My friend was refurbishing an old cabinet a couple of months ago. It was going great until he did the finish with his 15-gauge pneumatic stapler. Let’s just say it looked really bad. I explained that the gun was great, but he needed thinner-gauge staples.
This kind of confusion is more common than you think. And it can be hard to understand what terms like “crown width” and “PSI” mean. But don’t worry; by the time you’re done reading this guide, you won’t have these concerns.
The best pneumatic staple gun can be hard to filter out from the hundreds of options on the market. To save you some time, we’ve reviewed our favorite ones available in 2021.
Benefits of Pneumatic Staple Gun
In case you didn’t already know what a ‘pneumatic’ staple gun is, it essentially means that these staplers run off compressed air. Some distinctive features set these staplers apart from electric or manual variants; most of them are advantages. Let’s take a look.
A pneumatic stapler’s firing rate is unmatched by any other machine. It runs on compressed air, and the air pressure inside the compressor’s tank is usually extremely high. That means more staples per minute compared to electric staple guns.
These guns have a direct hose connecting them to an air compressor. A standard tank usually has over 80-100 PSIs of air pressure inside. The generally high PSI ratings mean the gun drives each staple into the surface with considerable force.
Pneumatic staplers generally have fewer machine parts than electric ones. The smaller number of components means easier disassembly and re-assembly and a simpler maintenance workflow. And it also translates into a longer lifespan for the machine.
7 Best Pneumatic Staple Gun Reviews
Finding the best pneumatic stapler from a market of hundreds of options is a chore. So, we did it for you. Here’s our list of handpicked products. Each has a unique feature set, and there’s a perfect one for every user.
1. Surebonder 9600B Heavy Duty Pneumatic Stapler
Let’s start the list with the most budget-friendly item we have. This staple gun is incredibly affordable, easy to use, and consistently gets the job done. If you’re working on your living room’s upholstery and don’t want to break the bank, this is the one to get.
The gun works with a 100-staple magazine to go on for a long time before refilling. It uses 3/8-inch narrow crown 18-gauge staples between 1/4 and 9/16 inches in length, which is pretty standard. But it’s best to use proprietary staples to avoid jamming.
There’s a view window behind the magazine for you to keep track of how many staples are left. In terms of air pressure, any air compressor operating at 60 to 100 PSI is enough to run this gun with dry air.
We like this thing’s design too. It has an adjustable exhaust vent for you to direct away from the face. The rubber grip on the handle is quite ergonomic and prevents fatigue. And the weight distribution is fairly even, so it’s easy to hold for extended periods.
2. Bostitch SX1838K Crown Stapler
Pneumatic staplers can have two actuation modes: contact and sequential mode. If you want both in one gun, this Bostitch is a perfect choice. The sequential mode is great for a steady workflow (beginners will prefer this), and the contact mode is quicker and more efficient.
Try to remember that the gun fires as soon as you depress the tip on the contact mode. It can be unsafe if you’re not careful or experienced enough. You can trigger between the two modes with a trigger. And it doesn’t dry fire, thanks to the low-nail lockout.
This gun drives narrow 18-gauge 7/32-inch staples, which is great if you’re working on a finishing job. The pins stay flush with the surfaces, nearly invisible. In case you want to fine-tune the depth, there’s a dedicated knob for precise adjustments.
It can get annoying when a gun blows air on your face. But this model’s exhaust has a muffler that directs the air away and keeps it quiet. The overall design is pretty well thought out, from the magnesium body to the hard case that comes with it.
3. Metabo HPT N5008AC2M 16-Gauge Construction Stapler
Professionals need only the most reliable tool on hand. This Metabo stapler has been awarded the ‘Pro Preferred Nailer’ for seven years running, and all for good reasons. It’s quick, lightweight, adjustable, and holds more staples than the competition. And it never lets professionals down.
The magazine is extremely fast and loads up before you can say ‘magazine.’ There are 157 staples there, which means you can go longer without replenishing it. And the cylinder valve responds instantly, driving the fasteners in a moment.
You’re going to use 16-gauge 7/16-inch crown staples with this gun, and each staple can be 1 to 2 inches long. That means you’ll probably be using this machine for more firm structural works. There’s a knob for you to adjust the nail depth as well.
You’re not likely to get jams on this thing. On the rare occasion when you do, the jam clearance is tool-less. There’s no fuss. And the design is spectacular too. The handle is comfortable to grip, and the weight distribution is perfectly balanced.
4. Bostitch 651S5 7/16 x 2-Inch Stapler
If you’re working on a professional project for a client, you can’t waste any time. So, you might want a gun that drives more staples in a short time. That’s where this Bostitch pneumatic stapler comes in. It can fire ten pins each second, so you don’t have to worry about wasting time.
You’ll be using contact mode when rapid-firing through the job, but there are still two actuation modes. You can use the sequential operation whenever you need to relax and not worry about unwanted or accidental fires. And the flip-open nose makes clearing jams a breeze.
This gun fires 7/16-inch medium-crown staples, which can be up to 2 inches long. You can adjust the staple depth anytime too. It’s perfect for structural repairs. And the build is drop-proof, so it’s not going to break at a slight impact at the job site.
And we can’t stress enough how good the design is. You’re likely to wear gloves, but this thing is easy to hold even with sweaty hands. It weighs only 4.2 lbs, which is one-third of what most electric staplers weigh. Just remember always to have enough pressure in your compressor.
5. Porter-Cable US58 1/4 to 5/8-inch 22-Gauge Upholstery Stapler
Are you tired of constantly refilling your magazine? We thought so. It can be hard to find a good pneumatic staple gun with a big magazine, but we did exactly that. This Porter-Cable model can hold up to 185 staples on the magazine. That means less checking and more work.
You’ll use Senco C Type 22-Gauge staples on this gun, each with a 3/8 crown. And it really shines when you use this stapler for upholstery and finishing jobs. The thin nails are barely visible, and the gun drives them flush with the surface.
When you want to reach tough corners, the 1-inch nose extension comes in handy. If you get a jam, the driver guide will move back so you can clear it easily. The quick-release system only takes seconds to unload and fix so that you can get back to work.
If your compressor can hold anywhere between 70 to 120 PSI, it can run this pneumatic stapler. You can connect it to any standard compressor. But the wow factor feature is its weight; it only weighs 1.8 lbs! Your arms won’t hurt after long hours of work.
6. WEN 61710 3/8 to 1-Inch 18-Gauge Narrow Crown Stapler
If you want an overall pneumatic stapler that covers all the basics, we have an easy recommendation for you. This Wen stapler uses standard-sized pins, operates at an average pressure, has a decent build, and clears jams well. From beginners to experienced users, it doesn’t let anyone down.
This gun’s magazine can hold 100 staples, which is enough for most users. It uses narrow-crown 18-gauge staples between 3/8 and 1-inch. You’ll use this kind of gun in paneling, trims, or heavy upholstery. However, the drive depth might not always be on point.
However, it’s quite simple to adjust the drive depth; just turn the knob. In case you get a jam, you can solve the issue pretty quickly too. The quick-release mechanism makes the whole job pretty easy, including reloading a magazine.
And the manufacturers have done a good enough job of designing this thing too. Its die-cast aluminum body holds up to impact and drops well. But don’t bang the gun around when working; the plastic components like the trigger might still break.
7. Arrow PT50 Pneumatic Staple Gun
Not everyone is a professional; some of us like to work on personal projects too. And for the enthusiast trying out DIY projects, we have the perfect air-powered stapler. Everything about this gun is easy. Quick loading, safety features, ease of use; it’s all there. And the price is more than reasonable.
You can use staples anywhere between 1/4 to 9/16-inch on this stapler, which is a pretty wide range. It’s beneficial because beginners aren’t often sure which size staple to use. And you can bottom-load the magazine easily; just pop it in, and you’re good to go.
Now, just because this machine is beginner-friendly doesn’t mean it lacks any vital force. You can use it for structural and home repairs as well as small passion projects. Its versatility is one of its strengths. But you can use it with any standard air compressor too.
The stapler doesn’t fire accidentally in contact mode. And there are two hex wrenches and some replacement oil in the box. You’ll need those when it’s time for maintenance. But we’re confident you won’t need to deal with frequent performance issues.
What to Look for Before Buying?
Buying a pneumatic staple gun can be a worthwhile investment, but only if you know what you’re doing. You’ll be surprised at how many people paid too much just to get a stapler that doesn’t serve their purpose. To make sure you make the most of your money, here’s what you need to consider.
We cannot stress this enough: staple guns are dangerous. A stray staple in a closed room can be as deadly as a bullet. There have been several severe injuries, and even deaths, in the last few years from pneumatic nailers.
Always wear protective gear when you’re working with a stapler. Keep the tip away from your body at all times. Try not to use contact mode unless you need it. And you should stick to sequential mode if you’re a beginner. Your life is worth way more than lost time.
Okay, so you already know these guns run on compressed air. But have you considered what you’re using to compress the air you’re using? There are hundreds of compressors on the market, and you need one that suits your stapler.
A great thing about staple guns is that they don’t need too high of a PSI rating in the compressor, which saves some worry. If your pancake compressor can muster up between 70 to 120 PSI, it can run most guns. Some industrial staplers need higher PSI, so read the requirements carefully before getting a compressor.
Weight and Design
How heavy your staple gun is can be easy to overlook. But trust us, it’s important. You’re likely to use it for long periods at a stretch, and it’s only normal to get tired after a while. Unless you’re superman, you should look for a relatively lightweight option.
And the design is another important factor. Weight distribution should have a good balance on both sides of the handle. If it leans too much on one side, you’ll need to use extra stress on your arms. And an ergonomic grip with a strong build goes a long way.
Remember Your Budget
Unlike other kinds of products, price isn’t necessarily a guarantee of the stapler’s quality. You usually pay for big brand names after you cross a price threshold. Most popular products, and each on our list, ensure high quality. So try to look at the feature set instead of the price tag.
And it can be tempting to get the gun that packs the most features. We’ve all been there. But try to pay only for the features you’ll use and need. Anything more than that might just be a redundant expense. This advice might not apply to professionals, though; pros will want to invest in features they’ll need later on.
Check Customer Reviews
This bit might seem obvious, but here’s a gentle reminder anyway. Customers often raise their issues on forums and product pages. Consider what their insights are, what they use the stapler for, and what their complaints are. Then you can confidently choose yours.
Frequently Asked Questions
When would you use a pneumatic stapler?
Pneumatic staple guns are the usual choice for construction work, structural repairs, and any wooden attachments where a small nail wouldn’t hold up the structure. Another great use is for upholstery.
Will a staple gun go through wood?
While manual or electric (some of them) might not penetrate wood sufficiently to hold frames together, pneumatic guns do a great job of it. Since these staplers use compressed air, they’re heavy-duty and can penetrate most woods effectively.
Can you use a staple gun for a trim?
Yes, you can. Finishing jobs are where higher-gauge pneumatic staplers shine. You can also narrow-crown staples for underlayment, cabinet finishes, and trims with a stapler for a subtle finish.
What is the crown on a staple?
The crown is the bridge between the two perpendicular ends of a staple. How narrow or wide the crown will affect whether you can load it into your stapler’s magazine. Different applications also require different crown sizes.
How do staple sizes work?
You’ll usually find staple sizes written in a two-number metric, like 23/6. The first number refers to the gauge (or how thick the wire is), and the second number shows how long the staples’ legs are.
That’s it for our reviews of the best air-powered stapling options in 2021. The best pneumatic staple gun for you might be one of our handpicked seven on the list. Whether you want narrow-crown finishes or industry-standard structural repairs, there’s a tool for you.