"I believe you have my stapler?"

Back in the days before internet, precious hours have been wasted contemplating the common stapler. Now, all our stapler-related queries (and there are many) may be answered with the click of a button. Well, several clicks. And some keystrokes. Shut up.
For example, have you ever wondered what the purpose of making "outty" staples is?

You can turn the metallic square shown here (which is called an anvil, if you must know) around to produce staples that don't "embrace" the paper but rather "open their arms wide" to welcome the pile of pages. The question is, what the hell for? Bored employees the world over must have been pondering this enigma.
And then there was Google. Simply type "stapler" and the first (non-sponsored) link you see is the Stapler Database. Apparently, there is enough information about staplers to warrant a Database (with a capital D no less). The site purports to be "The biggest serious website totally about stapler information" (italics mine). There are numerous huge humorous websites totally about stapler information, as we all know.
Anyway, click the link and hey presto, the first question on the front page answers our query immediately:


#1 Q)Every stapler I have ever seen in my life (with the exception of those tiny little ones) has a switch to make the tangs on the staples bend in or out. I have yet to figure out what the advantage is to having the staples bend out. More puzzling to me is the fact that all stapler companies seem to feel that this is an important feature of a stapler, but I have yet to meet anybody who uses the bend out option, or even knows why it's there. So why is the switch on there?
A) This is called the Pinning/Stapling switch. It is located on the anvil. The pinning function is a carryover from the time before staple removers. It makes the staple form a relatively straight form. You can staple two pieces of paper together, then pull out the staple. Good for temporary fastening. It's kind of a paperclip competitor. You can also use it when sewing. Instead of using pins, you just staple. There is also one used on Hotchkisses and some Bates staplers that makes one end go in and one go out. You pull the side with the crimped down staple to get the staple out.

So now you know this utterly useless factoid. Bask in the radiant wisdom that is the World Wide Web. Revel in the existence of an actual Stapler Database. All is well with the world.

Posted by cronopio at 01:06 PM, May 19, 2005