Staple (fastener)

Staple (fastener)

A staple is a type of two-pronged fastener, usually metal, used for joining or binding materials together. Large staples might be used with a hammer or staple gun for fencing, masonry, roofing and cardboard boxes. Smaller staples are used with a stapler to attach pieces of paper together; such staples are a permanent and durable fastener for paper documents, unlike the paper clip.

The legs of a staple can be allowed to protrude out the back side and folded over to provide greater binding than the friction of straight legs. (Note: The term "stapling" is used for both fastening with straight or bent legs; however, when differentiating between the two, the term "tacking" is used for straight-leg stapling, while the term "stapling" is used for bent-leg stapling when being contrasted with "tacking".)

taples in the home

The most common staples are used with paper. They are almost exclusively applied with a mechanical stapler which clinches the legs after they pass through the paper. Staples of this type are used with a desktop stapling machine.

When stapling with a stapler the papers to be fastened are placed between the main body and the anvil. The papers are pinched between the body and the anvil, then a drive blade pushes on the crown of the staple on the end of the staple strip. The staple breaks from the end of the strip and the legs of the staple are forced through the paper. As the legs hit the grooves in the anvil they are bent to hold the pages together. Many staplers have an anvil in the form of a "pinning" or "stapling" switch. This allows a choice between bending in or out. The outward bent staples are easier to remove and are for temporary fastening or "pinning".

Most staplers are capable of stapling without the anvil to drive straight leg staples for tacking.

There are various types of staples for paper, including heavy-duty staples, designed for use on documents 20, 50, or over 100 pages thick. There are also speedpoint staples, which have slightly sharper teeth so they can go through paper more easily.

taples in business

The large staples found on corrugated cardboard boxes have folded legs, but they are applied from the outside and do not use an anvil; jaw-like appendages push through the cardboard alongside the legs and bend them from the outside.

Saddle stitch staplers, also known as "booklet staplers," feature a longer reach from the pivot point than general-purpose staplers and are used to bind pages into a booklet or "signature". Some, such as the Ring King, can also use "loop-staples" that enable the user to integrate folded matter into ring books and binders.

taples in medicine

Surgical staples are used for the closing of incisions and wounds, a function also performed by sutures.

taples in construction

Construction staples are commonly larger, have a more varied use, and are delivered by a staple gun or hammer tacker. Staple guns do not have backing anvils and are exclusively used for tacking. They typically have staples made from thicker metal. Some staple guns have round heads for fastening small cables, e.g. phone or cable TV, without damaging the cable. Faster and easier devices known as hammer tackers or staple hammers operate without complex mechanics as a simple head loaded with a strip of staples drives them directly; this method requires a measure of skill. Powered electric staplers or pneumatic staplers drive staples easily and accurately; they are the simplest manner of applying staples, however are hindered by a cord or hose.


In ancient times, the staple had different functions. Large metal staples dating from the 6th century BC have been found in the masonry works of ancient Iran. For the construction of the Pasargadae, these staples, which are known as "dovetail" or "swallowtail" staples, were used for tightening stones together.

The home stapling machine was developed in 1877 and registered under US Patent No. 195,603.


*Most kinds of staples are easier to produce than nails or screws.
*The crown of the staple can be used to bridge materials butted together.
*The crown can bridge a piece and fasten it without puncturing with a leg on either side, e.g. fastening cable to wood framing.
*The crown provides greater surface area than other comparable fasteners. This is helpful with thinner materials.

taple specifications

Modern staples for paper staplers are made from zinc-plated steel wires glued together and bent to form a long strip of staples. More expensive Stainless steel staples which don't rust are also available.

Some staple sizes are used more commonly than others, depending on the application required. Some companies have unique staples just for their products. Staples from one manufacturer may or may not fit another manufacturers unit even if they look similar and serve the same purpose. Unfortunately, there is no one standard that exists for staple sizes, lengths and thickness. This has led to many different incompatible staples and staplers systems that all serve the same purpose or applications.

Internationally, (Except the United States) staples are often described as 24/6 or 26/6, where the first number is the gauge of the wire, and the second number is the length of the shank (leg) in millimeters. Some exceptions to this rule include staple sizes like No. 10.

Common Sizes for the home and office Include: 26/6, 24/6, 24/8, 13/6, 13/8 and No. 10 for mini staplers.Common Sizes for heavy duty staplers include: 23/8, 23/12, 23/15, 23/20, 23/24, 13/10, and 13/14.

In the United States, the specifications for non-medical staples are described in ASTM F1667-05, Standard Specification for Driven Fasteners: Nails, Spikes, and Staples. A typical office staple is designated as F 1667 STFCC-04. ST indicates staple, FC indicates flat top crown, C indicates cohered (joined into a strip), and 04 is the dash number for a staple with a length of 0.250 inch, a leg thickness of 0.020 inch, a leg width of 0.030 inch, and a crown width of 0.500 inch.

Stapleless staplers cut and bend paper without using any metal fasteners. [ [ What is a Stapleless Stapler? ] ]

ee also

* Stapler
* Staple gun
* Staple remover
* Hammer tacker

External links

* [ Office Museum] - History of the Stapler
* [ ASTM F1667 abstract]
* [ 1911 Britannica] article discussing many uses of the word


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Staple — may mean:*Staple (fastener), a formed metal fastener used to secure sheets of material or wires, so they will not fall apart of each other. *Staple food, a foodstuff that forms the basic constituent of a diet. It is a standard commodity rather… …   Wikipedia

  • Staple gun — A staple gun or powered stapler is a hand held machine used to drive heavy metal staples into wood or masonry. Staple guns are used for many different applications and to affix a variety of materials, including insulation, house wrap, roofing,… …   Wikipedia

  • Staple — Sta ple (st[=a] p l), n. [AS. stapul, stapol, stapel, a step, a prop, post, table, fr. stapan to step, go, raise; akin to D. stapel a pile, stocks, emporium, G. stapela heap, mart, stake, staffel step of a ladder, Sw. stapel, Dan. stabel, and E.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Fastener — A fastener is a hardware device that mechanically joins or affixes two or more objects together.Fasteners can also be used to close a container such as a bag, a box, or an envelope; or they may involve keeping together the sides of an opening of… …   Wikipedia

  • staple — I. noun Etymology: Middle English stapel post, staple, from Old English stapol post; akin to Middle Dutch stapel step, heap, emporium, Old English steppan to step Date: 13th century a usually U shaped fastener: as a. a metal loop both ends of… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • fastener — Synonyms and related words: adhesive, affixation, anchor, annexation, attachment, band, bandage, bar, barrette, bellyband, belt, bind, binding, binding stone, binding twine, bobby pin, bollard, bolt, bond, bonder, bondstone, box hook, brace,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • staple — sta·ple stā pəl n a usu. U shaped and typically metal surgical fastener used to hold layers of tissue together (as in the closure of an incision) staple vt, sta·pled; sta·pling sta·pler plər n * * * n. (in surgery) a piece of metal used to join… …   Medical dictionary

  • fastener — I (Roget s IV) n. Syn. fastening, buckle, hook, hasp, lock, clamp, tie, stud, vise, mortise, grip, clip, clasp, snap, bolt, bar, lace, lacing, Velcro (trademark), cinch, wedge, grip, pin, safety pin, nail, rivet, tack, thumbtack, screw, dowel,… …   English dictionary for students

  • paper fastener — noun a fastener for holding a sheet of paper in place • Hypernyms: ↑fastener, ↑fastening, ↑holdfast, ↑fixing • Hyponyms: ↑staple, ↑thumbtack, ↑drawing pin, ↑pushpin …   Useful english dictionary

  • Stapler — A stapler is a mechanical device that joins together sheets of paper or other similar materials by driving a thin metal staple through the sheets and folding over the ends to secure the paper. Staplers are widely used in government and business… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.