Staples are a common sight in offices and a key component in office stationery. Whilst seeming relatively insignificant, you're sure to notice when you run out of them! Which is why Cromwell stock a large range of staples in our selection of office supplies and stationery, ensuring you're well stocked.

With Quality brands like Rapesco®, Rexel®and Rapid® available you're sure to find the right product, compatible with your office's staplers, at an affordable price.

What are staples?

Staples are a common type of fastener, designed for securing pieces of material (usually lightweight, like paper) together or to attach them to a surface like a bulletin board. They are made of lightweight metal, resembling a thin piece of wire. They come in various sizes, compatible with different sizes of staplers.

Why staples?

Staples are lightweight and inexpensive. Their construction makes them great at securing paper together, like the sheets of a document, to keep them ordered and organised. They are also ideal for fastening notices to boarding for greater visibility.

Their twin pronged design bends back when fastened securing the item in place, this makes them harder to fall out of items like boarding, unlike pins which can be worked loose over time. When securing sheets of paper together the prongs fold in behind the point of entry keeping the sharp edges from pointing outwards, making them both neat and safe.

Types of staples

In contrast to other types of staples used in applications like upholstering or construction, office staples are relatively uniform in their design. They can vary in thickness, referred to as gauge, whilst the depth of the prongs (known as legs) can also differ.

In order to ensure you get the right sized staple for your stapler, you will need to know these dimensions, usually indicated on the side of the pack and arranged like the following: 26/6. The first number indicates the gauge, whilst the second indicates the depth of the leg.

Considerations when choosing staples

Compatibility with staplers - Making sure the staples you select are the right gauge and depth for the stapler they are being used with is highly important. Mismatched staples can jam in staplers causing damage and waste.

Depth of legs - In office stapling this will determine how many sheets of paper a single staple can hold. Generally a 6mm staple can hold between 20 to 30 sheets of paper, with greater depth being capable of holding more e.g. 24mm holding up to around 240 sheets.

Gauge - The gauge is the thickness of the wire, when stapling thick paper or even cardboard, thicker gauges are required to punch through the tougher materials, as they are more robust. The lower the number the thicker the gauge.

Staple jargon buster

As simple as the common office staple may seem, there is a lot more to them than you might expect. To help better understand, here are some key terminologies that will enable you to make an informed decision when it comes to picking staples.

Let's break it down...

• Crown - the horizontal edge between the two legs of the staple.

• Legs - the two prongs either side of the crown. These fold in when fired through the stapler securing the sheets in place.

• Teeth - The sharp, often bevelled edge of the staple's legs.

• Gauge - The thickness of the wire used in the staple. The lower the number the thicker the wire.

• Depth - The length of the legs of the staple, measured in millimetres.


What are staples made from?

Most office staples are made from zinc-plated steel wires. These are often glued together in strips that make up the bulk of a pack.

Are staples a standard size?

The most common size of staple is 26/6mm. Most staplers that are compatible with this size can be used with most brands of staple.