The M12 3/8” Crown Stapler is a nice upgrade from a manual hand-stapler; I found it to be extremely useful and convenient for hanging kraft-faced insulation. Like the Arrow PT50 pneumatic stapler and the Arrow PowerShot hand stapler that I have, the Milwaukee cordless stapler fires T-50 staples. Compared with my Arrow pneumatic stapler, this stapler was much more pleasant to use. While installing the batts, the pneumatic stapler jammed nearly every 15 shots and the PowerShot broke within two sleeves of staples. I never missed a shot with the Milwaukee stapler. It did not jam and I could not get it to jam even when I tried (don’t ask me how – just trust me, I tried).

The run time on it was impressive. Milwaukee claims 1,500 staples on a single charge; I didn’t count, but that seems realistic for ½-inch staples going into pine. The power adjustment knob is effective – I like that I can dial it in enough to set staples flush in ¼-inch plywood (like the back of a cabinet, for example) or fine-tune it so that I didn’t break the paper on insulation or plastic sheeting. It also has a window on the side of the staple magazine that allows you to see how many staples are left. It has dry fire lock out at five staples, which is nice, and you can still get a full stick in with those five staples left. The stapler also has sequential and contact actuation modes. Contact mode works well and is relatively fast (not nearly as fast as a pneumatic); you have to fully depress the contact actuation tip to reset the shot.

But I do have some minor quibbles with it. The contact actuation tip sticks out at the front of the stapler a good 3/8 inch. It seems likely that it will bend at some point, especially if it is just kicking around in the soft bag that it comes in. Though I did not have any experience with this, I do see it as a potential problem if this stapler gets banged around a lot. Additionally, ergonomically it is tough on the hands during prolonged use due to the fact that you have to push down to keep it from kicking. This is true of most hand staplers I’ve used, though the weight alone of the PT50 pneumatic sets it apart here. The Milwaukee is not something you want to hang insulation with all day long.

All in all, this is a nice stapler. If you’ve already bought into the M12 platform, it’s worth adding; $100 (tool only). If you haven’t bought into the M12 platform, you can get a kit for $150.

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