What Is the Difference Between Arrow T50 & T55 Staple Guns?

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Manual staple guns have many uses in home improvement and light construction, including installing felt paper to roof decking and siding, fastening plastic to frames to make temporary windows and repairing upholstery. Arrow is one of the original manufacturers of these handy tools and continues to dominate the market. The T50 stapler is Arrow's most iconic model, and it uses T50 staples. For many years, the company marketed a slightly heavier-duty model, the T55, but the company's website no longer advertises this model, which probably means it has gone out of production. The reason could be that there wasn't enough difference between the models to warrant offering both.

What Is the Difference Between Arrow T50 & T55 Staple Guns?
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Two Early Arrow Stapler Models That Use T50 Staples

Arrow introduced the T50 stapler in the early 1950s, and it was so successful that its model number became a trademark. Because of the popularity of the T50, Arrow introduced other models that were like it, but had slightly different purposes. The T55 was one of those. Like the T50, it features a spring-loaded trigger that fires T50 staples, and it can be chrome or painted with green enamel. The T55 can fire T50 staples, but it can also shoot larger, 9/16-inch ones, and is a more compact tool than the T50. These two features make the T55 more interesting to tradespeople and contractors than to homeowners.

Comparing the T50 to the T55

The T55 is the heavier and the smaller of the two. The extra weight of the T55 is no doubt due to a more robust spring mechanism which makes the gun capable of shooting longer staples that won't fit in the T50 magazine. The extra power and more ergonomic design make the T55 able to do heavy jobs, such as stapling through layers of tar paper, that a T50 can't handle. The extra power makes the T55 slightly more expensive than the T50. The price difference is about $5.

Arrow Upgrades Its Design

Arrow preserves the classic T50 design in several of the staplers it offers in its 2018 catalog. The T50PBN is probably the closest to the T55, but it shoots nails as well as staples. The JT21CM and the JT27are light-duty staplers with less power than the T50, not more. The T25 and T59 shoot insulated staples and are trade tools.

Arrow also sells several models that do not look like the T50 or T55 but have many of the same features. The new designs feature wide, comfortable handles and plastic bodies. The one most closely resembling the T50 is the T50X. It takes T50 staples, but unlike the T55, won't handle the extra-long ones.


Chris Deziel is a contractor, builder and general fix-it pro who has been active in the construction trades for 40 years. He has degrees in science and humanities and years of teaching experience. An avid craftsman and musician, Deziel began writing on home improvement topics in 2010. He worked as an expert consultant with eHow Now and Pro Referral -- a Home Depot site. A DIYer by nature, Deziel regularly shares tips and tricks for a better home and garden at Hunker.com.

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