5 Common Staple Gun Problems and How to Fix Them

A staple gun being used to secure fabric to a wooden backing.

Staple guns are a staple (pun intended) tool for homeowners. Whether working on a DIY project or tackling home repairs, a staple gun is an essential tool in your arsenal. However, like any tool, staple guns can encounter problems that can hinder their performance. In this blog, we will discuss five common staple gun problems and provide solutions to fix them.

Understanding How a Staple Gun Works

A staple gun is a powerful tool to drive heavy metal staples into wood, plastic, or masonry. The working mechanism of a staple gun begins with the loading of staples into the gun's body. When the trigger is pulled, it activates a tension spring which pushes a narrow metal rod forward.

This rod, in turn, forces the staple through the gun's tip and into the material. The pressure the spring exerts is strong enough to enable the staple to penetrate even hard materials. Once the trigger is released, the spring retracts, pulling the rod back and setting the next staple in place for use.

This straightforward but effective mechanism allows for rapid, efficient stapling, making the staple gun a vital tool in various applications, from upholstery work to construction projects.

Problem 1: Staple Jamming

Staple jamming is a common issue when using a staple gun. It happens when staples get stuck in the gun, preventing it from functioning correctly. To clear a jammed staple gun, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Disconnect the staple gun from the power source or remove any remaining staples.

  2. Use pliers or tweezers to remove any jammed staples from the gun carefully.

  3. Inspect the staple gun for any debris or foreign objects causing the jam.

  4. Clean the gun thoroughly with a cloth or compressed air to remove dirt or residue.

  5. Reassemble the staple gun and test it with a few staples to ensure it's working smoothly.

To prevent staple jamming in the future, keep the staple gun clean and free of debris. Regularly inspect the tool for any signs of wear or damage that could lead to jams.

Problem 2: Weak Stapling Power

If you notice that your staple gun is not providing enough power to drive staples into materials effectively, there might be an issue with its stapling power. Here are some troubleshooting steps to identify and fix the problem:

  1. Check the air pressure if you're using an air-powered staple gun. Make sure it's set to the recommended pressure level.

  2. Inspect the staples you're using. Ensure they are the correct size for your staple gun and are in good condition.

  3. Lubricate the moving parts of the staple gun to reduce friction and improve its performance.

  4. Examine the stapling mechanism for any signs of wear or damage. Replace any worn-out parts as necessary.

To maintain optimal stapling power, regularly clean and lubricate your staple gun. Also, use high-quality staples appropriate for the materials you're working with.

Problem 3: Staple Misfires

Staple misfires occur when the staple gun fails to drive staples into the material, leaving them partially or fully sticking out. To fix staple misfires, follow these solutions:

  1. Adjust the depth setting on your staple gun to ensure it's set correctly for the material you're working with. Experiment with different settings until you achieve the desired depth.

  2. Clean the staple gun's firing mechanism to remove any dirt or debris causing misfires.

  3. Make sure you're using the correct staples for your staple gun. Using staples that are too long or too short can result in misfires.

Minimize the occurrence of staple misfires by regularly maintaining your staple gun. Keep it clean and inspect it for any signs of wear or damage that could affect its performance.

Problem 4: Staple Gun Not Feeding

If your staple gun is not feeding staples properly, it can be frustrating and delay your project. Here's how to troubleshootHere'sesolve the issue:

  1. Check the staple magazine to ensure it's loaded correctly and isn't jammed.

  2. Inspect the feed mechanism for any obstructions or debris that might prevent staples from feeding correctly.

  3. Clean the feed mechanism thoroughly with a cloth or compressed air to remove dirt or residue.

To prevent staple feed problems, use high-quality staples compatible with your staple gun. Also, avoid overloading the magazine to prevent jams.

Problem 5: Staple Gun Not Firing at All

If your staple gun is not firing, an underlying issue might need to be addressed. Follow these steps to fix a staple gun that doesn't fire:

  1. Charge the power source that you're using for an electric or battery-powered staple gun. Make sure it's fully charged and connected correctly.

  2. Inspect the trigger mechanism for any obstructions or damage. Clean or replace any faulty parts as necessary.

  3. Lubricate the moving parts of the staple gun to improve its overall performance.

Regular maintenance is crucial to prevent your staple gun from not firing. Clean and lubricate it regularly, and inspect it for any signs of wear or damage that could affect its functionality.

What Should You Do When Troubleshooting Doesn't Work?

When your staple gun requires repair, finding a professional tool shop with a solid reputation for quality work is best. Start your search by looking for local shops in your area specializing in tool repair. Online reviews and ratings can be a great source of information about the shop's reliability and customer service. Don't hesitate to ask the shop about their experience with staple guns or the specific brand of your tool.

You can also seek recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues who have had similar repairs done. Ensuring that the shop uses high-quality parts for repairs and offers a warranty is essential. Lastly, compare prices and turnaround times from multiple shops to ensure you get the best value. Remember, choosing a professional, experienced tool repair shop is an investment in the longevity and performance of your staple gun.

What to Look for When Buying a New Staple Gun

Alternatively, you could use this mishap as an excuse for a new upgrade to the toolkit. There are plenty of great options for staple guns and other similar tools. Several key features can help ensure optimal performance when searching for a new staple gun. Firstly, consider the power source of the staple gun. Manual staple guns are suitable for light-duty tasks, while electric or pneumatic models offer more power for heavy-duty applications.

Check the gun's staple size compatibility. The best staple guns can accommodate various staple sizes for various tasks. Evaluate its ease of use. A lightweight design and an easy-to-grip handle can reduce user fatigue.

Consider a model with an adjustable power control feature, allowing you to control the force of the staple being fired, which can be critical for different materials. Lastly, look for a staple gun that has a jam-clearing mechanism to save time and frustration. By considering these factors, you can ensure you're choosing a staple gun that delivers the best performance for your specific needs.

People Also Ask:

How do you clear a jammed staple arrow?

Clearing a jammed staple arrow from a staple gun involves a few simple steps:

  1. Safety First: Unplug the staple gun if it's electric or disconnect it from the air supply if it's pneumatic. If it's a manual staple gun, make sure it's not under tension.

  2. Open the Staple Gun: Locate the pusher rod at the back of the staple gun. Press it inward and pull it upward to release. This will allow you access to the staple channel.

  3. Remove the Jammed Staple: Once the staple channel is visible, you can identify the jammed staple. Use needle-nose pliers or a flathead screwdriver to remove the jammed staple carefully. Be careful not to damage the staple channel.

  4. Reload the Staple Gun: Once the jammed staple is removed, you can reload the gun with staples. Ensure they are the correct size for your model.

  5. Close the Staple Gun: Return the pusher rod to its original position, ensuring it locks into place. Your staple gun should now be ready to use.

Always handle your tools with care to prevent accidents.

Why does my staple gun keep jamming?

Staple guns can jam for a variety of reasons:

  1. Wrong staple size: Using staples unsuited for your specific model can cause jams. Always ensure you're using the correct size and type of staples the manufacturer recommends.

  2. Overloading the staple gun: Some staple guns can jam if too many staples are loaded simultaneously. It's best to avoid overfilling the staple tray and instead refill more frequently.

  3. Dirt and debris: Over time, dust, grime, or small fragments of staples can accumulate in the staple gun, causing it to jam. Regular cleaning and maintenance can prevent this issue.

  4. Worn-out parts: If your staple gun is old or heavily used, parts like the spring or the staple channel might be worn out or damaged, leading to frequent jams.

  5. Misuse: Applying too much force when using the staple gun, or using it on inappropriate materials, can cause jams.

Identifying and addressing these issues can help prevent your staple gun from jamming and ensure its optimal performance.

How do you change staples in a heavy-duty staple gun?

Changing staples in a heavy-duty staple gun is a straightforward task that involves the following steps:

  1. Safety First: Ensure the staple gun is disconnected from any power source. If it's a manual staple gun, ensure it's not under tension.

  2. Open the Staple Gun: Locate the pusher rod at the back of the staple gun. Press it inward and pull it up to release. This will open the staple channel.

  3. Remove Old Staples: If there are old or unused staples in the channel, remove them.

  4. Insert New Staples: Place a new strip of staples in the staple channel. Ensure the staples are the correct size for your staple gun and are facing the right direction (points down).

  5. Close the Staple Gun: Return the pusher rod to its original position and make sure it locks into place.

  6. Test the Staple Gun: Perform a test fire into a scrap piece of material to ensure the staples are feeding correctly.

Remember always to carefully handle your tools and follow the manufacturer's instructions for optimal safety and performance.

The Staple Gun Pusher Rod is Stuck

If the pusher rod of your staple gun is stuck, follow these steps to resolve the issue:

  1. Safety First: Disconnect the staple gun from any power source. If it's a manual staple gun, ensure it's not under tension.

  2. Inspect the Staple Gun: Look for signs of jamming, such as a lodged staple. Use a flashlight for better visibility if necessary.

  3. Remove Jammed Staples: If a jammed staple is causing the issue, use needle-nose pliers or a flathead screwdriver to remove it carefully.

  4. Apply Lubricant: If there's no visible jam, but the pusher rod is still stuck, apply a small amount of tool lubricant to the rod and the surrounding mechanism. Allow it a few minutes to penetrate.

  5. Attempt to Move the Rod: Gently try to move the pusher rod. If it's still stuck, apply more lubricant and wait a few more minutes before trying again.

  6. Seek Professional Help: If the pusher rod remains stuck after these steps, it's best to take your staple gun to a professional tool repair shop. There might be internal damage or wear that requires professional attention.

Remember to handle your tools safely and responsibly, and never force a stuck mechanism, as it can cause further damage.

What is the Staple Gun Adjustment Knob

The adjustment knob on a staple gun is a feature that allows you to control the force with which the staples are driven into the material. This is particularly useful when working with different materials of varying hardness or thickness.

For instance, soft materials require less force to drive a staple, while harder materials require more. By adjusting the knob, you can increase or decrease the power of the staple gun to suit the task at hand.

It's important to note that not all staple guns have an adjustment knob. This feature is typically found on more advanced models, such as electric or pneumatic staple guns.

Constantly adjust the knob carefully and test the staple gun on a scrap piece of material first to ensure you've set the correct force for your project.

What is the Difference in Use from Electric to Pneumatic Staple Guns

Electric and Pneumatic Staple Guns are powerful tools used for various tasks. However, they differ in their source of power and applications:

  1. Electric Staple Guns: These are powered by electricity through a cord plugged into an outlet or a rechargeable battery. Electric staple guns are generally lighter, quieter, and more portable than pneumatic models. They suit medium-duty tasks such as upholstery, crafting, and light construction. Some electric models also offer adjustable power settings.

  2. Pneumatic Staple Guns: These are powered by compressed air from an air compressor. Pneumatic staple guns are typically more powerful than electric models and can drive staples into harder materials. They are commonly used for heavy-duty tasks like roofing, framing, and carpentry. However, they require an air compressor to operate, which can limit their portability.

In summary, choosing an electric and pneumatic staple gun depends on your specific needs. Consider the nature of your tasks, the materials you'll be working with, and your workspace when choosing the right tool.


Staple guns are essential tools for homeowners, but they can encounter common problems that hinder their performance. By understanding these problems and their solutions, you'll be better equipped to tackle any issue. Remember to maintain your staple gun regularly to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Happy stapling!