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The Best Staple Guns for DIY Projects

Whether you need to hang a poster on a telephone pole, reupholster a couch, or tackle heavy-duty construction tasks, a reliable staple gun will get the job done quickly and easily.

staple guns
Staff, Courtesy of Worx

A staple gun is one of the more useful and versatile tools you can have in your collection, and allows you to tackle a wide variety of fastening tasks and projects. Often overlooked as a fastening option, staples offer a good balance of holding power and ease of use—unlike nails and screws that can be overkill—especially when working with thin or weak materials like fabric or extra-thin plywood. Staple guns give you the power to quickly apply staples to whatever you’re working on, and are available in several different types like manual, pneumatic, or electric.

What to Consider

The most important thing to consider when choosing a staple gun is what you’re going to be using it for. If you just want a basic, manual tool to have around the house for hanging up lost dog posters, securing Christmas lights, or just general fastening tasks, then an old-school manual staple gun would be a great choice. These take some effort to use, but they’re extremely portable, don’t take up much room in a toolbox, and are typically durable enough to last a long time.

If you’re planning on using your staple gun frequently, and for longer periods of time, you may want to think about an electric or pneumatic stapler. These aren’t as portable as manual models—you’ll be limited by the power cord or air hose—but they work quickly and do most of the work for you, which could be convenient for projects that require a lot of stapling.

If portability is key, and you want to give your arm a break, a battery-powered staple is probably a great bet. These tools can go anywhere, but you are limited by the battery runtime, so once it’s dead, the gun isn’t much use.

Safety is another key factor to think about when it comes to staple guns. Always wear eye protection when using a staple gun, especially for upholstery projects that may require you to get close to the workpiece for precision stapling. Also, be aware of how thin your workpiece may be, especially when you’re holding it in your hand, since longer staples can easily go through and puncture your skin.

How We Selected

We’ve used staple guns for a variety of tasks, from hanging Christmas lights, securing installation, as well as heavy-duty construction projects. We used this hands-on experience, combined with extensive online research, to compile this list of the best staple guns you can buy. Since staple guns come in a fairly wide range of options, we did our best to include a good variety of options, including at least two options for manual, electric, and pneumatic models. We also kept pricing in mind during this process, so whether you have $20 or $100 to spend, you should find a reliable staple gun in your budget.

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Best Heavy-Duty Staple Option
Arrow T50 Heavy Duty Staple Gun
Arrow Fastener
$18.77 (42% off)

Key Specs

  • Fastener Type: 3/8-inch crown staples
  • Staple Length: 1/4-inch to 9/16-inch
  • Power Supply: Manual
  • Weight: 2 pounds

If you plan on using your staple gun frequently, and need it to stand up to regular wear and tear, this Arrow is probably a great fit. A convenient viewing window allows you to know when it’s time to reload, and the ergonomic handle makes this tool comfortable to use, although it might require too much effort for those who have wrist or joint issues. 

Its alloy steel body is rugged enough to withstand the drops and bumps that occasionally occur while working on a project, and if any issues do arise, Arrow provides a lifetime warranty. 

  • Durable construction
  • Low price
  • Resists jams

  • May not be ideal for those who lack the arm strength to operate
Best Light-Duty Brad Nailer
STANLEY SharpShooter
$31.35 (14% off)

Key Specs

  • Fastener Type: 3/8-inch crown staples and 18-gauge brads
  • Staple Length: 1/4-inch to 9/16-inch
  • Power Supply: Manual
  • Weight: 1.5 pounds

This multipurpose model accepts both staples as well as brad nails, making it useful for a wide range of projects. A unique pressure adjustment switch allows you to customize the gun for use on either hard or soft materials, and the aluminum construction helps to increase its durability. 

The rubber handle, combined with a light 1.5-pound weight, makes this machine especially comfortable to use. It also features a convenient wire guide that increases your accuracy when stapling thin wires and cords. 

Plus, the flush-nose design allows you to access hard-to-access areas.

  • Quick-view staple window
  • Lightweight
Best Pneumatic Model
Arrow PT50
$30.43 (22% off)

Key Specs

  • Fastener Type: 3/8-inch crown staples
  • Staple Length: 1/4-inch to 9/16-inch
  • Power Supply: Pneumatic Air
  • Weight: 1.36 pounds 

If you plan on doing a lot of stapling and portability isn’t as much of a priority, this pneumatic model could be just what you’re looking for. 

The large, over-molded grip and low 1.36-pound weight make this tool especially comfortable to use, and should reduce hand and arm fatigue during those all-day projects. The narrow, nail-gun-style nose also allows you to place your staples exactly where you want them. 

You’ll need to supply your own air compressor, but if you’ve already got one on hand, the low price of this gun makes it a great value.

  • Oil-free operation
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable price

  • Bulkier than manual option
  • Requires air supply
Best Light-Duty Electric Option
Arrow T50AC

Key Specs

  • Fastener Type: 3/8-inch crown staples
  • Staple Length: 1/4-inch to 9/16-inch
  • Power Supply: Corded Electricity
  • Weight: 4.16 pounds

This corded Arrow model would be the perfect fit for those who want to avoid the hassle and effort involved with manual tools. With just the squeeze of a trigger, it quickly applies staples from 1/4- to 9/16-inch size, and even a range of brad nails as well. 

We’re a big fan of the LED work light on this model, which makes it perfect for use in low-light conditions, or for projects where you want to have a clear view of your workpiece. It also includes a soft-sided storage bag, which should reduce the chances of the machine getting damaged while not in use.

  • Minimal effort required
  • Travel bag included
  • Low-staple indicator light
Best Hammer-Style Option
Bostitch Hammer Tacker

Key Specs

  • Fastener Type: 3/8-, 5/16-, and 1/2-inch staples
  • Staple Length: N/A
  • Power Supply: Manual
  • Weight: 2.6 pounds

Although this tool might not technically qualify as a staple gun, this hammer-style stapler is ideal for heavy-duty stapling tasks that require less precision and accuracy than gun-style models, like roofing and insulation projects. Its rubber handle provides the sturdy grip needed to swing it safely, and is also designed to reduce the shock and vibrations felt during use. 

The rubber bumpers on the body of this stapler also make it perfect for use on inclined surfaces—like the roof—and prevent it from sliding off easily. It does accept a more limited range of staples than other models though, so keep that in mind.

  • Extremely durable
  • Will absorb uncomfortable shocks and vibrations

  • Not accurate enough for some tasks
Best Battery-Powered Model
WORX Nitro Power Share 3/8-in Cordless

Key Specs

  • Fastener Type: 3/8-inch crown staples
  • Staple Length: 1/4-inch to 9/16-inch
  • Power Supply: Battery
  • Weight: 6.3 pounds

This cordless Worx stapler could be a great choice for a DIY-er who needs the power and convenience of an automatic stapler, as well as the portability of a manual model. 

The large depth adjustment knob on the rear of the unit makes it easy to dial in the precise setting you’re looking for, and the integrated belt hook allows you to keep the tool within arm's reach at all times.  

The 2.0 Ah battery can fire up to 80 staples per minute, 2000 on a single charge, and the 3-year warranty is a nice perk as well.

  • Convenient cordless design
  • Easy to use
  • Lasts for 2,000 staples
Best Heavy-Duty Pneumatic Option
BOSTITCH Crown Stapler SX1838K

Key Specs

  • Fastener Type: 7/32-inch crown staples
  • Staple Length: 1/2-inch to 1½-inch
  • Power Supply: Pneumatic Air 
  • Weight: 3.3 pounds

This pneumatic Bostitch model is designed with power and durability in mind, making it ideal for heavy-duty stapling tasks. Its oil-free operation means you won’t need to worry about drips or stains on your finished workpieces, and the depth adjustment feature makes it easy to countersink your staples  however you like. 

The swiveling air intake will help keep your hose out of the way and make it easier—and safer—to maneuver around your workspace. We’re also a big fan of the reversible belt hook, which makes it convenient for either right- or left-handed users.

  • Extra-durable construction
  • Hard-sided carrying case

  • Requires separate air supply
Best High-End Battery-Powered Option
Milwaukee M12 12-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless 3/8-Inch Crown Stapler

Key Specs

  • Fastener Type: 3/8-inch crown staples
  • Staple Length: 1/4-inch to 9/16-inch
  • Power Supply: Battery
  • Weight: 3 pounds

Although it’s more expensive than our other options, if you’ve got a lot of stapling in your future and want to get it done with minimal hand and arm fatigue, this kit could be worth the investment. It includes two batteries—one 4.0Ah and one 2.0Ah—both of which are also compatible with any other tools in the Milwaukee M12 family. 

The trigger can also be set to either sequential or actuated modes, allowing you to apply a large amount of staples in a short amount of time. It also features a belt hook, so you won’t need to worry about finding a place to set it down when you’re not working.

  • Provides two batteries
  • Digital battery gauge
  • Power adjustment dial

  • Expensive
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