How to Properly Use a Staple Gun

So you’ve upgraded your tools in and are bringing in a member of the pneumatic family – the staple gun. It’s sleek, it’s powerful and it guarantees to get the job done fast.

At one point you will, or at least should have asked yourself: “Do I know how to properly use a staple gun?”

Really, though. Nail and staple guns are notoriously dangerous. There is a special corner of the internet reserved for videos of such injuries.

To avoid that ever happening to you, we are going to look at a few points that will help you use that new staple gun safely and effectively.

How to Properly Use a Staple Gun

How to Properly Use a Staple Gun


The first place to start is getting to know your hardware, so you can choose the right tool for the job. There are four types of staple guns, categorized by their power source:

A staple gun works by using a hammer mechanism that impacts a metal splice, firing it off its staple with enough force that it penetrates the desired material. This force can be initiated manually or by a power source. Once the hammer rises back to its default position, the staple is moved forward to line up the next splice ready for ejection.

Manual staple guns are used for light, everyday household jobs, whereas the powered tools are used for heavier construction tasks.

It’s very important to identify the whether your power tool has a sequential or bump mode trigger as, because they both look similar, they can lead to improper precautions resulting in injury.

[Youtube video on how to use and care for a pneumatic staple gun]


Just ask the guy who ended up with a three-inch staple in his head. A 2001-2005 report showed that about 37,000 people are treated for nail and staple gun related injuries every year.

Common reasons are:

  • Unintended discharge from double fire
  • Unintended discharge from knocking the safety contact with the trigger squeezed
  • Staple penetration through work material
  • Ricochet after striking an inconsistent or unintended material
  • Poor aim
  • Unstable position
  • Bypassing safety mechanisms.


When operating a staple gun you have two main lines of defence against an accident: 1) safety mechanisms that prevent misfiring, and 2) common sense. If you don’t have much of the latter, I suggest you keep pay close attention to using the first one properly.

And follow these precautions:

  • Read the manual – No matter how many great articles you read about how to use a staple gun properly, you still need to read the manual for your particular gun
  • Never leave your staple gun unattended
  • Wear protective gear such as gloves and safety glasses
  • Use the safety locks and precautions
  • Know your tool’s trigger type and take the appropriate precautions
  • Never point it at anyone or anything except your working material


Now that you have read the manual, have your safety gear on and know how to properly load your gun, it’s time for action.

  • Set up your workspace. Ensure you have a tidy area free from hazards where you can easily be aware of your surroundings
  • Load your gun. At the back of the gun, you will find a latch, which will open the staple tray carriage. Insert the staples so they are flush, and then close the tray again ensuring that you hear the locking click’ noice.
  • Secure your materials. Be sure you are using the right tool and staple for the density of the material you will penetrate, and ensure there are no inconsistencies in the materials causing the possible ricochet. If necessary, secure the items to prevent slip
  • Test. It’s a good idea to test out the first round of a similar material. You can practice your aim as well as ensure the chosen staples are the right ones for the job
  • Aim. To begin stapling, level the staple gun against the surface, hold down the safety and squeeze the trigger.
  • Fire. Be sure you wait the reasonable amount of time before ejecting the next staple to avoid jamming or unintended discharge


Now that you know how to properly use a staple gun, let’s get to the real reason you have a staple gun – to create something great! The staple gun is a powerful and versatile tool for a variety of DIY projects.

They make jobs like framing, re-upholstering furniture, decorating and even carpeting. It’s no wonder they are one of the favorite tools in the shed.

Check out what other people are doing with their tool and unleash your creative potential.


Did you enjoy this list? Do you now feel confident you know how to properly use a staple gun? Let us know in the comments section or share this article with your friends.


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My name is James F. Core , and I write this blog. Staple guns are a great tool to have for Your DIY projects that require stapling. I hope this guide to apply the information that you find to make an informed buying decision. Thanks for stopping by.

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