If you’re looking for the best desktop stapler to start your teaching career, you are probably brand new to the profession and super excited to stock your beautiful new classroom with everything an educator might need.
Either that, or you’re 20 years into your career and the stapler you took from the supply room 8 years ago keeps jamming. Either way, a respectable stapler is one of those office essentials that every professional needs on their desk.
Here, I’ve gathered up a list of the best teacher staplers into one blog post, using feedback from teachers across my elementary school campus.
But what’s the best teacher stapler for you?
Most teachers agree that a good stapler for a classroom teacher should meet the following requirements:
- Fairly lightweight
- Staples into flat surfaces, like bulletin boards
- A standard stapler that uses standard staples
- A different color than black
Some teachers do love to have a staple gun that can handle solid wood classroom doors and walls for classroom decor. I’ll be sure to include a recommendation below the main list.
And while I do not think most teachers need an electric stapler in their classroom (and it can’t replace traditional staplers), I’ll be sure to include the best electric stapler in my review, as well.
Finally, you’ll occasionally meet a very businessy teacher who keeps elaborate data binders and has a flawlessly tidy room at all times. This type of teacher is the one most likely to insist on having a second stapler for flat clinch stapling. More about that below.
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Anyone in my building would instantly recognize where this stapler belongs if it got left in the copy room. This dual language teacher decorates her room with llamas, so her festive llama Washi tape is a dead giveaway.
The Top 5 Best Teacher Staplers on Amazon
So let’s get into it! Here are my five favorite teacher staplers that you can have on your porch within about 72 hours, and likely get free shipping to boot.
1. The Swingline Stapler 747 Classic –
The Swingline Stapler 747 Classic is really the only compact stapler you could ever need. I like this one because it’s all metal without being super heavy. An all-metal stapler has a bit more durability than a plastic one. If there’s a chance you’re going to be taking a stapler home from work (please don’t), you don’t want some huge paperweight in your bag.
It can handle 25 sheets of paper at a time, which is a respectable sheet capacity and all you really need for a stapler to do in the classroom. Most of us don’t use that much paper anymore anyway.
The stapler will open to pin your staples to a bulletin board or other flat surface, which is essential in a classroom.
Best of all, it comes in several lovely colors if you’re tired of basic black or worried about your stapler “walking off.” It comes in a glossy red, royal blue (although it appears to me closer to a light navy), sky blue, steel grey, and cream with gold accents rather than silver.
You can keep reading for more stapler options, but this one lives up to it’s “classic” name. It’s no frills, but it should last you years. Swingline is the NAME in staplers for good reason.
If you get a black one, just put your name on the bottom in Sharpie.
2. The Swingline Stapler 747 Iconic –
If the Swingline 747 Iconic looks vaguely familiar to you, that’s because it’s the iconic stapler that caused Milton to set fire to his office building in the cult classic movie “Office Space.” So if you want a stapler that has all the benefits of the 747 Classic, with a little bonus celebrity status, choose the iconic rio red shade. If someone tries to borrow it, accuse them of all sorts of malicious intent and act completely deranged. It will be fun!
It also comes in a shiny chrome and gold finish. Those colors are fun, too.
My buddy has had this red Swingline ever since she got her first teaching job. You can tell it’s been through a lot, but she’s kind of attached to it.
3. The Amazon Basics Stapler
This Amazon Basics stapler is very popular in schools because it’s cheap and highly reviewed. While I like the name brand Swingline, this particular model gives teachers everything they need, including the ability to open it up and pin things to a bulletin board, at a price that’s tough to beat.
Many teachers will buy the three pack on Amazon and scatter them around their work spaces so a decent stapler is never out of reach. You could have one at home, at your desk, and a third one at your kidney table or wherever you host your student small groups.
4. Bostitch inPower Spring Powered Desktop Stapler
This Bostitch stapler is a great choice if you’ve got a weaker grip and struggle to apply a reasonable amount of pressure to a standard stapler. This one can push through your stack of papers with just one finger.
A few teacher reviewers mention that when they open the stapler up to tack against a bulletin board, the staple cartridge slides out.
Others mention that almost the entire stapler is plastic and knocks over easily. If you really want a lightweight stapler, this would be great, but if you prefer something sturdier, consider an all-metal one.
I do appreciate that the staple remover is built-in, and it holds two full sleeves of staples.
There is a pink version of this stapler that benefits Breast Cancer Awareness.
5. The Oregon Stapler by PraxxisPro
This stapler is a little more expensive than the others, but it’s quite impressive and could be easily considered a heavy duty stapler.
Let’s get the most important thing out of the way: it opens flat for bulletin boards.
The Oregon Stapler also comes with 1000 heavier-duty staples, but standard staples fit the stapler for ease of use.
This stapler comes in four colors: black, copper, white and red. If you need your stapler to make a statement, this one is pretty eye-catching.
It has a built-in staple remover, so that’s one less gadget to manage on your desktop.
It’s also made to last and is completely steel. It’s going to feel a bit more substantial in your hands than the Bostitch.
Here’s what makes it special and possibly worth the few extra dollars – it’s made in Bend, Oregon. Sure, some of the parts come from China, but this is a small business that should feel good to support.
Why A Manual Stapler is Better than an Electric Stapler for the Classroom
If you’re really worried about having everything you need, you could buy yourself both an electric stapler and a manual stapler. I’m sure both could come in handy. But most teachers who are just starting out need to cut costs wherever possible.
An electric stapler can handle a lot of paper, but there aren’t that many instances where teachers need to bind a big stack of paper. If so, they’d likely be printing booklets in the copy room with a machine that staples and collates. Also, most copy rooms have an electric stapler that can handle big tasks.
Electric staplers aren’t very portable, which can be annoying. My stapler always ends up wandering around the classroom.
Further, having to use another outlet in a classroom is annoying. You will already have a lot of things on your desk that require a plug. Between your SmartBoard, desktop, laptop, document camera, speakers, and electric pencil sharpener, there are a LOT of electronics in modern classrooms. Dealing with cords is annoying, and most of us prefer to hide desktop cords behind a curtain.
Most basic desktop staplers have a button you can push on the bottom, which will allow it up to open up for bulletin board tacking.
Best Electric Stapler (If You Insist)
Some teachers have a true need for an electric stapler. Perhaps there’s something unique about your teaching methods that require you to do tons of printing. Maybe the stapler that’s built into your copy machine is always busted and you frequently have to staple large booklets. Some teachers struggle with arthritis, which would make an electric stapler a nice asset in the classroom.
This stapler has some nice suction feet to keep it secure on your work space. It’s also a trusted name in staplers, which I do think is important. It’s jam-resistant and easy to load. Most importantly, it has a 45 sheet capacity. I can’t imagine why most teachers would want an electric stapler unless it handled large stacks of paper exceptionally well unless hand strength was a real obstacle.
Unfortunately, any stapler that can handle 45 sheets at a time will require special staples, which likely can’t be found in your school’s supply closet. So bear in mind that you’ll have an ongoing cost to maintain the thing.
Here’s a lovely review from a fellow teacher that I found on Amazon’s product page: “I bought this 10 months ago and use it religiously. I am a teacher and with my arthritis getting worse and worse, I found it difficult to use a handheld stapler. This was the perfect solution. I did give it a 3 star for noise, but that doesn’t bother me, just letting you know it’s not dainty lol. I love this stapler.”
This Bostitch electric stapler isn’t cheap, but if you have a true need for an electric stapler, then this one is probably a logical choice.
Best Staple Gun for Classroom Walls and Doors
A staple gun is a great tool for bulletin boards, walls and doors. You can easily do your bulletin boards with a traditional stapler that opens up flat. That’s what I always did.
However, some teachers insist that a staple gun is the best way for fastening to flat surfaces, and a heavy duty staple gun can more easily handle solid wood doors and some wall surfaces. This teacher at Teaching with Crayons and Curls makes an argument for using a staple gun in the classroom to make set up go faster. She recommends the Arrow Easy Shot Multi Stapler.
The teachers in my building use a regular stapler but I can see why you might prefer a different shape in the palm of your hand for this task. Unfortunately, it does require special staples, which is why it could never make my top 5 list. Here are the staples it needs.
It looks a bit flimsy in the product description, but several reviewers said it’s very powerful.
Best Flat Clinch Stapler
Teachers don’t really need a flat clinch stapler, although it might be a nice perk. Flat clinch staplers allow stacks of stapled booklets to lay completely flat, so it could be handy if you’re creating large data binders.
When teachers have huge stacks of stapled booklets lying around on bookcases and on desks, the stacks can start to lean. I never minded that, but some extremely tidy teachers might be bothered by it.
Most flat clinch staplers will not open up to tack on a bulletin board. There are not many choices in the market if you need a stapler that can do both.
If you insist on having one stapler that can work for both your bulletin boards and will staple completely flat stacks of paper, your best option is the B4fc Compact Flat Clinch Stapler with a 50 sheet capacity. It’s a bit expensive for a manual stapler (like all German-engineered products), but it’s also a heavy-duty stapler.
Unfortunately, you’ll need special staples. One reviewer mentioned that she uses regular staples in hers, but I suspect that’s why quite a few other reviewers complained of jamming. For optimal performance, the best thing would be to purchase the right staples.
To learn more about flat clinch staplers, see this handy post from Bostitch. There are great photos in the post that will help you understand whether it not it matters for your classroom.
Do teachers need a mini stapler?
I don’t think teachers need a mini stapler. It’s going to be hard enough to keep the clutter out of your life and classroom without adding unnecessary tools.
Some teachers will keep a mini stapler in their bag in case they decide to grade papers or get work done at home or while traveling. You can certainly do that, and it’s not like mini staplers take up a lot of room.
But they do require more frequent re-loading because of their tiny capacity, and I’d rather just have a second full-sized stapler at home. After all, my five recommended staplers aren’t very expensive.
On the other hand, if you want a mini stapler that will fit in a desk drawer at home, it could be a smart purchase. I hate clutter and it’s nice to be able to tuck certain things out of sight if they’re not used constantly.
I’m not going to recommend a mini stapler, because you’re probably just looking for a cute one, and none of them are very well made.
3 Reasons Why Your Stapler Doesn’t Matter (and 1 reason why it might)
Okay, I gave you what you wanted – my review of the best teacher staplers. But please stop thinking about staplers and doing product comparisons. Here’s why.
- Your stapler doesn’t move the needle in the classroom. If you’re a new teacher, you’re about to have a million decisions to make, and this is just one of them. Every single day, you’ll be at risk of decision fatigue. All of those decisions will be about a rather weighty matter – how can you best serve kids? Of course, it’s lots of fun and a rewarding profession, but please don’t underestimate how much thinking you’re about to do, and how exhausted you’ll feel sometimes. I promise that the stapler you choose is a trivial matter. Save your energy.
- Someone’s probably going to take your stapler anyway. They won’t be malicious about it. It’s going to be 4:30, and someone is going to be tired, and they won’t be able to find their stapler. So they’ll “borrow” it from your desk and forget to return it, because they all look alike. For that reason, you might prioritize a stapler in a fun color that’s easier to spot. There are so many black staplers in school buildings that sometimes a borrowed stapler never finds its way back to the original owner.
- You don’t have enough time to be analyzing staplers. I’m worried that if you’re Googling “best teacher staplers,” you’re going to burn out because you are working too many hours. Just think! In the time you spent reading this article, you could have already bought a stapler, or taken a free one from the supply closet, and quickly analyzed the data from your latest common formative assessment.
On the other hand, there are times when any teacher is going to find themselves prioritizing silly things in the classroom because it’s the “low hanging fruit.” Perhaps researching staplers is kind of like decorating your door. It’s unnecessary, but it feels easy and productive, and that’s what you need right now.
That’s okay; we’ve all been there! If having the best stapler in the building makes you feel like you might survive another day, then I’m glad you’re having a moment. Take all you need.
The bottom line on the best teacher stapler is that most teachers don’t need a stapler to do anything super fancy, but we also don’t need any additional headaches like cords or jamming.
For the most part, I would recommend you choose any of the five staplers in my original list. All of them are top quality, basic staplers that should last you many years and require very little upkeep or special staples that have to be re-ordered.
Whether you’re just stapling a paper copy of your lesson plan, slapping up an updated bulletin board, or your copy machine collator went out, a regular old office stapler is a classroom necessity. Whether or not you purchase a second stapler that uses different methods for unique tasks in the classroom is up to you and your budget. It’s usually not necessary.