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If you are printing your own comic, zine, or booklet, it will be handy to know how to find the best booklet stapler. Most standard office staplers will be insufficient for stapling booklets together; luckily, numerous staplers designed especially for booklets are available. A simple model, sometimes called the long-reach stapler, is inexpensive and readily available. If you’re doing large productions on a regular basis, you may want to invest in a saddle-stitch stapler. If that still doesn’t meet your needs, take a look at the heavy-duty industrial staplers that are available.
Unless your booklet is very small, a regular office stapler will not be able to handle it. Most are designed to connect no more than eight or 10 pages and have a very shallow reach, called the throat. You can purchase a long-reach booklet stapler at a well-stocked office supply store for around $30 US Dollars (USD).
A more advanced booklet stapler has a V-shaped base called a saddle. You lie the spine of the open booklet along the point of the V to facilitate even pages and centered staples; the result is called a “saddle-stitched” booklet. These staplers are pricier, $50 to $100 USD. For this reason, they’re best if you’re producing many booklets throughout the year, but not enough to justify hiring a professional printer. They are also rated for 20 pages of standard thickness.
An industrial booklet stapler has a saddle base, an automatic switch that activates the stapler as soon as the pages are in place, and safety devices to keep you from stapling your hand to the finished product. These are designed for use by professional printers and have a professional price tag, $500 USD and up. As with other complex office machines, you should ask yourself whether the expense is justified or if it would be better to hire a professional printer shop that owns such a machine. The printer will handle machine maintenance, misprints, and staples, expenses you’ll have to take on yourself if you buy an industrial booklet stapler.
For hand stapling, a printer or copy center may charge as much as $0.10 USD per staple for a booklet it did not print. If your print run is only 100 copies every six months, this is still a better deal than buying an expensive booklet stapler. If you are printing thousands of copies, you may want to consider establishing a relationship with a printer. The printer can include stapling in the overall production cost, which can save you money and time as well as eliminate the drawbacks of machine maintenance, bent staples, or punctured fingers.
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