I'm building a very small game for my brother. I am moving it from the original, ready-printed motherboard to a sheet of metal. The metal doesn't have holes punched in it, and I need a different way to attach my wire to the sheet of metal. Could I possibly use staples to hold down wire to the metal? I've heard that staples are conductive, and I worry about messing something up. I will look into what kind of metal the metal sheet is, but I don't currently know. If staples would mess anything up, what else could I use?

A note: This is my first post on here, and I haven't read through the scope etc. yet. If I did something wrong, notify me and I'll take note on your comments.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hey, welcome. Could you explain a bit more about what you're using? A link or a photo would help. The words you're using such as "ready-printed motherboard" and "sheet of metal" are not so familiar. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10, 2014 at 22:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Glue works fairly well if you're just holding it in place between endpoints, and it's not under load. Cyanoacrylate (superglue) or epoxy. \$\endgroup\$
    – pjc50
    Feb 10, 2014 at 22:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, "very small" needs clarification; smaller than a fingernail? \$\endgroup\$
    – pjc50
    Feb 10, 2014 at 23:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wait, are you trying to use staples as a substitute for solder (i.e. stapling the bare wire to solder point?) or as a way of holding the wire in place (like a cable tie would)? \$\endgroup\$
    – Passerby
    Feb 10, 2014 at 23:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hot-glue works wonders in this situation. And its an insulator. \$\endgroup\$
    – user77403
    May 27, 2015 at 4:33

4 Answers 4


What's wrong with this: -

enter image description here

What you see above are three things: -

  1. Some cables being bound together by...
  2. A cable tie-wrap which loops thru a...
  3. Self Adhesive, (or screw fixing) Cable Tie Mount

Here's a link

I'm think a paper stapler wouldn't have the strength to pierce a metal sheet plus you can't really control it from breaking the insulation and shorting several wires in seberal different positions to each other via the metal sheet.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Also I'd recommend looking for Cable Tie Mounts that include a hole or two for using screws. I do a lot of telco installations and the adhesive on the base, while good, can come undone. If you're mounting to sheet metal, use sheet metal screws and the base won't be going anywhere. \$\endgroup\$
    – JYelton
    Feb 11, 2014 at 0:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JYelton - these have holes in for screw fixing \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Feb 11, 2014 at 8:06

Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Yes, but...

I have used all manner of thing to attach wires to things: stables, tacks, hot glue, tape, even gum once in an emergency.

But just because you can doesn't mean you should. Even if you are careful there is a risk you will piece the wire or nick the insulation. This will cause a short, and could cause all kinds of problems/damage.

Staples don't make a great long term solution. They are prone to rusting and corroding, which can end up damaging the wires as well.

In your same situation, I might use cardboard or plastic, and then punch holes in it and use cable ties, or the like. But for a short term solution staples should work if you are careful.

Good luck!

  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe Andex can use a stapel to afix a fastening wire, and use that fastening wire to tie down the actual wires. Cutting the isolation of the fastening wire is not a problem. (a bit like using the staple as poor-mans cable tie mount. Another (short term) solution is double sided tape (the thick version). \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10, 2014 at 22:58

As an addition to other answers:

There is no problem to use staples (or other metal things like nails), but there is always a risk you will destroy insulation of the conductor, which may eventually lead to a short-circuit. A staple (or a nail, a screw etc.) uses force to keep the wire stick and this force can deform the insulation. It is also necessary you will not destroy the insulation when inserting a holder.

This deformation should not be a risk with low voltages (you say you are constructing a game so I do not expect anything higher than 30 Volts), but can be for higher voltages.

In your case I would consider gluing the wire to a base, either with a glue or a tape. If this is not good in your case, consider using as a holder something that is an insulator and which is large enough to not move within a box, like a properly cut piece of plastic or wood (large enough to not move loosely, but possible to take away if you need to repair the toy).

The most important thing in your work is to secure the insulation, ensuring you will not destroy it in any way, both during construction and later. If you could achieve this, there is no danger to use whatever you want, even staples.


I know I'm crazy late, but what I like to do is staple a zip-tie to the surface I'm planning to attach the wires to and then use that to actually hold the wires in place. This can be used to either bundle up the wires or to run them individually, resulting in the wire sitting flush as if it was stapled without running the risk of damaging it.


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