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Staple guns are generally tools that are used to drive staples into work substrates. The work substrates may range from wooden surfaces, metallic surfaces, or even plastic. The application of staple finishing to furniture and building design spans a wide range, including roofing, electrical wiring, minor insulation, and upholstery. Upholstery staple guns have become particularly popular because of the extra delicate touch needed when padding is to be layered across wooden surfaces. This article takes a deep dive into the world of upholstery staple guns. It examines the pros, cons, and features that users and sellers both have to watch out for as they navigate the delicate and artistic world of upholstery finishes and the tools that are best suited for different purposes.
There are a variety of tools that have a similar function of driving fasteners to adjoin workpieces together. For this reason, it can easily become frustrating to keep track of all these. A cursory introduction into what staple guns are is, therefore, of paramount importance. A staple gun uses force that has been generated either manually, electrically, or pneumatically to drive staples into surfaces. In the case of upholstery staple guns, these surfaces to be held together are usually wooden frames and padding or fabric materials. The distinction upholstery makes to the staple gun is important, and this will be stretched throughout this article.
Traditional everyday staplers have a projecting nose that enables shooting staples. In contrast, traditional staples have inward closing jaws that fasten paper and considerably lighter materials together. Another distinction is that professional staple guns come packing a lot of power behind their drive. They can shoot staples into a wide category of materials. Other than wood, some of these are plastic and a few metal surfaces.
Upholstery staple guns have certain additional requirements that must be met before they can be effectively used for upholstery. Since the pieces to be joined or held in place are often fabric attachments, a reasonable level of flexibility in use and control is needed if you want to hold materials in place but also do not want them to face the risk of tear from too much force.
The main categories of upholstery staple guns are manual, electric, and pneumatic. Manual staple upholstery guns use a mechanical push of a knob or button to launch staples. While they are often handy, cheap, and easy to use, they have the expected downside of causing fatigue because of the prolonged manual application of force. They are also curtailed by their inabilities to drive staples into hard wooden surfaces because of low driving power.
Electric upholstery staple guns, on the other hand, function on simple DC batteries of AC power (regular electrical port connections). They are extremely efficient because they use the electrical generated force to shoot staples. They often come with extra electrically controlled features like safety systems. Their downsides include cost and increased energy consumption.
Lastly, pneumatic upholstery staple guns are the most powerful. These devices employ an air compressor connection for shooting staples into the hardest of surfaces. They may be more expensive to set up initially but often save money in the long run. They are often the choice for more professional upholstery work because of their frequency of usage and the higher need to drive into surfaces of harder compositions.
The Eight Best Staple Gun Are Reviewed Below
There are several upholstery staple guns out there with a wide-ranging number of functions and features. Navigating through these can be very frustrating when you do not know what you are doing. This list aims to summarily highlight the features, pros, and cons of the best of these upholstery staple guns. The types of staple guns generally available have been taken into account and are well represented on this list.
Porter-Cable US58 Upholstery Stapler
The Porter-Cable is a powerful pneumatic upholstery staple gun around today. Operating at a pressure of about 70 to 120 PSI, this staple gun will drive into many materials. It has a simple, lightweight design with ergonomic handles and a rear exhaust for eliminating undesirable by-products such as condensed air, water, oil, or dust.
It has a magazine chamber that can take about 180 staples at a time. This high staple capacity, coupled with a continuous supply of pressurized air, means that it is suitable for prolonged professional usage. This extremely nimble device also has a lightweight of about 1.8 pounds and a slightly protruding nose for getting into tight corners.
Its staple specification is something that users and buyers must look out for. It uses 22 gauge 3/8-inch crown staples of length between ¼ and 5/8 inches. This must be watched for during buying so as not to cause jamming when using the device.
Overall, this device gives a lot of advantages with the very few disadvantages of not having a safety tipped point, thereby being able to fire staples with or without contact. The staples may also be a bit hard to find. To be on the safe side, the Senco Type 22 gauge 3/8-inch crown staples with the required length dimension should be used with it.
- Rear-positioned exhaust
- The protruding nose of about 1-inch
- Operating pressure of 70-120 PSI
- Magazine capacity of about 185 staples
- Steel cap
- Brand: Porter-Cable
- Model: US58 ¼-inch to 5/8-inch
- Lightweight design makes it easier to hold and use
- Simple design makes operation easy
- A high-capacity magazine for long use
- Strong steel body makes it durable
- Staples may be hard to find
- More power may be needed for more professional projects
- The extra cost of buying and setting up a compressor
Surebonder 9600B Upholstery Staple Gun
The Surebonder 9600B upholstery stapler takes what most basic pneumatic staplers can do a step further with some very great features. It is an impressive air-powered staple gun that operates around a pressure of 100PSI. Its lightweight, sleek design and powerful driving force make for a combination you may find hard to get in other staple guns.
Having a magazine capacity of about 100 staples, this device can be used for long periods without having to reload frequently. It also comes featuring a nose safety feature that guarantees that accidental discharge of staples will not happen.
The grip of the Surebonder is designed with a rubber covering that stays comfortably within your grip and also ensuring you do not worry about calluses or blisters. There is also an exhaust that eliminates unwanted substances like air or oil. This exhaust can be adjusted just in case you need to direct it away from your body.
Other great features include a viewing window that allows you to see how many staples are left in the magazine during use. The Surebonder uses 18 gauge 3/8 inch staples with a wide range of lengths. The great thing is that it can accept different brands of staples, including T50 staples.
- Adjustable exhaust
- Nose safety mechanism
- 100PSI operating pressure
- Weight of 3.17 pounds
- Brand: FPC Corporation (Surebonder)
- Model: 9600B
- Magazine size of 100 staples enables prolonged use
- Safety mechanism prevents accidental discharge
- High operating pressure for stronger drive
- Accepts universal staples
- Requires extra cost of setting up a compressor
- Magazine viewing window is small in size
Surebonder 9615A-300-3A 22G Pneumatic Upholstery Staple
The Surebonder 9615A is an even more impressive version of the 96500. Even though the designs are fairly similar, the 9615A has a few features that make it edge out the latter. The first impressive feature is that it can deliver up to 120PSI. Connecting to a compressor is all you need, and you have a device capable of supplying incredible power behind staple pins, making upholstery work a lot more convenient.
At a weight of about 3 pounds, the Surebonder 9615A uses 22 gauge 3/8-inch arrow crown staples with a length of about 5/16 inches to 5/8 inches. It has an impressive safety key making it one of the safest pneumatic upholstery tools. The safety key is a simple latch that can be turned to make sure that the staple gun does not discharge on contact or when it is fired.
Like the 96500, it has a capacity of about 100 staples. It uses a quick-release magazine that makes it easy to refill the staple gun. Added features in the pack are a pneumatic oil and an Allen wrench for servicing. It also has an exhaust system for easy discharge of oil and unwanted air.
The staple gun uses Surebonder 300 series for operation, although it will accept most staples within the stipulated size range. Thanks to its impressively lightweight design and firing power, this staple gun can work on small and a few long-term projects.
- 3 pounds in weight
- Safety mechanism lock
- Compressed air-powered
- Uses 22 gauge 5/16 inch to 5/8 inch long staples
- Brand: FPC Corporation (Surebonder)
- Model: 9615A
- Safety mechanism prevents accidents
- Lightweight design for convenient use
- Operating pressure supplies high driving staples
- May be limited by a hose connection
- The extra cost of purchasing a compressor
- Air hoses must be maintained as well
Stanley TRE550Z Electric Staple/Brad Nail Gun
If you are looking to supply varying degrees of drive power with an unlimited supply of energy for long periods, the Stanley TRE550Z is for you. It has a strong plastic covering that insulates completely from electric shock. It has an ergonomic handle for convenient and easy use.
One of the best things about this remarkable device is that it requires a minimum amount of force for triggering. A constant AC supply gives it all the power it needs for operation. It also has a simple, lightweight design, which makes it incredibly easy to use. Its staples are a TRA700 Series or Arrow T-50 heavy duty staples of about ½ and 9/16 inches.
Some of its remarkable features include a Hi/Lo mode that modulates and controls the drive power or depth of penetration of the staples. Just with the push of a button, you can change the amount of power you want to be applied to the staples. This can make working on materials with different densities and hardness feasible. The Hi mode is suitable for hardwood materials, while the Lo mode is suitable for softer wood surfaces.
Other amazing features include a Quick-jam-clear mechanism that helps reload the system in the case of jamming. It simply restarts the entire system so that work can continue. One stand-out quality you will not easily find on other devices is the Nail Gun feature. This gives you additional power to join extremely hardwood materials together with the use of nails. It also has a safety mechanism for locking the system when not in use. Versatility does not get any better than this.
- Weight of about 2.4 pounds
- Quick-Jam-release mechanism
- Hi/Lo Power mode switch
- Plastic covering
- Has an indicator for low-brad
- Brand: Stanley
- Model: TRE550Z
- Quick jam release
- Safety mechanism prevents accidental release on contact
- Can supply varying power levels
- Possesses non-slip handle with ergonomic design
- Uses staples that may be harder to find
- An electric cord can limit the span of use
Maestri ME 3G Electric Stapler
The Maestri ME 3G Electric Stapler is a sturdy heavy-duty electric staple gun that gives an easy-to-use experience. Although it does not pack as much power as pneumatic staple guns used for tougher jobs than upholstery, it still packs a reasonable amount of power for a staple gun of this type. It is strong enough to penetrate wood of heavy densities like common hardwood types.
It has a rubber grip handle set on a body that is weighted evenly. This means you can use this comfortably and easily. Its electric design also makes it suitable for use in tasks that require a high level of precision and care. The safety mechanism switch can also be easily activated when not in use to protect children from danger or accident.
Staple pins of about 3/8 inches are used with this device. Once loaded and connected to a 110-volt AC source, you can quickly discharge a high number of staples. Its plastic parts and rubber grip handle also ensure protection from electric shock because of the insulation. It also has an exhaust system that can be rotated in a 360 direction.
In summary, the Maestri holds its own in most areas that you will need a staple gun for upholstery. Although the length of its cord may limit it, this device has a lot of good qualities it brings to the table. For users who are wary of setting up compressors with hose connections and also do not fancy the prospect of hand fatigue from applying mechanical pressure in manual staple guns, the Maestri ME 3G is a good choice.
- Weight of about 2.4 pounds
- 360 air exhaust system
- Ergonomic rubber grip
- Brand: Maestri
- Model: ME 3G
- Designed for beginners in mind
- Able to carry out jobs requiring precision
- The plastic body gives it a sleek design
- It is not as powerful as pneumatic staple guns
- The length of the cord will restrict the use
Freeman PFWS Pneumatic 20-Gauge 9/16
The Freeman PFWS is a pneumatic staple gun for upholstery that combines a lightweight design with ease of use and prolonged usage periods. It is for homeowners and professionals alike.
It comes with a handle that is easy to hold and use for a long time. Apart from upholstery, the compressed air power makes it suitable for other needs such as roofing and minor carpentry works. It has a tip that is designed such that it leaves no marks or scratches when depressed on the surfaces of materials.
The Freeman PFWS uses 20 gauge staples of size ¼-inch to 9/16 inches in length. It also has a quick load magazine that holds as high as 100 staples.
Other features include a 360-degree adjustable exhaust. This can be turned in any direction during use so as not to have unwanted exiting by-products aimed at the user.
With an aluminum design and a tip that does not leave scratches, this pneumatic staple gun is one of the best in its class. The tough design is durable and well suited for construction activities.
- 360 Exhaust system
- Ergonomic handle
- Aluminum design
- Brand: Freeman
- Model: PFWS Pneumatic 20-Gauge 9/16″
- The adjustable exhaust makes it easy to turn unwanted air away
- Compressed air gives it high drive power
- Requires setting up a compressor
- Limited by the reach of the compressor hose
Stanley TR45K Light Duty Staple Gun
Featuring on this list is one of the most basic upholstery staplers you will find around. It is a simple mechanical upholstery staple that works with the application of force. The Stanley TR45K is a perfect candidate for simple household upholstery tasks and fastening. It has a simple and straight-forward operation mechanism that cuts through all the complications that come with more sophisticated models.
It has a simple metal casing design that gives it an impressive lightweight. The lack of complex parts also aids this design. This lightweight design might seem to be a trivial advantage, but holding a heavy tool for protracted periods can make working, especially big projects, very tedious.
One of the great features of this device is its quick-jam-clear system. This simple operating mechanism enables the user to easily reset the system when a staple jams in the staple gun chamber. A simple hatch system makes it able to unjam the system very easily. This can save a lot of effort and time that would have been spent trying to release the staple when it jams.
Overall, this is a very simple device; however, it has a few downsides. The lack of an external source of power like an electrical source or a pneumatic air compressor means that all the force is generated manually. If you have a small budget and want easy use and simplicity, the Stanley TR45K is for you.
- Quick-jam-clear mechanism
- Tough Chrome-plated steel casing
- Handle lock system
- Brand: Stanley
- Model: TR45K
- Easy to use
- Lightweight makes for convenient usage
- Jam release mechanism saves time
- Handle lock system enables easier storage
- Very high quality to price ratio
- Jams more than its electrical and pneumatic counterparts
- Mechanical lever requires a hard push for operation
Arrow Fastener T50 Heavy Duty Staple Gun
This last device is from an older generation of manual upholstery staple guns. Even though it has an old-fashioned design, it is a good alternative to more modern staples using electric and pneumatic power. It delivers the basics that one could ask from a staple gun with all the simplicity that a device can offer.
It can aid in the driving of staples into a variety of materials provided the material is not extra-hardened wood or metal. Since upholstery usually involves fabric on wood, this device will do most of the work you may require. It has a durable chrome body that gives it durability in case of drops.
The best thing about this device is that it can be used in the tightest of angles due to its small size and low weight. It can get into corners where heavy pneumatic and electric devices will not work. This can help when doing upholstery on corners of furniture such as chairs and couches.
Although this device, like any other, requires continuous application of pressure on its lever, which can lead to fatigue, it makes up for this with its ease of use and overall lightness. Another downside is that it can not drive into very hard surfaces because the mechanical force a human hand can provide can only do so much.
A minor issue with this device is that it is stapler selective, and it only accepts brand-specific staples. Attempting to use universal staples on this device often triggers its anti-jamming system, causing the staple gun to get stuck. It is paramount you check that you are buying the correct staple brand each time you stock up on staples.
- Chrome coated steel finish
- Has Anti-jam system
- T50 Staples use only
- Lightweight design
- Brand: Arrow Fastener
- Model: T50
- Lightweight design enables easy use
- Anti-jam system for a quick reset
- Small size can allow it to reach tight corners
- Can cause hand fatigue after prolonged use
- It only accepts brand-specific staples
Buying Guide Questions
It is common for prospective buyers and enthusiasts of staple guns for upholstery tasks to ask questions. These questions are essential and must be well answered for the efficient use of money when selecting a product. This guide has gathered some of the most popular questions that are asked. The answers to these questions have been well researched and are now presented concisely for your consumption. After reading our buying guide questions, you will be one step ahead in your journey of acquiring an upholstery gun that suits your budget needs.
Which is the best staple gun for upholstery?
The best staple gun for upholstery is an answer that depends on several factors that pertain to what the user wants from the upholstery staple gun. The best will be decided by what is suited to your needs at that time. A professional may want to go for pneumatic staple guns because of the amount of power they carry, while homeowners who only use the staple guns once in a while may decide to buy a manual type. Our list above gives a more thorough dive into what each of the different categories should feature.
How long are Upholstery Staples?
Upholstery staples come in a variety of lengths, but the most common types are 1/4-inches, 3/8-inches, and 1/2-inches. These have roughly different applications because their different jaws make the depth at which they fasten fabric materials to wood vary.
For stapling through a layer of materials that is not too thick, the ¼ is more than sufficient even though it is the shortest. It enables easy striping of fabric for furniture in case you are just testing designs. On the other hand, 3/8 is more suited for more layers. Lastly, ½ inches work best for fabric on wood that may be permanent.
What kind of staple gun should I use for wood?
Wood can be a challenging substrate for fastening and joining. You may want to cut costs by not using nail guns, or you may just prefer the subliminal touch that staples give. The staple gun must be able to use delicacy and finesse so as not to ruin the wood by making it splinter. The Surebonder 9615A is a perfect pneumatic candidate for this purpose. An electric type staple gun that will do these effectively is the Stanley TRE550Z. You may read more bout these two products above.
Will a staple gun go through wood surfaces?
Staple guns now pack sufficient power to go through just any type of wood surface. Ranging from softwood such as juniper, pine, and cedar to hardwoods like alder, Balser, and beech, staple guns can be used to fasten a piece of fabric to these surfaces. However, as you buy your staple gun, it is important to buy a type well suited for the density or hardness you want to use it for. For very hardwood surfaces, it is generally best to use big sized pneumatic staple guns.
Can I use a narrow crown stapler for upholstery?
Having a narrow crown refers to the width of the staple pin. The different widths can be classified as wide, narrow, and standard. Narrow crowns are about 1/4 inches in size, so they have really thin, sharp points that can easily burrow into wood.
The downside to using them is that while they may work for garden variety stapling, the fabric stapling done in upholstery often requires a wider crown to make it fasten the fabric. Thin edged narrow crowns may just push past certain fabric types. It is, therefore, not advisable to use a narrow crown stapler for upholstery.
Can you use a brad nailer for upholstery?
A brad nailer is a nail gun that drives nails into wood surfaces. It usually has a lower gauge (or thickness) than most crown staples used for upholstery. It often has 18-inch wires designed to be used on wood surfaces. The nails shot from brad nailers are often very tiny and, once fired, are not designed to be removed.
Due to the very tiny size of brad nails, they would make bad upholstery fasteners because they may pass right through the fabric surfaces.
Can I use a regular staple gun for upholstery?
What passes as a regular staple gun has gradually shifted over the years, but for all intents and purposes, manual staple guns are the most suited to this description. They have been around for years, and they are quite popular.
As discussed above, manual staple guns such as the Stanley TR45K and the Arrow Fastener T50 are very capable of upholstery work involving wood surfaces that are not too hard. For harder wood surfaces, generating more drive may be necessary; hence you may need to get a pneumatic or electric type for that purpose.
Can you upholster over old fabric?
There may be certain risks to upholstering over an old fabric, such as the cleanliness of the inner fabric or the presence of mold from years of use. If you can confirm that these risks are not very probable, then it is certainly possible to upholster over old fabric. You may also want to ensure that the new fabric covering is dark enough to cover the one underneath to avoid it showing through. This is strictly an aesthetic choice, of course.
In conclusion, upholstery is a very precise art. It requires attention to detail and some finesse. A good staple gun for upholstery, therefore, demands that users apply the correct staple gun. Gauge dimensions of the crown and length of staples are all important details to be noted. The source of power for the staple, type of wood for attachment, how long the project will take, and how much flexibility is needed are all important. That is why this guide is designed to ensure that you are ready to purchase the right staple gun that fits your budget.