The stapler’s secret

And now for what may be the most prosaic post in Eternal Recurrence history: examining your stapler! Yes, your stapler. A simple object you’ve used thousands of times and probably feel like you’ve mastered. Well, think again. Your stapler may possess a mysterious feature…

Here’s what the base, or anvil, of a stapler looks like prepared for normal operation:

Normal stapler anvil

But push up on that metal plate and it rotates:

Stapler morph

Turn it 180 degrees and it displays an anthropomorphic smiley face:

Oh hai i stapled ur paperz

But that’s not the point! Now the staple bends outward instead of inward, like this (top normal, bottom reversed):

Crazy, man

Wow! My friend Caleb showed me this yesterday, though even he was unsure of why staplers do this. Wikipedia has the answer:

Pinning

This method is by far the least known and utilized stapling method. It is used to temporarily bind documents or other items, often cloth or clothing, for sewing. In order to pin, the anvil must be shifted so that the staple bends outwards instead of inwards. The staple binds the item with relative security, but can be easily removed by pulling the staple along the plane of the paper. This method varies between staplers, as some anvils need to be simply pushed forward to allow pinning, while others must be rotated. Some staplers implement pinning by bending one leg of the staple inwards, while bending the other outwards. Some modern staplers do not even include support for pinning.

Since learning of this feature I’ve shown it to lots of people and only one of them was aware of it. So informal poll time, blog readers. You’re an intelligent mob and have been around your share of staplers. How many of you knew they could do this?

Bonus link: I’m sure you’re dying to go play with a stapler now, but you may not have one nearby. No worries, the internet offers a handy virtual stapler for all of your virtual stapling needs.

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Trackbacks

  1. […] Blogger Jacob Grier discovers what Wikipedia calls “the least known stapling method”: pinning. If you rotate the plate on the bottom of your stapler, it will bend staples outward instead of inward to fasten things temporarily. Easily remove a pinned staple by pulling it along the plane of the document. Many modern staplers don’t have this feature any more, so pick up an old-school model to try it out. The stapler’s secret [Eternal Recurrence] […]

  2. […] Blogger Jacob Grier discovers what Wikipedia calls “the least known stapling method”: pinning. If you rotate the plate on the bottom of your stapler, it will bend staples outward instead of inward to fasten things temporarily. Easily remove a pinned staple by pulling it along the plane of the document. Many modern staplers don’t have this feature any more, so pick up an old-school model to try it out. The stapler’s secret [Eternal Recurrence] […]

  3. […] Since, for three weeks anyway, I’m a woman of leisure – I get to play with fun stuff on the internets. Today’s highlight and chief activity, for example, is staple pinning. I guess I’m lucky that the ex that I stole my stapler from had high class taste, because its does rotate for the temporary pin instead of the permanent bind. The coolest thing? You can use it for sewing! No more gnarly staple removers and no more straight pins. Today IS a good day. […]

  4. […] Blogger Jacob Grier discovers what Wikipedia calls “the least known stapling method”: pinning. If you rotate the plate on the bottom of your stapler, it will bend staples outward instead of inward to fasten things temporarily. Easily remove a pinned staple by pulling it along the plane of the document. Many modern staplers don’t have this feature any more, so pick up an old-school model to try it out. The stapler’s secret [Eternal Recurrence] […]

  5. […] A temporary Staple [Eternal Recurrence] […]

  6. […] [via Blogger Jacob Grier] […]

  7. […] staplers don’t have this feature any more, so pick up an old-school model to try it out.The stapler’s secret [Eternal Recurrence] (via Lifehacker)   If you enjoyed this article, please […]

  8. […] Some good information from Lifehacker and Jacob Grier that I found amazing…check out http://www.jacobgrier.com/blog/archives/780.html for how to use your stapler to “pin” your documents […]

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