How to load a staple gun & use it

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  March 15, 2022
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A staple gun is not like a desk stapler that you may have seen in your classroom or office. These are used to put metal staples into wood, particle boards, thick cloths, or anything more than paper.
That’s why, these days, it has become a must-have item in the toolbox of a handyman. But before doing anything with it, you must know how to load a staple gun. In this article, we will elaborately discuss the ways to load different types of staplers and how to use them.

How To Use A Staple Gun

There are numerous things one can do with a staple gun when you know how to use the gun. From carpet installation on the floor, packing something for sending overseas, or making a picture frame, a staple gun will subside most of your efforts. But before getting the best use out of a staple gun, one must know how to use a staple gun properly.
There are only three things you must know if you want to use a staple gun.
  1. Know the type.
  2. Loading the staple gun; and
  3. Stapling with the staple gun.

Know The Type Of The Staple Gun

Manual Staple Gun

If you are looking for a staple gun that is suitable for putting up flyers and helping you with your college projects, a manual staple gun is the ultimate choice for your purpose. It’s the most convenient option for anyone with small projects. A manual staple gun inserts staples into something by using the force of your hand. To use it, you have to wrap your fingers around the staple gun and press the trigger with your palm. A manual staple gun is used for simple stapling tasks in the office, home, or outdoor projects.

Electric Staple Gun

An electric staple gun is the most powerful staple gun available in today’s market. As the name suggests, this staple gun is powered by electricity. For stapling into any hard surface like wood or concrete, an electric staple gun is mostly used. An electric staple gun is a highly preferred tool for any heavy-duty project like wiring and remodeling a house.

Pneumatic Staple Gun

This is another heavy-duty staple gun that is used mostly on a construction site. This item is fast, efficient, and has great performance intensity. From wood to plastic, it can insert the staple to almost all hard surfaces. There is a nozzle on the top of the gun that exerts air to insert the staple. This gun is also used as an upholstery tacker. You will now be able to exactly decide which staple gun you need to meet your requirements.

Loading The Staple Gun

When you are done selecting the right kind of staple gun, you must know how you are going to load the gun. Basically, all three types of staple guns have their own loading system. But the most basic part is what we are going to discuss here.
  • So to load staples into any staple gun, you must find out the magazine or loading channel where you are going to place the staples. Most of the magazine tray is located at the back of the stapler. But sometimes it can be in underneath also.
  • When you locate the magazine, look if there is any trigger to detach that from the front of the tool. If there is no trigger or lever, push or pull the magazine to see what works.
  • After that pull the magazine out, and load the row of staples accordingly considering rear loading, bottom loading, and top-loading option.
  • When you are done placing the staples, pull the magazine or push the rod through the guide rails.
The three different types of staple guns have their ways of loading or unloading. Whether it’s a bottom loading staple gun or a front loading is decided by the location of the magazine. To make sure, you can load any of the staple guns, we will be discussing all three ways.

Top Loading

If you have a pneumatic stapler, the most heavy-duty stapler, you will have to follow this method. Step 1: All pneumatic staplers are connected to an air supply hose. So for loading the gun, disconnect it from the air inlet fitting. Use your hand to loosen the nut that was holding the hose attached with the inlet fitting. If you can do it with your hands, a mini screwdriver will do the job for you. Some models come with a safety lock that prevents any unintended discharge of staples while loading them. So make sure you put that in place before you load the magazine. Step 2: Then find out the magazine release switch by pressing which magazine will come out. Don’t forget about pulling the follower out. Pull the follower to the end of the magazine rail. A follower holds the staples tight with the magazine rail for smooth discharge. Then pull the magazine handle for the whole magazine to come out. In most of the stapler, the magazine release lever is placed right below the stapler handle or at the front for a convenient press. Step 3: When you push the lever, there will be a magazine rail exposed in front of you. The rail is basically where you place your staple. Step 4: Place the strip of staples on the magazine rail. While placing a strip of staple, make sure the staple’s legs are facing down. Step 5: Release the magazine lever and push the magazine by hand to lock perfectly in place.

Bottom Loading

Most of the electric staple guns on the market are bottom-loading staple guns. The obvious difference with other types of staple gun is the way it’s loaded. How is that? Let us explain.
Bottom loading staple gun
Step 1: Firstly before doing anything with the electric staple gun you must make sure that the staple gun is unplugged. Otherwise getting an electric shock will be the reward. Step 2: There is a magazine underneath the staple gun. To find out, you have to turn the gun upside down. Then, you have to find the magazine release key from the backside of the staple gun. And push it to bring the magazine out. Step 3: When the magazine is out, you will see a tiny little compartment for the staples to place in. While placing the staples make sure the legs are facing downwards into the compartment. Step 4: After loading the staples, slide the magazine back slowly to its place. When you hear the lock sound you are ready to fire the gun. That’s it!


The rear loading option only comes with the manual staple gun that is considered old-fashioned these days. Let’s see how you can work with it. Step 1: You must look for the pusher rod on the back of the gun. There will be a small button or switch-like thing right over the pusher. Press that button and the pusher will unlock. But some staple guns don’t have a magazine release lever or a switch. In that case, you will have to push the pusher a bit into the guide rails and it will unlock. Step 2: Pull the pusher rod out of the guide rails. And a small compartment for the staples to place in will open up. Step 3: Insert the row of staples placing the legs on the surface of the loading channel and nod them down to the front of the guide rails. Step 4: Take the pusher rod and put it back into the chamber until it hooks in a place. Don’t worry if you think the rod is gonna damage the stapler’s inside for a heavy unintended push. Because the spring takes care of that.


Loading a staple gun that you will mostly see in heavy-duty office work is the easiest one for anyone. Let’s see how easy it can be.
  • First of all, you have to detach the cap over the magazine. If there is any switch for it, use that. Otherwise, just a pull with your fingers will work.
  • Then you will see a magazine release button. But if there isn’t any, just push or pull to see what works.
  • After that, the magazine will come out. The magazine is a small compartment for placing a row of staples perfectly.
  • Lastly, push it to the end of the tool and it will automatically be locked at the end.
That’s it! You can now fire your stapler gun into thick office papers and files. If you are done with loading the gun, more than half of the job of using a staple gun is done. Here comes the ultimate part which is stapling.

Stapling With The Staple Gun

To staple into something, place the staple gun in line with the surface perfectly balanced by your hands. Push the trigger with maximum force to insert the staple into the surface. The power to push the staple will depend on the type of staple gun you have. For electric and pneumatic staple guns, just a slight push on the trigger will do the job. Done. You are now ready to start working on your projects. But before that, as you know how to use a staple gun now, let us point out what you should do with your staple gun and whatnot.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do not insert broken or unjoined staples in the magazine to avoid jamming.
  • Use protective eyeglasses and wear hand gloves while working on heavy-duty projects.
  • Always use clean air to fuel your pneumatic staple gun.
  • Use fasteners of the appropriate size mentioned in the manual book of the staple gun.
  • While firing the staple gun, make sure you hold it in line with the surface. Holding the gun in an angle or inappropriately will bend the staple that will be coming out of the gun.
  • You must know how your staple gun works in a proper manner.
  • Do not use the wrong surface. If you take a manual staple gun to insert staples into the woods, it will damage your machine. So before using the staple gun, you must know whether the gun is compatible with the surface or not.
  • Apply lubricants more often to run the dispensing hammer smooth and clean all sorts of debris after some heavy use in order to avoid clogging.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if the staple gun shoots double staples at a time?  Using thicker staples may help in this regard. Staple guns sometimes fire more than one staple if the dispatching end is larger for one piece of staples. Therefore, make sure you are using the appropriate staple size to avoid such shooting issues. Why does a staple gun jam? Most of the time staple guns get jammed for using small or broken staples. Spending time to unjam the staple gun seems a waste of time to me. Always use a full row of staples that are properly joined to avoid jamming. Why are staples coming out bent? If you are firing the gun without a proper angle, the staples may bend. Also when you don’t put enough force into the gun while dealing with any hard surface, it’s obvious that the staple will bend.

Final Words

Using a staple gun may seem easy for any professional handyman or for someone who has had his hands on it for a long time. But for someone who just started to know the basics of craftsmanship, using a staple gun can be very tricky. He must know the working mechanism of staple gun and what to do if the gun stops working. That’s why in this article we have pointed out everything which is required to use a staple gun in the simplest way so that you have no doubt left.

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.