_____ <--Force adjustment
| |____________________________/\<-- safety catch
| H |____________________________||__
| a | _________________________ \
| m | | | |
| m | |__Grip___________________| |
| e | |
| r |________________________________|
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A device used to rapidly insert staples into surfaces with great force. Contained within the front of the staple gun is a spring-loaded hammer, which is drawn back by compressing the trigger towards the body of the gun. As the hammer rises, the spring-loaded magazine pushes a staple under the hammer. Once the hammer is loaded with to specific force, the trigger disengages from it, and the hammer slams down on the staple.
A small spring drives the trigger upwards - if it is allowed to reach a certain height, it re-engages with the hammer, readying the gun to drive another staple.
A safety catch prevents the hammer from raising, allowing the gun to be stored and transported without the risk of it stapling anything or anyone.
As well as conventional staples, many staple guns accept round-topped 'cable tacks', used to staple cables to surfaces, and small nails, allowing it to be used as a light-duty nail gun. More expensive staple guns allow the disengage force to be changed; higher forces can drive thicker and longer staples, but excessive force can damage the surface being stapled, even driving the body of the staple into it, or cutting a cable in half. There also exist electric and pneumatic staple guns, where the hard work of pulling back the hammer is done by a motor or compressor, instead of by hand.
The staple gun is aptly-named - its 'firing' mechanism bears more than a slight resemblance to that of a revolver, or a child's capgun. As well as driving staples deep into a surface with a satisfying THUNK, if the disengage force is set high enough, a staple gun can fire staples a good few meters. This may go some way to explaining its attraction to children, young and old.