The 10 Best Power Staplers
This wiki has been updated 36 times since it was first published in April of 2015. Whether you're a construction professional or a do-it-yourself guru, you'll appreciate owning one of these power staplers for finishing any job that requires you to drive staples or brads into tough materials. We've included electric options suitable for occasional upholstery repair as well as heavy-duty pneumatic guns that can handle shingles, siding, flooring, and fencing. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
April 19, 2020:
For this update we wanted to include two cordless options for people who need more mobility than pneumatic staplers can offer.
The battery-powered Dewalt 20V would be a great choice for someone who already owns other DeWalt tools. Since their batteries are interchangeable, you would already have several backups on hand, and you could save a lot of money by purchasing the bare-tool only.
The other battery-powered model we added was the Porter-Cable Max. This tool is designed for ease-of-use, and if you’re intimidated or unsure about using a power stapler, it goes overboard making the specifics of its operation as straightforward and unambiguous as possible. Bright red wheels, lights, and switches make it really simple to use.
We also replaced the Hitachi Standard with the Metabo Standard, due to all Hitachi tools being rebranded as Metabo after being bought by KKR in 2017. To be clear, this change was in name only, and the tool remains the same. It is manufactured in the same factory as before, by the same people, and we have seen nothing to suggest that the quality has been lowered in any way.
Power staplers can be extremely dangerous if not given the proper respect they deserve. Never operate them without wearing impact-resistant eyewear, as small pieces of debris or staple fragments may bounce back at you during use. If you're using a pneumatic model with an air compressor, use the proper hearing protection as well.
If these power staplers don't provide you with the type of fastening you need, consider a pneumatic pinner, or brad nailer. These tools fire thin wire fasteners that have a smaller footprint than staples, but aren't as heavy-duty as a full-size finish or framing nailers.
October 17, 2018:
In many cases, it appeared the Stanley TRE550Z had a remarkably short lifespan, so I took it off the list. Also removed the Hitachi N3804AB3 after discovering several reports of frequent misfiring and inconsistent power. Added the Hitachi Standard as a professional-grade option with a large staple capacity and several useful features.
When You Know A Manual Stapler Won’t Cut It
While, eventually, digitization may render the standard manual stapler unnecessary, you can't say the same for power staplers.
Even as schools and businesses gradually move toward a paperless existence, the common stapler has remained a staple of the classroom and the workplace. Why? As long as students are taking written tests and office employees continue their paper-pushing ways, the age-old fastening tool will remain indispensable.
While, eventually, digitization may render the standard manual stapler unnecessary, you can't say the same for power staplers. The ability to work on materials that are far more heavy-duty than paper sets these guns apart; they can affix robust metal staples to plastic, wood, and even masonry.
Long after our education system and corporate bureaucracies have migrated to fully digital platforms, we’ll still be constructing buildings, re-roofing houses, installing carpeting, and laying down stone patios. We’ll still need to fasten objects to tough surfaces like PVC and hard wood.
Unlike heavy-duty hand-powered models, power staplers use electricity or an air compressor to deliver a sharper, more powerful blow. The force behind this jolt is enough to drive the staple completely into the intended surface before the workpiece has time to move. Not only is it superior in its effectiveness, it’s far less fatiguing if you’re using it for an extended period of time.
Some manual staple guns can handle light duty around the house, such as repairs to curtains and drapery, working with upholstery, and even hanging up insulation. The fact that they’re capable, however, doesn’t mean they’re easy to use. Since these staplers don’t rely on an external power source, they require your strength to function. In certain situations, they’ll jam up more frequently, as well.
For more intense household projects and commercial applications, a manual staple gun isn’t even an option. When preparing for do-it-yourself carpeting installation or floor repairs, you should only be looking at power staplers. The same goes for tradesmen — carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and the ilk — who need a professional tool on the job.
All things considered, and given how affordable and efficient they have become, it’s not a bad idea to grab a power stapler for everyday tasks, as well.
Electric Or Pneumatic?
Two primary styles of power staplers are readily available: electric and pneumatic. Your budget, application needs, and safety considerations will ultimately dictate which type is best for you.
Electric staple guns can either run on batteries or plug into an electrical outlet for power. A battery model won’t present you with the hindrance of a cord — but it also likely won’t pack as powerful of a punch. Make sure to consider the amount of force you’ll need when choosing between the two.
Flooring installers and construction workers tend to favor these, as they drive staples faster and require less reloading.
The first thing you’ll notice when using an electric model is that the trigger requires only soft pressure to operate. Because the pressure behind each shot is the same every time, you can drive staples in a highly consistent, uniform manner.
Electric staplers are typically smaller than pneumatic models, in the sense that they weigh less and have fewer components. This makes them easier to maneuver, which is especially helpful when working with thin or fragile materials that don’t require the sheer force of a pneumatic gun.
Fueled by an air compressor, the pneumatic gun is the most powerful stapling tool. Flooring installers and construction workers tend to favor these, as they drive staples faster and require less reloading. They also accommodate more types of fasteners than electric staplers.
Where electric guns require a power source, the compressed air that powers pneumatic guns leads to fewer work interruptions and a lower operating cost. If something goes wrong with your tool, pneumatic models are easier to repair, as well.
While the extra strength and industrial build are nice features, the air compressor diminishes their portability compared to their electric counterparts. They’re also much louder than other types, often requiring ear protection when in use. And remember, with great power comes great caveats: pneumatic staplers are the most expensive of the bunch.
Use Your Power Stapler Wisely
Before you dive into a home improvement project with your new toy, you’re going to want to learn how to use it properly. The benefits of this are threefold: you’ll enjoy maximum efficiency, you’ll reduce the amount of energy you use while limiting the physical strain on your body, and you’ll be much safer.
To begin, regardless of the type of stapler you’ve chosen, you have to load it with staples. To do this, you release the tray, place the fasteners inside so that they’re level with the carriage, and close it back up. You’ll know it’s closed and locked when you hear a clicking sound.
Most electric and pneumatic models feature an integrated safety switch, which requires you to place the gun appropriately and helps prevent misfires.
Once it’s loaded, you simply place the gun on the surface you wish to staple, then press the trigger. The amount of finger pressure required varies from model to model, so make sure to familiarize yourself with this before getting into a groove.
Of critical importance throughout the whole process is safety. As you can imagine, one staple gone awry can lead to a very painful experience if you don’t adequately protect yourself. If a staple can punch into a granite countertop, think about what it can do to your hand.
Most electric and pneumatic models feature an integrated safety switch, which requires you to place the gun appropriately and helps prevent misfires. If it has a lock feature, make sure to engage the lock whenever you’re not using the gun.
Safety switch or not, never point the gun at another person, and make sure to keep it away from kids. Anyone who plans on using the stapler should read the product manual beforehand, as it may contain instructions specific to that particular model.
If you have an electric gun, checking the cord every time you use it is always a good idea. If parts of it are exposed or frayed, that’s an accident waiting to happen. In addition, whenever it’s not in use, you should make sure it’s unplugged.