Staple gun

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Hand-operated staple-gun with staples
A staple gun is a powerful hand-held machine used to drive heavy metal staples into wood or masonry.

Staple guns may be driven by muscle power, electricity (previously from the mains, now also from batteries) or compressed air. Power staple guns can set staples at a somewhat faster rate than hand-powered models, but their main advantage is that they can be used continuously for hours with comparatively little fatigue.

A staple gun is superficially similar to the common office stapler, but with two important differences. First, most staple gun models lack an "anvil" — the metal plate with curved slots that, in the office stapler, bends the legs of the staple inwards and flattens them against the paper. Therefore, staples set with a staple gun retain their straight legs, and are held in place only by static friction of the legs against the compressed surrounding material, much like common nails. Indeed, some staple gun models can handle brads and nails as well as staples.

A second difference is that most staple guns, especially the hand-powered models, have a spring-like mechanism for storing mechanical energy and delivering it as a sharp powerful blow. This mechanism is necessary because of the large force needed to drive the staples through solid wood; and also because the staple must be completely inserted before the workpiece has time to move (in other words, because the workpiece's inertia must do the job of the missing anvil). In the office stapler, by contrast, the staple is driven directly by the user, through a metal handle, while the paper is firmly supported by the anvil.

Upholsterers are major users of staple guns, and most models are designed for that market.

Typical staple sizes are 3/8" and 1/2" for general upholstery, 1/4" for panels, 5/8" mostly for webbing.

Some staple guns have a long nose that allows the staples to be applied into recessed corners.

A hammer tacker is a device somewhat similar to a staple gun, except that the mechanical energy from the user's muscles is stored — as in a hammer — as momentum of the gun itself, rather than as compression of an internal spring.


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