How to Use a Hammer Tacker

What You'll Need
A hammer tacker
Staples for the hammer tacker
Safety gloves
Safety goggles
Something to staple

If you have a project where staples will work better than nails or screws for attaching material to a wooden surface, a hammer tacker can make quick work of the job. A hammer tacker is a type of staple gun that inserts a staple whenever the head of the tool quickly strikes a hard object. A hammer tacker can be used for many purposes, such as: installing roofing paper, carpet backing or even installing insulation. You use a hammer tacker much in the same way as you would a regular hammer; however, there are a couple of differences and things you should know in order to use the tool effectively. Not to fear though as this simple how-to guide will tell you everything you need to know.

Step 1 - Know the Limits of Your Hammer Tacker

Before you begin using a hammer tacker, you should be aware of the tool's limitations. Although some types of heavy-duty hammer tacker's can drive a staple through a piece of plywood or even thin sheet metal, it is not recommended that you use the tool in this matter. You should not use a hammer tacker to attach one piece of wood to another. A hammer tacker is designed to quickly insert staples through softer types of building materials into wood. A hammer tacker is best for installing materials such as felt paper, insulation or even carpet backing. If you do choose to use a hammer tacker to attach very hard materials, don't be surprised if the tool doesn't last very long or fails to perform as expected.

Step 2 - Use Safety Equipment

Before you begin to use the hammer tacker, always ensure that you are wearing safety goggles just in case a staple pops back into your eye. Also, it may be a good idea to wear safety gloves if you are going to be using your free hand to help position materials that will be stapled. If you've ever hit your finger or thumb with a regular hammer, imagine what a staple in the back of the hand would feel like.

Step 3 - Choose Correct Staple for the Job

Before you begin a project with your hammer tacker, choose the correct size staple for the job. Most hammer tackers will allow you to insert staples between 8 mm to 10 mm in depth. When choosing a staple size, you should always choose the shortest staple possible that will adequately secure the material you want to install. For example, if you're going to install roofing felt paper, you don't need to use a long 9/16 inch staple. In most cases a 3/16 inch staple would work just as well and cost a lot less money.

Step 4 - Load the Magazine on the Hammer Tacker

Once you determine the best size of staple to use, release the magazine spring and load the clip of the hammer tacker with staples.

Step 5 - Position the Material to Be Stapled

Use your free hand to position the material you want to staple while preparing to insert the staple with the hammer tacker in your other hand.

Step 6 - Start Inserting Staples with the Hammer Tacker

Similar to using a regular hammer, you need to take aim at the position where you want to insert the staple and strike the material in the correct spot. Try to keep the head of the hammer tacker straight and level as you strike the surface of the material. After a couple of swings, you should get the hang of it and then be able to successfully drive staples into the material.