Staple-free stapling

During a trip to Germany almost 20 years ago, I came across one of those slap-of-the-head clever items in an office supply store that I use to this day. When I bought this I was so enamored with it that I actually picked up a second one, thinking that eventually it would wear out and that it would be difficult to find a replacement. Turns out that I was happily wrong on both counts; the extra one that I bought is still in its original plastic display box and a slightly different version (photo below) is widely available. The PaperFix that I’ve owned for all these years is silent in use, completely ecological, and the ongoing cost is zero. I reach for it at least a few times a day and with one firm press of the top can bind about 6 to 8 pages (depending on paper thickness) together.

I find magazines too bulky to carry around when there are only a few articles in them that I actually want to read. Through years of traveling and learning to eliminate weight and waste, I now tear out articles I’m interested in and put them all in a folder labeled “Reading” that goes everywhere with me, and use my Paperfix to bind each individual article.


I prefer the PaperFix over paper clips or binder clips for a number of reasons, the first of which is space saving. If you have ever had 15 paper-clipped articles in a folder and seen how they expand the girth of that folder, you’ll know what I mean. Paper clips and binders have to be put somewhere when they’re removed. Clips of all varieties fall off and have a nasty habit of inserting themselves into every conceivable crack in cars, briefcases and desk drawers.


Once a page is removed from the bound bundle (unlike with a paper clip) it can’t be reinserted, nor can you pull out sheets from the midst of the bundle without disrupting the binding of the bundle. While the PaperFix doesn’t do everything a stapler can (particularly with thicker stacks of paper), for the vast majority of quick binding jobs it’s as good as a stapler, and takes up about a third the room on a desktop or in a drawer. It’s less expensive and uses nothing other than a press on the top to get its job done.

-- Scott Goldman 09/11/09

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