When I first saw the Milwaukee M12 3/8” Crown Stapler (2447-21) at the manufacturer’s yearly New Product Symposium media event in June of 2017, it immediately became one of the tools I was most looking forward to using. It’s not the first non-manual stapler to exist, nor the first cordless version to exist, but nevertheless I thought it would be a worthwhile addition to the sub-compact M12 line of tools upon first inspection.
- Staple Range (1/4” – 9/16”)
- Accepts 3/8" Crown Staples (T50 Style)
- Sequential and Contact Actuation
- Dry Fire Lockout
- Reversible Belt Clip
- Staple Leg Locating Arrows
- Power Adjustment Dial
- Length: 7.25”
- Weight: 3.5 lbs.
- 5 year warranty
Weighing in at 3.5 pounds and measuring 7.25” tall, 7.25” long, and 1.5” wide, Milwaukee touts the new stapler as the industry’s most compact and lightweight cordless 3/8” crown stapler on the market. The claim is true, though their only close competitor is the 18V Makita XTS01Z, which is a full 2+ inches taller and longer. Other cordless crown staplers on the market are for 18GA staples and more closely resemble the size and weight of larger cordless nailers.
Compared to pneumatic 3/8” crown staplers, the M12 is heavier, but in many cases, still more compact. Plus, you'll have the added benefit of avoiding the hassle of using compressor hoses.
It should be obvious that the Milwaukee crown stapler will also be much heavier than its manual squeeze tacker brethren, as well, but you won’t notice a significant size difference in most cases. Weight should always a consideration in the ergonomics category, but there’s no doubt that the M12 version is easier to use than a manual tacker, no matter the weight difference.
Squeezing manual staplers repetitively might give you some killer Popeye arms down the line, but anybody who uses them on a regular basis should consider an upgrade, especially when stapling overhead or in weird angles.
Priced at $99 for the bare tool, it’s an extremely economic cordless tools. For an additional $50 ($149 total), you can upgrade to the kit, which includes the stapler, (1) 1.5Ah Battery, an M12 battery charger, and a contractor bag. Compare that to the Makita XTS01Z, which is $179 for the bare tool and a whopping $483 for the stapler kit (2 batteries, charger, and bag) and you’re getting an absolute steal in the category.
Pneumatic staplers and manual staplers are priced at roughly half and a quarter of the M12 price, respectively, so it will still fall in the luxury category if evaluating the entire stapler category.
Whether in sequential or bump fire mode, I have not run into any issues with having enough power on any material, including pine, oak, and walnut. Most applications for this stapler, at least for contractors, will be in pine or other softwoods, so I would not expect any issues in most cases. Driving staples into metal, like metal corner bead, has been a mixed bag. Unlike many other staplers that will also allow you to shoot small brad nails, the M12 tool can only shoot staples.
The bump fire mode takes some practice with timing, because when I felt like I either pulled away too quickly or didn’t fully compress the nose into the material, some staples were left proud. I was also stapling at a much faster rate that I would assume anyone would use it in a normal application, as I was testing to make sure it didn’t jam (which it hasn’t yet).
A full battery charge should get you around 1500 staples, according to the specs, so a full day’s work stapling insulation, vapor barrier, or corner bead isn’t out of the question.
The dry fire lockout engages with about 5 staples left and does not allow anymore to be fired until a new stick of staples is loaded. It’s a great feature which should be standard on all staplers and nailers by now, but sadly isn’t.
Overall, the claims made by Milwaukee have held true and the M12 Stapler has proven to be a welcome addition to the tool box. You can check out a short video we posted on our Instagram page below for some additional details about the stapler. Let us know what you think in the comments!