Foldback bracket

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A foldback bracket

A foldback clamp (also known as a multipurpose clamp ) is a simple tool for stapling pages of paper together. It does not damage the paper and, unlike staples, can be easily removed again.

Properties and intended use

After the clamp has been attached, the handles can be folded down or removed completely in order to permanently connect the sheets of paper
Various foldback brackets and an AA battery for size comparison

A foldback clip consists of a strip of spring steel sheet that is bent into a straight prism . Two handles are attached to the tip of the prism, which can be used to open the clamp, which is under tension. Rounded edges prevent the sheet metal from cutting into the paper. Because the handles can be folded down, a smaller design is achieved than the (older) letter clipper with the same clamping capacity .

Foldback clamps are mainly used in the office. Their main purpose is to hold stacks of paper together that are too big for staples. By squeezing the handles sideways, they can also be removed entirely to permanently bind the paper. The handles can also be used to hang up the bound pages.

Foldback clips are available in widths from 5 mm (0.2 ") to 50 mm (2") with various clamping widths. For example, 13 mm wide clamps have a 4 mm clamp width and are suitable for clamping approx. 40 sheets together (with a paper thickness of typically 80 g / m 2 , rule of thumb: 10 sheets = 1 mm). They come in a variety of different colors, but they are usually colored with a black oxide layer . The sheet metal is made of stainless steel , but also nickel-plated, silver-plated or gold-plated. The handles are usually nickel-plated.

Advantages and disadvantages

Advantages over normal staples are:

  • Rust resistance
  • Can bind more sheets
  • Ties the sheets more tightly without perforating them
  • Can be used multiple times
  • Quick change when removing individual sheets
  • Can be removed without leaving any residue (for contracts etc.)

Disadvantages compared to normal staples are:

  • Higher purchase price
  • Limited stackability due to more volume (due to design)


The foldback clamp was invented in 1910 by Louis E. Baltzley in Washington, DC . The invention is covered by US Pat. No. 1,139,627. At the time, the common method of binding paper was to punch two holes and sew the sheets together. However, this made it difficult to remove individual leaves. The English phrase red tape comes from the use of colored threads or thin strips of fabric . Louis Baltzley developed the foldback clamps to help his father Edwin Baltzley, a writer and inventor, manage his manuscripts. While the original design has already been changed five times to its present form, the mechanism has always remained the same. Baltzley initially had his invention manufactured by the LEB Manufacturing Company. The manufacturing rights were later given to other companies.

After the manufacturer's name Maul, the nickname Maulys (registered trademark) has established itself.

Web links

Commons : Foldback brackets  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Maul Shop . Online shop of a foldback bracket manufacturer, accessed May 18, 2012.
  2. Hales Linda: A Big Clip Job? Think Washington , Washington Post . May 20, 2006. Retrieved June 23, 2007.