Here is another cool office supply that I picked up from Quirky recently, its the Align Stapler. As you can see from the box, its main competitive advantage is that it detaches from its base allowing you to extend the reach further than that of a standard stapler.
The Quirky Align has a footprint that is 3.125″ by 3.125″ and is 1.75″ in height. It also has a soft rubbery base that cushions the bottom so it wont scratch up any surface you rest it on.
Here is a quick look at the rubbery cushioned base at the bottom of the Quirky Align Stapler. You can see some of the inner working of the stapler here as well. Oh, and a small side note, it looks like this turquoise blue is the only color that it is available in.
A second handy feature of the Quirky Align Stapler is that its base is magnetic on both the top and the bottom. The magnetic top of the base is essential because it holds itself to the top of the stapler that way. The benefits of the bottom being magnetic are obvious from the picture though. Whether its a refrigerator, a file cabinet, or a magnetic whiteboard, its a great feature that lets you keep your stapler close at hand.
Here is a top down view inside of the top of the Quirky Align Stapler. Those two round circles on the front arms are the magnets that hold it securely to the base. This is pretty important because when I first saw this stapler on the Quirky website, I wasn’t convinced that you would be able to realign the stapling arm evenly with the stapler plate on the bottom when using it the way it was intended. Having it in my hands though, I was pretty surprised at how perfectly the magnets aligned the top into the base as well as how firm and secure it was once in place.
To place a staple evenly at the top of a sheet of paper, you are a slight bit limited in the depth you can reach as the base only allows you to staple about .375″ from the top of the page. There is also an opening that is about 1.125″ directly below the stapling arm, so if you want to staple skinny strips of paper you could potentially slide them deeper through that space. That small gap also allows you to slide the corner of a sheet of paper for a staple that attaches on an angle to the corner of the paper.
Here is what it looks like in setting up the Quirky Align to staple in the center of a sheet of paper, or a magazine page in this case.
Although its a little hard to pick out among the text, you can see the staple firmly inserted now in the center of the page. This is a task that just isn’t easily possible with a regular stapler. My first thought for how and when this might be useful would if you wanted to make your own small staple bound notebooks.
An extra little benefit of the magnetic base is that on the rare occasions when you jam up the stapler, the loose staples don’t get too far away. They just attach right to the base and leave you worry free about stepping on any that you accidentally drop on the floor.
Although this is a pretty unique stapler and for the most part it does its job pretty well, there is one minor issue that I stumbled across with it. In the photo above you can see there is an upside down “U” shape that is the front of the arm which holds the unused staples, and it has a small gap at the top of it. Directly above this is another metal piece which is the part that comes down to push the staple out. On the part that pushes the staple out you will see that there is a small nub that sticks out. That nub is intended to latch onto the bottom “U” shaped part so that it keeps the two pieces attached and operating properly. I found that this locking mechanism was a bit loose and quite often in the stapling process the two parts separated. This is a minor nuisance but I’d also be worried that it could get worse over time as the parts wear down.
A last note on the Quirky Align, and all Quirky products for that matter. Each one comes with a product brochure that shows the top influencers for the product. In this case, it was invented by Kenneth Rubi and 1858 other people, which means that for every one of these sold the revenue is split up among them all in order of magnitude of the influence they earned. Influence is earned by contributing ideas that helped to bring the product through the product development process like design, color, features, pricing, and marketing. Like any new product, Quirky products can have their ….well their quirks, but the fun in discovering these new products and finding something to meet a specific need like this is always fun and worth exploring.