After reviewing the STOCKade ST-400 staple gun last year, we thought we’d found the most convenient method for installing fencing staples. That was until we had a go of the new STOCKade ST-315i impulse fencing stapler, a tool which is so satisfying to use, you will find yourself wanting to staple just about every wire on the farm onto a timber post.
So what is the big difference between two tools which accomplish the same job? The lack of an air compressor for one thing when using the ST-315i.
The new staple gun is impulse powered, and does not require a supply of compressed air to operate. This also means the tool is untethered, and not tied by an air-line to a ute carrying a bulky petrol-powered air compressor.
THE POWER BEHIND THE PUNCH
The Paslode-made ST-315i is powered by a small, cartridge-style gas cylinder called a fuel cell, which fits into the rear of the tool. A small lithium battery pack is also fitted into the handle of the staple gun.
The stapler is essentially a piston engine; explosive gas from the fuel cell is injected into a cylinder, where it is ignited, pushing a piston forward and driving in a staple. The battery pack provides power for the ignition system.
It all sounds rather involved, but in operation, the ST-315i delivers a simple pop as the trigger is pulled and the staple is driven in. The unit appears a little bulky, but is actually quite light weight and manoeuvrable, especially compared to a compressed air stapler connected to an air hose.
Each fuel cell is good for about 1000 staples, and two are included in the box of 1800 staples, which should be more than enough for the entire packet. One charge of the battery should do around 3000 staples, and two batteries and charger are included in the kit.
According to the manual, the stapler can handle up to 1000 staples per hour of continuous use, or two to three a second on intermittent use.
Over-use risks overheating the tool, which is fitted with an electric fan. Upon driving a staple, the fan briefly powers up, expelling the exhaust gasses and cooling the combustion chamber.
ST-315I IN USE
We tested the stapler by attaching prefabricated wire to aged Jarrah fence posts, a task which it handled with ease. Staples were easily driven into full depth in the tough timber, and depth is easily adjusted on the nose of the tool if you require a loose fit between staple and wire.
It cannot be over-emphasised how convenient the tool is to use when compared with a compressed-air version, as it can be picked up and pressed into service at a moment’s notice.
The 40mm staples are slightly smaller than standard fencing staples, and are made from 3.15mm wire. But they are barbed and have diverging points, spreading the legs of the staple as it enters the timber, further reducing the risks of pull-out.
An ST-400i is in the works at the moment, and should hit the market soon. This will be able to handle the larger 4mm staples (as with the ST-400 compressed air stapler).
The only downside to the impulse stapler is the price, which is getting up there at around $1500 including GST.
The staples are more expensive as well, as each box of 1800, including two fuel cells, costs about $170, or just less than ten cents per staple.
Given the pneumatic-powered ST-400 retails for about $1000, the impulse-powered ST-315i doesn’t represent too bad a value if you add on the cost of a suitable air compressor as well.
Photos by Ben White - Farming Ahead Magazine