Staple Sizes: Charts, Definitions, and More for All Types of Staples

A stapler is an office staple. Although there’s a common standard size, various different staple sizes are available, depending on what you need to bind and the type of stapler you have. Our guide will cover staple types and sizes,including a handy staple sizes chart that will ensure you buy the staples that suit your binding needs.



larry says

Our customers often ask what size staples go with each type of Blue Summit Supplies stapler. We’ve included a visual staple guide for each type of stapler we sell below.



Staple Sizes Explained

staple length

Staple Length

The length of a staple refers to its legs, the parts of the staple that push through the layers of paper and fold underneath the pages. If you need to staple a thick pile of paper at once, you’ll need a staple with long legs. Ensure you purchase the correct leg length as standard staplers are only designed to hold 1/4 inch legs.

When you see the size of a staple in millimeters or inches, it’s referring to the length of the staple’s legs.

staple width

Staple Width

The width of a staple, sometimes called its crown, is the top or crossbar of a staple. It’s the part of the staple you will see flat across the top of whatever you bind.

wire guage

Wire Gauge

The wire gauge of a staple refers to the thickness of the staple itself. The thicker the wire is, the more stable and durable the staple. If you’re stapling pieces of cardboard together to form a box, you’ll want a thicker wire gauge than if you’re stapling together a couple of pieces of paper. There are a few different kinds of wire gauges.

Fine Wire: The thinnest staple, ranging from 20 - 23 gauge thickness. This is the type of staple you’ll find around an office.

Medium Wire:  Usually between 18 - 19 gauge thickness. It’s stronger than a fine wire staple, but not quite strong enough to be used in construction.

Heavy Wire:  The thickest kind of staple, usually between 15 - 16 gauge thickness. This kind of staple is best utilized in heavy-duty projects like construction or roofing.



larry says

Gauge is used to indicate the thickness of metal. The higher a gauge number is, the thinner the metal will be.




staple point

Staple Point

The staple point, also known as the teeth, refers to the end of each leg that pierces the paper. Most staples have a chisel point to help the staple push smoothly through materials.



Different Types Of Staples

full strip staples

Full Strip Staples

A full strip of staples usually consists of 200 or more staples per strip.

half strip staples

Half Strip Staples

As the name suggests, a half strip is half the size of a full strip, usually consisting of 100 or more staples.

staple cartridge

Staple Cartridge

Staple cartridges may contain the same size staples, but they are a completely different style. This type of staple is used mainly for electric staplers or certain heavy-duty staplers. The staples come in a flat sheet (often 5000 staples) that’s rolled up into a cartridge.



standard staple size

What Size Are Standard Staples?

At this point, you may be wondering what’s the standard staple that fits the standard stapler found in nearly every standard classroom and office?  

Standard-size staples are 1/4 inch (6mm) in length, capable of stapling anywhere from 2 to 30 pages together at once and designed to fit any standard-size stapler. Most of the time, this is the only staple you’ll need around the office or classroom.



Staple Sizes Chart

Most staplers will say on the bottom what size staple they take, so before you make a purchase, check the bottom of your stapler first. Often, the size will appear in the metric, two-number form, for example, 23/6. The first number refers to the gauge of the staple, and the second number refers to the length of the staple’s legs. Generally, for office use, it’s the leg length that will vary, depending on how many pages you need to staple at once.


Staple Type

Staple Length


23/6 (standard staple size)

6mm leg length (or 1/4 inch)

up to 30 sheets at a time (depending on the stapler)


8mm leg length (5/16 inch)

up to 50 sheets at a time


10mm leg length (3/8 inch)

up to 70 sheets at a time


13mm leg length (1/2 inch)

up to 100 sheets at a time


16mm leg length (9/16 inch)

up to 140 sheets at a time


17mm leg length (5/8 inch)

up to 160 sheets at a time


20mm leg length (3/4 inch)

up to 200 sheets at a time


24mm leg length (15/16 inch)

up to 240 sheets at a time



Different Types Of Staplers

standard stapler

Standard Stapler

Also known as a desktop or office stapler, the standard stapler is the most common stapler on the market. These lightweight, portable staplers are usually capable of stapling 2 to 30 pieces of paper at a time and are best at keeping low-volume documents together. They hold strips of standard 1/4 inch (6mm) staples.

mini stapler

Mini Stapler

Mini staplers are similar to a standard stapler, but they are smaller and more portable. If you don’t use a stapler very often or your desk real estate is limited, a mini stapler might do the trick. The downside to mini staplers is that you may not be able to staple as many sheets of paper together at once, and you’ll need to refill it much more often.

long reach stapler

Long Reach Stapler

A long reach stapler, also known as a longneck stapler, is designed for large binding projects, such as a catalog, booklet, or brochure. Its extra-long throat makes it ideal for stapling large projects along a folded spine. This type of stapler generally comes with an adjustable paper stop with measurements so you can staple precisely where you intend to. The stop feature helps align multiple staples across a folded document.

heavy duty stapler

Heavy Duty Stapler

If you want to bind hundreds of pages together at once, you’re going to need the big dog: the heavy-duty stapler. Its large handle provides greater leverage so the staples can cleanly penetrate through every page with minimal effort on your part. Heavy-duty staples can bind over 200 pages at once.

electric stapler

Electric Stapler

Electric staplers eliminate the work involved in stapling. They can provide a cleaner staple, so you don’t need to worry about jammed staplers, twisted staples, or ripped pages. They are best suited for offices that need to do a lot of stapling, as they save time and reduce any strain on your hands.

Some electric staplers use standard staple strips, while others require staple cartridges. The downside is they rely on a power source, so you’ll either need to be in range of an outlet or be prepared to change batteries every so often.



Types Of Staples Needed For Blue Summit Supplies Staplers


Stapler Type

Staple Sizes

Staple Recommendations

Uses and Features

Standard Stapler

(6000 staples included)

Holds standard size staples: 

- 1/4 inch

- 6mm

- 23/6


- Blue Summit Supplies Standard Staples

Bostitch Premium Standard Staples

- desktop use in the office, home, or classroom

- up to 15 sheet capacity

- opens flat for tacking (posting on a wall/corkboard)

- 12 inch (30cm) range from edge

Effortless Stapler

(2000 staples included)

Holds standard size staples: 

- 1/4 inch

- 6mm

- 23/6


Blue Summit Supplies Standard Staples

Bostitch Premium Standard Staples

- desktop use in the office, home, or classroom

- heavy-duty and everyday stapling tasks

- up to 60 sheet capacity

Long Reach Stapler

(2000 staples included)

Holds standard size staples: 

1/4 inch




Blue Summit Supplies Standard Staples

Bostitch Premium Standard Staples

bind booklets, catalogs, or pamphlets

- offices, churches, crafting, or classrooms

- up to 20 sheet capacity

- extra large range of up to 12 inches

- adjustable sliding paper stop with integrated ruler measurements

Heavy Duty Stapler

(1000 23/13 staples and 1000 23/24 staples included) 

Holds staples sized from 8mm to 24mm in length (23/8 - 23/24)


Bostitch Heavy Duty Premium Staples (various lengths)

staple small or large amounts of paper

up to 240 sheet capacity

holds staples sized from 8mm in length to 24mm length



A Little Bit of Staple History

So, now you know a little bit more about staples. Still hungry for more? How about learning how the first stapler came to be?

Legend has it the stapler was first created in France in the 18th century, commissioned into existence by no other than the King of France at the time, King Louis XV. Lou was looking for a more expedient way to fasten his royal documents together, and et voila, the stapler was born. The staples the King used were a bit different than the ones we’ve described above: Lou’s staples bore his royal court’s insignia, and some claim they were made of gold and encrusted with jewels. Gawdy to us, maybe, but pretty on-brand for a King.


First Stapler



A stapler for the common man didn’t appear for public use until the 19th century. For whatever reason, several different people filed patents for devices designed to staple paper toward the bottom half of the 1800s. There is some dispute as to who actually deserves the credit, but the first stapler appeared in 1879 and was called the McGill Single-Stroke Staple Press.



More From Blue Summit Supplies

💡 Guide to Buying the Best Stapler

💡 Getting a Grip on Office Supply Inventory Management

💡 Clipboard Storage Guide for the Classroom, Home, and Office


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bill lamb



12mm wide staples fit an older gray model STAPLES one-touch with the word STAPLES stamped in red ink. I actually need more of these staples, went into the STAPLES store today and they did not have them. Regular staples appear to be 1-2 mm narrower.
Can anyone advise where I can get them? Please send answer to


Hi there, Brian Springthorpe!

I did a little research and from what I can tell, the staples you have in your possession should fit a staple gun, and not a standard office supply stapler. I would suggest taking your staples to a hardware store and seeing if someone can’t help you find an apparatus to match them, so they don’t go to waste!

I hope this helps!


Hi Shimon!

Those larger numbers (805, 806, 808, 809) are simply the item/product numbers Swingline uses to identify that type of staple. The corresponding fraction is a measurement of the length of the staple in inches. Your particular stapler will take Swingline Heavy Duty Staples that are all 1/4in, 5/16in, 3/8in, 1/2in, and 9/16in in length.

We carry some of these staples on our website and you can find them at the link right there:

I hope this helps!


I was very happy to see that you answer questions 😃, I have one too.
I have a Swingline #800 Heavy Duty Tacker. After many years, I have run out of staples. It says it uses Swingline 804-¼, 805-⁵/¹⁶, 806-⅜, 808-½, 809-⁹/¹⁶, but I can’t find such things.
What do those numbers represent? Are there any other equivalent staples?
Thank you so much for any help!

Brian Springthorpe

In amongst all of my staples I have a size that I cannot identify. I do not have a gun or stapler that they fit.

The crown width is just under 12mm (7/16") over the staple. The inside measurement is 10.31mm (13/32").

The staple is too big to fit a No.10 stapler and is too small to be efficient in a stapler that takes 12mm wide staples.

Can anyone tell me what size stapler I should look for for these staples as I have thousands of them and I don’t really want to throw them out?


Hello Steve! From what I’ve seen, Etsy seems to be another platform to consider when looking for staples for vintage staplers. I did read a blog post for this stapler claiming that they could be used with standard staples, with several comments from others claiming they successfully used standard staples with the ACEliner. Hope this helps!


I’ve been unsuccessful in finding staples for my ACE Liner Model No. 205 vintage stapler. I’ve tried eBay and Amazon both came up negative.
The width of the required No. 2025 staples are 7/16" not the standard 1/2" width.
Can you help?


Hello David! I did a bit of research, and it looks like the stales you need are about 1/4 inch wide, which is not a standard size. If you’ve already checked eBay, you may also want to check Etsy – there seems to be quite a few sellers with vintage staplers and staples. Hope this helps!


I’m looking for really small staples for an old pen stapler. You can’t find the staplers except maybe on ebay. I have the stapler but I need staples.

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