Electric vs. Pneumatic Staple Gun: What are the Differences?

Electric vs. Pneumatic Staple Gun: What are the Differences?

If you’re into DIY and doing minor repair works in your home all on your own, it is good and important to know that there are three kinds of staple guns you could use for your fastening needs, especially for upholstery. Specifically, these are the Manual, Electric, and Pneumatic kind.

While the first kind is easy to distinguish, some people might find it hard to draw the line between the latter two kinds. If you’re one of those who are confused, allow us to help you distinguish between the electric vs pneumatic staple gun below.

Electric Gun


From the name itself, it’s rather obvious that the electric gun is a kind of staple gun which makes use of electricity, either through batteries or through a direct electric outlet to work out its fastening mechanism.

Inside an electric staple gun is a motor which, when the trigger gets pulled moves a scooper plate, a metal groove, an axle, and a triangular cam, which would all move to push and propel the fastening material of choice.

These are also equipped with locking mechanisms which prevent the stapler from firing shots unintentionally. There also are other mechanisms used, one for example makes use of a solenoid.


There are several advantages and disadvantages associated with the use of electric staple guns. The first pro would definitely have to be the fact that it does not require much effort to firmly fasten materials with either staple wire, nail, or tack, as all you need is a simple press.

It’s also smaller, and thus more portable, which is most especially true for the battery-powered type which you could keep and bring with you wherever you want to. Compared with the Pneumatic Gun, the use of the electric variety leaves little chance for injury to occur.

Apart from a lesser risk for injury from taking place, the good side there is to an electric staple gun is its compatibility with thin and fragile materials which could not handle the rapid force which the pneumatic staple guns tend to bring.


Despite the convenience it brings in terms of portability, relative to the Pneumatic Gun, and productivity, relative to the manual type, it is still a product that’s indeed, very much prone to malfunctioning and getting damaged. Apart from that, electric variants are known to shoot up your electric bills unknowingly, and these are also not a good choice when it comes to stronger and thicker materials.

What is it best used for?

Between Electric vs Pneumatic Staple Gun, the former is best for simple home décor works, such as small repair jobs, tacking of fabric, and drapery works. It could also be used to fix and install screens for doors and windows, upholstery work of different kinds, installation of insulation, especially in roofs, as well as installation of flooring and carpet, and lastly, for large-scale flooring and carpeting repair, as well as installation duties.

It is, however, not heavy duty enough for construction and manufacturing uses, as this is well-suited for the pneumatic type.

Pneumatic Gun


One obvious difference of the pneumatic gun compared to other kinds of staple guns is the fact that instead of using a motor that’s powered with electricity, it makes use of an intricate pneumatic system, which incorporates bursts of air, and proper air pressure to deliver the force that’s needed to fasten whatever it is that has to be fastened.

This kind of mechanism makes use of an air reservoir, as well as a valve plunger, which would enable air to flow into wherever it has to flow.


Between the electric vs pneumatic staple gun, the pneumatic commands high-performance. This can be said simply because all of these guns allow you to work on things in a much shorter span of time than you would with the electric type.

Care and maintenance for this kind is also one which is much easier to do, and thus is longer-lasting. Instead of using purely electricity, these pneumatic staple guns make use of pressurized air, and is thus easy on the electric costs.


Some of the complaints associated with the use of these Pneumatic Staple Guns is the fact that they are very bulky and heavy, and in comparison with the electric vs. pneumatic type, is significantly less portable. It also poses a higher risk in terms of malfunctioning as well, as pressurized air could cause injury to the eye.

Moreover, its operation is one which is extra noisy, and you would therefore, need extra protection to prevent damage to the ears. Lubrication is also a headache among users, as these guns need lubrication with oil, which is usually a messy job if people don’t do it the right way.

What is it best used for?

The pneumatic staple gun is definitely not suited for small-scale jobs and those which make use of fragile materials. This is also not good for light repair works.

It is also not good to use in door and window screens. It is, however suited for manufacturing and construction, and other heavy works.

The electric staple gun could be used for upholstery, repetitive stapling jobs, as well as installation of carpeting and flooring. The lesser portability of this device hinders its capacity to be used in on-the-go and emergency repairs and installations, but makes it a good choice for large-scale manufacturing and production.


In the battle between electric vs. pneumatic staple guns, the reality is that the best kind of staple gun between the two would greatly depend on what you are using it for, given that certain kinds of guns are best for certain uses.

Moreover, it would really all boil down to one’s personal preference. If you’re the techie kind of person who doesn’t mind getting covered in grease and dealing with noise and all that, then we recommend the pneumatic staple guns for you. Otherwise, we advise that you choose the former.

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