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What are the Best Staple Guns for Upholstery? Types & Brands

best-staple guns for upholstery

Need to get an upholstery stapler, but not sure where to start? In this guide, we discuss the best staple guns for upholstery, including types, project suitability and popular brands.

If you have just started your upholstery hobby, you’ve probably noticed that you can’t get very far without an upholstery staple gun. Unless you plan on tacking everything by hand with nails and tacks, which is unlikely, then pretty much every upholstery project is going to need some stapling.

Problem is, there are so many types of staplers that can be used for upholstery tasks. So, how on earth do you know which one to get? That’s where I’m going to help you out. In this guide, I explain what types are the best staple guns for upholstery tasks from small to heavy-duty, and what features and specifications to look for.

Best Types of Staple Guns for Upholstery

While most people assume that there are only 2 or 3 different types of staple guns available on the market today, there are actually substantially more. You have the traditional manual stapler, the electric staple gun, the pneumatic staple gun, specially designed upholstery staplers, long nose staplers, as well as cordless staple guns.

The best staple gun for upholstery tasks will ultimately depend on the size of your project, the frequency that you will use it (often or occasional), your access to power, and your preferences with regard to noise, weight, portability and such. Below is a summary of the different types of upholstery staplers, so you can decide which is best suited to your situation.

Manual Staple Gun

Best Application: Small Projects, Medium Projects, Crafts

The manual stapler is one of the most affordable staple guns available on the market today. Although extremely affordable and easy to use, they are not a good choice for larger projects, due to the amount of physical effort needed to pull the trigger over and over again. These staplers are limited to DIY home upholstery projects and certain crafts. Manual staple guns feature a spring-loaded mechanism, with some power adjustment capabilities and a safety lock.

The manual staple gun is best for small to medium-sized upholstery projects. Despite the fact that some models state that they are heavy-duty on the packaging, a manual staple gun should not be used for heavy-duty applications.

PROSCONS
Affordable
Lightweight and Portable
Easy to Use
Excessive Physical Effort Needed
Limited Staple Capacity
Not Suitable for Heavy-Duty Tasks

Electric Staple Gun

Best Application: Medium Projects

A step above the manual staple gun is the electric stapler. Electric staplers are able to provide consistent power and are much faster to operate than manual versions. Because they are more powerful, they are better suited for medium-scale upholstery projects. These devices also have adjustable power settings as well as safety mechanisms. Due to the fact that it must be plugged into an outlet, they are not very mobile. Electric staplers are powered by a wall outlet, and feature adjustable power settings and safety mechanisms.

Electric staple guns are best for medium-scale upholstery projects. While there are some excellent models that are perfect for professional use, many of the cheaper models should not be used in a professional setting. Electric staplers allow for both speed and precision without the noise of a compressor kicking in every few minutes.

PROSCONS
Easy to Use
Consistent Power
Best Operation
Limited Mobility
Limited Staple Capacity

Pneumatic Staple Guns (Air-powered)

Best Application: Heavy-Duty Projects, Industrial

After electric staplers, the pneumatic stapler is one of the best options for heavy-duty situations. Not only are pneumatic staplers fast and powerful, but they provide consistent performance over a wide array of adjustable settings. However, in order to use a pneumatic stapler you will also need to have an air compressor, tank, and hoses. They have adjustable power settings and the largest staple capacity.

Pneumatic staplers are best for heavy-duty upholstery work and large-scale projects. In fact, a pneumatic stapler is the number one choice for use in commercial or industrial situations. For those who already have access to a compressor, the pneumatic stapler is the best option.

PROSCONS
High Power
Best Operation
Consistent Performance
Perfect for Heavy-Duty Tasks
Requires Air Compressor
Weighs More Than Electric Stapler

Upholstery Staplers

Best Application: Upholstery

While you have the traditional manual, electric, and pneumatic staplers, you also have staplers that are specifically designed for use in the upholstery industry. Not only are these more durable than other models, but they are also more precise. They feature a narrower nose allowing them to get into tighter spaces, and have the ability to fire sequentially without needing to remove your finger from the trigger, as well as staple depth adjustment.

The upholstery stapler is specifically designed for use in the upholstery industry. It was created for the purpose of attaching fabric to frames in industrial and commercial settings. They are also extremely precise and allow you to set staples in tighter spaces than most other staplers available on the market today.

PROSCONS
Specifically Designed for Upholstery Work
Durable
Extremely Precise
Suitable for Many Different Materials
Higher Cost
Limited Staple Capacity
May Require A Compressor

Long Nose Staple Guns

Best Application: Tight spaces and awkward surfaces

When dealing with tight corners or difficult-to-access areas, the long-nose staple gun is the perfect choice. These staplers feature an extended nose, which allows you to get into tighter spaces and attach the fabric to curved surfaces. Long-nose staplers generally have an ergonomic grip and adjustable power settings.

The long-nose staple gun is perfect for working in tight corners and attaching fabric to surfaces that are curved. Due to its design though, you will need to provide manual effort from time to time, especially when it comes to stapling in and around tight corners.

PROSCONS
Extended Nose
Perfect for Tight Corners
Suitable for Difficult to Reach Areas
Limited Staple Capacity
Requires Manual Effort

Cordless Staple Guns

Best Application: Situations where no access to power is available

Cordless staple guns are the perfect choice for those looking for portable devices that allow them to work anywhere. Cordless staple guns are not suitable for larger projects and are best suited for small or medium tasks only. While some battery power devices feature adjustable power settings, not all of them do. Pay close attention to the battery life and staple capacity when choosing a cordless gun. Cordless staplers feature adjustable power settings and safety mechanisms.

Cordless staple guns are perfect for any type of project where there is no access to electricity. There are a number of models available on the market today that share batteries with other popular devices, making them a convenient option for some. Keep in mind that the cordless staple gun is only for small or medium tasks, and should not be used for larger projects.

PROSCONS
Portability
Freedom of Movement
Perfect for Small Projects
Suitable for Medium Tasks
Limited Battery Life
Limited Staple Capacity
Limited Power Capabilities

How to Choose the Best Stapler for Upholstery

When it comes to selecting the right staple gun for just about any upholstery product, there are certain factors that you need to take into consideration before making a final decision. These factors include performance, durability, efficiency, safety, versatility, and long-term cost savings.

With so many great options to choose from, selecting the right staple gun for your particular needs can be a daunting task. Staple guns come with a wide selection of features, many of which are a personal decision based on your needs and budget. Below are the features to consider and look for, when you’re trying to decide on the type, brand and model of upholstery stapler to invest in.

Upholstery Staple Gun Features & Specifications

Performance

If you are just handling a small upholstery project, then a simple handheld staple gun is more than sufficient. However, when taking on a larger project, it’s important to select a staple gun that provides a certain level of performance. The higher the quality, the more reliable its performance is and a more reliable staple gun has a reduced risk of jams and misfires and ensures that the staple is seated properly every single time.

Efficiency

Staplers also need to be efficient at what they do. Because of the weight of a staple gun, fatigue can quickly set in. A higher quality and well-designed stapler includes a faster reloading mechanism, adjustable power settings, as well as ergonomic designs. By using a stapler with increased efficiency, you will be able to complete your project faster, with better results, and with a smaller chance of fatigue.

Durability and Build Quality

Durability also plays an important role in selecting a high-quality stapler. It’s important to remember that you will be stapling fabrics and foam to an underlayment over and over again. The larger the project, the more durable your stapler should be. It needs to be able to stand up to the rigors of the work and continue to seat the staple properly time and time again.

Long-term Cost Savings

You always want to make sure you get the most for your money, which is why you need to pay attention to the durability and build quality of the staple gun. Although it may be tempting to save money and purchase a cheap hand stapler, a higher-quality gun will last a lot longer and give you better value in the end. Sure, the upfront costs may be higher, but a reliable stapler reduces the number of errors and rework, which saves you time and money wasted on damaged materials.

Safety

You also need to take into consideration the safety aspects of a good-quality stapler. After all, you don’t want accidentally staple yourself. There are many different safety features built into staple guns today including trigger locks, ergonomically designed grips, as well as the ability to adjust the depth that the staple will be seated.

Of course, you will want to make sure to choose something that has a trigger lock so that you do not accidentally fire it. While this may not be as big of an issue when it comes to a manual stapler due to the amount of physical effort needed to drive a staple, electric and pneumatic staplers take virtually no effort to pull the trigger. You want to make sure that you have these features to ensure that you maintain a safe working environment.

Versatility

Of course, versatility is also an important factor to take into consideration, because you need something that can use a wide array of staple sizes and thicknesses for the job. Let’s face it, you only need one stapler for the entire job and a versatile staple gun can work on a wide range of materials, allowing you to tackle any task with confidence.

Adjustable Power

Power adjustment is crucial to ensuring that you get the job done right. No two upholstery projects are the same, simply because the wood that the frame is composed of is different in every single case. By having an adjustable power setting, you can increase the power for hardwoods and reduce it for softwoods. This ensures that the fabric is properly affixed to the underlayment without being punctured by the staple wire.

TIP: Look for a model with adjustable power, so you can work on a variety of different wood frames and fabrics.

Power Source

Then there are a number of different power source options to choose from. While manually powered staple guns consume a lot of physical effort, electric and cordless staplers do not. A standard electric staple gun requires an outlet, whereas a cordless staple gun only requires a battery. Pneumatic staple guns, on the other hand, require an air compressor and hoses in order to function properly.

Consider access to your nearest power point, and whether it is practical to access it, or whether you need a cordless upholstery staple gun. As with any appliances and power tools, also be wary of purchasing models from overseas as they may not be compatible with the power you have at home.

Staple Capacity

Staple capacity plays a crucial role in selecting a stapler. If you have ever used a staple gun in the past, you probably realize just how fast you can go through a single ream of staples. The larger the staple capacity, the longer the time between reloading. When working on a larger upholstery project, staple capacity plays a huge role in determining how fast you can complete the project.

Staple Size Compatibility

When it comes to selecting a staple gun, you also want to look at staple size compatibility. Just like a commercial-grade nail gun, staple guns are capable of handling a wide selection of different staple sizes and gauges. The cheaper models are rather limited with regard to the size and gauge of wire that can be used within the staple gun, whereas the more expensive brands can accept a wider selection of sizes and gauges.

Brad Compatibility

As well as staples, also have a look at whether the upholstery staple gun can handle brads. Many staple guns don’t do brads, but some do, and this feature could be a deciding factor for you if you plan to use brads in your upholstered pieces or other DIY projects.

Size and Weight

Perhaps one of the first and most important features to consider when selecting a staple gun is the size and weight. Heavier staple guns are generally considered to be more durable, but they often lead to fatigue. Lighter staple guns, on the other hand, can be used for a longer period of time without fatigue, but are generally not as durable or as precise as larger industrial-quality staplers.

Ease of Use and Ergonomics

Due to the amount of time that you may spend holding a staple gun, it is important to make sure that you choose something that has ergonomically designed handles and is easy to use. The easier to hold and load a staple gun is, the faster you can get the job done.

TIP: If you struggle to hold heavy power tools, look for a lightweight stapler with a comfortable grip.

Additional Features

Then there are a number of additional features that don’t quite fit into any other category. Some staple guns offer depth adjustment, allowing the operator to select just how deep into the wood the staple will be driven. LED lights are great for increasing visibility when working in hard-to-reach areas. And finally, you have dual fire and sequential contact firing features in some higher-end units.

Most Popular Staple Guns for Upholstery

With such a large selection of excellent staple guns to choose from, selecting the right one for your particular needs can be an overwhelming task, to say the least. To get you started, here are some of the most popular and best staple guns for upholstery available on the market today.

Best Staple Guns for Upholstery: MANUAL

DEWALT Heavy-Duty Staple & Brad Tacker

Model: DEWALT DWHTTR350 Heavy-Duty Staple and Brad Tacker

Type: Manual Upholstery Staple Gun

Project Suitability: Small-medium projects, crafts

Manufacturer Website: Visit DEWALT website official product listing.

This extremely popular Dewalt stapler and brad nailer manual stapler is perfect for use around the home. Not only does it have an adjustable power setting and a comfortable grip, but is a versatile stapler that can accept a wide array of staples and brads.

Pros

  • Versatile Stapler
  • High-Quality Build
  • Easy to Operate
  • Accepts Many Different Staple Sizes and Brads
  • Perfect for Light to Medium Upholstery Jobs

Cons

  • Manual Operation
  • Limited Capacity

Features

  • Manual Staple Gun
  • Brad Nailer
  • Aluminum Construction
  • Bottom Loading
  • Ergonomic Grip
  • Adjustable Power Settings

Stanley TR150HL SharpShooter Heavy-Duty Staple Gun

Model: Stanley TR150HL SharpShooter Heavy-Duty Staple Gun

Type: Manual Upholstery Staple Gun

Project Suitability: Small projects, crafts

Manufacturer Website: Visit StanleyTools website official product listing

Stanley makes some of the popular manual staplers available on the market today. This particular staple gun has both high and low power adjustments and features a bottom-loading magazine. It uses only Stanley brand Staples but has an easy-to-squeeze handle. As a result, it is perfect for light and medium upholstery jobs and general tasks around the home. Although labelled ‘heavy duty’ you will want to limit its usage to smaller, light projects and crafts.

Pros

  • Extremely Affordable
  • Perfect for Smaller Upholstery Tasks
  • Way for Use around the Home
  • Comfort Grip
  • Reliable Performance
  • Dual Power Settings

Cons

  • Manually Operated
  • Jams on Occasion

Features

  • Manual Staple Gun
  • Hi/Low Power Adjustment
  • Easy to Squeeze Handle
  • Bottom Loading Magazine
  • Uses Stanley SharpShooter Staples

Best Staple Guns for Upholstery: PNEUMATIC

Porter-Cable US58 Upholstery Stapler

Model: Porter-Cable US58 Upholstery Stapler

Type: Pneumatic Upholstery Stapler

Project Suitability: All projects, including heavy-duty

The Porter cable upholstery stapler is an extremely durable pneumatic staple gun that is perfect for fine woodworking and upholstery projects. It has a large capacity for 22-gauge staples and adjustable power settings. It is compatible with 3/8-inch crown staples, which are used in countless different tasks.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Precise
  • Consistent Stapling
  • Great for Fine Woodworking Tasks

Cons

  • Requires Air Compressor
  • Limited Staple Length Compatibility

Features

  • Pneumatic Staple Gun
  • 22-Gauge Staple Compatibility
  • 3/8-Inch Crown Staples Compatibility
  • 1/4 to 5/8 Standard Staple Compatibility
  • Bottom Loading Magazine

Freeman Pneumatic Upholstery Stapler

Model: Freeman P2238US Pneumatic 22-Gauge Upholstery Stapler

Type: Pneumatic Staple Gun

Project Suitability: All projects, including heavy-duty

Manufacturer Website: Visit Freeman website official product listing

The Freeman is an extremely reliable pneumatic gun that can accept a wide range of 22-gauge staples. This particular staple it can handle a 3/8-inch crown and staple lengths between 1/4-inch and 5/8-inch.

Pros

  • Reliable Performance
  • Consistent
  • Ergonomic Grip
  • Can Be Used for Fine Woodworking Tasks

Cons

  • Requires an Air Compressor
  • Misfires on Occasion

Features

  • Pneumatic Staple Gun
  • Uses 22-Gauge Staples
  • Accept 3/8 Inch Crown Staples
  • Accept 1/4-Inch to 5/8-Inch Staple Lengths
  • Bottom Loading
  • Adjustable Exhaust

Hitachi N3804AB3 Narrow Crown Stapler

Model: Hitachi N3804AB3 Narrow Crown Stapler

Type: Pneumatic Narrow-Crown Stapler

Project Suitability: All projects, including heavy-duty

Manufacturer Website: Visit Hitachi / Metabo website official product listing

The Hitatchi Narrow Crown stapler is capable of handling one of the widest selections of 18-gauge staples. This particular stapler can handle Staples with a quarter-inch crown, and lengths between 1/2-inch and 1-1/2-inch.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Reliable
  • Adjustable Depth
  • Precise Stapler
  • Comfort Grip
  • Great for Upholstery
  • Perfect for General Woodworking

Cons

  • Requires Air Compressor
  • Occasional Misfires

Features

  • Pneumatic Stapler
  • Accepts18-Gauge Staples
  • Handles 1/4-Inch Crown Staples
  • Accepts Staple Lengths Between1/2-Inch And 1-1/2-Inch
  • Bottom Loading Magazine
  • Adjustable Depth Controller

Surebonder T-50 Stapler

Model: Surebonder T-50 Type (9600B) Heavy Duty Staple Gun

Type: Pneumatic Upholstery Staple Gun

Project Suitability: All projects, including heavy-duty

Manufacturer Website: Visit Surebonder website official product listing

The Surebonder 9600B is a pneumatic staple gun that has adjustable power settings and is perfect for upholstery and other heavy-duty tasks. It is an easy-to-operate staple gun with a quick-release magazine that uses T50 staples.

Pros

  • Easy to Use
  • Great for Heavy-Duty Tasks
  • Comfortable Ergonomic Grip
  • Quick Reloading

Cons

  • Limited Staple Size Compatibility
  • Jams on Occasion

Features

  • Accepts T50 Staples
  • Adjustable Power Settings
  • Safety Mechanism
  • Quick Release Magazine

Best Staple Guns for Upholstery: ELECTRIC

Fasco Maestri ME 3G Stapler

Model: Fasco Maestri ME 3G Electric Upholstery Stapler

Type: Electric Upholstery Staple Gun

Project Suitability: All projects, especially delicate work

This electric Maestri stapler is an extremely lightweight, compact, and powerful. It is designed for use in a wide array of upholstery projects and other delicate tasks. It has adjustable power settings, a bottom-loading magazine, and a safety mechanism.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Great for Delicate Tasks
  • Ergonomic Design
  • Easy to Reload
  • Perfect for Just about Any Upholstery Project

Cons

  • Limited Staple Capacity
  • Limited Staple Compatibility
  • Occasionally Jams

Features

  • Electric Staple Gun
  • Uses 20-Gauge Staples
  • Adjustable Power Settings
  • Safety Mechanism
  • Bottom loading

Best Staple Guns for Upholstery – BRANDS

There are many different manufacturers of staple guns, but not all stapler brands are created equal, especially when it comes to upholstery.

Arrow Fastener

Arrow Fastener is a well-known brand of stapler that provides a wide range of different guns that are suitable for a plethora of different types of projects. They are known mostly for manual and electric staple guns which are perfect for DIY projects.

Bostitch

Bostitch is also a well-known brand that provides a number of electric, pneumatic, and manual staple guns. Bostitch is perfect for both professional as well as DIY use and is more commonly selected for upholstery work than any other brand.

DEWALT

Dewalt is a well-known brand that offers a wide array of electric and cordless tools for the construction and upholstery industry. Due to their durability and reliability, Dewalt staple guns are a popular choice for medium-scale projects. Moreover, their cordless staple guns share batteries with all of the other popular Dewalt cordless devices.

Stanley

Stanley is one of the most well-known and trusted manufacturers of pneumatic, electric, and manual staple guns. Chances are, if you have ever used a manual staple gun in the past, it was most likely made by Stanley.

Makita

Makita is a brand that is known for producing some of the highest-quality power tools in the market. Like all of their other power tools, the Makita staple guns are designed for durability and precision. They are suitable for just about any type of DIY or commercial upholstery work.

SENCO

SENCO is known for providing some of the most reliable and best-performing pneumatic staplers on the market today. They are widely used in the upholstery industry and are commonly found on industrial assembly lines throughout the world.

Paslode

From the makers of one of the most popular pneumatic nail guns, the Paslode staplers are extremely high-quality and durable products. They are perfect for heavy-duty projects and are commonly found in both construction and industrial workplaces.

Rapid

Rapid is also a well-known maker of power tools and provides a wide array of manual, and pneumatic staple guns. Each of their staplers is highly efficient and very precise. They are perfect for DIY projects and general tasks.

Surebonder

Surebonder makes a wide array of pneumatic and electric staple guns that are used by DIY enthusiasts around the world. They provide an extremely reliable and versatile selection of staplers that are perfect for just about any upholstery project.

Hitachi

Hitachi is well known for providing the world with some of the most durable and best-performing staplers in the market. The Hitachi pneumatic staplers are perfect for general construction tasks and just about any type of upholstery project.

Final Thoughts on the Best Staple Guns for Upholstery

This brings us to the end of our article on the best staple guns for upholstery tasks. As you can see, there is no definitive answer as to which type is the best, as it is dependent on your personal situation to a great degree. However, here are some tips to help you decide:

  • If you plan to work on lots of upholstery projects (as a hobby or side business) then choose a durable model with adjustable power, so it will work with a variety of wooden frames and fabrics/materials.
  • Cheap manual staplers are fine for small projects and crafts, but not for any substantial upholstery work.
  • If you don’t have access to power where you are working, choose a cordless stapler.
  • If you need a versatile, heavy-duty stapler that can be used for upholstery as well as other household work, go for a pneumatic staple gun.
  • If you only need to use the stapler for upholstery and are planning to do lots of upholstery work with it, then go for a specialty upholstery stapler. They are the best choice for upholstering, but can be quite expensive.
  • If you are looking for a reliable staple gun capable of handing infrequent upholstery projects around the home, then an electric stapler is your best choice.

Now that you have some direction for your upholstery gun, make sure to have a look at our list of other essential upholstery tools. Even if you’ve been upholstering for awhile, you may find something handy from this list that you might have missed. Newbies will find it a handy guide for getting your upholstery tool kit together.

Happy upholstering!