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Choosing A Staple Gun For Your Project

Everything you need to know about staple guns. Learn the difference between gauge and crown, what makes one type stapler different from another, and most importantly, which stapler is the best one for you.
BeA Upholstery Stapler
What Type Of Staple Gun Do I Need?
  • Construction Stapler: When you think of a staple gun, the first thought that might come to mind is a construction stapler - in other words, not your average office stapler. Most construction staplers look very similar to a nail gun, and they typically aren't far off in operation - that is, until you load your fasteners into the magazine. Construction staplers vary in size, depending on the project you need them for. Finish staplers are great for trim work - while heavy-duty construction staplers can be used for sheathing, cabinet framing, furniture construction and more.
  • Upholstery Stapler: Upholstery staplers and fine wire construction staplers maintain similar characteristics - in fact, there's even a slight category overlap in some 20 gauge models - so it's important that you make sure the tool you purchase is intended for the correct application. Some upholstery staplers are intended specifically for upholstering applications, while others leave some room for versatility. To make upholstering easier, some models of upholstery stapler come with a long nose, for reaching into tight spaces.
  • Flooring Stapler: Flooring staplers, again, look very much like their flooring nailer counterpart. Flooring staplers are designed for the installation of hardwood and engineered wood flooring. Hardwood floor staplers come in two variations - either mallet actuated or trigger actuated. A mallet actuated flooring stapler requires the strike of a rubber mallet to drive the staple into place. Carpet staplers are more of a mixture between hammer staplers and upholstery staplers.
  • Packing Stapler: Carton closing staplers - also known as packaging staplers - are designed specifically for corrugated box closing applications, typically associated with packing and shipping. Carton closing staplers come in several variations, ranging from air-powered (pneumatic), to cordless battery - or even manual - operation. The size of corrugate you are intending to staple will determine the size of staple and stapler you require. For applications in manufacturing or assembly line production, packaging staplers are also available in bench-mounted and clinch stapling variations, designed for repetitive, high-volume use.
  • Hammer Stapler: Hammer staplers, also known as hammer tackers or slap staplers, are manually actuated tools that require the striking of a surface to operate - in the same manner as a hammer. Hammer staplers are generally used in carpet, insulation, housewrap and roofing felt installation.
  • Cap Stapler: Cap staplers are most commonly found in the roofing industry. These specialty staplers operate the same as a regular staple gun, but also drive a plastic cap in tandem with the staple. The cap provides greater holding power and offers added protection for the staple. Cap staplers are used for roofing felt, housewrap, foam board and other select applications.
Stinger Cap Stapler
What Crown Stapler Should I Choose?
  • Narrow Crown: Narrow crown staplers are generally used for finish and trim applications, such as molding, trim, cabinets, drawers, fascias and other fine-grained applications. The smaller crown allows the stapler to penetrate a surface without being overly noticeable.
  • Medium Crown: Medium crown staplers are preferred in subflooring, pallet building, vinyl siding, furniture assembly, sheathing and similar applications. A medium crown offers a wider range of clinch, but is not quite as rugged as a wide crown.
  • Wide Crown: Wide crown staplers and staples are intended for heavy-duty use - primarily in construction, for projects in truss building, housewrap, roofing, lathing and more. Look to use a wide crown stapler for many of the same applications as a medium crown, but where it doesn't matter if the staple affects the appearance of your project. Wide crown staples are bulkier, but offer greater holding capability.
C-Wire Staples
What's The Difference In Wire (Gauge) Type?
  • Fine Wire: Fine wire staples are the thinnest variation of staple, generally ranging from 20 - 22 gauge in thickness. It's important to note, that the gauge and crown of staple are two different things. The gauge is the thickness of the staple, whereas the crown is the width.
  • Medium Wire: Medium wire staples are generally measured in the 18 - 19 gauge range of thickness. Medium wire will provide more holding power than a fine wire staple, but is not the best option for heavy-duty applications in construction.
  • Heavy Wire: Heavy wire staples are the thickest variation of staple, mostly found in 15 - 16 gauge thickness. Heavy wire will provide the greatest holding power of the three, but will also take up the most area when fastened. Heavy wire staples are good for applications that require stapling to a thick surface.


Other clamp fastening tools serve as extended family to the staple gun, such as hog ring pliers, corrugated fastening tools and flaring staplers; however, these specialized tools are typically intended for industrial use or manufacturing.
Bostitch Cordless Carton Stapler
Just as you should with any other power tool, be sure that safety is your top priority when using a staple gun. Always be aware of your surroundings, how you handle the tool, and make sure you are equipped with the proper safety gear.
~The Nail Gun Depot Team 
Leave a Reply


  • Dennis woodland April 27, 2016 at 12:03 PM

    What guage staple and what gun to use for wire fencing?

  • Todd Venema March 5, 2018 at 1:07 PM

    I have an application at extreme arm length in a very tight space. I need a stapler which is the shape of a hammer stapler but powered b/c I have no room to swing it. Is there a product out there like this?

    • Nail Gun Depot March 6, 2018 at 4:59 AM


      Without knowing your exact application, the Bostitch BTFP71875 may be a good option to consider. It technically serves the same purpose as a hammer tacker, but is air-powered. As far as narrow body size goes, this tool should be comparable to the slap stapler.

      ~ Mark

  • Brian Haney May 10, 2018 at 6:33 PM


    I live in Hawaii on the Big Island. The only guys who used to fix convertible tops died last year, so I am stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    In order to replace the rear window, I need to staple the vinyl top to the metal window frames. I see the old staple holes, so I know it can be done. What I don't know is:

    1) What type of staple gun do I need?

    2) What type of staples do I need? The manual recommends 8mm corrosion resistant staples. I assume that is the crown, The staple probably need to be about .5" to avoid sticking out the other side of the frame.



    • Nail Gun Depot May 11, 2018 at 12:12 PM

      Thanks for reaching out. I'm going to put one of our salesmen in touch with you, to better understand your application. There's usually something between the vinyl and the metal frame, that acts as a buffer. To answer on the corrosion resistance, you would definitely want to use stainless steel staples.

  • Donald P Landers August 1, 2018 at 6:06 PM

    Looking for a air stapler that shoots the really fine wire staples for upholstery. 20 and 22 GA. not good

  • Tracy Smith August 8, 2018 at 11:12 AM

    I am debating between a 18 gauge staple gun that uses 7/32" crown staples versus the more common 18 gauge 1/4" crown staple gun. Why would one use the former over the latter?


    • Nail Gun Depot August 9, 2018 at 7:55 AM

      There really isn't a significant difference in crown size between either. If you can send us the two specific tools you are researching, we can better explain why one might prefer one size versus the other.

  • Jim August 16, 2018 at 6:48 AM

    I am lookiing for a fabric stapler for pinning piping (welting) through 4 layers of 1000 denier poly. Also heavy canvas, sailcloth etc.

    • Nail Gun Depot August 16, 2018 at 8:32 AM

      We recommend the BeA 80/16-420 20 gauge upholstery stapler. Any fine wire stapler that runs the 80 Series staple should work, but we've found that BeA tools often hold up a little better long-term.

  • Darrell October 25, 2018 at 8:57 PM

    Looking for a staple gun that shoots 3/4" crown staples by 1-1/2" to 1-3/4" long for use on wood shingles.

    Can you recommend both brand of gun and brand of staples?

    Thank you

    • Nail Gun Depot October 26, 2018 at 5:51 AM


      For wood roofing shingles, we'd recommend a wide crown stapler, which would be closer to a 1" crown instead of 3/4" width. The Senco PS15RXP features an adjustable shingle guide, but is otherwise the same as other wide crown staplers in its class. Senco, Paslode and Hitachi (Metabo HPT) all make great units.

      Assuming the staple fits your tool, there really isn't a difference between brands. You'll want to pay closer attention to the coating, material makeup, and similar specs. Depending on the tool you end up getting, I'd recommend checking SureFit fasteners first.

  • Anna February 8, 2019 at 11:10 AM

    I want to staple coroplast signs to SPF stakes, that is about 1.5x1.5x48" in dimension. Which staple gun and staple size should I use?

  • Tony Santonastaso February 11, 2019 at 2:24 AM

    What are my options for staplers that will attach rubber to 18 gauge metal?

    • Nail Gal February 11, 2019 at 5:34 AM

      Hi Tony,

      It sounds like you need a specialty tool. For this particular material/fastener situation, we'd want to do some testing before offering a recommendation. You're welcome to send a sample to our location for assistance.

  • Steve Garrison March 31, 2019 at 9:19 AM

    I have a variety of staplers and numerous boxes of staples. I get that crown = width, gauge = thickness and the other measurement is reach. It's really annoying that none of my boxes of staples indicate the width of crown or the gauge of the metal. WHY is this? They only show length. I have to eyeball width of crown to determine whether a staple will fit the rail of a tool. Shouldn't be that way in my opinion. I thought you were going to tell me "everything you need to know" but I'm still needing.

    • Nail Gun Depot April 1, 2019 at 4:47 AM

      HI Steve, manufactures often give a "series" number to a staple according to wire gauge and crown width. Unfortunately, we don't have control over the series # the manufacturer chooses for a tool or how they notate that on their packaging. That being the case, it might be a good idea to label them accordingly after you receive them.

  • Melissa April 7, 2019 at 8:07 AM

    I'm looking for a rapid firing pneumatic stapler that will penetrate 75+ year old 2x4s. It will be used to staple insulweb to the backside of the attic walls of a very old farm house prior to blowing in cellulose. The 2x4s are very hard. I think we just need short wide heavy duty staples. What's your recommendation for a stapler and staples?

  • KYLE E JACKSON April 22, 2019 at 12:02 PM

    What is L shape staples compared to narrow crown staples if any.

    • Nail Gun Depot April 22, 2019 at 12:31 PM

      If you're referring to L-series staples, these have a 1/4-inch crown. They fall under the category of "narrow crown staples." Narrow-crown staples also include 5/16", 3/16" and 3/8" staples. Essentially, these are made with an 18-gauge of wire. Hope this helps!

  • jeff April 24, 2019 at 11:42 AM

    Looking for a stapler and staples that can fasten aluminum sheet roof to an RV frame through
    canvas beneath.Aluminum roof - square tube frame thickness is approx 1/16th and upto 1/8th aluminum; Staples cannot be longer than 3/4" at most and corrosion resistant. Pneumatic T50's have not been successful.

    Pop-up Camper Aluminum roof edge installation;

    Thanks in advacne

    • Nail Gun Depot April 25, 2019 at 6:34 AM


      We recommend an 18-gauge stapler, particularly the BeA 92/25-553. The tool drives a 5/16" crown (medium crown) staple and is suitable for a wide range of applications, including use with RVs. The pneumatic stapler drives 92-series staples. Good luck!

  • Robert Hothan November 9, 2019 at 7:22 AM

    I am stapling Intello air barrier prior to blowing in dense pack cellulose insulation. Presently I am using T50 staples in a hammer stapler. But the staples are too narrow, and too fine, the fabric rips when the pressure builds up behind the membrane. I’d like to purchase a pneumatic stapler that can rapid fire, with few reloads, and shoots wider and stronger staples. Whats your suggestion ? The dimensions of the staples I am using now are T50 5/16ths #505. I need better. Thanks.

    • Nail Gun Depot November 13, 2019 at 6:53 AM

      Hi Robert,

      Here are a couple options we think would work well for you. The Spotnails BS5016AF is a good price point option that should hold up pretty well. For something a little more industrial, we recommend the OMER 50.16CLV. Both are great tools, offer auto fire capability, and have long magazines for less reloading. Both tools run 5000 Series staples.

  • Rick December 4, 2019 at 5:59 AM

    I have a Craftsman sur stapler that is a 3/8 in crown but the staples are quite hard to find. Can I use a smaller crown in it such as 1/4 in or 7/32 which are in much greater supply?

    • Nail Gun Depot December 9, 2019 at 6:53 AM

      Unfortunately, no. Staple guns can only run the crown size their magazine is designed for. If you give us the model of your tool, we can try to find the correct staple for you. We also sell some very cost efficient staple guns if you would prefer to upgrade.

  • TY FROELICH January 9, 2020 at 7:11 AM

    Can I use 5/8 crown staples to install carpet on my stairs?? So many different staples I'm not sure please help.

  • Jay Gallagher February 18, 2020 at 10:08 AM

    I am wanting to fasten .040 or .060 aluminum sheet to a composite alumi-bond type material
    (.030 aluminum, .060 rubber, .030 aluminum sandwich style product). I need an extended magazine stapler capable of placing 1/4" crown x 3/8" SS staples. I will be using a custom anvil to fold the staples (similar to a desk top stapler). What stapler would you recommend? Thanks!

    • Nail Gun Depot February 19, 2020 at 8:49 AM

      For this particular application, we recommend the OMER 90.38CLD3 medium wire stapler. We do not list this item on our website, but can special order one for you (current retail is $635). If you would like to get one on order, or for more information, please give us a call at 1.888.720.7892 or email

  • chris shults February 25, 2020 at 12:18 PM

    "n" style versus "p" style staples

    • Nail Gun Depot February 26, 2020 at 5:29 AM

      N-wire features a 7/16" crown width, while P-wire has a 1" crown.

  • magan marshall April 6, 2020 at 11:16 AM

    Need to staple vinyl to aluminum . Staple is 1/2 crown, 3/8 length, thicker wire with very pointy end. Aluminium is thicker than sheet metel but less than 1/4 inch thick. Can you help. And the staples are stainless.
    Thank you Magan

    • Nail Gun Depot April 8, 2020 at 12:30 PM

      Do you know the series of staple? We'd need a staple series or part number to make sure the gauge is a fit for the tool we recommend. Please let us know.

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