How to fix and unjam a staple gun in some common problems

A staple gun is a high-powered machine which is used to drive substantial metal staples into all kinds of materials. Staple guns are mostly used for fastening materials onto wood, plastic or some types of masonry. The staple gun is a bigger, faster version of your office stapler.

So what makes the staple gun different from that office stapler you often use? Well, for starters, staple guns have a power source. The source of energy could be either electric or pneumatic (compressed air). There are manual staple guns whose only difference from office staples is the heavy metal staples they fire.

How to fix and unjam a staple gun in some common problems

Common Staple Gun Problems

The problems staple gun users often face are much similar to office stapler problems. The most common office stapler problem was the worn-out spring; this issue has been passed down to the staple gun. Numerous other problems have been broken down for your convenience:

1. Too many staples

This is another common problem. When you fire your staple gun, you notice that more than one staples are being shot at the same time. Adjusting the staple-dispensing mechanism sorts this out. Check to make sure you are using the correct staple size for your staple gun to avoid this problem too.

2. Tired spring

The spring is what feeds the staples to the hammer. As long as the spring tension is right, the force required to feed the staples will be good.

Test your spring:

  • Make sure your spring is in tip-top shape by sliding it back and letting it go. It should quickly hit the bar of staples with considerable force.
  • If it is too slow, and the force is not enough, you will need a new spring.
3. Hard trigger

This problem affects the manual staple guns. Some may require a significant amount of pressure before they can fire the staple into the material. Staple guns with shorter handles experience this problem. Purchase staple guns with longer handles to avoid this issue.

4. Gun jams

Occurs more frequently on older, worn out staple guns. We cannot pin-point the specific reason for this problem to occur. You may need to take apart the staple gun from time to time, although this proves to be exhausting.

5. Shallow stapling power

This happens when your staple gun cannot fire the staples deep enough into the material. Using the incorrect staple size and clogged hammers could be the culprits.

6. Staple gun design

Certain designs of staple guns prohibit them from firing staples into constricted spaces. Long-nosed staple guns, however, are able to fit into recessed corners and promptly fire the staples.

7. Clogged hammer

You will notice this problem when your staples are fired out crooked. There could be two causes detailed below:

  • You are using the wrong staple size on your staple gun.
  • There may be obstructions on the hammer’s path.

Remember to use the correct staple size for your staple gun. You can use your flat head screwdriver to push out any foreign objects on the hammer’s path. You can also oil your hammer to reduce friction and help it slide freely. Occasionally, you can clean out the grease and dirt sticking on your hammer using white vinegar, or, WD-40.

8. Staple gun injuries

With the use of power tools, accidents are inevitable. However, with proper safety measures, we can reduce the rate of accidents that occur at the workshops, and at home. Practicing caution while handling the staple gun is a must. New users should wear heavy duty gloves to protect themselves from stray staples.

It is good practice to understand these common staple gun problems and methods of preventing them. Next, we will explain to you how to unjam a staple gun.

Comparison Table For Top 5 Best Staple Guns

Staple GunImagePower SourceMagazine CapacityShippingEditor's RatingPrice
Stanley TR45K Light Duty Staple Gun KitManual_Check on Amazon4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)See on Amazon
Stanley TRE550 Electric Staple/Brad Nail GunCorded-Electric_FREE Shipping4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)See on Amazon
Hitachi N3804AB3 1/4" Narrow Crown StaplerPneumatic100FREE Shipping4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)See on Amazon
Porter-Cable US58 1/4-Inch to 5/8-Inch 22-Gauge C-Crown Upholstery StaplerPneumatic185FREE Shipping4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)See on Amazon
Stanley TR250 SharpShooter Plus Heavy-Duty Staple/Brad Nail GunManual_Check on Amazon4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)See on Amazon

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How to unjam a staple gun

The art of unjamming your staple gun is a skill every staple gun owner must possess. The staple gun has three key areas that work together to form a well-oiled system. These three regions include:

  • The spring
  • The hammer and,
  • The staples.

A failure in any one of these key areas means the entire staple gun system fails, and your staple gun gets jammed. Fixing the issue is not a hard task, and this article is here to guide you through the process. Before we figure out how to unjam a staple gun, make sure you have the following items.

Requirements: A Flathead Screwdriver, Needle-nosed pliers

  1. Switch off the power source. This could mean unplugging it from a power outlet or depressurizing it ( if it runs on compressed air). Never dismantle a power tool while it is still connected to a source of energy!
  2. Dismantle your staple gun. Use your flathead screwdriver to open the staple release head. The staple release head is the most likely place for your heavy duty staple to jam. Once opened, pull out the good staple clip and set it aside.
  3. Remove the jammed staple. Using your needle-nosed pliers, grab ahold of the jammed staple and pull it out. Take your time twisting and turning the jammed staple until you have safely extracted it. If you do not have a pair of needle-nosed pliers, you can use the flathead screwdriver to push the jammed staple out.
  4. Load your staple gun. Take the good staple clip you pulled out earlier and reinsert it into the staple head. Avoid loading the staple gun with small staple clips, since they are more likely to get misaligned and cause yet another staple jam. You need to make sure that the staple slip is of considerable length before loading it into the staple gun.
  5. Close up your staple gun. Just fasten the hammer to the staple release head. If you do not properly secure the hammer to the staple release head, the hammer will not hit the staples at the right angle, and this could send loose staples flying into your eye!
  6. Power up your staple gun. This could mean plugging it into its power source, be it batteries or compressed air. Place the staple gun securely on the intended surface and fire away.

Thanks to these six simple steps, you just learned how to fix a staple gun!


It is important that you practice caution and adhere to proper safety measures while handling the staple gun. Wearing safety goggles or heavy duty gloves will save you a trip down to the emergency room now and then. Inspect your staple gun from time to time to ensure your compression spring and hammer are in good working condition.

In the likely event that you need to learn how to fix and unjam a staple gun, this article will be of great help to you. Remember to steer clear of the conventional staple gun problems, and you will have yourself a splendid time stapling away.

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