Bostitch H2B Hammer Tacker

Tool: Bostitch H2B Hammer Tacker

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One of the best tools in my truck is the Bostitch H2B Hammer Tacker. This is such a great tool that it’s almost a shame it’s a stapler. If they stopped making the H2B, I feel badly for everyone that has to tack on house wrap, staple insulation or apply roofing felt. This is by far, the best hammer tacker I know of.


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I think there are 5,000 staples in a box and I know I’ve emptied a half-dozen boxes. Seeing as I’m in ‘general construction’ I get a part of everything but don’t have to do one particular thing around the clock… well sort of. What I mean is, a hammer tacker is on my job to get the wrap on a house. I’ve used this one on a few roofs and it’s always handy for tarping down open construction projects. I have a use for this tool on a year-round basis but to really know how long it will last you’d have to put it in the hands of roofers, who are hammering down day after day.

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Until I came across the H2B I hated the hammer tackers I’d used. Some guy I worked with had this ugly Bostitch H2B on a job. I trusted his opinion and saved up the $70. The H2B is a heavy tool. When it does jam it’s easy to free. It doesn’t jam as often as my pneumatics do and it takes a beating. I’m impressed with how clean and well-working my Bostitch H2B is after all this time.

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The Bostitch unique crown staples aren’t available everywhere. I was afraid to order them but they arrived well-packaged with minimal breakage. There’s nothing worse than a bunch of broken rows of staples. No matter what I end up dropping the box and spilling the staples.


Staples for the H2B – Bostitch SHCR5019 3/8

20 thoughts on “Bostitch H2B Hammer Tacker”

  1. Hello,

    This is Mike, reporter for Demand Media. I’m writing an article on the Bostitch H2B and was hoping you could help me with a few questions.

    Thanks very much.

    Best wishes,


    1. I wrote Mike a nice email and included pictures and he didn’t so much as reply with a Thank you.

      Welcome to the world of self-entitlement and the ungrateful.

      I think I’ll go see if he neglected to properly credit his sources since he is being paid to use my knowledge.

  2. Kim,
    I have my Dad’s old H2B and am using it now on a job, but I have forgotten how to load the cartridge. I have been loading from the front but this seems awkward and, I notice in your pictures that the cartridge is extended to the rear of the tool, past the plastic handle. This leads me to think that the cartridge holds many more staples than I have been loading at one time. Any suggestions will be appreciated, and I will be grateful.

    1. It loads from the front; twist the lock aside and the front pops open. you can fit 100 or so staples in that way. I think the rear is solid, no port there.
      I’m actually away from my regular tools and working with an Arrow hammer tacker this week, which loads from the rear. (and hasn’t misfired in 2000 shots… I do recall that H2B jamming a bit more often than this modern Arrow fastener)

  3. hi all
    we own a floor covering business, we have a total of 5 H2B staplers all in good working order. my oldest is some 35 years old. each stapler would consume 30000 yes that’s right 30000 staples each year. we keep 7 to 10 cartons in stock at all times. the only time they will jamb is through human error. the only problem i’ve had is broken side springs, once again human error. could not recommend this tool more highly.
    ps my father also a flooring contractor. his stappler still going strong after 57 years on the floor not sure when he purchased it but i can remember using it when i was 5 now i’m nearly 50 wow what a tool cheers chris and wendy

  4. I had never seen one of these until a few weeks ago. I was crawling around the attic of a house I was remodeling and I stumbled across one in the darkness. I brought it down with me. It looked so old I was sure it wouldn’t work. I gave it one swing and while it didn’t eject a staple, it left a dent implying it would if any were loaded. I’ve taken apart plenty of jammed staple guns over the years, and I’d like to break this one down to clean and oil it (homeowner said no one had been up in that attic since he’d bought it over 20 years ago) but this one has me a little indecisive on where to start. Any input would be appreciated.

    1. Hahah, Great find~! I used my H2B this past week while remodeling a cottage.

      I’m not sure about a parts break-down… never taken mine further than getting out the occasional jam which seems ironic …because I’ve taken apart my brand new Macbook Pro (the kind with no comsumer-serviceable parts). I’ve owned the Macbook a few months and the Bostitch for 20 years… but one needs more maintenance than the other.

      I was able to find the parts manual for my old Hitachi saw but I’m in a rush, just came to congratulate you and approve your comment. Best of luck. Staples are available on Amazon.

      I just noticed Bostitch has ‘tit’ in it.

  5. great discussion/blog!
    I live in Sweden and bought my first house last year and the previous owner left a whole lot o` stuff for me in the garage, amongst them a h2b, great stuff just found it in a box, took it out and started to reappolster(spelling I know 🙂 ) some chairs in the kitchen and it works like a dream.
    but now i`m having trouble reloading it, it won`t push the tacks forward.
    I might have loaded it incorrectly?
    It`s the right size tack though, 3/8
    would be grateful for any input or ideas

    1. Nice find.

      The tack (staples) must be Specific PowerCrown Staples

      They are not available everywhere. The top is like an inverted ‘V’ shape, unlike any other staples.
      That’s my guess as to your problem.
      If you have the correct tacks then… good luck figuring it out. I have never taken this one apart.

      Thanks for your comments.

  6. thank you!
    that figures, the tacks are 3/8 but not v-shaped, just regular squared problem now is that i`ve shoved some 30-40 wrongmodelled tacks in there but i`ll figure it out I hope thanks again for the info


  7. I have had two of the said staplers for over 20 years!!!
    I had found one that was siting out side for two years.
    Oiled it and it still works fine. I haven’t used a Arrow hammer tacker years, they take forever to clean out. You can clean out
    a Bostitch h2b in seconds. The only down side is they are

  8. Unfortunately stanley did quit making them, quite a few years ago too. But I have a few, and grab any I see at auctions, garage sales, etc.

    From memory, to take apart to clean, you open the nose, unhook the wire from the side, on both sides, and then slide the pin out where the wire is looped around. Then everything slides apart. Getting it back together is a little tougher, but not too bad.

  9. I fell into a bunch of Bostitch staples at an auction last summer. The staple box told what tool the staples fit, and now I’m in search of an H2B. I do a lot of building for personal use and hope to find what appears to be this workhorse of a tool! Do you think these old staples are still good?

    1. I had a little trouble with a box of partially rusted and corroded staples I left in my truck box. The H2B didn’t like 1 in 20.

      I recently found my H2B under a foot of snow. (about a week there) … I had it in my shop for a little overhaul but work called first and I took the slightly rusting tool to hang insulation without a single failure.

      Pretty sure you can sell the staples, in time. I need some more right now and putting an order to Amazon again.
      Thanks for the post.

      It’s a great hammer tacker. Check the ebay “lot” sales and unidentified tool listings.. also, does a pathetic job of describing their items. I’ve found many a treasure.

  10. I have and still use an h2b hammer staer it works great!!!! holds 2 clips and takes a little getti g used too its tight and right , talki g about loading staples … I also have an h1,3/4 in staples, made in the 5os..looking to stock up on staples, any really good deals out here ?in cyber land , lol would really Love to find staples for the H1 !!!

  11. I have a H2B that my father has had for about 40 years. I dropped it and one of the side springs broke. Does anyone know where I can get one????

  12. Folks,

    I have two of the H2B staplers and recently broke the ‘external key spring’ that holds this tool together (actually there would be one of the ‘eks’ on each side. I am looking for a manual so that I might be able to identify the part number as I attempt to locate one of these…..or maybe someone has a source of parts for this outstanding tool??

  13. Does anyone know where I can find schematics for H2B? I took mine apart, and am having trouble getting it back together. There is a little spring loaded thing that holds the staples in, and can’t seem to figure out how it goes on so the front (by where the driver is) will pull together tightly.

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