Staple remover poll

Top of the staple. Probably 93% of the time there’s no tearing. 7% of the time the paper tears, but…if the document was unimportant enough to use a staple rather than a paper clip or binder clip, it’s unimportant enough to tear.


I guess I started something there in that thread…


The what now? Cuticle-pusher?


I use it on the bottom to loosen the bendy bits. Then I turn the paper over and use it on the top to pull the whole staple back through the holes. The paper experiences virtually no tearing this way.

Like this

I use it first from the bottom to open the legs, then flip the papers over and pull it out from the top. Never tears the paper that way. If I try to open from the top I often have trouble getting the jaws under the staple, or have to bend the paper. After I’ve pulled the staple out I massage the little holes to close them up.

My first real job was with AT&T (as a COBOL programmer), starting a long time ago. There was an actual, company approved method of staple removal (and most other things):

Start on the bottom, loosen the feet.
Flip over, and remove from the top.

If you want to dispute the correctness of this method, I’ll sic Ernestine on ya.

From the top, that’s why the teeth on the remover get bigger, to bend the staple legs back and pull the staple from the pages.

It’s quite brilliant and looks like a vicious little desk monster.


This may be a bit off-topic, but I’ve stapled a heck of a lot more papers than I ever have had to unstaple. I taught high school for twenty-six years.

Most people use a desk stapler very inefficiently when they’ve got a large amount of papers to staple. They pick the stapler up while using it. It works much faster to leave it on the desk, stick the papers in it, push down, and go to the next set in your stack.

Correct. This is the only way to do it to make sure it does not tear.

I think you’re doing it wrong then. After reading this I just put a bunch of staples into a different variety of papers, thick and thin. and then used my staple remover (on the top) and every one of them came out perfectly. If you look at the mechanics of a staple remover there is nothing that could possibly pull the staples through the paper unless you were pulling up on the staple remover.

From the top, of course. I’ve never even seen anyone do it from the bottom.

OK, I take it back. :slight_smile: (I guess I’ve only been removing small gauge staples)
From Wikipedia:

I’m beginning to think it depends how many pages there are. In my experience, removing from the top works if there are several pages. But if there are only two, the paper gets torn, and it’d be better to loosen the staple from the bottom, then remove it from the top.

I personally just proved that isn’t the case. However I think it could be related to how thick the staples are.

I was beginning to wonder if I was the only person here who had encountered both kinds. I kept saying to myself, “what kind of staple remover are you asking about?”


That’s my method, too, If I happen to have some squirrel’s teeth. Otherwise, I do it basically the same way with my fingernails.

I use a different style - for high-volume staple removal, it is the best I’ve ever used. Second best was an oyster knife. I hate the claw-type, except for use in office-supply sculptures.