Things to consider before buying a Manual Staple Gun


Good for

Manual staple guns are good for many purposes, but small DIY projects are where these tools thrive. Whether you’re looking to hang some Christmas lights up or reupholster some of your furniture, a manual gun is a thing you need. Some people usually skip this type and buy electric or pneumatic ones thinking they are better by default. However, it couldn’t be farther from the truth. It all comes down to the purpose of it. If you’re not planning to tackle any major projects, there is no reason to spend money on other more expensive types.

The main advantages of this type are the portability and light weight. There is no need to drag a cord or take special care about the level of air in a compressor; all you need is raw power. As we said, if you need a gun for small household repairs and simple DIY projects, consider getting a manual staple gun.


Not Good for

Even though this type is great for smaller projects, the bigger ones require a bit more. Therefore, if you’re planning to remodel the whole house or tackle a huge DIY project, consider buying a more powerful unit. Whether you decide to invest in pneumatic or electric ones, it’s up to you. For example, many people invest a couple of dollars in a manual staple gun and expect to finish up remodeling a whole fence in one go. A vast majority of them fail pretty quickly or get tired of it because this type simply isn’t recommended for large-scale jobs.

If you have any major home repairs in mind, it’s best that you avoid using the manual type. Instead, aim for something that’s capable of fulfilling your requirements on a large scale. It’s true that you’re going to invest a bit more money than planned, but it’s worth every penny.

Top Rated Hand Staple Guns

Our Rating: 4.6
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  • Functionality
  • Price
This particular unit is perfect for your everyday home and office tasks. It doesn’t offer an impressive amount of features, but it’s more than enough to fulfill some of your basic needs. It has a convenient handle lock which means you won’t have fatigue issues whatsoever.

When it comes to the design, it’s pretty standard and conventional. The thing that makes it stand out is the quick anti-jamming mechanism. As you may know, these things usually have issues with constant jamming, especially if the mechanism is of low quality. However, Stanley Company is well-known for their quality of production meaning you don’t have to worry about the quality of this particular anti-jamming system. In simpler words, you can rest assured that it works as advertised.

As far as the durability goes, it’s okay. The chrome-plated casing is sturdy enough to withstand quite a beating. However, you shouldn’t use it for any heavy-duty tasks because it’s simply not recommended. The thing you might not like about the design is the lever stiffness. Namely, some people reported that it gets pretty annoying and tiring after a while. The lever could have been a bit softer, but it’s not a big deal – you’ll get used to it in no time.

The main advantage of this particular model is its versatility. While it’s great for hanging on some Christmas lights, it can also pierce through some pretty dense wood. Therefore, you can reupholster some of your furniture without too much hassle. The warranty conditions are pretty good thanks to the cooperation between Stanley and Black & Decker.

The affordable price is also one of the main advantages of the Stanley TR45K. While many other manual models on the market cost up to fifty dollars, this particular one is four or five times cheaper. The greatest thing about it is the fact that it’s still a top-quality unit regardless of the low price.

  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price
Our Rating: 4.3
When we’re talking about modern and innovative design, we cannot skip mentioning the Stanley TR150HL. While it’s a pretty useful staple gun, it’s also quite modern-looking. If you’re among the people who look for aesthetics, make sure you check this unit out, it has everything you’ll ever need for occasional household projects.

The durability of this particular model is its primary advantage. While it looks like a regular manual staple gun, it’s actually able to tackle some heavy-duty projects as well, especially if you’re planning on processing dense wood. For example, upholstery is a piece of cake for this particular model thanks to its great penetration depth.

You can also choose from two intensity settings depending on the surface you want to staple. For instance, if you’re dealing with hard wood, go ahead and select the high settings. On the other hand, if you’re planning to staple some paper or other office material, the low setting offers more than enough power for those situations.

The case is made of durable and lightweight aircraft aluminum. Apart from durability, it also offers an ergonomic design which ensures a firm grip. As you may assume, a firm grip is pretty important when it comes to safety and proper handling.

The thing people didn’t like about it is the amount of pressure you need to invest in order to use this staple gun. While some models on the market offer pretty soft and easy-to-handle levers, this particular one doesn’t. In fact, it has an unusually stiff lever meaning you might have some fatigue issues. Although it cannot be solved easily, you’ll get used to it pretty quickly.

The best “wow” factor of the Stanley TR150HL is the affordable price. Although it has its disadvantages, the affordability justifies the shortcomings.

Our Rating: 4.4
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price
The Arrow Fastener is made of steel which is a pretty pleasant surprise in the staple guns world. Most models are made of aluminum because it’s light and durable. However, when it comes to ultimate durability, steel is your safest bet. Apart from having a high-quality casing, it also has a jam-resistant design. In simpler words, jamming isn’t a frequent occurrence with this particular model.

Whether you’re a professional or a beginner, you’re going to like the things this stapler has to offer. Although there aren’t many impressive features involved, the conventional ones are on a high level. For example, the lever is quite soft which means you won’t have any problems with fatigue. As you may know, the main disadvantage of many models is the stiffness of the lever. However, this one is an exception.

One of the shortcomings of this model is the fact that there are many defective ones on the market. A lot of people reported receiving faulty units which is not a good sign, to say the least. Luckily, the returning policy is pretty straightforward. Therefore, all you have to do is return the product, and you’ll get a new one free of charge. Although, you’ll lose some time and nerves.

The price is more than acceptable, especially because it’s an all-steel unit. Considering the high quality of it, one would expect a pretty hefty price. Luckily, it’s suitable for most budgets, even the tight ones. The unit uses Arrow T-50 Staples which are accessible and affordable. Many guns do come cheap, but the supplies are often expensive. The Arrow Fastener T50 isn’t one of those.

Whether you’re planning to commence a serious DIY project or you just need a stapler for occasional use, this one would be a good investment. Take a look, and you’ll see if it meets your requirements and expectations.

  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price
Our Rating: 4.4
When it comes to all-around staple guns, the BOSTITCH6-8 is one of the best. It’s not much different from any other model on our list when it comes to aesthetics, but the things underneath the hood make this particular model one of the recommended ones for all kinds of projects.

Therefore, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner or a professional, you’ll find some good use in this unit, there’s no question about that. The first thing that’s going to impress you is the softness of the lever. Numerous models have a serious issue with the stiffness of the lever, and many people simply give up on buying them. A vast majority of staple guns cause some level of fatigue after a while. Luckily, this one doesn’t. You can use it for hours and still not feel tired at all.

As far as the disadvantages go, there aren’t many. The first one is the fact that it doesn’t work with nails, only staples. Remember, always read the description before buying something because many people wanted a nail gun and ended up with a staple gun instead. This one DOESN’T use nails, only staples.

The other possible nuisance would be the type of staples. While many people say that this particular model uses standard staples, it’s not the case. Therefore, you have to buy the specially designed supplies for this model; the standard ones won’t do well.

The main advantages are the quality of manufacture and the price. The mechanism is well-made, and it comes with a pretty affordable price. Quite a lot of models have a hefty price just because they are branded. Although Bostitch isn’t a ridiculously famous brand, this particular model has everything you’ll ever want from a staple gun.

Our Rating: 4.4
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price
The Dewalt DWHTTR350 is a great solution for people who want an all-around stapler. While it isn’t an impressive model per se, it still offers more than enough features for many of your DIY plans. In fact, even if you have some professional projects in mind, this particular model should be able to withstand the pressure.

The easy-squeeze technology is what makes this model worth checking out. As you may know, many other models have an issue with the squeezing mechanism being too stiff or tight. Luckily, this one is just perfect. Therefore, even people who suffer from arthritis can use this unit without worrying too much about fatigue and pain.

Truth be told, it doesn’t come without a few disadvantages. The main one is the frequent misfires. While there isn’t any major danger of jamming, misfiring can be a frequent occurrence, especially if you’re not using the unit properly. To minimize this, try finding high-quality supplies. The cheap staples tend to mess up the firing mechanism and cause it to misfire.

When talking about the biggest advantages, we cannot skip mentioning the modern and effective design. Also, the reloading process is a piece of cake. Many other models struggle with the reloading mechanisms, and it can get quite annoying, especially if you’re dealing with a big project. However, the Dewalt DWHTTR350 has no issues with fast reloads. In fact, resupplying a stapler has never been easier.

The biggest surprise with this model is its price. Many people argue it could have been a lot cheaper. While it does have a somewhat premium price, it’s all for a reason. It is indeed a high-end model, and you cannot expect it to be a bargain. On the other hand, if you have the means to invest in it, don’t hesitate; it will meet your expectations.

Manual Staplers Quick Product Comparison


Stanley TR45K Light
Duty Staple Gun Kit

Stanley TRA200 or Arrow
JT-21< light duty
Chrome-plated1 lbs$Check Price

Stanley TR150HL SharpShooter
Heavy Duty Staple Gun

Stanley SharpShooter
TRA700 Series or
Arrow T-50 heavy
duty staples
Heavy duty
aircraft aluminum
0.5 lbs$Check Price

Arrow Fastener T50 Heavy
Duty Staple Gun

T50 StaplesSteel1.4 lbs$Check Price

BOSTITCH T6-8 Heavy Duty
Powercrown Tacker

Powercrown StaplesAluminum1 lbs$Check Price

Dewalt DWHTTR350
Heavy-Duty Aluminum

18 gauge (any)Aluminum2 lbs$$$Check Price

Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Manual Staple Gun

Although many of these models look pretty much the same, they are far from it. In fact, there are many elements you need to consider before choosing which model is the best one for your needs. Take a look at these tips, and you should have a better insight into the things worth checking out before you opt for a particular model.

The hand grip

One of the most important things you need to think about is the hand grip. If you think about it, it’s probably the most important part of every staple gun. Many models require quite a lot of force to be put on the lever in order for them to work. While it may not pose a problem to young people, the older generation has a pretty big reason to avoid stiff levers.

Individuals who suffer from arthritis or any other joint-related disease tend to have issues with stiff mechanisms. Therefore, if you have similar problems, aim for the models with soft mechanisms.

Another thing you should consider when it comes to the hand grip is the material that it’s made of. Rubber grips are usually the safest bet. Naked metal is more durable than rubber, but it doesn’t work well with sweaty hands. If you’re planning to tackle smaller projects, you probably won’t have issues with sweaty hands. However, larger projects do make your palms sweaty which consequently leads to slipping. In simpler words, levers made of metal become quite slippery if your hands get sweaty after a while.

The durability of manual staple guns

Another important factor to look for is the durability of a particular model. There is no use in buying a cheap staple gun if it’s going to die after a couple of uses. Aluminum and steel are the metals you should aim for when choosing the right model for yourself. Plastic is a somewhat popular material as well, but it’s not as durable and sturdy as aluminum or steel.

The models we’ve covered are rated as one of the most durable on the market. The durability becomes apparent when you start tackling large projects. Therefore, if you don’t plan on using the stapler frequently, the material isn’t too important. On the other hand, if you’re planning to commence large and complex projects, aim for the ones made of metal.

things to consider

The price of manual staplers

The old “You get what you paid for” saying does apply to these guns. The formula is pretty simple – don’t buy cheap units, regardless of your budget limits. It’s always better to wait a couple of weeks, gather a bit more money, and buy a high-quality unit that’s going to last for years. Many people get charmed by low prices and most of them get a pretty rude awakening after a few uses.

The price is determined by the sheer quality of a particular model. Therefore, you don’t have to be an expert to evaluate whether it’s worth investing in a particular staple gun. Also, keep an eye on the brand. If it’s a well-known brand, you can expect a slightly higher price compared to the no-name ones. However, the well-known companies usually offer favorable warranty conditions, and most of them have a polite customer support staff. No-name brands won’t care much about your issues, and you’ll probably end up wasting your money.

manual gun tips

Anti-jamming mechanisms

When it comes to manual guns, anti-jamming mechanisms aren’t a usual feature. However, many of these models have a way of coping with the jamming. Some have special springs that prevent it; others have custom reloading systems. The key is to find a model that’s capable of solving the issue along the way. In simpler words, you don’t want to waste time by readjusting a bunch of staples while you’re dealing with a massive project. Instead, you want to find a model that can resolve the issue in a matter of seconds.

Staple size

Aim for the units that use standard supplies. There are a few models on the market that require special staples which are sometimes inaccessible to most people. Finding the one that works with standard-size staples is your safest bet.

The conclusion

Manual staple guns are useful and handy tools. However, finding the best suiting one is not an easy task. Luckily, we’ve covered some of the best and most popular ones on the market so that you don’t have to lurk around the Internet by yourself. Instead, you can find every piece of information you want in one place – here.

Whether you’re a devoted professional or a beginner, you’ll certainly find some of these models worth investing in. It’s up to you to fine-tune your budget accordingly and opt for the one you find interesting enough. You can rest assured that every single model we’ve covered performs as advertised. We tried to point out the advantages as well as the shortcomings so that you can get a general idea of what to expect if you decide to invest in a particular unit.

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