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Staple Guns Are Handy, but Take Care

July 13, 1996|From Associated Press

With a staple gun, you can do a variety of home-repair jobs.

Safety First

Because it fires staples that can cause severe injuries, handle and store a staple gun with care. Keep the staple gun's handle locked with the safety catch when it's not in use. Never point a staple gun or fire one at anyone or anything other than the work at hand. And--very important--keep a staple gun out of the reach of children.

Types of Staple Guns

A hand staple gun drives staples into material, usually wood, with a squeeze of the handle. They're available in lightweight or heavy-duty models. Look for a gun that loads and operates easily.

Some heavy-duty models have a variable power button that adjusts firing strength to requirements of the job, to accommodate staples of various sizes and to reduce recoil and jamming. For heavy, time-consuming jobs, such as installing insulation or carpeting, consider renting an electric staple gun.

Staple Gun Use

A staple gun is easy to use. Grasp the handle and place the gun firmly against the material to be stapled. Disengage the safety lock and release your grip so the handle springs up. Then squeeze the handle down sharply to fire the staple. If possible, to eliminate recoil and increase firing strength, press down the head of the gun with the heel of your free hand.

Use a lightweight staple gun to replace or repair screening. To fix a screen that has pulled out of its wood frame, staple the screen to the frame, folding a hem as you go. Double over the screen to make the fastening stronger and to avoid unraveling.

Staple Removal

Some fastening jobs, such as stapling plastic sheets over a window, are meant to be temporary. Here's a way to make staple removal hassle-free:

Slip a heavy-duty rubber band around the head of the staple gun. The rubber band acts as a spacer, leaving the staples sticking up slightly so that they are easy to take out. To remove staples, use either a pincer-type office staple remover or the lever type that looks like a can opener, which often comes with a staple gun kit.

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