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The Best Finish Stapler

Finish Stapler Reviews

Our Top Pick is the Dewalt DWFP12232

A finishing stapler is a fastening tool designed to inject staples of various sizes and thicknesses into various materials. It is powerful enough to go through heavy fabrics as well as soft woods and leaves a smoother finish than traditional nails. A finish stapler is often more effective than nail guns because some materials are easily broken or tear easily. More delicate materials are secured by the crown of the staple and will hold the two pieces together effectively without damaging your material.

When something is nailed instead of stapled, the head of the nail can pull through softer material and cause the material to break or tear. When that happens the nail is not able to provide a secure attachment. This is true for such things as upholstery fabric, roofing felt, and house wrap. Many homeowners, home improvement professionals and DIYers have both a nail gun and a finish stapler in order to complete both jobs effectively. A finish stapler can be a very effective tool for holding things together in applications where a nail gun would fall short.

Finish staplers work by using a narrow crown-shaped staple usually between ¼ of an inch and 1.5 inches in length. Then, with the power provided from an air compressor, and the piston action in the stapler, the staple will be shot into the material at the exact spot you need. Industrial staples are strong enough to hold both heavy fabrics and softer woods (like trim pieces) in place effectively.

We tested and evaluated 26 finish staplers in search of the best stapler on the market. We looked for one that includes both quality construction and high value for small shop and home use. After testing, the Dewalt DWFP12232 crown stapler kit was the best in its class. This 18-gauge stapler will accept ½ inch to 1-1/2 inch staples and does not jam even with the longest staples. The magnesium construction creates a strong build with a lighter weight body which reduces hand stress and increases efficiency. Add a maintenance-free motor and a depth adjustment for perfect staples every time and it becomes obvious why it is the best in its class.

Who Should Buy This?

Owning a finishing stapler would benefit anyone who does home repairs or furniture building. If you work in construction or roofing, a finish stapler is a must have. For furniture building that includes covered or cloth material, a finish stapler is also critical to building high quality furniture. For those who work with molding, crafts, or softer woods a finish stapler can be more effective than a nail gun and leave smaller marks with no indentations in the wood. They are easy to use and widely enjoyed by both DIYers and professionals alike. They are inexpensive as far as tools go. They are also lightweight and compact making them a good addition for any homeowner.

What Makes a Good Finish Stapler?

There are several components that make up a good finish stapler. The first being the motor. These tools are small and have motors that give you the power to drive the staple into the material being attached. In addition to the motor, the stapler requires an air compressor which can be adjusted to increase or decrease the power needed. The motor and the casing material will be a major factor in the weight of the stapler. As this is a hand held tool the weight will impact how long you are able to use the stapler without needing to take a break. Most motors need to be lubricated on a regular basis. This can lead to excess oil on the tool and drips on the material you are working with. Some higher-end models offer a maintenance free motor which generally has a longer life, less maintenance and no issues with excess oil.

Finish StaplerThe material used to construct the stapler will be a factor in both the weight and how long the tool lasts. Material that is durable and will withstand weathering and frequent use will hold up better. Staplers that have plastic parts tend to be lighter but break sooner as the plastic does not wear as well as metals. Metal material must be kept out of moist environments to prevent rust, are heavier and stronger than plastics. Magnesium is a new material being used in tools. It has the strength of metal without the additional weight giving it the best of both worlds. Magnesium is a strong reliable metal that is not only durable but can provide a lifetime of high performance. Its lighter weight makes the use of the tool more comfortable during hours of use, as well as giving you the feeling of greater control.

A reload indicator will let you know when you need to reload staples and prevents you from shooting blanks. A depth adjuster will enable you to set the depth that you want the staple to go to. This feature prevents shooting the staple with too much power for the material and creating indentations in the material. A sequential trigger allows you to shoot multiple staples when the stapler touches the material instead of having to press on the material. This again helps to eliminate indentations in the material or soft wood. It also speeds up the jobs as you are able to shoot more staples per minute.

The weight of the stapler is important along with the size. A smaller size and longer nose allows you to get in tight spaces and a lighter tool reduces hand stress and enables you to work for longer periods. The last consideration is the size of staples that the stapler will accept. This will determine which projects can be completed with the stapler.

How We Tested

We began by conducting a general search for all of the finish staplers available on the market, we were then able to narrow our search by identifying what qualities make up the best finish staplers and compared these top qualities with the availability in the market. After narrowing the list we took a detailed look at the top brands and models and considered factors such as price, performance, and durability. Next we tested and evaluated the use of the staplers in real world applications. After testing we consulted with professionals who use finish staplers on a daily basis and gathered their opinions around the long term use and performance of the top brands and models. We then consulted with home improvement blogs, tool websites and home reviewers to add their experiences with ours. Lastly we evaluated Amazon customer reviews to complete our final evaluation.

Our Pick



Finish Stapler Type Pneumatic
Motor Type Maintenance Free: No Oil Required
Construction Material Magnesium
Staple Type ¼” Crown
Staple Sizes Accepted ½ inch to 1 ½ inches
Staple Capacity 100 Staples
Item Weight 5 pounds
Product Dimensions 13 x 3.7 x 13.1 inches
Warranty 3 Year

The Dewalt DWFP12232 was the best finish stapler in its class and comes with a maintenance free motor that never needs to be oiled. This increases the life of the stapler and produces consistent performance. The stapler is built from magnesium giving it a strong and durable construction that is also lightweight. It only weighs 5 pounds reducing hand stress and increasing your ability to work longer without a break. This 18-gauge stapler will accept ¼ inch crown staples and can accommodate staples from ½ inch to 1 ½ inches in size.

For increased precision the tool comes with a depth of drive adjustment that allows you to choose and lock in the exact depth you require based on the staple size for your project. It has a sequential trigger which can speed up your work and enable you to staple quickly without the need to press on the material each time. It also has a reload indicator that lets you know when the staples are running low and need to be replaced. It also includes a non-marring nose tip that is removable. This feature will help eliminate marks on the material you are working with.

The Dewalt DWFP12232completes small and medium size jobs without jamming and offers a comfortable rubber grip and complete control, even in tight spaces. Its compact size is also a great feature as it makes this device easy to transport from job to job and is easy to store.There is an adjustable belt that will fit on your tool belt and tool storage to keep staples with the stapler. A rear exhaust keeps debris clear from your work area. A three year warranty and satisfaction guarantee is also included.

Who Else Likes It

At they love the Dewalt DWFP 12232 because, “With the exceptional holding power that a staple can deliver over a conventional brad nail, woodworkers and do-it-yourself enthusiasts are embracing staple guns like the Dealt DWFP 12232…Cabinet backs, drawer bottoms, carpet installations… This is my “go to” pneumatic fastening device.”

Staple guns reviews online wrote “Whether you are a professional that has to work around the clock to finish a project, or if you have more time to spare during a weekend working on your favorite project, the DEWALT DWFP12232 can prove to be a great helper.”

Amazon customers give the Dewalt DWFP 12232 a 4.4 out of 5 from 28 reviewers. One five-star review had this to say about the Dewalt, “This device had no problem going through thick stair runner carpet. I installed the runner over my existing carpet to prevent wear/tear. It drove 1 1/4 staples with no jams and was easy to reload.”

Another Amazon reviewer wrote, “So lightweight…It feels lighter than plastic but it’s metal, gotta love magnesium tools. Best thing is its oil-less so there is no oil to ruin your job. I bought it to fix a few cabinets that were old, used and abused. This stapler came with 1″ staples I ordered other sizes – it shoots them flawlessly every time.”

The Step Up

If you are in the need for more precision, then the Bostitch BTFP72156 smart point offers a smaller nose for pin point accuracy. This tool has smart point technology for easy and precise nail and staple placement as well as an integrated air blower for easy debris and dust removal. It also features a tool free jam release mechanism that allows easy removal of nails or staples that may become stick.

For precision depth control the dial-a-depth feature will give you an exact counter-sinking of nails and staples. There is a selectable trigger system for sequential and contact operations. It can handle staples from 1 ¼ inch to 2 ½ inches. It is extremely lightweight and compact relieving hand stress and increases the ability to get in hard to reach applications.

Top Finish Stapler Comparison

Staple Capacity
Staple Length (Inches)
Warranty (Years)
Limited Lifetime

Care Use And Maintenance

All power tools require attention to safety to prevent accidents. A staple gun can be very powerful even though you may think, “it’s only a staple.” With the power of the motor and air compressor a staple gun can cause damage to your body especially if it were to penetrate a sensitive area like your eye. For this reason, caution and safety precautions should always be used.

Safety Recommendations

  • Always wear impact resistant eye protection with side shields
  • Only use clean air to power your gun. Never attempt to use oxygen, carbon dioxide or any other types of gas.
  • Use your tool only for the job it was intended.
  • Always point your gun down when attaching air to the gun, and maintain a firm grip during this process.
  • Always inspect your tool before each use and never continue or begin use of a stapler if the safety, trigger or springs are not operating properly.
  • Never attempt any kind of maintenance or repairs while the air is connected.
  • Always read the manual before beginning


  • Store stapler in a cool dry place
  • Ensure the stapler is unloaded before storing
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance. Some staplers need to be oiled regularly, while others are maintenance free.

Wrapping It Up

Finish Staplers are useful and powerful tools that when cared for properly can turn any project into a masterpiece. They can tackle a variety of projects including upholstery, soft wood, roofing tiles, felt, trap, building wrap, and many other applications. If you work with wood or in the construction field having a top quality stapler will make your work more efficient and provide professional looking results.