’s nothing to worry about – the whole process is straightforward.
- Compare the item you want to staple with the depth and width of your staples. For example, if you’d like to staple two items together, your staples will have to be deep enough to go through both pieces.
- Before stapling, put on a pair of safety goggles and make sure that nobody is standing near to you.
- Place the device against the desired surface and make sure that the unit’s base is flat against it. Furthermore, make sure that the unit’s sides are perpendicular to this surface. Carefully align the gun’s front tip to the place where you want to do the stapling.
- Gently squeeze the trigger. Take care — pressing it too quick and hard can cause the device to move out of place.
3. How to Fix a Staple Gun?
Some of the most commonly occurring issues with these devices are having a clogged hammer, a worn out spring, or the unit dispensing more staples than it should. Here’s how to solve each of these problems:
• Clogged Hammer
Apply some pressure on the model’s head to open it and find the staple that’s clogging the hammer. Dislodge it with a screwdriver and reassemble the unit. If you’re having problems with dirt or grease, use WD-40 to clean out the substance that’s clogging the gun.
• Worn Out Spring
To find out if your model’s spring is worn out and can’t maintain enough tension, open the unit, slide the spring back, and let it go. If it doesn’t immediately come into contact with the staples but moves very slowly, you’ll need to replace it.
• Multiple Staples
If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to solve this issue by merely adjusting the staples inside the device, or by readjusting the unit’s firing mechanism. However, there’s also a good chance that your model is defective – if it is, use the manufacturer’s warranty to get it fixed or replaced.
4. Are Staple Gun Staples Universal Sizes?
No they aren’t. Not only are they available in different lengths and widths, but there are also different types of staples available on the market. These include: standard office staples, chisel point, flat clinch, heavy duty, undulated, and many others. Check your product’s user manual to find out which you can use.
5. What Staples Do I Need?
This depends on both the base material and the fastened material you want to use your device on. Examples are:
- Hard base material (MDF, plywood, oak) and thin fastened material (fabric, wraps, fabric) will require you to use staples of a smaller size – ¼“ (6mm) or 5/16“ (8mm).
- Soft base material (foam, douglas fir, pine) and thick fastened material (carpet, batting, pads) you will have to use larger staples – ½“ (12mm) or 9/16“ (14mm) ones. As above, your user manual will have more information.
6. How to Unjam a Staple Gun?
The method you’ll have to use to unjam your jammed staple gun depends on the type of the gun you have — manual or electric/pneumatic. Take a look at these short tutorials for both variants, but consult your user manual for exact details if possible:
- Slide out the model’s pusher rod and remove the screw that’s situated at the bottom of the magazine.
- Reach and remove the magazine, and then clear the jam. Do this by removing the stuck staple with needle-nose pliers.
- Reassemble the unit and test it to see if it’s working correctly.
- Release the trigger and unplug the device (or remove the batteries). Remove the staple clip by using the release lever.
- Just like with the manual gun, take a pair of pliers and remove the stuck staple from the gun’s opening. A simple tap on the base of the device might do the trick too.
- Reassemble the unit and test it out.
7. How Do I Store a Staple Gun?
Storing this tool is no different from storing any other power tool. Store it somewhere away from dust and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children. Keeping your tools well-organized and close at hand increases efficiency, so try to keep the device together with your other tools.
8. What Staple Sizes for Staple Gun?
To determine which size of staples is accepted by your gun, check the base of your unit, which is where most manufacturers imprint this information. The size is commonly expressed in a 2-number metric form, like, for example, “23/8.”
9. Will a Staple Gun Go Through Concrete?
No. Even the most powerful of these tools isn’t suitable for concrete — they are used for furniture construction, cabinet framing, sheathing, and similar jobs. To fasten something to concrete, you’ll need a high-powered nail gun, specifically built for this purpose.
10. Will a Staple Gun go Through Metal?
Yes, it will, depending on the type and thickness of the metal. Stapling steel roofing, panels, and fences can be carried out with this tool. However, stapling metal will require the use of a high-powered staple gun with heavy-duty staples to ensure a correct fit.
In a world that’s filled with all kinds of staple guns, it can be tough to find the best one for your needs. However, we’ve covered some of the best on the market, to help you make the right choice. Take a look at our reviews, and you should be able to pinpoint the one that seems suitable.
All the models we looked at have a few things in common. They are all reliable, durable and — crucially — safe. Don’t hesitate to invest your money in one of these tools because they are all going to pay for themselves in the long run. Cheap models could last up to a year, while a good quality one may still be going a decade later. The math is pretty simple – go with the best staple gun you can afford.