One of my fave e-zines is Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools. I always look forward to finding it in my inbox. Here’s an excerpt from the latest issue:

Saddle stapling for zines
Mini Booklet Stapler
saddleStaple.jpg
If you like creating little DIY booklets or zines, but have been frustrated by the short arm length in standard staplers that forces you to curl up (or worse, fold) your notebook pages in order to get a center saddle staple, this two-way stapler is a terrific little solution. It looks just like your ordinary handheld personal stapler, until you twist the upper portion: it twists all the way perpendicular to the body of the stapler, so that you can easily staple booklets at the center fold. When I found it, I was kind of surprised I’d never seen this before. It’s sheer genius and simple. I’m a huge pocket notebook fan. I have a boxful of Moleskines, which I love, but I’ve been playing around with crafting my own Moleskine-size blank notebooks for keeping notes on small projects or short trips. In the past, I’ve had to either fold up the pages a bit (and carefully unfold and smooth out the crease). Or I waited to go to someplace like Kinko’s that offers saddle staplers. Neither was a very convenient solution and I didn’t want to spend lots of money on an expensive “long reach” or saddle stitch stapler of my own. This one’s not as small as a micro stapler, but it’s as lightweight (plastic body) and is just a bit longer than the palm of my hand. No unnecessary bells and whistles. When you move the swinging piece, it snaps into place, and you can twist it either left or right. The loading area is very easy, not tricky at all. The only drawbacks are that it uses mini staples and can only staple 15 pages at a time. But as long as you don’t have a really thick stack, it works like a charm. Maybe one of these days they’ll come up with a slightly more robust version using regular staples. Until then, this will do for most jobs. I’m almost tempted to buy a second one to keep at home, but it’s small enough I can just carry it with me.

– Lani Teshima

Mini Booklet Stapler
$8, Available from Amazon

Cool Tools – Link

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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