Best Manual Staple Gun Reviews (2020)

5 Jun

Best Manual Staple Gun Reviews (2020)

Sometimes you need to have a better stapler than what you’ve got sitting at your office desk.

You need something that’s more heavy-duty, yet still easy to use.

You need stronger staples for boxes, affixing things to harder surfaces, or for light chores around the house.

The best manual staple gun reviews will help you to find the right tool that can meet these evolving needs and more for a very competitive price.

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What Is A Manual Staple Gun?

A manual staple gun can also be called a hand held stapler, a staple gun or a power stapler - essentially they all mean the same thing.

When you hear the word stapler, your first thought is probably an office stapler. 

However, there are many different types (more on the different types below).

Manual staplers are entry level staple guns that are powered with your arm and hand. They are typically cheaper than electric or pneumatic and used for lighter tasks. 

We have curated the list below to showcase the best manual staple guns on the market today.

There is also a handy buyers guide below which will run through the different things to consider before making your decision.

Are You In A Hurry?
Our Test Winner After 35 + Hours Of Research:

Stanley TR250 SharpShooter Plus Heavy-Duty Staple

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Stanley TR250 SharpShooter

Our Rating

Best Manual Staple Gun Reviews Chart

The design of the stapler hasn’t really changed for more than 80 years.

You have a lever, a place to place your staples, and a mechanism which forces the staple through the materials being bound together and then fastens it.

The chart below will show you the best options that are available in today’s market.

Our Top 6 Best Staple Guns (And Reviews) For 2020:

1.  Stanley TR250 SharpShooter (Best Manual Stapler)

2. Arrow T50 Heavy Duty Staple Gun (Top Quality)

3. Stanley TR45K Light Duty Staple Gun Kit

4. Arrow T2025 Dual Purpose Staple Gun (Best Budget)

5. Stanley TR110 Heavy Duty Steel Stapler

6. Stanley TR150HL SharpShooter Staple Gun

What Do Our Reviews Have To Say?

Stanley TR250 SharpShooter Plus Heavy-Duty Staple

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#1. Our Overall Top Pick

Stanley TR250 SharpShooter

If you’re tired of having a manual staple gun that is impossible to use, then this is the tool you’ll want to look at today.

You won’t have to risk pulling a muscle when you squeeze the lever on this staple gun.

It fires staples and brad nails with ease, letting you take your work into overtime if need be because your hands and arms experience less fatigue.

You can even adjust the pressure for hard or soft materials for an added level of flexibility.

Just a great product at a great price.

Be sure to check out our list of the best Carton Staplers for more great items like this.

Arrow Fastener T50 Heavy Duty Staple Gun

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#2. Our Top Pick For Beginners

Arrow T50 Heavy Duty Staple Gun

Is this manual staple gun going to outperform electric or pneumatic models? Not really.

It isn’t designed for high-powered performance.

What it can do is give you an adequate fastener within hard-to-reach places where the other types of staple guns are unable to fit.

This is where we found the Arrow T50 to be an essential tool in your arsenal. Just make sure you’ve got the right staples in this staple gun.

If you don’t use the right staples, the patented anti-jamming mechanisms within the staple gun are going to fail.

Make sure you also check out our guide to the best Heavy-Duty Staplers.

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Stanley TR45K Light Duty Staple Gun Kit

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#3. Runner Up

Stanley TR45K Light Duty Staple Gun Kit

This is your standard staple gun that doesn’t offer anything fancy in the way of features or frills.

That said, it’s a solid machine that has a handle you can lock so you can store it in a drawer pretty easily.

It doesn’t jam often, but when it does just use the quick-clear mechanism and you’ll be able to get back to work right away.

It’s brand specific for the staples you need to use, so keep that in mind. A limited lifetime warranty backs your purchase and the chrome-plated steel gives you durability.

You can’t beat the price either.

Our handy guide to the best Staple Gun features more great products like this.

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Arrow T2025 Dual Purpose Staple Gun

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#4. Runner Up

Arrow T2025 Dual Purpose Staple Gun

If you need a manual staple gun that can fire flat crown and round crown staples, then this is the tool for you today.

The easy squeeze handle works pretty well despite the lack of padding or ergonomics and the jam-proof mechanisms do a pretty good job of letting you keep working.

The chrome finish is pretty durable and the handle locks down for better storage.

Apply pressure to the site you wish to place a staple and you’ll have a good experience.

Without enough pressure, you might find your staples going places you never imagined.

Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best Electric Stapler.

Stanley TR110 Heavy Duty Steel Stapler

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#5. Runner Up

Stanley TR110 Heavy Duty Steel Stapler

Our Rating

This entry-level model from one of the industry’s top brands is the perfect manual staple gun for light duty work around the house.

It’s a lightweight stapler that will let you get into tight places with ease while taking care of your hobbies at the same time.

The hand locks down with a hinge on the back of the unit.

You can also use it tack up some chicken wire or other light outdoor tasks.

It’s not going to work well for siding, roofing, or other fencing chores, but takes care of all the rest with ease.

We have also reviewed the best Flooring Staplers, so check them out as well.

Video Transcript

The Advantages of a Manual Staple Gun 

The average office stapler can take care of many tasks. It binds papers together.

It affixes papers to cork board. It can seal a cardboard box in a pinch.

What it can’t do, however, is be useful in situations where firm or thick materials are being used. This is where the best manual staple guns step up to the plate to provide you with some help.

The advantages of owning this tool are clear.

  • You have the power to finish office and household chores. A staple gun can still be used to bind large documents and seal boxes. It can also be used around the house for light repairs.
  • It is safe and lightweight. Manual staple guns are much like the office stapler when it comes to safety. You’ve got to use the product incorrectly to injure yourself or damage something. There is no trigger that can be accidentally depressed.
  • Different designs allow for ultimate versatility. Front and rear lever designs with manual staplers allow virtually anyone to take care of their stapling needs without fatigue, even during long-term use of the tool. 
  • They are quite cheap. Compared to electric or and pneumatic guns, manual guns are pretty cheap - we go into why a little further below.

To guarantee you gain access to the most advantages possible, it is important to look for a manual staple gun which is built like a tank. Look for heavy-duty, non-corrosive materials for the best user experience. This tool should be able to take a drop, yet still be able to keep functioning at the end of the day. 

Then there’s the cost advantage that comes with a manual staple gun. For the price of what you’d pay for the average lunch, you can get a top of the line tool that will let you get your chores finished quickly. 

Pros and Cons of a Manual Staple Guns


  • There are loads of different styles of manual guns on the market. This means you are almost spoilt for choice.
  • Staples are super easy to load into the gun. 
  • You don't require a power source, meaning you have increased mobility and can use the gun in places without power or air.


  • There are loads of different styles of manual guns on the market. This means you are almost spolit for choice.
  • Staples are super easy to load into the gun. 
  • You don't require a power source, meaning you have increased mobility and can use the gun in places without power or air.

Manual Staple Guns vs Electric and Pneumatic Guns

As you already know, there are literally hundreds of different brands and models of staple guns on the market and trying to decide which one is right for you and your project can be a little daunting.

Before you decided on a brand or model it’s important to understand the different types of staple guns. There are 3 main categories – manual staple gun, electric staple gun and pneumatic staple gun.

They are broken down by their power source. Obviously manual mean manual i.e hand powered. Electric can mean both battery and cord. Pneumatic means air powered.

Manual Staple Guns

As mentioned, manual guns require you to physically pull the trigger to shoot the nail. While this isn’t difficult or hard, if you are looking at prolonged use rather than light ad hoc jobs, then it can get tiring quickly.

Relying on arm power has its advantages though – mainly you can take the gun anywhere without a cord attached. Also, they tend to be cheaper and because they don’t have any complicated electric motors etc they are much less likely to breakdown or require maintenance.

Ultimately, it’s a trade-off between wanting ease of use (electric or pneumatic) vs cost, maintenance and mobility (manual).

Electric and Pneumatic

These guns are typically used by more experiences or active staplers – think contractors, furniture restorers, construction professionals etc. They are almost effortless to use, and super powerful making them great for these types of users.

There is a downside though, and that is price.


While each have their pros and cons, typically manual staple guns are cheaper and less complicated (read: they don’t break as often). However, they do have their downsides, in that it requires your physical strength to shoot each nail which can make long use tiresome.

Because of this manual staple guns are mainly used for lighter, less serious projects. You typically wouldn’t find a professional contractor using a manual gun.

What Can You Use A Manual Staple Gun For?

As we have mentioned above, manual staple guns are great for little jobs – typically fixing things around the home, repairing furniture etc.

For these types of tasks, it is great.

However, please don’t think (and certainly don’t try) to remodel an entire home with one. It’s a possibility that your arm may fall off halfway through.

A manual staple gun is useful for these types of projects:

What Can't You Use A Manual Staple Gun For?

Technically you can use a manual gun for anything, but there comes a point when you wonder if the extra effort is worth it, or are you best paying a little extra for an electric or pneumatic gun.

In our experience, most small jobs or DIY projects can be tackled with a manual gun, but you would be best staying away from the bigger jobs.

A manual staple gun is not good for:

  • Laying carpet throughout an entire house.
  • Any large carpentry jobs.
  • Installing fencing (even garden fencing becomes a pain with a manual gun).
  • Any major home repairs.
  • Renovating a house or property.
  • Any kind of commercial work.

Manual Staple Gun Buyers Guide

So far in this guide you have seen our recommendations, why we recommend them and the pros and cons for each. You also know that one of the main decisions you need to make is if you need a manual gun or something a little more powerful.

However, there are some other important aspects you also need to consider before you make your final decision – hence this short buyer guide.

At the end, you should have all the information you need to confidently make the right decision.

Hand Grip

The hand grip is probably one of the most important things to consider, but almost always overlooked.

As you already know, staplers come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. But not all shapes and sizes fit different hands, and not all are designed with comfort in mind.

The way the slow is designed and shaped with have a big impact on how sore and tired your hand will get over time as you use it.

All the recommended guns above have been selected as they were designed with this in mind, however there are lots that aren’t.

As well as the design, you should also consider the material that the grip is made from. Ideally you would want to chose one either made entirely from rubber, or at least have the under grip rubberised.

As you work, your hands are likely to get sweaty and wet – if you have to keep stopping to dry your hands then you will disrupt your flow making the job twice as long. It could also pose a safety risk – best case your accuracy is reduced, and you miss your target. Worse case is your hand slips off the gun.

If this is a concern, then we would recommend looking at the Stanley TR150HL SharpShooter Heavy Duty Staple Gun. It’s one of the highest rated manual staple guns on Amazon, and for good reason. Its hand grip is nice and comfortable, and it is covered in rubber – ensuring that none of the above happen.

Staple Size

We have included staple size as it’s an important factor to consider. However, most manual guns fire a standard ½” staple.

If you are looking at a manual gun that doesn’t fire this standard size, then you may want to reconsider. All the recommended guns above use this size, so you don’t need to worry.

Staple size is more of a concern when looking at electric and pneumatic staple guns. Most will have dials that enable you to shoot different sizes. As you can imagine, if you are renovating a house, then you will need all kinds of different size staples.

Ease of Use

This is almost a given, but aside from choosing the correct grip there are also other factors to consider. I would imagine that you will be using your new staple gun for lots of different projects and sometimes in lots of different situations.

Because of this you are going to want a gun that is not only light, but durable, manoeuvrable and easy on your arms and hands.

In most circumstances you are going be shooting more than just a few staples at a time, so ensuring that have the easiest to use stapler is important.

To get the best out of your gun, you almost need to imagine it being like an extension of your arm.


Even though manual staple guns are expensive (compared to electric or pneumatic), you don’t want a gun that will fall apart after a few uses.

All the recommended ones above are top rated, and most have hundreds of positive reviews so you can be confident that others have used them time and time again with no issue.

Staple guns can be made from plastic, metal or steel – but to be honest, there isn’t much difference. Sure metal is stronger than plastic, but unless you are looking at using it for commercial use (please don’t) then you would be hard pushed to physically break a gun through general use.

DEWALT DWHTTR350 Dewalt Heavy-Duty Aluminum Stapler

If you are going to be upholstering or re-upholstering, then you are going to want a heavy-duty manual gun.

They don’t come much sturdier than then DeWalt DWHTTR350 – making it the perfect gun for upholstery. Not only is it durable and built to last, but its comfortable and has a great firing mechanism ensuring that it rarely jams, and the staples are driven deep.

The handle is awesome – not only is it designed to be comfortable, but it is covered in rubber. Not only is it easy on the skin, we spoke above about all the reasons why a rubber grip this is important.

The DeWalt is one of the highest rated upholstery guns on Amazon, with lots of users talking about how they have used it for their fabric projects. The consensus is that it’s a fab gun and is about the best on the market for upholstery projects.

For the price, you simply can’t go wrong – and we guarantee that you won’t regret purchasing this gun.

Click here to read the Reviews on Amazon

Stanley TR250 SharpShooter Plus Heavy-Duty Staple

The TR150HL is Stanley’s upgraded SharpShooter. If you are looking to move up to a more heavy-duty gun, or looking to purchase your first, then you won’t go far wrong with this one.

At first glance, you would be mistaken for thinking that this is like any other normal staple gun, however as the name suggests it’s been designed specifically for heavy duty tasks.

Usually if you are working with a manual staple gun for long periods then due to the pressure, your hands will go numb. But the SharpShooter has a neat little feature to help stop this from happening.

There is a setting that will allow you to switch between two different pressure settings: high and low. If you turn on the high setting, then the mechanism inside overcompensates and means that you don’t have to press the handle so hard. It also increased the power output, giving you that extra boost when you need it.

When it comes to working with wood, having the ability to switch between high and low power means you can work with different types of wood more easily without having to work about splintering or cracking.

Overall this is our top pick if you are looking for not only a great wood working staple gun, but a good staple gun in general.

Click here to read the Reviews on Amazon

Best Manual Staple Gun for Insulation

Arrow Fastener T59 Wiring Tacker

Arrow Fastener T59 Wiring Tacker

The Arrow T59 is probably one of the best staple guns that you can get for installing insulation – and coming from us, that’s a great recommendation.

The T59 is well recognised throughout the industry as has a top-rated gun and this is evident when you look at the reviews on Amazon. Hundreds of happy users, including lots of professionals.

All of this is quite surprising when you consider how cheap this gun is!

You maybe wondering why the T59 is called a wiring tracker, but we are recommending it for installing insulation. It’s because it can take several different staple sizes, which makes it versatile.

You can literally put up xmas lights, run TV wiring around the room, upholster, and install insulation all with this one gun.

A great feature we like about the T59 is the little guide notch so you can see where you are shooting ensuring accuracy. Also, the handle is nice and light making it easy to use and keeping hand and arm tiredness to a minimum.

Overall this is a top pick not only for insulation, but if you are looking for a great all rounder manual staple gun that is cheap (but not cheaply made).

Click here to read the Reviews on Amazon

The Prices of Manual Staple Guns 

When shopping online for your next manual staple gun, you’ll find that you can get a really good product for around $20. Many of the top of the line staple guns in this category rarely exceed $50. In return, you’ll have an adaptable tool that may be able to use different sizes of staples based on your needs.


Here are our top 5 Best Manual Staple Guns:

  1. Stanley TR45K Light Duty Staple Gun Kit
  2. Stanley TR150HL SharpShooter
  3. Arrow 5650DT Easyshot
  4. Stanley TR110 Heavy Duty Steel Stapler
  5. Stanley TR250 SharpShooter

how to load manual staple gun

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how to use manual staple gun

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how to unjam a manual staple gun

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Final Words

The best manual staple gun reviews will help you find the right tool that you need for those tight places where a staple is needed. 

Use these reviews to find the best tool to meet your needs today and then power out your chores like never before.

ByChuck H

Chuck is from Durango, CO and he is a carpenter with 20 years of experience. ​He has a passion for tools, especially hand tools, and how they should be used and maintained.

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