Stapler of the Week: Bostitch B8 PowerCrown

This is another story about a 70-year old stapler design that has survived into the 21st Century, and is still sold today looking exactly as it appeared when it was first introduced (see Ace Pilot 404). The Bostitch B8 “PowerCrown” stapler is a compact pocketable stapler long sold as a “Travel/Desk” stapler by the Boston Wire Stitcher Co. (Bostitch) since 1940.

The Bostitch B-8 is somewhere halfway between a Swingline TOT 50 and a Swingline 747 in size and weight, and is made of pressed steel with a plastic baseplate and topper.

The B-8 usually incorporates a very useful bayonet-style staple remover, although there are versions that don’t have this feature.

Bostitch claims that the B8 can handle up to 30 sheets of paper (for comparison, the full-size Swingline Model 27 is only rated for 20 sheets), and loads 105 staples in the magazine. I’m pretty sure they come 100 to a strip, so I dunno if they expect you to load 5 more loose ones in there, but I guess they’re saying you can. :D

The B8 uses a proprietary staple, the B8 “PowerCrown” staple, which is slightly smaller than a standard staple and is “tented” in the middle. These staples are super-easy to find, and are still manufactured.

Invented by: Arthur H. Maynard, Warwick, R. I., USA.

Patents: US2272773A, US2281198A, US2309778A, US2309779A.

In the 1950’s, Bostitch advertised the B8 in a series of comics that featured a super passive-aggressive dad bullying his family into using the B8 stapler for everything that could possibly be stapled, but if you ask me, the first thing they should have stapled is Dad’s mouth. What a jerk! :D

Some more offbeat Bostitch Stapler Adventures over at Phil Are Go!

This same stapler is still sold via Amazon!

Staples sells a version of the Bostitch B8 PowerCrown with an updated shell and a dual-position anvil. Knowing Staples’ penchant for customizing items they sell, it seems possible that this is a version sold only at Staples.

The Bostitch B8 can be stored in the “locked closed” position, allowing it to store very flat, and preventing various knocks from “half-engaging” a staple and jamming the machine.

Updated: April 11, 2024 — 12:22 pm


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  1. Hard to beat those staplers. I grew up with one like that only it was black. It was old then, and it is still in use.

  2. I have about 5 of them, most purchased at thrift stores for $1. The idea of the “crown” is that when it is pushed on top, it spreads the legs to a tight fit, reducing jams. I don’t ever remember mine Jamming. Another feature I like, when you refill it, you don’t have to lock it. Just push down like you are using it, and it will lock in the operating position. (You waste a staple when doing this). Finally, if you remove the plastic base, the anvil is just a flat piece of steel, so it easily fits in a pants pocket. Very well designed, in every way.

    1. Yep, it’s a real winner for performance and was pretty popular, if I judge from how many I see on thrift shelves. They’re like Herb Alpert albums – I see one in every store, practically. :D

    2. I much prefer the version without the base. I also buy them every time I see them at an estate sale or a thrift shop. My favorite one has a pocket clip and a built-in remover. It was obviously built to be used in the field

  3. That passive-aggressive dad character in the cartoon is pretty hilarious by 2018 standards!

  4. Agree with JoeV, the dad is a funny piece o’ work! (And can the thing actually staple 30 sheets, as Dad says??)

  5. The sled-like crown is a nice touch.

  6. Monk, You still at it?..
    Lemme know..heck I have Staplers as Well.
    Plus..50 Writing Irons..”Beauts” & “Beasts”..
    Still, any advice for the Perfect Sound proofing for the Selectrics..likr I said in my Ghost Post I’ve made exact EZ.with whatever Mater is Best..Buzz

  7. I buy the staplers every time I see them at an estate sale or a thrift store. Even though owning one of them is enough to last you a lifetime. I prefer the smaller version without the base but I probably have a dozen of them.

  8. I have the exact model pictured above, slightly darker, but maybe from use?

    I use it everyday here at the public library I’ve worked at for the last 28 years.

    1. The inventor was my grandfather. I have had several versions since the 1950s.

      1. Welcome – have you got any historical context to add? (:

  9. Well, I am a retired mechanical engineer. Started in 1979. This was the “issued” stapler at my company. I has managed to stay with me ever since then. 44 years. Just now I saw it can be “stowed flat” to prevent accidental discharge. Refilling can be a bit manipulative. I actually am going to but some staples this week. My 20 year supply has just been consumed.

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