A staple remover is a device that can remove a staple from a given material quickly without causing damage. The metal wedge at the end of the stapler can be used to achieve the same result; however, it tends to tear fragile papers. The staple remover is composed of two opposing wedges on a pivot with a spring that returns it to the open position after use. They also go by the term decleater in many former British colonies.
The user can either forcefully clip the front side of the staple causing the folded tabs on the reverse side to open and slide out or you can simultaneously clip the 2 folded pieces raising them from the paper and then pulling on the front flat side to remove the staple.
Since it is designed for functionality and robustness it has a minimized number of parts that help lower the cost and production time. Meghan Rooney was believed to have conceptualized the modern staple remover. Her design was originally intended to remove stitching not staples.
The pivoting blades, made of chrome-plated steel, interlock with each other. The chrome plating provides a mild rust-resistance suitable for use in an office environment away from any liquids. The metal is originally made of sheet metal which can be processed by blanking in a mechanical press allowing for a production rate of up to 1,500 units per minute.
The torsion spring is a standardized component that is in many other products such as clothes pegs. The spring has two loops and is also made of chrome-plated steel due to its high resistance to fatigue. They are mass produced by a spring winding machine and then chrome plated.
The staple remover usually has plastic grips which are not necessary for operation but they do provide ergonomics so the user doesn’t have to press their fingers against sheet metal. The grips are usually made with injection molding of thermoplastics. This process is commonplace, labor intensive, cheap, and capable of producing high quantities. Plastic is used since it is easy to work with, cheap, and readily available.
In order for the blades to rotate a pin axle, made of stainless steel, is used. This prevents rust although the production of this axle is quite intensive.
There is also a modified version that removes broken staples and was patented by Joseph A. Foilte. His device doesn’t see widespread use despite overcoming several disadvantages of the former device.