Is There a Decent Staple Gun Out There?


Corporate Member
I have had a few staple guns over the years, but none of them really worked well. Also, none have been electric. The most recent one I tried is the DeWalt. It seems to be a little better than the old Swingline or Stanley (including the Powershot), but still inconsistent. By inconsistent
I mean it misfires the staple 15% of the time, even if you hold and fire it perfectly (see pic). If you don’t hold it perfectly, it never works right. My definition of a misfire is one or both sides of the staple folds and doesn’t really go into the wood. I could handle it if it didn’t go in all the way and you could tap it the rest of the way with a hammer. Maybe it’s the staples I’m using? I’ve tried several “heavy duty” type, but haven’t seen any difference. I don’t think it’s the wood since it’s mostly construction plywood or pine 2 x 4’s. Also, I can pull the misfire out and put a new one in the same place and it works fine… 85% of the time anyway 😂.

Anyone know of one that works better, including electric versions?

Henry W

Corporate Member
Two thoughts on your query
1. Go pnuematic - much more likely to be consistent (but assumes you have compressor). If staple size is very important then a 'narrow crown staple' may not be what you need. And that is all I have ever seen for pneumatic staplers, but they fire pretty well/consistently and are available in fairly long lengths.
2. My cheapo electric stapler (think Ollie or Big Lot's buy, before I have pneumatic tools) was the WORST $$ I have ever spent on a tool - and there is competition for that! Completely useless, and I refused to even give it away - it was that bad. Now I was expecting it to fire staples into wood (don't recall details) but I would rather use a hand powered gun. I can't speak for 'real' electric staplers - if there is such a thing. I believe mine was an Arrow brand - but i am not certain of that. I have little hope for an electric one unless it cost significantly more than $20. Even there I would definitely keep the receipt!
Last edited:


Man with many vises
Corporate Member
Craig, looks like you are doing slip seats. This JT21 stapler has worked much better for us than the bigger T50 models. Drives easier into hard boards.


Board of Directors, Webmaster
Staff member
Corporate Member
I just used an electric PowerShot Pro for some stair tread covers. I picked it up at a pawn shop 10 years ago for $10 (or less).


Corporate Member
I have the Milwaukee 12V. Love it. My hand sure appreciates it over the Arrow and Swingline. I had a corded Swingline and it was junk.


Corporate Member
If you are doing upholstery work, I would suggest a Porter-Cable 22 ga 3/8" crown stapler.
I've used one extensively for furniture and boat upholstery projects with no problems...I mostly use stainless steel staples so they don't rust.
It's listed at Acme Tools and others as Porter-Cable Upholstery Stapler P/N US58 for $99.98


Corporate Member
Duofast. Hands down. Around 100 dollars and worth it. Adjustable power. You won't find it at the big box. Try colonial supply in cary or wake forest


Corporate Member
I would second the Duofast CS-500. The next best manual one that I have tried is the Dewalt one you pictured above. Arrow T50 staplers were slightly reengineered in the early 80's to be more suited to telephone and cable installation and it pretty much ruined them for being worthwhile on other uses. They became really only suitable for crowned and rounded staples and no longer had the oomph to drive any staple flat, consistently.

(former cabling contractor)

Martin Roper

Senior User
I bought the Ryobi 18v stapler to build cages to keep the squirrels and birds away from my wife's blueberry bushes. I like it. I'll never go back to the manual staplers. I have a Craftsman and an Arrow, but I'm not even sure where they are anymore.


Corporate Member
One aspect of the manual staplers is that you have to keep it hard pressed against the surface. and the surface must be solid. If the surface can "bounce", you will have problems with the staples going fully in.

Martin Roper

Senior User
One aspect of the manual staplers is that you have to keep it hard pressed against the surface. and the surface must be solid. If the surface can "bounce", you will have problems with the staples going fully in.
This applies to electrics as well. If I don't have mine pressed flush to the surface, I'll get a bent staple.


Senior User
That type of stapler @pop-pop shows is so awful (sorry pop-pop). The ergonomics are all wrong!!

Black and Decker makes a power shot that pushes down over the staple. It's decent but they will jamb.

If I did a lot of stapling I'd get a battery operated one. I have a pneumatic but the air hose is a PITB.

Wiley's Woodworks

Corporate Member
Misfiring staples many times is a function of improper pressure on the hammer. If your pressure is too little or uneven the hammer will bounce before the staple is driven in all the way.
If you go with an electric staple gun make sure your line-of-force is directly over the hammer. With hand staplers I have found the newer style with the trigger lever hinged at the rear of the stapler instead of just behind the hammer works much better. This rear pivot forces you to put more pressure directly over the hammer.


Corporate Member
The basic design flaw of most manual staplers is the handle requires pressure to be applied to the rear of the machine, thus greatly reducing the pressure at the action end. I've been using the arrow 5700 forward action for years and have found it to do a better job of seating the staple.


Upholstery framing is generally a hardwood. The only staples I've found that will reliably work are C sized wire staples which are 22 ga 3/8 flat crown. Same shape as a paper staple only 3/8" wide instead of 1/2" and 22 ga instead of 23. The thin gauge legs will not cut the warp and fill of a fabric like the T series staples. I use 3/8. 1/4, and 1/2" staples in a Senco SFW10XP pneumatic gun.

T series staples are designed for use in soft woods. They works real good for tender material's that C wire staples would pull through and with soft woods. If you're going to use T series staples use a slap hammer or a pneumatic. The Harbor freight ones work pretty good and cost about the same as a manual. As Wiley said technique is everything.

Premier Sponsor

Our Sponsors