Used for woodworking, home improvement, and upholstery, staples are a great alternative to glue, nails, and screws—especially on material prone to splitting. A staple gun is an indispensable item in the art studio, used for everything from stretching canvas to hanging photo backdrops. Staple guns come in many styles: manual guns are handheld, spring-loaded devices that fire staples when their levers are depressed; pneumatic guns use air pressure to fire heavier-gauge staples; electric staple guns use either a battery or plug to apply staples with the pull of a trigger. Pneumatic guns tend to be the most powerful, but require an air compressor to work. For light-duty projects, a manual or electric gun may be the answer. Staple thickness is measured in gauge: the lower the gauge, the thicker the staple. Many staple guns can apply brackets and straight pins too. Browse our roundup of the best models below.
1. Workpro Staple Gun
Compatible with six types of staples, nails, and pins, this manual device covers all the bases. A dual power lever, easily adjustable with a sliding button, allows you to control the force the gun applies to your working surface, so you can use this tool on both hard and soft materials, thick and thin surfaces. With a jam-proof mechanism, a bottom-loading machine, and a rubber molded grip, this gun is the total package. As an added bonus, this device comes with 1000 each of four types of staples.
2. Arrow JT21CM Staple Gun
If you need a staple gun for simple jobs like stretching canvas, posting flyers, or doing crafts, save some money and purchase a low-cost, easy-to-use tool. This manually powered chromed-steel tool features a rugged coil spring that is easy to compress; it is resistant to jamming and fits comfortably even in smaller hands. While not a heavy-duty gun, it provides enough pressure to shoot staples through relatively hard materials like oak and plywood and thick surfaces such as carpet or foam. It can fit three sizes of staple.
3. Bostitch Crown Stapler
This air-powered staple gun is compatible with narrow crown staples and can fit 100 of them in its magazine. Narrow crown staples serve the same purpose as regular staples but are thinner and longer, so they penetrate deeper and are less noticeable. The oil-free engine requires no regular maintenance and eliminates the risk of oil stains. The low-nail lockout prevents dry firing, and the ultra-quiet rear exhaust directs air away from the user and the project. And the stapler’s Dial-a-Depth control ensures precise countersinking. Easily store and transport this tool in a sturdy carrying case that comes included.
4. Bea 22-Gauge Stapler
This air-powered staple gun is too expensive to be our top pick, but it is the best choice for avid DIYers or professionals who can afford it. Suited for standard-sized C-style staples, this device works with most air compressors (supply your own) and weighs about 2 pounds, making it easy to maneuver and carry for long periods. Made in Germany out of high-quality, rust-resistant metal, this model achieves a flush fit every time, so there’s no need to hammer away at staples after you’ve pulled the trigger. Use it to drive staples into hardwoods, drywall moldings, and thick upholstery with ease, and enjoy the fact that it is very quiet.
5. DeWalt Staple Gun
This two-in-one manual staple gun is compatible with both heavy-duty staples and 18-gauge brads. Constructed of carbon fiber composite, it’s lightweight but strong. A low-fastener indicator lets you know when you’re running low on staples, to prevent dry firing, and the bottom-load design enables easy replenishment. A reversible belt hook facilitates both left- and right-handed access.