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How to Load a Staple Gun

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Are you a fan of DIY projects? Or do you like to finish maintenance work on your own? Learning how to load a staple gun is a necessary skill. This is a handheld machine that drives metal staples into wood, cardboard, heavy paper, or thick fabric for various purposes.

Staple guns can be manual, electric, or pneumatic models that cater to the needs of various users. In this article, you’ll learn about the safest and right way to load staples into your staple gun, so it’s always ready for use.

Why Should You Buy a Staple Gun?

A staple gun is accurate and powerful, so it will help you finish many projects fast. Here are some reasons why you should buy a staple gun.

  • This machine saves you a lot of time. Whatever the project you’re working on, the staple gun will help you get the job done.
  • Although there are other tools that can be used to staple materials together, the staple gun is extremely safe.
  • Staple guns allow you to work on difficult spots with no issues.
A person using a staple gun

This tool is similar but different from a crown stapler, so make sure you know which one you’re dealing with. 

What Can Staple Guns be Used for?

A staple gun can be used for various purposes around the house, in the office, at school, or wherever you want to have some work done. Here are some uses for the staple gun.

  • Using a staple gun, you can do some flooring work at home without having to hire professionals.
  • DIY enthusiasts and décor artists use staple guns to work on their upholstery projects.
  • Fixing tables, chairs, and other stuff at home will be easy. A staple gun is practical enough to be used on woodwork projects without having to hire a professional in case something breaks.
  • Minor construction work, like building a birdhouse or a small closet, can be done using a staple gun or a brad nailer. This can be a project that you can finish with your kids.
  • Preparing for a party at school often involves using a staple gun. However, staple guns should never be used by children on their own.

Loading your staple gun depends on what type you have. A manual one is fairly easy to load, while good electric staple guns and pneumatic ones have a few more steps. 

How to Load a Staple Gun

Loading a staple gun can be a challenging task, especially if you’re a new user. Since there are different types of staple guns, you should learn how to load each one of them.

How to Load a Manual Staple Gun

A manual staple gun is an affordable type that you can buy for your home or office use. It’s usually the type that teachers use with their students to work on DIY projects, so you can safely use it at home.

  1. Manual staple guns have a strip at the front to prevent the scratching of the materials you’re working with. Make sure that the gun is facing away from you and check the back. There will be a small rectangle at the back that you can release for the pusher rod.
  2. Once you’ve located the pusher rod, put your thumb and forefinger on it and pull it up or down then pull the whole rod out of the staple gun. You might get a bit confused trying to unlatch the hook, so try to push the rod in both directions until you see it unlatch.
  3. Now it’s time to load your staple gun. Take a row of staples and make sure that their legs are facing down, just like the staples inside the chamber. Make sure that you’ve loaded enough staples for your upcoming project, leaving only a small space inside.
  4. Slide the staples to the front, making sure that there’s no space left inside. This will prevent the staples from jamming. Lock the pusher in place until it clicks. You’re likely to feel some tension because of the coil on the pusher rod.
  5. Test the staple gun using a piece of fabric or heavy paper. Release the trigger and check that the staple gun has been appropriately loaded. The staples should fire properly.
Close up of an inside look with a staple gun

How to Load an Electric Staple Gun

Before loading the electric staple gun, you need to make sure that you’ve powered it off. Remove the batteries or unplug your staple gun from the power source before opening it.

  1. Unlike manual staple guns that are rear loading, electric guns are bottom loading. Find the trigger lock that secures the trigger that releases staples. Try to move the lock up, down or to the sides to lock the trigger in place for maximum safety.
  2. In some cases, your staple gun might not have a trigger. However, you’re still safe as long as your gun is unpowered.
  3. Find the magazine release buttons at the back of the staple gun. Squeeze and pull the buttons.
  4. In some cases, you might be confused about tackling the magazine that holds the staples. Just locate the place where the staples come from, and the magazine will be on the other side.
  5. Pull the tray out by placing your thumb and forefinger on either side of the release. This will reveal the tray where the staples are stored.
  6. To load the staples, you’ll have to hold the staple gun upside down or to the side. Insert a row of staples with the legs facing up until they slide towards the nose where they’re being fired from.
  7. Now it’s time to push the magazine back until you hear a click. Plug the staple gun to a power source and test it to see that it works. If installed properly, your staples will be fired one at a time.

How to Load a Pneumatic Staple Gun

A pneumatic staple gun runs by connecting it to a compressor. To load the gun, you should disconnect it for maximum safety.

  1. First, push the off button to switch the gun off, and then release the hose from the compressor. Activate the lock if possible to guarantee that your staple gun won’t fire accidentally. In some cases, the hose might be secured with a bolt that you need to unfasten.
  2. Press the lever to pull the pusher rod away from the staple gun. Release the magazine using the magazine follower that keeps the magazine in place.
  3. Now that the magazine is released, load the staples, and they would easily slide right in. Push the magazine back to its original place and push the follower right after it to lock it in place.
  4. To test that the magazine is where it’s supposed to be, test the staple gun, and the staples should fire accurately. You shouldn’t push the rod too hard to put the staples in the right place, as this can cause a misfire.
A man uses a cordless staple gun on upholstery

How to Test a Staple Gun

To make sure that your staple gun is ready for work, you should test it first.

  1. Put on your safety goggles to protect your eyes from any accidental misfiring.
  2. Try using the staple gun with scrap material, instead of the actual material you’re working with to guarantee that there are no mistakes.
  3. Pick materials that are the same thickness as the ones you’re likely to work with.
  4. Hold your staple gun in the right position and start firing. If you’ve loaded the staples properly, there will be no issues.

Conclusion

Using and loading a staple gun isn’t an impossible task, but it takes practice. The process is straightforward, but shouldn’t be left to children or someone who has dexterity problems.

Remember that when you’re dealing with a staple gun, safety always comes first. Learn how to load and use the staple gun properly, and you’ll be good to go. 

An expert at home repair, remodel, and DIY projects for nearly 40 years. His first experience came in completely restoring an antique home. Completely redone from the inside out, and restored to its original form, the home is a featured design by renowned Southern California Architect Cliff May, considered to be the father of the California Ranch Home. Now Dennis spends his time on fine woodworking projects and tool comparisons.