You just don't know how valuable that little stapler is to you, until it breaks and you are left with piles of unfastened pages to sort through. Most stapler problems are caused by rough use, such as slamming the top of the stapler down with your palm instead of gripping both sides of the stapler carefully as you press down gently. If you need to fix a stapler the process is usually simple, but in some cases it could be damaged beyond a basic repair. In the latter case, unless your stapler is especially high-end, it's best to save yourself the aggravation of fiddling with it and just purchase a new one.

Grasp the stainless steel part of the stapler with one hand, and the plastic/acrylic top with the other. Pull them apart until you can see the inside of the stapler.

Move all of the good staples that you can grab back from the head of the stapler and remove them temporarily.

Use your tweezers to pull as many of the staples from the front of the stapler out as possible. Your goal is to get to the very first staple at the front, which is probably lodged in. If you can't get that last staple out with your tweezers, try inserting a small flathead screwdriver inside. Work it under the jammed staple until it's free. Use the flathead screwdriver to push the jammed staple up and out from the bottom of the stapler head.

If you have a heavy-duty stapler (the ones that are used to attach pictures and wires to hard surfaces) the staples are longer and more difficult to remove when lodged into the stapler head. First pull out the spring assembly. Use a pair of needle-nosed pliers to pull the jammed staples out of the head of the stapler. In a worst-case scenario, it could help to drop the stapler on a solid surface a few times to loosen up the staples.

Things You Will Need
  • Tweezers

  • Small flathead screwdriver

  • Needle-nosed pliers


Don't overload your stapler with staples. This is a common cause of staple jams.

Be sure that you are using the right staples to go with your stapler. Some staples are slightly narrower and longer than the common 1/4-inch staples used in offices.

You will lessen your chances of a jam when you buy high-quality staples.


Trying to use your fingers to remove the jammed staple from underneath the stapler head will probably result in a pricked finger.