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Staple Gun Directions

Updated February 21, 2017

Of all the staple gun designs in existence, the most common is the manual hand-held staple gun. Depressing a large handle or lever on the gun causes a weight (drive head) to be drawn back against a spring. When the handle reaches the end of its allowed travel, the drive head shoots forward and drives a staple into whatever material the gun is being held against. This type of staple gun is useful for upholstery, carpeting, and the installation of insulation. It's easy to use a staple gun by following the manufacturer's directions. If properly cared for, a quality staple gun will last many years.

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  1. Obtain the correct staples for the job. Use the staple gun manual to determine the length of staple appropriate for the task. Long staples are typically suited for stapling into softwood and particle board, while shorter staples are used for hardwood, plastics and light-gauge sheet metal.

  2. Load the staple gun by first removing the loading cap. Make sure there are no staples in the gun from a previous job and that the gun is not jammed. The new staples will slide into a loading tray, which is simply a track running from the back of the gun to the front and will be advanced by spring tension provided by a spring-loaded staple follower. The loading cap must be twisted or unsnapped to allow access to the loading tray.

  3. Slide the loading tray out and load it with staples, with the points facing down. Load only as many staples as the tray will comfortably hold; do not force any additional staples into the tray because this will cause the gun to jam. Insert the loading tray back into the gun and install the loading cap.

  4. Put on eye protection. Place the staple gun tip flat against the materials to be stapled together. Press firmly on the tip to prevent slippage, then squeeze the handle gently. The staple gun should make a popping noise as the staple is driven into the workpiece. When using multiple staples to secure materials, move the staple gun slightly between staples so that they are not driven one on top of another.

  5. Finish setting the staple by hand if necessary. If the staple has not gone all the way into the desired material, it can be finished off with a small hammer. If staples are consistently left protruding from the workpiece, shorter staples or a more powerful staple gun setting may be needed.

  6. Adjust the power setting of the staple gun to a more powerful setting by turning the power knob clockwise until the correct setting is attained. The power knob (if your gun has this feature), is located at the base of the handle above the loading tray.

  7. Unload the staple gun when you are finished to save the loading tray spring from prolonged contraction. Wipe down the gun with a clean rag before placing it in storage.

  8. Tip

    Always wear safety goggles when using a stapler. Be sure to wear additional safety gear appropriate for the job; insulation may require a respirator and sharp sheet metal may require thick gloves. Never staple live electrical wiring, as both the staple and the staple gun are conductive.

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Things You'll Need

  • Replacement staples (model specific)
  • Eye protection
  • Small hammer
  • Clean rag

About the Author

Residing near the Central Florida beaches, Steven Douglas has written extensively on resolving small-business issues since 1990 in publications such as ForexFactory, Forex-Tsd, FxStreet and FxFisherman. After earning a master's degree in administration from the University of Maryland, his primary focus has been on international currency trade and how it can be effectively utilized by small businesses across the United States.

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