The Best Staple Guns for Upholstery

Hi! Happy Monday! Sorry for not updating last Friday - summer is here, which means end of the school year parties, family vacations/visitors and clients who are ready to have projects wrapped up! :) I did finish the chairs, and I have about a million photos to share with you. Before I sit down to write out the next steps, I thought I would share some thoughts about staple guns.

There are three kinds to be aware of: pneumatic, electric and manual. A pneumatic gun is the very best - it's what the professionals use. You can get a good gun for about $50, but the problem is you need an air compressor too. These can be pricey, big and very loud (why I don't have one).

When it was time to start upholstering the chairs, I ran into some problems initially because I was using too many staples in all my layers (more on that later). I went to Home Depot to buy a new electric staple gun that uses the shorter, rounder staples, thinking this would help fix my problem. I bought this $30 gun:


After trying it out, I'm not the hugest fan. It doesn't have anywhere near the power of a pneumatic gun (though it does have the same scary sounds that make me nervous for the safety of my fingers).

I ended up ditching the electric gun and going back with my old trusty PowerShot Pro. It has an ergonomic design, that makes long jobs with lots of staples easy. My hand never cramps up.


Do you have a favorite staple gun or thoughts on pneumatic vs electric vs manual?

Off to upload all those photos! xx

27 comments:

My Crafty Home-Life said...

I have a pneumatic gun with a 2hp compressor, and could never go back. No need to use a hammer to get staples in all the way. Compressors are quite inexpensive but can be rented! It is life-altering, or should I say craft-altering!

holly said...

Your timing is perfect! I was planning to go to Lowes today to purchase a staple gun for my first major upholstery project I am working on, but hadn't a clue what to get. Thanks!

Betsy said...

I do upholstery work from home and love my Duo-fast staple gun. It's electric, which means no loud compressor. It's not cheap ($200-250), but it works extremely well!

J Horton said...

I'm so glad you're posting on this! I have a wingback I think I may tackle! And hubs has an air compressor.... I see a new staple gun in our future!

Anonymous said...

I run into the same problem with paint sprayers. I am looking for a good one that doesnt need an air compressor! I guess if your do a lot of upholstering and furniture painting maybe invest in a compressor?

Sweetwater Musings said...

I agree with My Crafty-Home-Life....my combo stapler/nailer with a compressor is amazing. It makes projects go quickly. I got mine at Sears (actually I bought it as a gift for my hubby and then took it over for myself). It was well worth the money.

Jenn said...

I just recently purchased that same staple gun and I'm not a fan either. I think I'm going the compressor route because I want a nail gun too.

Anonymous said...

I came into my marriage 27 years ago with my Black and Decker electric staple gun and if we ever end the marriage, it it the one thing I would insist on taking with me!
cathy

Shera said...

Manual...it's an arrow from Home Depot and it does both nails and staples. LOVE!

lollingabout said...

I used my mom's electric power shot recently and hated it. I hate the sound and fear for my fingers as well.

I have the same manual power shot pictured and love it. Its easy to use, doesn't require too much strength, and I don't fear for my fingers quite as much.

sarah said...

my manual stanley bostitch does staples and brads. i love it.

Aubrey {All Things Bright and Beautiful} said...

When did my one and only upholstery project (a wingback chair, a doozy, I know!), I borrowed a pneumatic gun because it seemed like that was the only gun that would do the fine gauge staples needed for upholstery...are you using the fine gauge or what are you doing to get around that? I would absolutely *love* to do more projects, but I just can't justify dropping the $$$ on the compressor!

Elissa said...

I have a paslode pneumatic gun that works like a dream. I hate the sound of air compressors (especially when it starts filling up while the kids are sleeping-- cringe) but my husband has an extra long hose so I keep the compressor in the garage and run the hose through the house into the room I'm working. Then I only have to hear the sound of the compressor from a distance :) Loving your upholstery posts... can't wait to keep reading!

LH said...

I have a Porter Cable pneumatic stapler coming on Wednesday and a new pancake compressor sitting in my car. No more staples that only go partway in, which happens frequently with my manual stapler. There's a sofa sitting in the garage just waiting to get a new look.

Elaine said...

I love this series. so informative. Never done a chair before but love having this knowledge. Makes me think I can tackle a project like this!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jenny,
I LOLed when I read the headline of today's post. I thought if I was lucky you would have a pic of the tools you used and I could get an idea of which staple gun I should get to replace mine that recently broke, but even better, you did a whole post on the subject!

While I'm at it, I also want to thank you and your blog. I've been reading your posts for a couple months now, and you've helped me, a stay-at-home mom of two little guys, to start a tiny business, so THANK YOU! You're work has been inspiring, and your expertise so helpful!
Many thanks!
Suzanne

Visual Vamp said...

I love my Power Shot Pro. I have four of them!
xo xo

jandjhome said...

I recently got the powershot pro and I'm loving it. It's easy other than when I first got it, I would use it in the wrong direction and staple the air.

Natty by Design said...

Definitely pneumatic! The compressor is loud, though! I ran into the same problem with the electric - they're terrible.

laxsupermom said...

I have that same power shot! It's the one I use for upholstery projects. We have a pneumatic gun, too, but lugging out the air compressor from the scary garage is not something I generally do.

Lori B. said...

Thank you for this post! Sometimes I am suprised at the synchronicity in the universe. I was just in need of a new staple gun and google reader (and you) delivered a product review right to my mailbox. Sigh. Love Bloggers. :)

shelly said...

I teach DIY Upholstery all week long. One of my students sent me your link to this post and asked what I preferred. I've tried them all, electric and pneumatic. I teach with Maestri electric guns which have problems. I'm not going to give my beginners the pneumatic stapler right away but they can work up to it. Forget about buying something at the hardware store. I've bought them all and they are just not good. Try Fasco, Rainco, and Duo Fast. Duo Fast make an excellent electric gun for about $200.00. I know, kind of pricey, but if you're not committing to the pneumatic and a compressor, well worth it. Try Nail Gun Depot, Fabric Farms or Vista Enterprises for upholsterer staplers. I'm getting ready to splurge on a long nose pneumatic to get in all of those grooves and crannies. Good Luck! A good stapler can bring much happiness to those who upholster.
shelly leer
www.modhomeec.com

Anonymous said...

Senco, Porter Cable, Dewalt and others have small trim compressors on the market that are very quiet, 1-2 h.p. and 1-2 gallons coming in at 69-72 decibels. They're perfect for brad nailers, trim nailers and staplers, and upholstery work. Quiet enough that you can have it in the same room you're working in and not mind. You don't typically see them at the big box stores but Amazon has a nice selection.

Rene said...

I also love my power shot....I had a stanley electric that worked pretty well, but it broke and would often not fire when I wanted it too...my power shot has never let me down. I would mind trying a pneumatic gun someday though.

Dara said...

Jenny - I recently bought a condo and have become obsessed with design blogs. I love the series you are doing now on re-upholstery. I'm sure I will be trying this out soon, all while referencing your blog. Thanks for taking the time to show us the process!

Pam @ bibbidi-bobbidi-beautiful said...

I've been using an electric craftsman gun for roughly 10 years and I mostly like it, but it's not without its flaws. Overall it's nearly strong enough, but I find that I have to lean on it a bit to get the staples to drive in far enough and it occasionally spits out several staples at a time instead of one. Annoying. I've also used my dad's manual gun which left my hand aching for days after using it to reupholster a platform rocker.

KSSFashions said...

Thank you for your recommendation. I'm in the middle of an upholstery project and realized I can't find my handy, dandy staple gun. I've been talking for awhile now about getting an electric gun so was browsing on Home Depot's website and got overwhelmed. The products you mentioned in your blog are the exact products I was questions. I think I'm going to go with the PowerShot. Your opinion is very much appreciated! Off to the store in the morning...

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