Can 20 Gauge Crown Staples and Fine Wire Staples be Used Interchangeably?

Feb 19, 2024 | NEWS

When undertaking projects that require stapling materials together, it’s important to choose the right type and size of staple for the job. Two common varieties are 20 gauge crown staples and 20 gauge fine wire staples. But can they be substituted for each other, or do their design differences matter?

Understanding Staple Types

Crown staples feature a distinctive crown-shaped prong structure that folds inward when the staple is driven. This circular prong shape prevents materials from slipping out after installation.

Fine wire staples have straight, thin prongs that simply flex outward as the staple penetrates materials. They lack the rigid crown structure.

Material Differences

Crown staples are made from thicker gauge wire for added strength and rigidity at the prongs. Their thicker wire also makes removal more difficult once installed.

Fine wire staples utilize a finer 20 gauge wire to reduce material fatigue during repetitive bending. Their small wire gauge also makes them easier to insert and remove.

Applications for Crown Staples

Due to their rigid crown design, 20 gauge crown staples work very well for:

  • Attaching insulating backing materials like foam board or fiberglass batting to surfaces.
  • Securing carpet padding layers together during installation.
  • Fastening thin vinyl or composite roofing materials to decks or surfaces.
  • Holding landscaping fabrics in place over weed barriers or ground-covers.

Applications for Fine Wire Staples

Projects better suited to finer 20 gauge wire staples include:

  • Temporarily holding paper, cardboard or thin plastic sheeting in place.
  • Assembling light cardboard or corrugated packaging materials.
  • Hanging posters, charts or lightweight decorations on bulletin boards.
  • Attaching fabric samples, swatches or ribbons to surfaces for display.
  • Bundling electrical wires or cables together in loose groupings.

When Interchangeability is Risky

While 20 gauge staples of both types can be driven using standard staple guns, there are some situations where substituting the wrong style may cause issues:

  • Crown staples could tear through thin papers/fabrics due to their thick wire gauge.
  • Fine wire staples won’t grip rigid insulation well and could allowslippage after installation.
  • Outdoor applications with sheathing/siding exposure favor crown staples for long-term holding power.
  • Applications involving repeated stresses would benefit from crown staples’ durability.

In general, crown staples offer superior gripping for thicker/more rigid materials like insulations. Fine wire staples suffice for lightweight, indoor or temporary use cases. Proper staple selection minimizes risks of material damage or failure over time.

Other Considerations

Factor in other job specifics like thickness of laminated materials and expected frequency of removal/replacement. Confirm the stapler gauge matches that of the staples. Consider rust resistance for outdoor/wet exposures where applicable. With judicious selection based on these application variables, 20 gauge crown and fine wire staples can each play an important role in all manner of construction, assembly and installation tasks.