Purpose of undulated staples?
February 4, 2005 3:38 PM   Subscribe

Why do undulated staples exist? They appeared in my workplace office supply drawer, and have puzzled myself, coworkers, Google, and Wikipedia.
posted by SemiSophos to Grab Bag (17 answers total)

I for one still don't get it. Pilferage of what? Identified why?
posted by mendel at 3:59 PM on February 4, 2005

I thought you use it when stapling to a wall or hanging something with staples. The idea being the undulation contains more strength. I have no idea how they'd prevent pilferage or why security needs to start identifying staples.
posted by geoff. at 4:13 PM on February 4, 2005

Found it! Check the fourth bullet. The undulation helps prevent the stable from breaking through some materials.
posted by pmbuko at 4:19 PM on February 4, 2005

staple. As to the pilferage thing, sounds like the copy writer needed to say something about them, so he bullshitted it.
posted by pmbuko at 4:22 PM on February 4, 2005

They look like they'd be easier to remove (with the up-undulation, anyway) and these staples (with the down-undulation, I guess) offer "Greater gripping strength."

That "are easy to identify by security and help control pilferage in stores" stuff might indicate that people frequently open boxes of staples in their stores and take a few rows, but that, if the undulations are unique, it's easier to say that the staples in question came from the store. That's what it sounds like, anyway. Seems shaky.
posted by pracowity at 4:27 PM on February 4, 2005

This is the kind of question I love AskMe for. I've never even heard of Undulated Staples, but somehow my life is richer now.
posted by matildaben at 4:32 PM on February 4, 2005

they have side to side undulation, not up-and-down.
posted by pmbuko at 4:33 PM on February 4, 2005

oops. Seems there are different types of undulated staples. Never mind me as I undulate my fingers out of here...
posted by pmbuko at 4:35 PM on February 4, 2005

They are good for security because they let you tell whether someone has opened a package, took something out, and re-stapled it before bringing it back. Because nobody would have the weird staples.
posted by kindall at 7:16 PM on February 4, 2005

pmbuko's link seems to explain. Since the undulations are side to side, that would create a wider "footprint" and reduce the chances of tearing through material that has been stapled.
posted by RMALCOLM at 7:41 PM on February 4, 2005

So, it's like the light bulbs in the subway that screw in in reverse. Kindall, you are amazing.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:43 PM on February 4, 2005

I'll file these in with the security torx bits, and those un-reversible flat-head screws they put in public washroom stalls.

Of course, just like those things, anybody with 5 minutes on their hands in sears can get a set of 'em for the price of a starbucks latte. :-D
posted by shepd at 9:26 PM on February 4, 2005

It is a wild guess, but it seems reasonable.
posted by kindall at 10:46 PM on February 4, 2005

Holy crap! The light bulbs in the subway screw in reverse?!?

Where do they get them?
posted by PissOnYourParade at 11:14 PM on February 4, 2005

Also I've seen thrift store type places staple the price tags (the tags are just colour coded to indicate price) on with these kinds of staples. Makes it harder to label switch.
posted by Mitheral at 1:40 PM on February 5, 2005

"Holy crap! The light bulbs in the subway screw in reverse?!? Where do they get them?"

I don't know if they're still manufactured. The subway is not that incandescent bulb anymore (NYC). I think the voltage might have also been different, or something...
posted by ParisParamus at 6:26 PM on February 5, 2005

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