Years ago I was working on cleaning out some old furniture left behind by old tenants at an apartment house I own. It was a hot summer day and it was as humid as can be! I came with an axe and my reciprocating saw, because I planned to bust up the furniture to make it easier to carry to the curb for garbage collection. I started with an old, beat up sofa left in the living room. I turned it over and swung away with the axe. The wood members of the furniture busted up, but in the middle sections, but I had to rip the upholstery material in order to separate the wood from the sofa. This did not work out as I had planned. When I looked closer at the material on the wooden parts, I noticed that they were held together by short, wire staples. No matter how much chopping away I did with my axe, the staples held the wood to the material together. I had a great workout and I was drenched with sweat, before giving up and dragging the partially busted up furniture as it was (at least now it fit through the door!).
Recommend this product?
Then, I was at the Home Depot a short time later. They were clearing out some air powered tools in their "Tool Coral". One of them was the Porter Cable US58 Crown Upholstery Stapler. It was a display model that came complete with everything the new staplers had, so I bought it (at 50% off!). I had some furniture projects I was working on and I wanted to use an air stapler, recalling the fun I had with that old coach holding together and all.
This air stapler looks like most of my other Porter Cable tools. It has the typical grey and black finish, a comfortable padded handle, and a handsome design. The tool is very light and easy to work with. Having several other Porter Cable staplers, I thought this would be similar in that it would take a wide range of different sized staples. Not so with this one! I soon found that this tool ONLY uses 3/8" crown type staples. Also, these staples are not easy to find! I had to search high and low to get them, and finally found some at a local hardware store that featured Porter Cable air tools.
Yet, the tool works great! My primary use for this tool was to put new padding on a group of bar stools I was finishing off for my game room. The rather small sized staples are ideal for using on 1/2" thick plywood, which was another project I used it for. I tacked a burlap material over plywood to make some bulletin boards for the game room. I also used it to tack vinyl cushions to benches for the children's play room.
What is particularly nice about using this air stapler, vs. a similar manual stapler or electric staple is that the staple goes in nice and deep, and the crown is rather flush with the work piece or material being staples. I usually adjust my air compressor pressure level to about 80 PSI, although the tool will can be used between 70-120 PSI (depending on the density of the wood). Electric staples do not drive as deep and often the crown sticks out a bit, which requires smashing down with a hammer.
The tool is, for me, a limited use tool. It would be a great tool for someone in the upholstery business, or someone who does a lot of crafts work or interior decorating. The staples hold the material tenaciously to the wood, and once driven in, they do not come out. But, I would not use this for construction purposes (to tack up paneling, molding, etc.) The staples are not long enough and you would be better off choosing another stapler.
I've used the stapler quiet a bit over the years (most recently, the other day to fix my daughter's Barney TV chair uphostery). It has never jammed on me, and always drives the staples in the wood nice and deep. The staple still looks like new, despite having been dropped and kicked around.
The tool came in a typical grey plastic Porter Cable carrying case along with an Allen wrench, and an air inlet fitting (steel vs. brass). It uses a standard air compressor. You should always use safety glasses when using this tool!
This is a quality made tool, but I would only recommend it to someone who is using it for upholstery work or craft work. There are other multi-purpose staplers available that may have more uses to other folks. It is the only stapler I use when doing upholstery work, but other staplers I own could be used for this purpose. The stapler currently sells for about $75 online and can be purchased at stores that sell Porter Cable air tools (I do not believe Home Depot carries it any longer). You will need standard C type 22 gauge staples (which are not available in all stores), but it does not have to be Porter Cable brand staples (mine are made by Senco - another air tool maker). Thanks for reading my review and best wishes for a nice day!