Best Kind Of Staple Gun

Lin R
by Lin R
I am covering a dining chair seat and my old manual staple gun is very hard to use and the staples only go part the way in. What kind of staple gun do all you DIYers suggest....electric or manual and what brand and also what size staples please? The seat board is not very thick. I have looked online but most of the electric staple guns have gotten bad reviews. Thanks for your help as always!
  34 answers
  • I can't comment on DIY guns, I use Stanley/Bostitch pneumatic, but you might try leaning down hard on the stapler before you pull the trigger. If you put your weight into it you might get the driving depth you are looking for.

  • Redfly Creations Redfly Creations on Oct 20, 2012
    I have a $30 electric stapler from Lowes. I love it! I used a manual one for year but now my reupholstery time is cut in half. It is the Power Shot Pro. As to the staple size I cannot comment other than sharp and small for that project.

  • Chaotically Creative Co. Chaotically Creative Co. on Oct 20, 2012
    Hi there neighbor, I agree with Brian you may need to lean into it and also tap in some of them with a hammer. Here is a great article by one of my blogger friends that may help guide you. I use a heavy duty manual staple gun with heavy duty staples.

  • Lin R Lin R on Oct 20, 2012
    Thanks Brian. I did get smaller staples and that did work better, but I would like to buy an electric staple gun because I think it would be easier and wanted to see what people like the best.

  • Susan S Susan S on Oct 20, 2012
    @Lin R - I'll be following you to see what you end up with and what kind of recommedations you get from others. My problem Is #1) I have small hands and 2) due to carpel tunnel, I simply don't have any squeeze strength anymore. I have a horrible time using our standard Man powered staple gun. I wish there was a way to adjust the pressure so it wasn't so hard to squeeze. Brian is right though, you do have to lean down on the stapler and put some umph into it!! I thought you could use a couple of different sizes of staples in manual as well as electric but I'm not positive. You might inquire where you're thinking about purchasing and ask them about staple sizes.

  • Sharron W Sharron W on Oct 21, 2012
    I have an electric by swingline, but last time I went and got staples I noticed that it isn't carried also seems to be rather tempermental and the last project I did it actually botched up EVERY other staple...It doesn't seem to be capable of actually stapling the Heavy Duty Staples even though it SAYS that it I don't think I'd reccommend it even though it is absolutely better than the manual one I have for upholstery projects. So I too will be keeping up to see what others have and say that they like....

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Oct 21, 2012
    We have recovered simple things like stools and chairs for years and it seems that no matter which stapler you get, after a while they all get tempermental! They can be exasperating! But we have to have them.

  • Lorrie B Lorrie B on Oct 21, 2012
    I have the same problem, I'll be watching for more...

  • Susan S Susan S on Oct 21, 2012
    WOW!!!! Lots of problems and NO solutions!! We need to go to every tool site that features staple guns and tell them of our frustrations and they need to cater more to WOMEN!!!!

  • Sharron W Sharron W on Oct 21, 2012
    YEP! I was actually hoping that SOMEONE was going to post that they have a nail gun that also shoots staples and that it was wonderful.....LOL!

  • I have the stapler only version of this gun that shoots both nails and staples: It has worked great for me. The draw back of the combo gun is that it drives nails with the same staple driver, so it leaves a larger footprint in the wood than the head of the brad nail. It also requires an air compressor and air hose.

  • Susan S Susan S on Oct 21, 2012
    @Brian Campbell, Basswood Artisan Carpentry - sounds like you have BIG BOYS TOYS there Brian. We ladies are a bit dantier and need more user friendly play things!!

  • Vintage Headboards Vintage Headboards on Oct 21, 2012
    I am partial to air tools - they pack a meaner punch and never misfire. I love my staple gun.

  • That may be an understatement! :)

  • Susan S Susan S on Oct 21, 2012
    @SheilaG, Plum Doodles - IF I did that much heavy duty stapling it would definitely be worth it to me and we have an air compressor too. I just don't have the hand strength to operate the blasted girl-powered one!! LOL Your Collette simply has not been an easy chick to deal w/has she?? I'm telling you, those French girls can be a real handful!! @Brian Campbell, Basswood Artisan Carpentry - YOU WEREN'T KIDDING WERE YOU? I also peeked at a couple of the other mini-vids too. Uh, 'scuse my ignorance here, but, just WHAT is a "snipe"? Is that the same thing as an imperfection in the wood?

  • Lin R Lin R on Oct 21, 2012
    I ended up using my husband's very old manual staple gun and finally got it done. I also had to hammer a few in. I really think I might purchase a Power Shot Pro like you have Redfly Creations. Susan S. I have carpal tunnel problems also and do not have a lot of strength and had such a hard time with that manual stapler. I do not do a lot of recovering, so do not need one that uses the air compressor. But I think an electric one might be just what I need. Thanks to all of you who posted. I am so glad I only had one chair to do and not an entire set!

  • Lin R Lin R on Oct 21, 2012
    SheilaG, I just looked at Collette on your blog and she is devine! Your work is beautiful!

  • Susan S Susan S on Oct 21, 2012
    @SheilaG, Plum Doodles - YOU GO GIRL!!!

  • Chances are you probably know someone that has any tool that you may need to use. Or you can rent just about anything from a rental company.

  • Susan S Susan S on Oct 22, 2012
    @SheilaG, Plum Doodles - Well, if anybody can do it that would be YOU!! ;~)

  • Sharron W Sharron W on Oct 23, 2012
    Well I have some projects coming up that might make the pneumatic staple gun worthwhile....

  • Susan S Susan S on Oct 23, 2012
    @Sharron W - Is that the same as an electric staple gun. Pneumatic means it runs on compressed air, right?

  • Susan S Susan S on Oct 23, 2012
    @SheilaG, Plum Doodles - No, you don't sound like a commercial or an INFO-mercial either!! Just a DIYer who is passionate about something she's tried!! BTW - did you get paid for that testimonial? LOL

  • Sharron W Sharron W on Oct 23, 2012
    @Susan S Yep, Compressed air....the problem IS... that means either doing all my projects in hubby's shed...OR buying a smaller compressor....I believe the small "pancake" compressors are on sale pretty often for around 100 dollars....but that is STILL 100 bucks...on top of the stapler...and You'd have to check the air pressure needed to run the stapler and make sure that the small compressor would be enough... PLUS from a strictly Environmental point of view...any machine that uses compressed air, costs more to run in energy consumption....So I guess it depends on your real needs...doing a cost analysis....etc...

  • Susan S Susan S on Oct 23, 2012
    @Sharron W - I hear ya on ALL that. Since I'm NOT a heavy duty stapler - as in I don't do any upholstery work - that makes my need for the BIG GUNS pretty nil. I'll just continue to say "Honey - can you help me with this please"? I'll use that $100 bucks on paints and other craft supplies!! LOL

  • Vintage Headboards Vintage Headboards on Oct 24, 2012
    Unless you are working with extremely soft wood, (which wouldn't be conducive to furniture) you shouldn't need to adjust the strength of the air pressure going to the staple gun. You will be much happier with the results and if properly taken care of will last you for years and years.

  • Sharron W Sharron W on Oct 24, 2012
    @Vintage Headboards I was really wondering if the small pancake compressor was enough pressure to run the staple gun.....we have a big compressor in our work shop but that sort of defeats the portability benifits....

  • Vintage Headboards Vintage Headboards on Oct 24, 2012
    Pancake compressors are actually perfect for that. Lightweight and portable. Also - look at the length of the staples you are using in relation to the thickness of the material you are stapling to.

  • Sharron W Sharron W on Oct 24, 2012
    @Vintage Headboards Thanks, that's what I needed to know....

  • I would even recommend smaller, lighter and quieter compressor than a pancake. I have a Porter Cable pancake... rather loud and not very light. Look for a "trim compressor" made for running nail guns and staplers. Senco make a nice little 1 gallon trim compressor and there are others.

  • This is the little compressor I would get for staplers, nailers, etc.:

  • A tank would be a pain, I think. I have one, but it would not drive nails for long without needing more pressure.

  • Vintage Headboards Vintage Headboards on Oct 24, 2012
    Absolutely. Look at your local Home Depot for package deals that include things like a staple gun with a pancake compressor. If you have a rapport with the Sales Associates or Store Manager they would probably swap our a brad nailer for a staple gun if it was a promo.

  • BS BS on May 21, 2015
    Although air guns are highly recommended, I bought an electric stapler when my manual one conked out in the middle of an upholstery project. It is adequate for the small, occasional project. I'm sure that an air driven one is lovely to have, but I don't use one often enough to justify it.