Crazy Things I Had No Idea About My Stapler!

For much of my stapling life, I thought there wasn’t very much to the stapler. Very handy for jabbing sheets together. Some are bigger, some smaller, some more durable, some more fashionable. But I couldn’t really tell them apart, other than the obvious difference in size. What mattered to me was whether or not it could fit in my school space case or not- and of course if I liked the colour it came in. Working at a stationery shop has opened my eyes to so so many things I never knew about stationery, things that probably many people don’t know!

The History of the Stapler



The world’s first stapler was created for King Louis XIV

The first stapler known to man was created for the king of France during the 18th Century. Not only that, but according to records, each staple was inscribed with an insignia of the royal court – which is all very fancy, even by the opulent standards set by France’s royal families.





The Anatomy of the Stapler

I won’t bore you with the obvious details. We all know where the staples go into the stapler! But did you know, that your stapler actually has an extra storage compartment for more staples?

Extra Storage




When I first read this online, I was stunned. I thought “No ways. definitely can’t. How could I have missed that detail??”.







So one of our staff members immediately grabbed a few staplers off of the shelf to test it out. And guess what? They really do! Here’s our photographic evidence. We were stunned!




The Rear End



If you are in a fix, and don’t have a staple remover nearby- many staplers actually have their own built-in staple removers! That will be so much easier for me next time- rather than picking at the staples with my poor fingernails!








Choosing the right staples

To determine what size staples to buy for your stapler, check the bottom of the unit or the underside of the staple carrier. If it is not stated there, check the stapler packaging or manual if available.

You’ll notice on the box of any staples, there will be a number present. On this particular box, it reads 24/6. This number is more important than you may realise! Did you know that most stapler faults are caused by using incorrect staples for that stapler? Let’s first break down what these numbers stand for.

The Gauge



The most commonly used format for staple sizes has two numbers: gauge and shank length. The first number, the gauge, measures the staple wire diameter; the higher the number, the thinner the wire. In a 26/6 Staple the 26 gauge has a thickness (diameter) of the wire of 0.4mm. The staple sizes commonly used are the 13/8, 13/6, 24/8, 24/6 and 26/6. The higher the “Gauge”, the thicker the wire- the more heavy duty your stapling can be!



The Shank

The second number is the shank length in millimeters. To measure this, you measure the distance from the back of the staple to the tip of the leg.

In a 26/6 Staple the Shank is 6mm. Staplers often take multiple shank lengths, so it may be worth purchasing the longest length to maximize its uses. The shank or leg length will determine how many sheets you can staple securely. For a 26/6 2-15 sheet is recommended for a 26/8 2-30 sheets can be stapled securely.

The Crown length isn’t mentioned at all but on a standard 26/6 staple this is 12.8mm


The below table summarises the sizes of the most common staple sizes:


Staple Size Gauge Diameter(mm) Shank Length(mm)
13/8 1.828 8
13/6 1.828 6
24/8 0.511 8
24/6 0.511 6
26/6 0.405 6
13/14 (heavy duty) 1.828 14
13/10 (heavy duty) 1.828 10
23/24 (heavy duty) 0.573 24
23/20 (heavy duty) 0.573 20
23/15 (heavy duty) 0.573 15
23/12 (heavy duty) 0.573 12
23/8 (heavy duty) 0.573 8


Rexel use their own referencing which is not immediately identifiable to the above, to make it easier if you are thinking of ordering Rexel, the below summary should help you identify which size you need.


Rexel Reference Shank Length (mm)
No. 56 6
No. 16 6
No. 18 8
No. 23 6/8/10 (multiple sizes)
No. 25 4
No. 66 8/11/14 (multiple sizes)


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