Fencing market leader Tornado has strengthened its offer to the UK market with the launch of the new STOCK-ade ST-400i cordless fence stapler.

Part of the global ITW Construction Products Group, STOCK-ade is based in New Zealand – where so many fencing innovations originate.

The key benefit that the ST400i brings to the market is cordless convenience and speed. The development of the ST400i was driven by farmers and fencing contractors, who require powerful and portable stapling systems, which are not reliant on compressors and hoses. The product is built to the same exacting standards as the existing range of globally successful pneumatic fencing staplers from STOCK-ade. It combines rural-focused rugged design, with proven gas-powered technology.

The existing pneumatic ST400 stapler has been on the UK market, distributed by Tornado, for four years, and has established a strong reputation for efficiency and reliability. However the cordless ST400i brings convenience to a new level, since there is no compressor and no pipes associated with the product.

Rob Bishop, forestry team leader at Nicholsons in North Oxfordshire, is impressed: “It is really so convenient and easy to use,” he says. “We have had the pneumatic one for three years, which is great, but this new one does an equally good job and is a lot easier to use. We use both tools, but the cordless is the one that comes out of the box first. I did 250m this afternoon for instance, which took just 15 minutes. I would say it could also end up being cheaper to run, because you are not having to fuel up a compressor all the time.”

Consumables involved with the ST400i are a lithium battery, which users say is very long lasting, bespoke gas cartridges and of course the staples themselves which come in a magazine and do cost slightly more than loose 40mm staples in a bucket.

Lorne Gibson of STOCK-ade believes that cordless is the future. “Although some contractors have upgraded to pneumatic, we have to face the fact that most people still use a hammer – that is the market we are dealing with. Compared to that, the ST400i is an easy sell – it is quick, convenient and does a consistently good job. All these benefits are easy to demonstrate. It is also much safer from an ergonomic point of view than using a hammer. Guys who do long runs of fencing will really notice this, and you’re much less likely to injure yourself, using one of these.”

Brent Marvelly of Lancashire is one contractor who never had a pneumatic stapler, so his comparison is with using a hammer. “We’re very small compared to others in this business, but we work all year round, and we find the cordless tool particularly useful on longer runs. Often my wife is helping me with the stapling while I am up ahead, tying up and so on. She finds it ideal – not too heavy – and it really lets us work at twice the speed. Where it really comes into its own is on horse net, which obviously has more stapling involved. Although we might not use the tool all the time, because our business tends to involve a lot of short runs, I feel really comfortable having it in reserve.”

The ST400i is in fact the world’s first 4mm diameter/9-gauge cordless fencing stapler. It is safe and allows you to fire staples with one hand, meaning you can keep your second hand out of harm’s way.

The ST400i is capable of firing two 40mm staples a second, 750 staples per fuel cell and 3,000 staples on each battery charge. It comes as standard with two batteries to ensure that the user never runs out of power.

The unit’s extremely durable construction and adjustable depth of drive make stapling easy, quick and safe. It is designed in New Zealand and manufactured in France. The special industry standard staples have barbs and divergent points for improved holding power.

“We think this is really going to shake up the market,” says Lorne Gibson. “We have some ambitious growth targets for this product and are delighted to be working with Tornado, who have a great track record in getting the previous ST400 out into the market. The tool and the staples are good add-on business for them and we are confident that our relationship with Tornado is the best way to get the products in front of as many people as possible, which is our aim.”

From Tornado’s perspective, anything that enables the contractor to increase the metreage of fencing installed in a day has got to be a good thing. “The ST400i fits well with our customers’ requirements just now,” says Malcolm Blackford, Sales Manager at Tornado. “Industry expectations nowadays are for contractors to get more fencing up in a given time than ever before, so tools like this are exactly what they need, in that it increases the efficiency of our customers. The contractor market has changed and having products like this within our range is one way in which we are embracing that change.”