The 5 Best Hammer Tackers Reviewed

Hammer Tackers

Hammer tackers, or slap staplers, let you staple by swinging instead of pulling a staple gun's trigger (Source).

They are primarily designed for use in the roofing and flooring industries, particularly for fixing carpet, insulation, underlay, plastic sheeting as well as dealing with roofing felt (Source). 

One of our favorite slap staplers is the Tacwise tacker. This 7 oz. hammer tacker is pretty lightweight and buyers in general are fairly satisfied, with many saying that it helps them to avoid developing trigger finger, a type of tendinitis, from pulling on a staple trigger gun hundreds of times a day.

Hammer tackers generally get the job done faster, so they're time-savers. Plus they give you a foot and a half of extra reach, which can be a real help depending on what you're working on. 

Let's take a look at five of the best-selling slap staplers on the market today and see how they compare.

Hammer tackers Compared

The Top 5 Hammer tackers

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

The Stanley heavy-duty hammer tacker is efficient, durable, and suitable for roof or carpet installation and insulation. Users love the compact design, but some note that they had problems to load it. With a size of 3.8″ x 1.5″ x 13.8″, this staple hammer tacker has a rubber grip to protect your hands, a durable steel construction, and a weight of 2 pounds.

You can load it with the SharShooter TRA 700 or Arrow T-50 staples, and it can hold two full sticks. Overall, it’s a good stapler, but it has some performance issues.

A reviewer stated that he used the Stanley hammer stapler to put down the felt on his roof, and it worked great for most of the time. The user warns that you should keep pliers around in case it jams and that you shouldn’t under any circumstances try to bang it.

Another customer mentions that hammer staple tacker works best with ¼-inch staples, and he has gone through nearly a 1000 staples, and it still hasn’t jammed. A happy user also comments that this is a reliable, durable carpet stapler, but he warns that the Stanley TR704 staples won’t fit because they’re too long.

One unhappy customer shares that he bought two of the Stanley hammer tackers, and they didn’t work at all, while an extremely dissatisfied user states that the stapler got jammed three times in six staples, and he just threw it away in the end.

Pros

  • Rubber grip
  • Steel construction
  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight
  • Can hold two staple sticks

Cons

  • Jams regularly
  • Difficult to load
  • Complaints of malfunctioning

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

This heavy-duty hammer stapler offered by Arrow Fastener is convenient, durable, and practical. Users love that it’s easy to use this hammer stapler, but some do note there are no instructions how to load it.

The Arrow hammer stapler tacker has a size of 6″ x 8″ x 1″ inches, a power grip handle, a durable steel construction, a jam-proof mechanism, a retractable striking edge, and a chrome finish. You can load it with two strips of T50 staples in the following sizes: -5/16″, 3/8″ and 1/2″. This hammer stapler weighs only 2.2 pounds, and it could be useful for anyone in need of hammering down a thing or two.

In general, buyers are satisfied with the Arrow hammer tacker, but they have some complaints about its functionality. One user shared that he figured out how to load the stapler quickly, even though he had never used a stapler before.

The reviewer states that he used almost a whole box of staples and the Arrow staple tacker didn’t jam even once. Another customer mentions that this hammer tacker doesn’t require much force, and he does his job quickly and without much effort.

However, some customers have complained that the Arrow stapler jams every few staples or that it didn’t even work. Some also warn that if you use too much force, you will bruise your knuckles.

Pros

  • A power grip handle
  • A steel construction
  • A retractable striking edge
  • Easy to operate
  • Doesn’t require much force

Cons

  • Jams regularly
  • Complaints of malfunctioning
  • No loading instructions

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

If you want something effective and efficient for light and quick nailing, you might consider the Bostitch hammer tacker. Users love the fact that it doesn’t jam often, but some do note that it doesn’t hold as many staples as they would like. This hammer stapler by Bostitch has a size of 11″ x 2″ x 2″, a weight of 1.8 pounds, a die cast frame, durable steel components, and a quick-load magazine.

If it jams, you don’t need any tool to clear it up, and you can load it with STCR 5019-38 staples up 50 3/8 inches. Overall, it’s a high-quality hammer stapler and users recommend it.

A buyer mentions that he used this efficient hammer stapler when he reroofed his house, and it didn’t jam at all. Another customer states that it’s very easy to load the Bostitch hammer stapler in comparison to other staplers. He has two Bostitch staplers that he has been regularly using without any issues.

A happy user advises that if this hammer tacker ever jams it’s incredibly easy to unjam it – you just have to remove the small rod and everything will come apart. Moreover, it’s a piece of cake to put it back together. However, most users have complained that they can’t load the Bostitch stapler with standard staples, and they can use only the STCR 5019-38. Users also warn that the staples are hard to find, and they had to buy them online.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Efficient
  • Easy to use
  • Doesn’t jam
  • Easy to unjam
  • A quick-load magazine
  • A die cast frame

Cons

  • Uses only STCR 5019-38 which are hard to find

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

This professional chrome hammer tacker offered by Rapid is well-balanced, well-constructed, and suitable for professionals and first-time users alike. Buyers love that it’s very simple to use it, but some do note that it occasionally jams.

With a size of 1.58″ x 2.2″ x 12.01″, this Rapid 11 hammer tacker has a rubber grip, a durable steel construction, and you can load it with flat wire staples up to 3/8 inches. It’s recommended that you use the Rapid staples to avoid jamming it. It weighs only 2.2 pounds so you don’t have to worry that your hand will get tired quickly.

In general, users are extremely satisfied with the performance, durability, and efficiency of the Rapid hammer tacker stapler. One buyer mentions that this stapler has a comfortable grip, good balance, and he can easily take it apart when it occasionally jams. Another customer shares that he has used over 4000 3/8 inch staples and the staple hammer worked flawlessly, and it didn’t jam even one.

The reviewer also states that the Rapid hammer stapler is solidly built and simple to use. A happy purchaser shares that this is the best hammer tracker that he has ever owned and he would recommend it to anyone looking for a practical staple tacker. However, some customers have complained that it’s difficult to clean it when it jams or that it broke after the first couple of times.

Pros

  • Simple design
  • A rubber grip
  • A steel construction
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Occasionally jams
  • Might be difficult to unjam
  • Complaints of malfunction

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

If you are looking for a top rated hammer tacker, you might take a look at the hammer tacker stapler offered by Tacwise. Users love the easy loading mechanism, but some do note that the package was poorly packed.

This Tacwise tacker stapler has a size of 0.75″ x 4.2″ x 3.9″, a magazine capacity of 150 staples, lightweight construction, a buffer plate around the nose, and a weight of only 2 ounces. This effective hammer tacker comes with a box of 5000 140-type 3/8 inch stainless steel staples. Overall, this is a high-quality product suitable for all-day use.

In general, users agree that the Tacwise hammer stapler is perfect for people with wrist problems, and they praise its lightness, durability, and functionality. A buyer comments that it’s very easy to load and use this stapler and that he likes it more than other models because it distributes the weight better.

He would recommend it to anyone who wants to have the best hammer tacker. Another customer mentions that the Tacwise stapler is solidly built, efficient, and it requires minimal efforts. A happy reviewer shares that the rubber grip fits in his hand like a glove, and it doesn’t slip when his hands get sweaty.

However, some users have complained that they received the wrong kind of staples and that the instructions are hard to understand.

Pros

  • Slip-proof handle
  • Lightweight
  • Well-constructed
  • Easy to use
  • Requires minimal efforts
  • 5000 staples included

Cons

  • Arrived poorly packed
  • The wrong type of staples arrived
  • Unclear instruction for loading

Hammer Tacker Buying Guide

An advantage to using a hammer tacker is that it gives you another foot and a half of extra reach- this can be useful if you are working along the edge of a roof and swinging down below, or reaching up towards the tacking area, for example. A Tacwise buyer says that this hammer attacker is pretty ruggedly constructed and he also likes its rubber grip, which helps when your hands get sweaty and other tools might slip right out of your hands.

This particular reviewer says that he uses 3/8" staples, and comments that it works a lot faster than if you're using a manual grip stapling gun. In general, it's a pretty handy tool to use instead of one of those staple guns particularly when you are employing it for extended periods of time at the job site or in the home.

Yet another reviewer describes using this Tacwise stapling swinger saying that he used it to secure plastic sheeting as well as staple burlap two posts to create plant-protecting wind barriers.

Another favorite was the Arrow Fastener hammer tacker. This 2.2 lb. heavy-duty hammer tacker has a chrome finish and a steel construction that complements a jam-proof mechanism that many users endorse.

One reviewer who was initially a bit trepidatious about purchasing this hammer tacker after reading reviews of buyers who complained about experiencing staple jams was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to load with staples and how quickly and effortlessly it worked to hang plastic sheeting. He says that the tacks slid right in without having to swing it too hard and this made winterizing his property a breeze.

Using a hammer tacker on fiberglass insulation

A veteran construction worker describes the Tacwise as the best in the business- everyone uses this particular model on the job site and he has had his personal one for over two years now. Some people who experienced difficulty loading staples discovered eventually that the way to do it is to find the clip at the bottom of the tacker's handle, push it in, slide it slightly over, and you'll discover the spring will push the clip out of the handle and you'll be able to load the staples into the rod.

Another reviewer helpfully advised that if your staples just aren't embedding deeply enough into the material, it could be that you are using the wrong staple length. They advise, as much as you may be adverse to it, make sure that you read through the installation instructions so that you are apprised regarding the type of fasteners you should be using.

Another great tip that some reviewers provided is to do a little bit of maintenance on your hammer attacker to preserve it for the long-term. Since there are some moving parts, spraying it with a WD-40 type oil to prevent rust is a good idea.

Another reviewer says that the slap stapler will inevitably jam every so often. It's not a big deal, though, all you need to do is to get a small screwdriver and just pry out the staple that is bent. Another construction professional says that he used his hammer tacker in order to staple tar paper onto a plywood subfloor.

How to unjam a hammer tacker

As a veteran of this device, he does say that you can bruise your knuckles pretty quickly if you use it too fast and are hammering at a poor angle. In general, though, he says that it is a true time-saving device and helps to prevent the development of a repetitive stress injury like a trigger finger, since that is an occupational hazard for him as a construction professional.

The Bostitch hammer tacker was another well-received option. It is made from hardened steel components and promises a tool-free jam clearing, though many users did complain that you can't use standard staples with this hammer tacker. In fact, in order for this tool to work, you need to buy power crown staplers.

For that reason, it isn't our top pick. However, people that ended up purchasing the correct staples said that it is easy to load slap stapler, even easy to use when on a ladder insulating a house. A home remodeling specialist says that he used it working with vapor barriers, and baffle installations as well as roofing felt-saying that it is a particularly easy to use option that cut down the amount of time it traditionally took him to perform manual stapling.

Final Thoughts

If you are in the market for one of these manual slap staplers, make sure that you purchase the correct staples to use with your tool. As well, you'll want to be well-versed in the links of staples you'll need for the project at hand.

A lot of buyers say that they go through staples so quickly, in combination with underestimating how many they'll need, that they advise new buyers to over purchase staples so that you don't run out midway through a job and have to rush out to the local Home Depot to get more.

We have also seen that many construction professionals avoid the development of repetitive stress disorders like trigger finger from using manual staplers by using these slap staplers. Indeed this can be a good option of diversifying your movements so that you don't develop a debilitating repetitive stress injury on the job that prevents you from working. 

Buyers described having their tendons painfully swelling up. This causes their fingers to catch with the feeling of a sudden pop release, and often causes physical deformity, stiffness, lump, swelling, or tenderness. 

Because you will be stapling with a swing as opposed to pulling the trigger of a staple gun, you won't be developing this painful condition. Perhaps it makes sense to just switch off between a staple gun and a hammer tacker so that you never develop any sort of repetitive stress injuries at all.

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