Whether crafting, fastening upholstery, or securing materials, the leg length of staples holds the key to optimal performance. Determining the correct leg length might seem trivial, yet it significantly impacts the success of your project.

Understanding Staple Leg Lengths

Staples vary in leg length, ranging from 1/4 inch to longer lengths. The selection depends on the thickness of the material being fastened. For lighter materials like paper or fabric, shorter staples suffice, whereas denser materials like wood require longer staples for a secure hold.

A close-up of staples

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For lighter materials                         For denser materials

Matching Leg Length to Material Thickness

  • Delicate Fabrics and Paper: Opt for shorter leg lengths (approximately 6.35 to 9.52 mm) to avoid damage while ensuring a firm hold.

  • Medium Density Materials: For medium-density materials such as cardboard or thin wood, consider staples with leg lengths between approximately 12.7 to 15.87 mm for a secure fastening without over-penetration.

  • Heavy-Duty Fastening: Thicker wood or dense materials demand longer leg lengths (approximately 19.05 to 25.4 mm) for a robust hold.

Staple Points 

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Source: Gundlach, Flooring Supplies website 

  • Chisel point staples feature sharp legs resembling a chisel blade, allowing easier penetration into tough materials like hardwood, plastic, or metals. Commonly used in construction and furniture, this design minimizes effort while ensuring a secure hold. 
  • Divergent point staples, also known as divergent leg staples, angle their legs outwards for enhanced holding power. Their design creates a larger surface area within softer materials, bolstering stability. Ideal for securing insulation, wire mesh, or upholstery when strong holding capability is necessary. 


Mastering the art of staple leg length selection is pivotal in achieving precision and efficiency across various applications. Understanding material thickness and matching it with the appropriate leg length guarantees a professional finish and durability, elevating the quality of your projects.

Embrace the right leg length, and watch your projects stand strong! 🛠️