Michael Reedy & ManKi Yoo / Masco Design
T50elite Staple Gun
T50elite Staple Gun
The T50 proves that even very well established tools can be greatly improved when a thorough eye and touch is applied.
T50elite Staple Gun
The T50elite is a professional quality manual staple gun for both pro and DIY users. In addition to its sleek look and ergonomic feel, the T50elite is versatile with several innovative features. These include a patented drive technology which creates up to 60% more power while being easier to squeeze than the original Arrow T50. The additional power allows the tool to fire six sizes of T50 staples and brad nails up to 1” long. Other features include an integrated adjustable wire guide for safely installing low-voltage wiring and a high-low power setting.2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?
The original Arrow T50 staple gun has been a best seller for over 50 years and has become the archetype for the entire category. However Arrow faced increased competition from generic staple guns at lower price points and products from other established brands. The main challenge was to design a staple gun which could build on the T50’s heritage, demonstrate Arrow’s leadership in staple guns and command a higher price point at retail.3. The Intent: What point of view did you bring to the project, and were there additional criteria that you added to the brief?
One of our key objectives was to make a staple gun which would be easier to use, but have more power. Most staple guns, such as the original Arrow T50 and competitive products, are difficult to squeeze. Many staple guns fire a brad nail, but only up to 5/8” long which is not very useful. Our goal was to make the tool easier to fire, but have more power to deliver a 1” brad nail. The new design had to communicate this power to the user and integrate with the mechanism to keep the tool as compact as possible.
Another feature we wanted to add was a wire guide for installing low-voltage wiring. While people use typical staple guns for this task, they risk crimping the wiring or causing a short by piercing the sheath with the staple. A guide centers the wire and limits the staple depth. The mechanism had to be integrated so it does not obscure the user’s line of sight for aiming and does not add bulk to the gun.
Finally, we wanted to make a product which was clearly differentiated itself from the rest of the market. It had to deliver on Arrow’s heritage, but needed to stand out at point of sale to redefine the market.4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
Ethnographic interviews, job site visits, and online surveys with consumers and professional contractors were instrumental in identifying the key user needs. Easy-of-use, reliability, and durability were clear priorities for the design team based on this input.
To make the staple gun easier to squeeze, but more powerful, the engineering team developed a new patented drive mechanism which creates 60% more power while requiring less effort to squeeze than the original T50. To accentuate this feature we worked closely with them to integrate the form with the mechanism, exposing the critical lever and link assembly which creates the additional force. The housing and handle were sculpted around the mechanism to minimize the tool’s size and provide a comfortable grip for the user.
Numerous rounds of sketches and prototypes lead to this design wining out over several other strong options. Significant refinement was done in parallel with the mechanical engineering to allow the form to be honest and as compact as possible.5. The Value: How does your project earn its keep in the world? What is its value? What is its impact? (Social, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, environmental, cultural, gladdening, etc.)
The Arrow T50elite combines best-in-class performance with a bold form that emphasizes its power and precision. The design sets the tool apart from the competition and established a premium price point within Arrow’s line up.
The original T50 was frequently passed from father to son or daughter and that the new T50elite is designed to be just as durable. Preserving this heritage while revitalizing the category was central to ensuring the design fit and strengthening the Arrow brand.
The staple gun is perfect for a wide-range of projects and is appealing to consumers and professionals alike. It does the job right and is built to last.