How Does a Pneumatic Stapler Work?

Updated April 17, 2017

A pneumatic stapler drives nails into objects using mechanical power. These tools are used in a variety of industries, including building construction and furniture making, where speed and precision is required to complete a task. Alternative names for pneumatic staplers include air stapler, air nailer, pneumatic nailer or pneumatic staple gun.

Powering a Pneumatic Stapler

Most pneumatic staplers are powered by compressed air. Nails are driven by air that is delivered to the stapler through a hose. Alternatively, consumers can purchase a pneumatic stapler that is powered by fuel. This type of gun operates similarly to an internal combustion engine. With every pull of its trigger, a spark igniter activates an internal fuel cell. This pushes a piston which drives the nail. There are advantages to both types of pneumatic stapler.

Advantages of a Pneumatic Stapler

Because of their sheer power, users operating pneumatic staplers are able to drive nails more quickly than using a hammer. When used in an air stapler, nails can be driven in an instant. This allows for work to be completely more precisely and with fewer errors.

Safety Concerns

Although pneumatic staplers are both convenient and easy to use, they can also be very dangerous. If used improperly, they can cause severe and possibly fatal injuries. The most important action a person can take when using a pneumatic stapler for the first time is to read its instruction manual. The tool should never be pointed toward another person.

Origins of the Pneumatic Stapler

A 2005 article published in the Winsted Herald-Journal indicated that the pneumatic stapler was invented in Winsted, Minnesota, by friends brainstorming creative ways to earn beer money in the mid-1950s. According to local lore, Reuben Miller told his friends, "We gotta invent an automatic nailer that works like a machine gun." As fate would have it, his World War II veteran friends had an in-depth knowledge of the way machine guns operate. After creating models of this new tool, the men patented their idea.

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About the Author

KJ Henderson has more than a decade of HR and talent acquisition experience. He has held roles at a Fortune 100 investment bank, a media conglomerate and at one of NYC's largest executive staffing firms. He currently heads recruitment sourcing at a major movie studio. He read literature at Oxford.