Organizers generally prefer staplers to paper clips for papers that need to be kept; they won’t snag other papers by mistake and they won’t fall off. I’ve seen lots of complaints about office staplers, but there are certainly many good designs out there.
Many old favorites are praised because they just work, reliably, year after year. The Swingline 747 staplers fall into that category. Comments like this one from Steve Lynch abound: “I have one on my desk … and I can not remember it ever jamming in the 10 or so years that I have owned it.” It’s a metal stapler that handles 20 sheets of 20-pound paper, as long as you use Swingline’s premium staples.
Providing the staples is a smart move. While this may have been done to generate more profit, it also ensure that a critical part of the stapling process can be under Swingline’s control. Purchasers rave about them, noting what a difference the premium staples make.
The Folle 26 stapler is another older product—it was designed by Henning Andreasen and introduced in 1977—that still gets raves. Back in December 2013 Sir James Dyson said: “The Folle stapler is a classic of Danish industrial design: simple, well-manufactured and enjoyable to use. It’s made of stainless steel, hardened steel and iron, so it’s serious. I’ve had mine since 1980, and it’s still nicely satisfying to use.”
Such staplers would work fine for many end users, whose main concerns are durability and reliability, and the ability to handle a reasonable volume of papers. (They also appreciate attractive design.) But other staplers have additional features that can be helpful.
I have an old desktop stapler, but I usually wind up using it as a hand stapler. The Max Vaimo 11 stapler seems designed for people like me—and for end users who would like a smaller (but not wimpy) stapler they could pack in a bag. It will fit comfortably into many end users’ hands, and it staples up to 40 pieces of paper.
One drawback: This stapler requires the staples designed specifically for it, which means end users who run out of staples have no short-term fallback position until they can get more of those Max Vaimo staples.
The Anything stapler won numerous design awards back in 2008-2009, but I have yet to figure out why. Yes, it’s attractive. Yes, it can stand on end to save desktop space—but a stapler doesn’t use that much space, anyway, and many end users won’t want to fuss with putting it up and down. However, I’ve not found anything (beyond vague generalities) that explains how this design benefits the end user.
The Atomo stapler from Urban Prefer can also stand on end, but it has other notable features, too. It’s easier on the hands; the end user just gently presses to staple up to 30-35 sheets. It’s a flat-clinch stapler, so the staples lie flat on the back side of the papers. That lets stapled papers stack neatly, and it saves considerable space when they are filed away.
The Atomo also has a simple loading process; the end user just presses a button on the back to have the staple compartments eject toward the front. Two sticks of staples can be loaded at once.
End users with physical limitations (and others!) may be well served by PaperPro, which is known for staplers that provide one-finger stapling. Different models handle different volumes of paper.
As the company explains: “The secret to PaperPro’s incredibly easy and powerful performance lies in its unique, spring-powered technology. This patented mechanism is like having the power of a staple gun-inside your desktop stapler. It converts the pressure of a single finger into over 30 pounds of staple-driving power.”
PaperPro also claims these staplers “never jam” and the purchasers whose comments I’ve read say that’s true.
The Novus flat clinch staplers can actually provide three types of staples: a permanent flat clinch, a temporary pin, or a tack (for putting papers on bulletin boards). The temporary pins provide a nice alternative to using paper clips, and the staples are easily removed without using a staple puller.
While many staplers can be used in a tacking mode, an end user who needs to do a lot of tacking (or stapling of papers in odd places rather than just the corners) might appreciate the Align stapler with its detachable base.
I’ve always been a bit skeptical when it comes to staple-free staplers, but the Harinacs staplers from Kokuyo have convinced me to give them more consideration. They come in various sizes with different capacities.
Many of us no longer need to worry about putting stapled papers into recycling, and many shredders work fine with staples, so those may no longer be reasons for an end user to go staple-free. However, these staplers might still be great for end users with children and those who work in any environment where sharp pointed items are not allowed. And, of course, the end user never has to worry about running out of staples.
This video is in Japanese, and it’s loud, but it does a nice job of illustrating how the stapler works. The stapler does leave a sizable hole in the papers, which might be a problem for some end users.
This quirky video illustrates how well the “staples” hold, assuming the end user doesn’t go over the recommended number of papers.