Office staples come in various types.


A staple is a piece of metal wire bent into a "U" shape a top (or crown) and 2 "legs" (or shanks). The ends of the legs may be blunt, centrally pointed or have teeth (point at the side).


Some staples are flat rather than round and these have a width.


The total length of the wire in mm =

= (length of top in mm) + (2 * (length of legs in mm))


Most staples are described as a ratio X/Y where:

(1) X indicates the wire gauge (using the British Imperial Standard, also referred to as SWG)

(2) Y indicates the length of the "legs" in mm


Common wire gauges are:

(1) 26 (0.46 mm)

(2) 24 (0.56 mm)

(3) 23 (0.61 mm)

(4) 13 (2.34 mm)

The smaller the gauge the thicker the wire.


The length of the legs affect both:

(1) the number of sheets of paper that can be held together

(2) the fold over the holds the staple in place


number of sheets of paper that can be held =

= ((length of leg) - (length of foldover)) / (thickness of a sheet in mm)


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