Q)   Why does a stapler anvil have two different staple directions - loop in/loop out? What is the advantages/benefits of each?
A)This is, without a doubt, the single most frequently asked question we get here at VirtualStapler.com... and hence, we have have several different answers. The best answer we've found so far comes from the good folks over at The Stapler Database, who obviously get this question a lot themselves. Their answer:

   "This 'anvil piece' is called the Pinning/Stapling switch. The pinning function is a carryover from the time before staple removers. It makes the staple form a relatively straight form. You can staple two pieces of paper together then pull out the staple. Good for temporary fastening, it's kind of a paperclip competitor. You can also use it when sewing. Instead of using pins, you just staple. There is also one used on Hotchkisses and some Bates staplers that makes one end go in and one go out. You pull the side with the crimped down staple to get the staple out."

Certainly a well-thought answer... it makes sense, and it's pretty much what our researchers had come up with themselves. However, we have also received some alternate answers from several astute users, including this one from Herb:

   My experience with stapler anvils has taught me that you staple out if you have an outty (navel) and staple in if you have an inny. Staples were once used to close navels and that's where it came from.

Thanks Herb, for your thoughts. Staplers were once used to close navels, huh? We'd hate to see HERB'S belly button, that's for sure.

For the more physchologically-minded among us, David L. Gibson has another possible solution:

   Whichever you select, inward or outward, Is a result of your personality. Inward suggests you are an Introvert, and want things secure and safe. Outward suggests you are an extrovert who has compassion and wants to share with others.

And finally, we have an artsy-craftsy answer from our friend Scott Kemmerle:

   Loop in for all your normal daily stuff, but for those industrial strength stacks of paper needing to be impaled in thicker bundles use the loop-out. Loop-out is also useful for binding more effectively 3-ring booklets and best of all, it creates a cleaner tear-off for home made note pads.

We've never actually tried to make home-made note pads, but there's certainly no reason it wouldn't work. And if anyone has scientific proof of the 'bend out' position working more effectively for large stacks of paper, please let us know.

Q)   Every time I need to staple something, I find that my stapler is on someone else's desk. How can I make sure my stapler is on my desk when I need it?
A)Leave it to astute users like Jay Lewis to not only identify a burgeoning stapler problem, but also provide a cleverly effective solution:

   I find it works well to attach a tire rim to my stapler to keep it handy when it 's needed most. I secure the stapler to the rim with a 3 foot long piece of motorcycle chain and two Bullet-Proof Master Locks. The lock will go right through one of the lug nut holes on the rim, but you'll have to drill a 1/2" hole in the base of your stapler for the lock shackle. It works great for me, I hope this helps.

Have a question? Just ask me frequently, and maybe it'll find its way up here.

In related news, you can read some letters.

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