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Arrow Model 210 version 1

Anyone interested in vintage staplers eventually comes across the Arrow Model 210 heavy-duty deluxe stapling machine.  With its style, colors, and chrome it is instantly obvious how the design was influenced by the American automobile industry of the time.  This is a stapler that everyone seems to love from the first time they lay eyes on one.

And it’s no wonder why it inspires such strong feelings.  The 210 is made completely out of steel with the only exceptions being the plastic handle insert (where it says “Arrow 210.”) and the rubber feet.  This steel isn’t some cheap, thin, low-quality steel either but a very heavy-duty steel that gives it a feeling of solidity not found in today’s staplers.

Note that along with being “heavy-duty” that this is also “deluxe”.  What makes this stapler deluxe are the same things that would make an auto deluxe – options.  It has easy loading from the rear, an easy to get at mechanism accessible by a latch on the side, a visual refill indicator, a three-way anvil for three types of stitches (not counting tacking), a detachable mechanism that allows this to be used as a tacker (for the first version, the second and third versions simply flip open), a capacity of 230 standard staples, and it is rated to staple up to 40 sheets of paper at a time.  All it seems to be missing are leather seats.

Most folks when they see one of these for the first time instantly think “1950’s”.  That’s understandable.  However, the Arrow 210 wasn’t actually available until 1960.  It was sold at least until 1986 and likely into the 1990’s.

As I’ve noted above, there are in actuality three different versions of the Arrow model 210.  While superficially they look very similar their stats show the differences:

Version 1

  • measures 8″ L x 2.25″ W x 2.75″ H
  • weighs 1 lb 7 oz
  • 4.25″ throat

Arrow Model 210 version 2

 Version 2

  • measures 7.5″ L x 2″ W x 2.75″ H
  • weighs 1 lb 4 oz
  • 4.5″ throat

Arrow Model 210 version 3

 Version 3

  • measures 7.5″ L x 2″ W x 2.75″ H
  • weighs 1 lb 2 oz
  • 4.5″ throat

It’s unknown exactly when Arrow changed over to the second version but circumstantial evidence points to the mid-to-late 1970’s.  The third version was being sold by 1985 but likely it started earlier.  The following photo shows the striking size difference between the versions.


Comparison of bases; version 1 on top and version 2 on bottom. The version 3 base is identical to the version 2 base.

Other differences include:

  • for tacking, version 1 disconnects from the base while on versions 2 and 3 the base flips 180 degrees.
  • note that version 1 has a locking mechanism on the bottom of the base to keep the stapler from disconnecting accidentally.
  • looking from the top, you’ll see that versions 2 and 3 have rubber feet that wrap around the base at the rear.
  • on version 1, the plate connecting the stapler to the base is larger than on later versions. Also note that version 1 has a hollow bump-out near the rear of this plate.  Finally, note that on version 1 there is a double pinstripe indent on the perimeter of the plate.
  • because the stapling mechanism on version 2 is slightly smaller, note that the chrome plunger plate “sideburns” go all the way to the bottom edge of the painted stapler top while on version 1 there is an approximate .219″ gap between the bottom edge of the chrome and the bottom edge of the stapler mechanism.
  • on version 3 the plunger plate has been completely redesigned.

The model 210’s were originally introduced in four colors: beige, chrome, green, and grey.  In 1966 black was added.  Because all of these colors were used throughout its lifetime you cannot really use color as a way to determine age.  With black you can determine that it was manufactured no earlier than 1966 but that’s really all that can be done.


newspaper ad from May 1960


box for the Arrow Model 210 Stapling Machine versions 1 and 2

box for the Arrow Model 210 Stapling Machine version 3


newspaper ad from 1978

I have to admit I have a soft spot for all of these older Arrow staplers.  They were well-made and all of them were well-designed and managed to be different from the crowd.  And I’m not just talking about the model 210, but all of the others also. While I’m glad that Arrow is still around I find it just a little sad that they no longer make desktop staplers anymore.


Arrow Model 210 version 1

Patent and Other Information:


  1. Wallace (1960, May), advertisement, The Derrick, page 28
  2. Perry Office Supply Catalog (1963), Syracuse, NY, page 49
  3. WOSCO, Inc. Catalog (1963), Greensburg, PA, page 2
  4. McDonald, Stingel and Bush Office Supply Catalog (1964), Saginaw, MI, page 358
  5. George Stuart (1966, August), advertisement, Orlando Sentinel, page 7-B
  6. Wilson’s Jewelers Distributors (1978, August), advertisement, Longview Morning Journal, page 13-A
  7. Marathon Office Supply, Inc Catalog (1986), Los Angeles, CA, page 18

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