This Toolbox Tuesday is brought to you by...Wendy? Yep, you read that right. This week is special because it's the first week that I am going to be throwing my two cents into the arena regarding a tool of choice. Up until now, Alex has been waxing poetic about various saws and hand tools, and I've let him continue on his hardware store geekfest. But Alex is going to take a backseat this week because I have a certain tool I'd like to rave about for a few moments. 

Last week I wrote a tutorial on how I used fresh greenery and a few sparkly items from the craft store to create great looking and very affordable exterior holiday decor. From the feedback we've received, this project has proven pretty popular among most visitors, so I wanted to elaborate just a little bit so anyone can attempt this venture.

One of the most important aspects of tackling something like this is simply having a good quality staple gun. I know, this sounds like a pretty basic tool and one that isn't very exciting, but there are a lot of options on the market and we went through a few duds before finding a couple we really liked.

First I'd like to cover our good ole fashioned manual operation staple gun. The one we have is a heavy duty Arrow Fastener Company stapler with ergonomic black handle that recesses into the staple gun when depressed. I like it because it has plenty of driving power to get the staples firmly into soft wood (like pine, fir, poplar, etc.) without the risk of catching your fingers between the lever and the gun. Nothing ruins a good craft project like crushed digits. Plus, it doesn't require a lot of force to depress the handle, as you might expect with a manual operation gun. 

The really good thing about this staple gun is that it isn't limited to just craft use. We've also used it whenever a project calls for staples, like on our kitchen vapor barrier, siding house wrap, or even to staple a To Do list to the wall. You could say it's a very versatile tool.

As flexible as the manual staple gun is, there are times when you need a little bit of electric power to help your project along. When stapling into hard woods like oak or cherry, or when you just want to be able to press a button and not worry about balancing, stretching, etc., a good electric staple gun gets the job done.

Years ago we bought an Arrow electric stapler that has served us well. Admittedly, I don't use it all that often, but it's a great tool to have on hand because you never know when you'll need it. 

One of the first projects I used it on was actually recovering our dining room chairs. The chairs had seen better days, but I knew all they needed was a bit of taughtly pulled cute fabric to bring them back to their glory days. The electric stapler was great for this project. A few stretches of the material and pulls of the staple gun trigger and we had some great looking dining room furniture. The downside to the electric version? Just be sure nobody is sleeping when you're trying to use this stapler. You could wake the dead.

The staple gun is one of those often overlooked tools that really comes in handy when you need to staple something in a pinch. And surprisingly, it's one of those tools that you use more often than you might expect.

So there you have it, our family's arsenal of staple guns we use to tackle craft or renovation projects. If there's any bit of advice I have to make the use of this tool more effective, it's to have several package of extra staples on hand so you don't run out mid project. I've yet to find a staple gun that creates staples out of thin air, but if I find one, I'll let you know for sure.

Did you enjoy reading this post? Want to learn more about our first-hand experiences with other tools, devices or items used throughout our renovation? If so, check out our complete list of product reviews in our Toolbox Tuesday section. 

Note: We weren't compensated for this review. We simply want to share good products when we see them, and hope that learning from our mistakes can help save you time, money and frustration.

Comments 1


12/20/2011 at 4:04 PM
thanks for the tips! it seems like such a simple thing, but i definitely felt lost when picking out a staple gun - too many choices! we just randomly picked a cheapo one and i'm not happy with it. i bet we'll have to refer to this post sooner rather than later :)
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