Daily Illuminator

February 27, 2024: The One Where I Talk About A Stapler

Saddle Stapler

I recently regaled you all with my recommendation of software to make booklets. Those of you who sprinted out to buy the app may have quickly realized that you've ended up with a pile of loose pages that – although folded into a correctly numbered booklet – do not actually form a booklet. That's because you need a stapler. A very special stapler.

A saddle stapler (also sometimes known as a "saddle stitcher") differs from its other staplery counterparts by having room to tuck the rest of the booklet while you staple it, like a saddle . . . hence the name (the "saddle" part, that is).

I've had my saddle stapler for decades, and it's been a workhorse. Barring an unexpected incident, the only reason I can foresee my saddle stitcher not being passed on to my next of kin when I shuffle off this mortal coil is that I intend to request that it be buried with me, pharaoh-like amid the treasures of my tomb. I'm still on the fence.

The one downside with saddle stitching (which is what it's called when a book is stapled in this fashion) is that you're limited by how thick you can make the book. A comfortable limit is 32 pages (which is eight sheets of paper, in addition to any cover you might want). The upper limit, in my experience, is 64 pages, or the maximum number of pages your stapler can handle, whichever is lower.

There are many models of saddle stapler on the market, but mine was one of the more-affordable options when I bought it last millennium. If you want to consider picking up my model of choice, it's the Bostitch booklet stapler, available on Amazon.

-- Steven Marsh


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