How to Fix a Stuck Stapler: 10 Steps

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How to Fix a Stuck Stapler: 10 Steps
How to Fix a Stuck Stapler: 10 Steps

Have you ever noticed that when you are in a hurry and need to staple a lot of paper, the stapler gets stuck? Fortunately, you can solve this little problem in a few minutes. Try removing the stuck clamp with a sharp object such as needle-nose pliers, or use a similar item to separate the top from the bottom if you have an obstruction. It is important to learn how to handle the object correctly to prevent this from happening again. Choose the right size of clamp not to exceed its maximum capacity.


Method 1 of 2: Removing the Stuck Staple

Fix a Jammed Manual Stapler Step 1

Step 1. Place an object between the stapler and the base to try to unlock it

It can happen that the clamp becomes bent in the rail. If so, remove it and throw it away. Try to solve the problem without having to open the stapler. Insert some cylindrical object such as a pen or pencil between the base of the stapler and the metal part that holds the staples. Then push as if you were stapling some paper. With that, you'll be able to remove the bent staple.

  • It is also possible to separate the metal part of the base with your hands. However, be careful not to hurt your fingers with the clamps.
  • If it doesn't come out after doing this, try manually removing the stuck clamp.
Fix a Jammed Manual Stapler Step 2

Step 2. Open the top of the stapler and remove excess staples

Most manual staplers open at the top. If yours is like this, lift the top as if you were going to add more staples. Remove excess clip from the rail and leave it on the table or in a safe place. If your model has a rear opening to place the clips, remove the rail.

Take this time to verify that you are using the correct size staple. You may have placed the wrong size in the stapler. This is often the case when your office has multiple types of staplers from different brands

Fix a Jammed Manual Stapler Step 3

Step 3. Remove the base rail to access the obstruction

It is not mandatory to do this step if you can find the place where the clamp got stuck, but if it is stuck in the rail, it is recommended to do this removal to access both sides. You can pull out the base rail on most manual staplers.

Also take the opportunity to clean the inside of the object. It is always good to remove the dirt and dust that accumulates over time. Use compressed air to remove dirt or clean the stapler with a soft, lint-free towel. Do not use water as the liquid can rust the item

Fix a Jammed Manual Stapler Step 4

Step 4. Take a sharp object and push the stuck clamp up

Some items that can be used are: tweezers, scissors, flat head screwdriver or needle nose pliers. Push the ends of the bent staple up and try to release it from the stapler. If necessary, hold the clamp from above and pull it out.

  • Do not use your fingers to lift the clamp as you may injure yourself.
  • If the clamp breaks when removing it, remove all pieces so as not to obstruct the object.
Fix a Jammed Manual Stapler Step 5

Step 5. Reload the stapler and test it to see if it works

After removing the crumpled staple, reload the stapler always using the correct staple size. Close the lid and place the object in its original position. Test it on a sheet of paper before using a thicker staple set.

Tighten the stapler gently. It is not necessary to punch the object. Excessive use of force can obstruct your track. Most staplers are easy to use, so you don't need to apply a lot of force to staple a sheet

Method 2 of 2: Solving Common Problems

Fix a Jammed Manual Stapler Step 6

Step 1. Use a thin object to separate the top from the bottom if something is stuck in the stapler

The object's top and rail can get stuck if you are using the wrong size clamp. To solve this, create a fulcrum with a long, thin object like a very large paperclip (prefer a sturdy one instead of buying a small plastic one) or even a letter opener. Insert the object where the top and rail meet and gently push the cradle down to open the object.

Be careful when doing this step. If you overdo the force, the thin object can slip and hurt you

Fix a Jammed Manual Stapler Step 7

Step 2. Make sure you are loading the right size staple according to the stapler model

Read the instruction manual to find information on the recommended staple size if you have found an obstruction in your object, especially if you have recently reloaded it. It may not seem like it, but there are several types of staples on the market. Compare the box of staples to your stapler's specifications to see if you've purchased the right type.

Many manuals are available on the internet. So, if by chance you lost yours, try downloading one from the manufacturer's website. Look for the make and model of stapler

Fix a Jammed Manual Stapler Step 8

Step 3. Do not try to staple too many sheets at once to avoid overloading the stapler

Most staples can hold 20 sheets of paper at once, but that depends a lot on the manufacturer's brand. The user manual should indicate the maximum number of sheets you should staple.

If you need to go beyond this limit, opt for an industrial stapler. Maybe in libraries you find this kind of model

Fix a Jammed Manual Stapler Step 9

Step 4. Check for obstructions between the rail and top spring

If the rail isn't aligned, or if it's blocked by too much dust or bits of paper, your stapler will likely have a problem later on. Use compressed air to clean the dust or opt for a screwdriver to tighten the metal parts so that they fit snugly.

If the stapler is loose or swaying when you shake it, you will probably need to tighten it. Disassemble it if necessary or if you want to see if everything is working normally

Fix a Jammed Manual Stapler Step 10

Step 5. Change stapler if you cannot unsnap it

If your stapler is still having problems after following these guidelines, it may be time to buy a new one. The good news is that they have staplers at a very affordable price. And if you work in an office, the human resources department might get you one.

Remember to keep your new stapler manual in a safe and easily accessible place in case of need


  • Use heavy duty staplers or a pistol grip stapler on thick materials such as cardstock. This is a good option for not damaging your hand stapler with resistant materials.
  • If you find an obstruction, don't force the staple by squeezing it into the stapler - this will only make things worse.
  • Search the internet for your stapler manual if you cannot find the printed version in your home or office.


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