Swingline Maintenance Project:

the Swingline 3

Swingline 3 Diagram

The Swingline 3, produced from 1935-1948, is usually just thought of as a scaled-down version of the Swingline 5. This is partially true, as the 3 was derived from the 5's basic bodyplan and mechanicals, but the 3's elegance and reputation for reliability under almost any situation soon made it a noted stapler in its own right. Many people think of it as the "Stapler that got us through WWII." This is hardly an exaggeration. It was an excellent field stapler both in the European and Pacific theatres of war, and was so desired by the Axis that the usual exchange rate among Axis clerics for a Swingline 3 was five German or Japanese staplers and a three-hole punch!

The above diagram shows the main mechanical components of a Swingline 3. When restoring an old swingline 3, these are the areas which usually require the most work. I have found that the best way to do it is to have access to a good office supply scrapyard, which is a big help in finding old stapler parts, especially for such classic, out-of-production models as the 3.

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Copyright 1995 The Van Gogh-Goghs