Let’s deal with the elephant in the room here: the Bosch PTK 3.6 LI Cordless Tacker won’t be able to keep up with some of the more macho nail guns that appear on our Best nail guns list… But it is a million times better than the stapler that’s kicking around in your old pencil case.
With that in mind, this product will suit someone who is just dipping a toe into DIY waters or who is perhaps a more experienced hobbyist with a hobby that involves stapling things together. This could be canvas to a wooden frame (if you dabble with water colours), posters to noticeboards (maybe you work in a school) or light fabrics to furniture (you like to reupholster your dining room chairs every year).
Whatever the application, the Bosch PTK 3.6 LI Cordless Tacker is a solid choice, as it has been designed with safety and ease of use in mind. There’s no horrible kickback here, nor is there the potential to accidentally fire off staples into fingers or even worse, a pet’s eyeballs.
The cordless, battery powered nature means that you don’t have to swap batteries out, yet Bosch reckons you can smash in over 400 staples before the built-in lithium-ion packs roll over and give up. When it’s out of charge, you just plug it into a wall socket with the provided charger and wait a couple of hours.
Check out our Best DIY tools hub for a round-up of all the key power tools you need.
Bosch PTK 3.6 LI Cordless Tacker Review: price and availability
We found the Bosch PTK 3.6 LI Cordless Tacker is readily available from Amazon UK, priced at £67.95. It can also be found at B&Q, although stock seems to be an issue and the pricing (£11) is clearly wrong. Wickes is also having trouble with stock, but it is a steal at £60 when they do get it back in.
In Australia it's AU$99 but in America this scaled-down nail gun does not appear to exist. They have much more substantial ones over there.
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Bosch PTK 3.6 LI Cordless Tacker Review: build quality
Like most of the items in the Bosch DIY range (that’s the green kit, not the professional blue kit), this tacker feels sturdy and there are plenty of sweet additional touches. For a start, I like the battery indicator and the cool staple window, which has a little fuel pump logo on it so you know when it’s time to fill ‘er up.
There’s also an ergonomically designed soft grip handle that features a textured pattern to ensure it stays put in the hand. A lack of removable battery means the entire body is sealed, making it feel like it can withstand a beating without bits flying off. I also found that the big trigger has a decent mechanical heft to get the stapler to work. Some cheaper nail guns feel a little flimsy to use, but despite this unit being aimed at amateur DIYers and hobbyists, it comes complete with decent build quality and gives the impression it can handle a little more than it lets on.
Bosch PTK 3.6 LI Cordless Tacker Review: performance
It's not as hardy as some of the tackers and nail guns featured in our buying guide, and that's because this Bosch unit is really designed to replace a powerful manual stapler. It's compatible with 8mm and 10mm staples and tacks, which aren’t suitable for nailing anything large.
Point the Bosch PTK 3.6 LI Cordless Tacker at some light upholstery work or simple crafting and it performs admirably. A staple won’t fire unless you first have the business end depressed into the surface, which is a neat safety touch to avoid any accidents, but when lined up it will fire a staple into softer woods, fabrics and even plasterboard.
My tests revealed that it couldn’t quite handle forcing into plastics, which typically require a more potent stapler that runs off compressed air, while tougher woods and those with a stubborn grain would see the staple fold in on itself.
Instead, this product is happy fastening fabrics, such as leather, or stapling paper, cardboard or both of those things to softwood surfaces. We managed to sink a few staples into the soft plasterboard at our office (sorry Mr Office Manager) and cover a cheap Ikea desk in some leather material, but we imagine it wouldn’t live up to more serious DIY jobs.
You’ll definitely need one something from the more serious end of our best nail guns list to tackle things like decking, shed erections and other hardwood applications that require more serious force.
Bosch PTK 3.6 LI Cordless Tacker Review: what the customers say
From Amazon UK
• “This is an excellent piece of kit! I bought it because I made a headboard for my bed and need a staple gun to attach the canvas to the MDF base. It is so easy to use, it takes all the hard work out of stapling, (I am disabled and my hands are not very strong which is why I bought it), it does a brilliant job and I would highly recommend it if you are looking for a good quality stapler. Brilliant!”
• “I’ve just used this to re-upholster a chair and it worked very well. I hadn’t used a staple gun before, but it was easy to load and simple to operate. It had no difficulty going through the thick, folded webbing into the wood. My hands are small and not very strong, but this tacker gave me no problems.”
• “I am sure this would be a brilliant bit of kit but it wasn't really up to the upholstery work I had intended it for. Probably should have looked a bit closer at the staple size, which is too small to be effective for what I wanted – my mistake!”
Bosch PTK 3.6 LI Cordless Tacker Review: verdict
The initial outlay is going to be greater than for a standard mechanical stapler, but the Bosch PTK 3.6 LI Cordless Tacker feels like it is up to tougher tasks than its analogue brethren. It also takes some of the wrist work out of more arduous tacking tasks and could make a great companion for those into haberdashery and amateur reupholstery.
The handy battery indicator and neat window that reveals how many staples are left make it extremely simple to use. Loading staples is a doddle and the battery seems to last a long time. Few projects require more than 400 staples – the quoted battery life – so as long as you pop it on charge when you’ve finished, it should always be up to the task.