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I have an air nailer/stapler capable of shooting, obviously, nails or staples. I've been using the nailer functionality quite often, to good effect, but I'm curious as to why someone would use the stapler function instead. Are there certain special conditions in which a stapler would be better than a nailer? Can the stapler function be used instead of a traditional stapler for certain uses (Boxes (On a low enough pressure), or for anchoring wires to projects?)

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One realm where staples shine is when attaching a material that lacks the suitable structure to reliably hold under expected strains within the locus of a single, small headed brad. A staple distributes stresses across a wider area thereby including more material in the join. Thin, weaker materials such as paper, cardboard, and plastic sheeting are examples that are often best attached with staples. Another common use is to secure cloth to a hard material. The woven structure of cloth might let a wire brad slip through but a staple will capture a number of threads thus holding securely. Securing wires is indeed yet another example of staples ability to capture and hold an otherwise problematic material structure. Air staplers can usually be tuned to an acceptable depth so long as the staple has ample room for the wire with sufficient additional length for holding in the substrate. Great care should be exercised in this application and in some cases, such as electrical wire, it may not be worth the risk of damage to the insulation.

Aesthetics is another consideration when choosing nails or staples. In some instances, the holding strength of a staple might be superior but a nail may be sufficient and their lower visibility is desirable.

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Staples generally are for attaching thin material to a surface. So for wood (sort of) stapling can be used to tack on hardboard where appearance isn't important. The primary woodworking-related function may be for upholstery work, for both the webbing and fabrics or leather coverings. But bottom line is that staples could be used for anything they're capable of holding since there aren't any Fastener Police to tell us otherwise ^_^

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  • So they could be used for stapling wires? I guess I would have to try it to see if it cuts into the insulation. Perhaps if the pressure is low enough. – Sarah Szabo Nov 23 '17 at 6:43
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    Stapling wires is a poor application for a gun. Saving a tiny bit of time is of little benefit when you have to go and rewire because of one pinch. – Aloysius Defenestrate Nov 23 '17 at 19:15
  • @AloysiusDefenestrate They do make mechanical staplers for tacking down low voltage wires (using the T50 style staples). I've never seen an air gun for this though. – SaSSafraS1232 Nov 29 '17 at 0:13

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