why do all staplers suck?
October 12, 2005 3:12 PM   Subscribe

Where have all the good staplers gone?

Every stapler we've purchased at work has been crap. Swinglines, swingline electric, Stanley Bostitch heavy duty. They all end up jamming, breaking, or getting ripped off by students (different problem). I'm looking for a reliable stapler, something heavy enough to have served as a murder weapon in an episode of Perry Mason. My sense is that they've just gotten cheaper over the years as an expression of some sort of evil planned obsolescence. No Office Space references allowed in this thread, please.
posted by craniac to Technology (28 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I just bought a Swingline 77701 for less than $30 at office depot. It is an all-metal stapler that can handle up to 60 sheets of paper. This stapler is overkill for stapling 3-5 sheets together, but it is essential if you need to hold more than 10 sheets.
posted by b1tr0t at 3:32 PM on October 12, 2005

Staples is now selling what is essentially a staplegun in desktop stapler format. It is amazing. Lightweight, but I suspect it'll last a good amount of time simply because it doesn't require the normal sort of bashing to staple through lotsa paper.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:32 PM on October 12, 2005

I keep a rapid stapler on my desk. Pliers-style. Heavy, solid, works well. But the most amazing stapler I've seen was an outrigger on a xerox machine at Kinko's--an electric model that went through a 40-page stack of papers perfectly.
posted by adamrice at 3:43 PM on October 12, 2005

I have a Panasonic Commercial Electric Stapler. It is beautifully reliable, but almost as big as a breadbox.
posted by Sara Anne at 3:45 PM on October 12, 2005

The swingline that b1tr0t links to, I use daily for all our big stapling jobs (at work). I've found it non-jammy and it doesn't feel flimsy like the cheapos they order for most people's desks.
posted by raedyn at 3:47 PM on October 12, 2005

I have a long reach stapler. This is not it but similar. Certainly fits the murder weapon definition.
posted by Dick Paris at 4:06 PM on October 12, 2005

Five Fresh Fish is right. Staple's stapler reinvented the whole idea. You use the same force to go through 2 sheets of paper, or 20 sheets. It can stand on the nose end, too.

Staplers were better years ago. There was one of those 1950s staplers with the crinkle paint finish where I used to work, those never jammed.
posted by jjj606 at 4:26 PM on October 12, 2005

At the law library we have these, which are pretty sweet. They're reasonably well made, and the cassette system lets you switch between staple types (for up to 120 sheet stapling) quickly or just reload the thing easily. Also, I've never known it to jam.

Now, in the 'murder weapon' category we have the Stanley Bostitch 00540. It'll handle up to 250 sheets and weighs 4 pounds, to boot. 'All metal construction.' I mean, c'mon, you want a serious stapler, you go to a company that makes nail guns.
posted by jedicus at 4:36 PM on October 12, 2005

I love you people.
posted by craniac at 4:44 PM on October 12, 2005

I have a Swingline Optima 878 at my desk and it's a small, regular stapler but it's heavy and heavy duty. When I pick it up I actually grunt like Tim Taylor on Tool Time. I recommend it.

Also, it's mine. Nobody touchy.
posted by billysumday at 4:54 PM on October 12, 2005

It's not a normal desktop office stapler, and has the added trouble of requiring special staples, but I use and adore this one. The ordinary staples will easily go through 20 sheets of paper or a thin-walled cardboard box. The larger ones can handle even more.
posted by redfoxtail at 5:06 PM on October 12, 2005

The stapler that five fresh fish and jjj606 seem to be referring to looks like a rebranded version of the Paper Pro. I've never personally tried one, but it looks impressive.
posted by Rhomboid at 5:26 PM on October 12, 2005

My impression also is that regular desktop staplers have declined in quality. I have an old (like 25 years old) Bostich that works like new, will staple about 20 sheets, and never jams. It's way better than the Swingline staple-benders that offices always seem to wind up with now. I just hope my one box of staples for it lasts . . .
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:33 PM on October 12, 2005

I love my Red Swingline. If you take it from me I'll burn the place down.
posted by krisjohn at 5:35 PM on October 12, 2005

I like the plier style. My bostich version of this stapler has been going strong for 16 years now.
posted by Mitheral at 5:38 PM on October 12, 2005

The swingline referred to above is great -- I find it good to about 40 or 50 sheets with ease -- however, you have to relearn how to place the paper to ensure proper aim! I was surprised to read it is all metal as it seems quite light, but it does work well.
posted by Rumple at 5:43 PM on October 12, 2005

The el-cheapo (C$12, IIRC) Staples/Paper Pro goes through about thirty sheets like a hot knife through butter. I tried the thing out and I am very impressed. Effortless big stapling.

Though I'd like to have the one that can do 250 sheets at a time. That's... why, that's almost unconscionable!
posted by five fresh fish at 6:11 PM on October 12, 2005

For a personal desk stapler, for up to 2-20+ sheets, I have a maroon Swingline 747 Business Edition. It has heft, and it rocks. This thread rocks.
posted by carter at 6:26 PM on October 12, 2005

I don't know if they are still in business but I have a 20 year old ACE stapler that I protect like it's one of my children. It's only 4 or five inches long but it will actually put a staple thru 20 or so pages consistently (like you would expect a stapler to do). The only staplers I know of produced today that actually work are the industrial strength type with the staple gun grade staples.

Great question. I'm glad you asked it. I've probably bought 10 staplers over the last 10 years that have ended off in the trash. I didn't realize until this moment how much this pisses me off. (I guess if stapler quality get's me going I don't have enough real problems)
posted by Carbolic at 6:43 PM on October 12, 2005

If you can ever find an ACCO 20 stapler, snap it up. When I worked at an office job a few years ago we had a bunch of 'em, and they never ever failed to staple anything you could fit into them. I honestly considered stealing a few when I left.

This only applies to the 20s. The ACCO 30s aren't as good.
posted by jacobm at 7:58 PM on October 12, 2005

You office types simply must purchase the nifty Staples stapler and report back to MeTa in a few months time, let us know whether it's all that and a box of crackers.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:44 PM on October 12, 2005

Could it be a problem with the staples, not the stapler?
posted by mendel at 8:52 PM on October 12, 2005

Second carter's Swingline 747 suggestion. The Staples/staplegun one is pretty cool (you can try it out if you walk into just about any Staples store) but I can't help but feel that it's somewhat gimmicky (not to mention plastic). The 747 is nice, heavy metal. And, in "gunmetal blue," it's one of the most gorgeous desktop implements I own — $30 is a bit pricey for a straightforward stapler, but I figure I'll have it for the rest of my life. Really, it's beautiful.
posted by rafter at 11:18 PM on October 12, 2005

I'll second rafter's second on the Swingline 747. I actually asked for one of these by name at my current job, and was delighted when the nice lady who orders our office supplies got it for me special.

And did you know it's available in chrome for only $17.99?
posted by CMichaelCook at 7:30 AM on October 13, 2005

I actually asked for one of these by name at my current job, and was delighted when the nice lady who orders our office supplies got it for me special.

Heh, me too. She asked what office supplies I wanted, and I said "A maroon Swingline 747, please." I got a funny look but I also got the stapler ;)
posted by carter at 9:53 AM on October 13, 2005

The Swingline 77701 is great, but you can't use either standard staples (they aren't thick enough and jam) or readily available heavy-duty staples (too long) in it. Relatively few places stock its refills, though Staples stores sell the stapler and so probably the refills.

The problem is that older models have a center support rail, along which the staple strip slides. This was abandoned about 15 or 20 years ago for an open area, where you just drop the staple strip in.

Go to estate sales, flea markets, etc. and find an old one where the legs of the staple strips drop down on either side of a center rail.

Like others, I've found that the pliers-style staplers are more relaible than the "bang my head" models, but it's annoying to have to pick the pliers up each time you use it.
posted by KRS at 1:51 PM on October 13, 2005

I'm not totally sold on the Swingline Swingline 77701. They're nice at first, but they'll eventually betray you. Mine did. And much of the heft comes from dead weight in the base, not recycled pig iron from 19th century steam locomotives.
posted by craniac at 1:54 PM on October 13, 2005

posted by craniac at 5:58 PM on October 13, 2005

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