Staplers are an iconic piece of office equipment that has withstood the test time and solidified a unique place in history. The history of the stapler dates back to 18th century France, when King Louis XV sought an easy way to bind papers together. But with staples made of gold and inscribed with the royal court's insignia, these were largely designed for decorative purposes. Before this, everything from sewing to clamping and a combination of ribbon and wax was tried to adhere pieces of paper together!
And so the story goes, it wasn't until the 1860s that the first functional stapler was invented for more practical use. George McGill received a patent for a bendable fastener, but it was slow to catch on because it required continuous reloading.
Staplers have come a long way since then, and there are now lots of different staplers to choose from. In this buying guide, we look at the most popular types of modern staplers, their key features, and a couple recommended picks for each one.
The most classic and popular type of stapler used today is the desktop stapler. Choose this stapler for occasional use and if you don't typically staple more than 15-20 pages of paper together at once. The design of desktop staplers varies from one model to the next, but they are generally inexpensive, lightweight, and portable.
Consider these top-rated desktop staplers for your next office purchase:
Electric staplers are ideal for busy offices that generate a lot of paperwork. They simplify and speed up the stapling process with a power-driven staple head. This is also a great stapler to buy if you need to staple large stacks of paper, such as legal documents. You can find electric staplers in freestanding, saddle, and hand-held models and that are operated by buttons, switches, or foot pedals.
Here are some recommended electric staplers to consider:
Heavy duty jobs require a heavy duty stapler, and there are some industrial models specially designed for very thick stacks of paper. Many of these types of staplers, in both manual and electronic form, can staple 100 or more pages at once. However, they don't typically work as quickly as other types of staplers on this list.
Check out these heavy duty stapler for big contract jobs:
The big difference between plier staplers and other stapler types is that they have a bottom handle instead of a top lever to fasten items together. Plier staplers are commonly used in the shipping and packing industries because they easily and efficiently apply tags to pieces of paper. They're also used for arts and crafts projects, and heavy duty versions can be used for industrial purposes. Choose this stapler to seal cardboard boxes shut, to staple difficult items together, and to get more leverage.
These are some of our best-selling plier staplers:
Another stapler that's worth learning about is the long reach stapler. This stapler is designed for those hard-to-reach places that standard desktop staplers just can't get to. Use this stapler for binding books, brochures, or pamphlets. It's also useful for mounting cards on cork boards or walls. The extended-reach design typically extends to around 12-13 inches, which also help you place staples in the middle of pages.
Learn more about these unique staplers here:
Specialty staplers were created for offices with unique fastening needs, and there are several different types of choose from. For example, mini-staplers are great for fastening documents while on-the-go and fit easily in a briefcase. Another example is the staple-less stapler, which works by punching a hole through multiple pages instead of leaving a metal staple behind. Choose these staplers to bind documents that you will likely need to separate later on.
Perhaps one of our specialty hand staplers can help you get the job done right:
As the name suggests, reduced effort staplers make stapling more comfortable and ergonomic. This is a great stapler to buy if you staple large amounts of paper on a regular basis or if you have hand or wrist issues. Some of these staplers lessen the impact on your hands by as much as 50 percent. Offices working with high-volume legal documents, insurance contracts, and registration forms may want to invest in these staplers for their employees.
Here are some of our best reduced effort staplers designed for comfort and ease: