How Much Does a Paperclip Weigh?

August 19, 2023
David Sunnyside

Paperclips are a very useful office supply that keeps piles of papers together. They are small and easy to carry, and most people use them for many different reasons. They are also inexpensive and easy to find in most stores.

Normally, a paperclip is made of steel or another metal and covered with plastic. Depending on the type of paperclip, it can be shaped differently. Some are oblong, while others are triangular or circular. There are even multi-colored plastic paperclips. However, all paperclips are able to hold multiple sheets of paper together, thanks to their two-piece clamping system.

Although many people may assume that paperclips are a recent invention, they have actually been in use for quite some time. The first bent wire paper clip was invented in 1896 by Matthew Schooley. He received a patent for his design, which was intended to hold tickets, fabrics, and similar items. This was not the same as the paperclip we all know and use today, so he is not counted among the inventors of the modern paperclip.

There are many different types of paperclips, but most are a variation of the Gem-type paperclip introduced in the 1890s. These are characterized by their oblong shape with straight sides, and by two almost full loops that resemble the ends of a horseshoe. Other variations have pointed instead of rounded edges, or wires with undulations to grip paper better.

The average metal paperclip weighs about a gram. Some have a much larger mass, and some are made of plastic rather than metal. You can easily estimate how much a box of paperclips weighs by looking at the label, or weighing them all if there is no label.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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