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  • HF Staplers

    I have a pending project that requires the use of staples. The plastic seat pan on my Harley is cracked where the front hold down is attached. This is a fairly common problem and if left unattended the pan will eventually break completely around the bracket. The solution I have come up with is to pull back the front of the upholstery and foam, heat stitch the crack and then reinforce the area from the inside with a metal plate or fiberglass (maybe both). The problem comes in reattaching the upholstery. I have a Ryobi 18V stapler and tried to drive a 1/4" staple into an old seat pan with it. It worked as long as I was in an area to get solid full contact with the pan. Any slight angle or lack of contact and the staple would not go in. Also this stapler is slow to rest between firing. An upholstery shop I checked with estimated $50 - $75 to staple it back on.

    HF has 2 air staplers listed. Looking for trusted opinions of both of them.

    https://www.harborfreight.com/air-to...ler-61619.html

    https://www.harborfreight.com/air-to...ler-68029.html

    Not interested in a combination nailer/stapler since I have several dedicated nail guns. The staplers are very similar and get about the same reviews. Several reviews say they will use T-50 staples but a few say this is not true. Anyone have experience with either of these tools? Comments, suggestions, recommendations are wanted. $20 with a 20% off coupon and another $12 for a box of SS T-50 staples beats the shop price and I have the tool for other projects. In the future it would make life easier replacing the screens on the back porch.
    Don, aka Pappy,

    Wise men talk because they have something to say,
    Fools because they have to say something.
    Plato

  • #2
    I have one of the HF staplers and it works fine. Part number 40073. When I re-upholstered the seat on my Sea Doo (basically a typical motorcycle seat), I used an Arrow T50 electric with stainless staples. It worked well, and it let me do it at the marina instead of bringing the seat home. The T50 staples will NOT fit in the 40073, no idea about their other models.

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    • #3
      I was in Lowe's yesterday and found this Arrow pneumatic stapler. Second pic is one of the HF staplers. The Arrow has a 3 year warranty and it bump fire capability. With my veteran discount it would be about $10 more than the HF model and Lowe's is here in town. I think that is the way to go. I will post an update/review after I use it.
      Don, aka Pappy,

      Wise men talk because they have something to say,
      Fools because they have to say something.
      Plato

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      • #4
        That's funny. I've seen a number of tools that are identical between HF and the name brand at double the price.

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        • #5
          I have three staplers from HF and all have been satisfactory. But only the 3-in-one electric (Item 93749) will take "T50" staples (or so the package states). The 2-in-1 air nailer / stapler (item 68019) takes 18 gauge- 1/4 inch narrow crown staples or brad nails, and the 20 gauge crown stapler (Item 68029) takes 7/16 wide crown staples.

          I have an old Craftsman manual stapler that takes 1/2" wide staples and when I was cleaning up some old stuff my father left, I found several boxes of Swingline Series 800 staples which are 1/2" wide and fit my Craftsman manual stapler just fine. But when I went looking for a power stapler, I was hoping I could find something that might use those staples, to no avail. I thought perhaps T50-compatible staplers might do that, but that doesn't appear to be the case.

          CWS
          Think it Through Before You Do!

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          • #6
            I have an older 1/2" crown Harbor Freight stapler that has worked really well for me. I wish I had more projects for it, because it is one of those tools that works so well at what it does. When I bought it, I needed it for a headliner project on a yacht, so finding stainless staples could only be accomplished online. I still have most of the 10,000 staple box left

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            • #7
              Just for what it's worth, the Arrow T-50 staples are more or less the industry standard. The additional hassle of trying to find stainless staples in a size other than the T-50 would be more trouble than I would want to deal with... If the price difference is only going to be about $10.00, go with the Arrow stapler and be happy.

              It should be noted that I do have one of the electric Arrow nailer / staplers and it is, well, leaves a lot to be desired power wise. I would either go manual, or pnuematic...
              Please like and subscribe to my YouTube channel. Please check out and subscribe to my Workshop Blog.

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              • #8
                What is the exact width of a T50 staple? I presumed it was 1/2-inch, and since that is the exact width of the Swingline staples that I have, they'd work in this HF electric... but they're too wide. I presume the T50's are more like 7/16... is that correct?

                CWS
                Think it Through Before You Do!

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                • #9
                  T50 is a RANGE of heavy-duty staples, not one specific size. They are then classified as 504, 505, 506, etc according to width. Below that are more sub-classes based on material, the types/angles of the points, etc etc. I would not be exaggerating to say that there are dozens of possible T50 configurations and materials.

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                  • #10
                    I think I created confusion when I said that T50 will not fit the 40073 staple gun. That's because it uses ultra-narrow, extra-long staples. Totally different configuration/range from T50.

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                    • #11
                      I have the 61619 stapler and have been happy with it. Used it to staple up insulation and some tyvek (sp) recently used it to put the upholstery back together where the cats played with the sofa. Several boxes of Arrow T50 staples and half a box of generic 3/8" staples and no jams.
                      Interestingly I bought the HF stapled that were recommended for it and the staples did not fit.

                      T50 staples are 3/8 inside or about 13/16 outside width and varying lengths

                      Bill
                      on the left coast

                      Comment


                      • cwsmith
                        cwsmith commented
                        Editing a comment
                        "3/8 inside or about 13/16 outside width"

                        That would make for some mighty thick legs on a staple wouldn't it? (Like 5/32"... I've got nails smaller than that.) Perhaps I'm reading that wrong?

                        But, a 13/16-inch outer dimension wouldn't fit my HF electric stapler... even my 1/2-inch wide staples are too wide to fit in the slide channel.

                        CWS

                    • #12
                      LOL, I remember having the same problem. HF staples, HF stapler, no workie.

                      Comment


                      • cwsmith
                        cwsmith commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I understand that! I also have a HF framing nailer that clearly gives the maximum length of nail and the HF framing nails are a full 1/4-inch longer than that. Guess what? Even at maximum pressure and full-depth setting the nails stand a 1/4" out and have to be hammered in manually. I returned the first one as defective, but the replacement does the same. I ended up buying a Ridgid... so much better, and worth more than twice the price. (I like HF and buy there a lot, but some things just don't work the way they should.)

                    • #13
                      Originally posted by Carlos View Post
                      That's funny. I've seen a number of tools that are identical between HF and the name brand at double the price.
                      Well... you have to be careful about the it appears to be "identical" stuff -- first of all even if the things actually ARE made "side by side" by the same manufacturer in the same factory (as opposed to some Chinese company doing a "reverse engineer" 3D scan knockoff), and even if it is actually using many of the same "main" components (housing, handle, triggers & switches, etc), that doesn't necessarily mean that ALL of the components (including internals) are necessarily "identical."

                      Many times various "lower cost" internal component options are used -- per example nylon/plastic gears rather than metal gears, pressed/powder-metal gears rather than true "hobbed" & hardened steel gears.

                      The first (plastic gears) would likely be for a low-end "consumer" grade product, the second (powdered metal gears) for a "pro-sumer" (aka high-end "consumer") product; and the third for the "professional/commercial" grade... yet they ALL might share the same basic housing (possibly different color plastic or paint), and other components; and frankly in many cases they will all seem to FUNCTION just the same; at least initially.

                      The difference is not only the cost of the components though (and yes things like GEARS can make BIG difference in overall product cost), it's the "lifetime/duty cycle" -- what most people (inerrantly) call "planned obsolescence" but is really just a MISunderstanding of how the product is intended to be used -- the "consumer" grade product is designed for & intended for OCCASIONAL and LIGHT use, if it is used on a FREQUENT (i.e. professional/commercial) and HEAVY basis, then yes, it will "FAIL" fairly rapidly (days or weeks), and the "pro-sumer" stuff while it may last a bit longer (weeks, maybe a few months) will likewise FAIL relatively quickly -- which is why professionals (tradespeople) think & say that any/all "consumer" or "prosumer" grade stuff is "just junk."

                      They're both RIGHT and yet also WRONG. The home handyman will probably only use the thing a few hours (total) over a couple of years, and even "consumer" grade tool is likely to last them a lifetime (or else be wrecked in some non-use way); even some avid hobbyist is likely to get a good couple of years out of a "cheap consumer" grade tool; and probably a lifetime out of a "pro-sumer" tool.

                      That said, yes some "cheap" tool ARE nothing but "junk" (cheaply made knockoff copies that will never function properly, and the manufacturer probably doesn't CARE) -- whereas other "cheap" tools are generally adequate, and will perform LIGHT DUTY functions just fine... try to push them to some "margin" though (including "maximum capacity") and they're likely to fail, because they really AREN'T designed/manufactured for that (the capacity is a "selling" point, and not really what the tool is capable of, sort of like the "compact" car that has a speedometer that goes to 120mph, but you'd be INSANE to attempt to push it to & drive it at that speed {likely only possible on some steep & long downgrade slope}).

                      Of course the same CAN be true of various "high priced" brand tools as well... more than one "reliable" brand has "coasted" on -- and subverted/destroyed -- a prior reputation, by "cheapening" the product while continuing to price it exorbitantly.


                      Hope that helps.


                      P.S. Slightly OT, but the same kind of thing applies to small gasoline engines -- that cheap lawnmower at Walmart MAY have an engine that is labeled as an "18hp" Briggs engine -- and it may very well appear to be identical (and even BE identical -- and a "genuine" Briggs engine -- in terms of the main casting & covers, etc) to the "18hp" Briggs engine in one of the major brand name lawn tractors -- but I guarantee you that the internals and the lifetime/duty cycle of the two engines are NOT the same. (Briggs you see has "custom configurations" and various "grades/options" that the lawn mower manufacturer can select from, all of course changing the price of the engines... and while the difference might only be $10 or $20 per engine, at that "low end" of the market that can make a HUGE difference in the retail price, because the retailer normally prices things at MULTIPLES of their cost from the manufacturer, ergo cutting $20 out of the costof the engine, and $20 or $40 or even $100 out of the rest of the machine, translates into a $200 to $300 lower retail price; meaning selling the mower at $1,200 instead of $1,500 or even $1,800 depending on the margin that the retailer wants/needs.)

                      Same kind of thing is true of the lower cost tools... if the retailer is selling (SRP) it at $50 (or even more so "on sale" at $30 or $20) then they're probably only paying about 1/2 that at wholesale, and cutting $1 or $5 out of the cost of the thing at wholesale, drops the RETAIL price by many-fold that amount.

                      To wit: Harbor Freight isn't necessarily "lying" when they say they "buy their 'top quality' major brand tools from the same factories that supply our competitors. We cut out the middleman and pass the savings to you!" -- but they're also not necessarily telling the WHOLE truth either: yeah it might be made in the same FACTORY, but it ain't necessarily made with the same components, and so might not be (probably ISN'T) the same/identical PRODUCT, and they may very well have "cut out" MORE than just "the middleman."
                      Last edited by WLee; 06-29-2018, 01:49 AM.

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                      • #14
                        Your lawn mower statement made me laugh and reminded me of a story I had with my late FIL (bless him). When we bought our first home, I needed a lawnmower. My FIL was the manager of both the hardware and lawn and tractor depts at Sears. He told me to come down and see one of his sales guys and he'd give me a good deal. Well down to the store I went and looked a several. All asking a week or two of my pay back then. That was when Sears advertised their "Eager One" engines.

                        While I certainly wanted a good lawn mower, it wasn't affordable, even with a good discount. So, I found myself at the local discount drug store that Saturday and I bought a $30 lawnmower. Briggs and Stratton engine I figured how could I go wrong. My FIL wasn't upset (he wasn't that kind of guy), but told me I'd probably be back in another year for something good.

                        Well, every year 15 or so years, I'd call him on the phone... and fire that baby up with just one pull. I did have to put new wheels on it after about five years, and in the end the pan rusted and one of the engine mounting bolts fell out. So that was in 1969 and I was 25 years old at the time. So here I am now just about 74, I've owned four lawn mowers... all but the last being under $100 (and that was $129). I still have two of those, one here and one at my other house (I can't see carrying one back and forth between the two houses... both of these start on the first or second pull (even after setting through the winter).

                        While I agree with you about some components and certainly a variance in assembly and QA practices, a decent tool should last if you take care of it.... but even there, your care doesn't have to be sparkle. (I did change the spark plug once on that first mower, and even the oil and air filter. I do change the oil every few years, but other than keeping the blade sharp and the filter clean, that's about it when it comes to lawn mowers. Oh, did I mention my Sears weed whacker... got that in 1970... I just had to buy a new one at HF, because the switch no longer works on the Sears..)

                        Think it Through Before You Do!

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                        • #15
                          Here I am at 53, and for the first time in my life, considering having to buy a mower. The wife has decided that we should add a small patch of grass for the dogs to run around on in the back yard. I hate grass and have never had to take care of a lawn as an adult (and hated it when I had to as a kid). I'm looking at one of those little ones that uses tool batteries, as the grass will probably be only about 20x40.

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