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The stapler – cultural archetype of the office supply world

The stapler is an office staple (sorry), a veritable flourish from the gods of stationery. A design masterpiece, the stapler is an inspired intervention in the microcosm that is the office. We're not quite sure what the modern world would be like without staplers. Loose papers that belong together annoying you? Use a stapler. Bored? Staple some stuff together just because...

In tribute to this great device we supply a vast range of staplers – electric, economy, heavy duty, mini, tackers, and more. Plus staple removers and a full complement of staples to refill your beloved stapler.

What is a stapler?

A stapler is a device that binds pieces of paper together by driving a thin piece of wire – shaped in the form of three sides of a rectangle – through the sheets and bending the ends over to fasten them. Specialised staplers are also used in surgery to close skin or organ surface instead of sutures.

Did you know?

A stapler was hand-made for King Louis XV of France in the eighteenth century. Each staple was of course inscribed with the royal insignia. The nineteenth century saw a surge in the use of paper and a corresponding demand for paper fastening methods. In the 1860s and 1870s a number of US patents were given for various precursors to modern staples and staplers.

Interestingly (kind of), the earliest Oxford English Dictionary citation for the word “stapler” as a device for fastening together papers is as late as 1951.

Stapler glossary

  • Full-strip and half-strip staplers – The ends of full-strip staples meet at the bends of the other. The ends of half-strip staples meet in the middle
  • Hand plier-type staplers are for heavier duty stapling and fasten the staple with a squeeze of the hand – like pliers
  • Heavy duty staplers – Some models can staple over 200 sheets together
  • Long-arm staplers have high “throat depths” for stapling, say, in the middle of documents. Ideal for magazines and brochures
  • Electric and electronic staplers are mains- or battery-operated automatic staplers for high volumes of stapling work
  • Staple guns – Staples are driven directly into a surface without use of the anvil to fold the staples. Ideal for attaching documents to bulletin boards or wall.
  • Capacity. The maximum number of sheets a stapler can staple together at once.
  • Low force. Requires less effort by user to staple.
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