The Ace Aceliner, a true classic. Probably the first stapler I actually sought out after seeing them on other Typosphere blogs. It’s a popular design, easy to get ahold of, and there’s probably one in every casual stapler collector’s corral.
There are at least two different variations, probably indicating a change in design and tooling to cut costs. If anyone knew when this design change occurred, you could probably better tell when a given stapler was made, at least within a decade or so.
I’m pretty sure the scalloped-edge version with the “Aceliner” embossing on the top is the
older design, but how much older is unknown [NEWER design]. I’ve read somewhere that the Aceliner wasn’t introduced until the 1970’s despite it’s mid-century styling. I do believe that the rounded, unembossed version is the style you can still buy brand-new from Ace. EDIT: Research by American Stationer confirms that the round-top ones are the older design, starting in 1941. The scalloped-edge version with “aceliner” embossed on top came onto the market starting around 1975.The Aceliner is a tail-loader like most other Ace staplers. You pull out the “tail” and it folds up to allow loading.
The Aceliner is a remarkably ergonomic machine. It fits perfectly in the hand, and opens up all the way for tacking. In fact it’ll open up to about 20 degrees past flat.
A comparison of the two designs shows other visible differences between the older and newer styles: Newer versions have grey rubber feet, older versions have black plastic feet. The newer version includes the brand “ACE” stamped into the front, while the older version lacks this detail.Different types of rivets are used for the pivot bar…Otherwise, they appear to be identical. Both styles work great, and there is no functional difference between the two. Both produce either Interfold or Exterfold staples via the sliding anvil.It should be said that the Aceliner, although svelte, is a heavy stapler. Solid steel, thickly forged. If I were in sudden need of a weapon and all I had to choose from were the staplers on my desk, I’d grab the Aceliner. The shaped pommels make it easy to grip, so it won’t slip out of your hand in the heat of battle, and I’d bet that the unfortunate assailant you socked with an Aceliner would be none too pleased with the sound of his skull caving in. In fact, my older Aceliner has clearly spent part of it’s previous life as an improvised hammer, as the deep gouges on the bottom plate would attest. Someone gave it a pretty good beating, and the Aceliner shrugged it off and kept working, like a stapler should.
Attractive? Hells yes!
Durable: Like a Rock.
Should you get one if you see one at a thrift? Ayup! (: