What do I look for when choosing a desk stapler?

posted this on May 30, 2016

It may seem that choosing a desktop stapler would be easy. After all, a stapler is a stapler, right? Well, yes, but if you want to save money and get a device that you can use for a long time, you’ll need to put a bit of thought into your purchase. This article will fill you in on the five things you need to think about when choosing a stapler for your desk and give you some recommendations, as well.

1.) Brand name. The most common name in the stapler world is definitely Swingline. In fact, Swingline is so well-known it’s practically become a cultural icon with references to the company in the movies such as “Office Space.” Swingline definitely produces some of the best products available, but other notable manufacturers include Dahle Novus and GBC.

2.) Budget. Obviously money will be a consideration. You may only have a budget of $20.00 or less. In that case, Swingline has a number of products that would be good for you, such as their colorful Anywhere Staplers and the classic Standard Swingline model that can be found in offices across North America. Keep in mind that the more you spend, the more features your new device will have and the sturdier it will be. Thus, if you spend $5.00 on a no-name product, chances are you’ll be frustrated with its performance and wind up replacing it a lot sooner than if you had spent a little bit more on a brand-name device.

3.) Stapling capacity. One of the most important things to take into account is the product’s stapling capacity, meaning, how many sheets can it fasten together. After all, it’s very annoying to try to staple a thick document with a device that can only fasten a small amount of sheets. For example, if you need to staple a lot of sheets on a regular basis, a heavy-duty device such as the Dahle Novus B56 would be a great choice since it can staple between 20 and 210 sheets. You’ll also want to pick a long-arm unit if you anticipate need to do center-stitch fastening at some point. Some great long-arm products are the Swingline Long-Reach and the Dahle Novus B17.

4.) Stapling methods. You will also need to consider whether your stapler needs to do more than permanent fastening. A device that opens up can be used to tack documents to an upright surface, such as a bulletin board. Also, some devices can staple in such a way it’s possible to remove the staple without a special remover. (This is known as “temporary pinning.”) If either of these two methods appeal to you, be sure to look for a device that can do them. Dahle Novus in particular has many products capable of more than just permanent fastening.

5.) Electric or manual. Electric models such as the Swingline Everyday products are wonderful because they require very little effort to use. However, they’re also more expensive than their manual counterparts. They also may not be able to do specialized stapling (i.e. temporary pinning) and they require either batteries or an electrical outlet. These are all factors that require attention.

Other factors you may want to consider are color (Swingline has some very colorful products, such as the Tot series), whether the unit has a magnetic base, and if you can make the unit stand upright. You’ll also want to think about how the unit feels in your hand. If you get one that makes your hand ache when you use it, you’re just wasting money, so get one that feels right.

Choosing a stapler is really a more complex decision that it appears to be. But now that you know what to look for and consider, the process should be less daunting.

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