Standard Paper Clip Sizes and Guidelines

Standard Paper Clip Sizes

Paper clips are a staple (no pun intended) part of office supplies. If you want to keep sheets of paper together without stapling them together, a paper clip can be your best friend. When looking at paper clip sizes, you’ll find that they come in a wide range of sizes.

The standard size of a paper clip is 1.75 inches (4.45 centimeters) from top to bottom and about 0.47 inches (1.19 centimeters) from side to side. The total length of a paper clip when straightened is about 5.83 inches (14.8 centimeters).

If you wish to learn more about this invaluable piece of office stationery, I invite you to continue strolling down. Below, I’ll go into greater detail about paper clip sizes, their dimensions, and what sort of things you can use a paper clip for.

Paper Clips Sizes and Lengths

Paper clips sizes

Paper clips come in all different sizes. There are usually 4 sizes available, but some brands provide a greater quantity of size variance for specialized purposes.

The 4 typical sizes are #1, #2, #3, and Jumbo, with #1 paper clips being the standard size. Here’s a quick rundown of how each size differs from the others.

Paper Clip Size Length Straightened Length Width
#1 1.75 inches

4.45 centimeters

5.83 inches

14.8 centimeters

0.47 inches

1.19 centimeters

#2 1.38 inches

3.49 centimeters

4.6 inches

11.68 centimeters

0.47 inches

1.19 centimeters

#3 0.94 inches

2.38 centimeters

3.13 inches

7.95 centimeters

0.47 inches

1.19 centimeters

Jumbo 2 inches

5.08 centimeters

10.72 inches

27.22 centimeters

0.47 inches

1.19 centimeters

As you can see from the table above, the higher the number size, the smaller the paper clip. However, this isn’t the case with every brand.

Some paper clip manufacturers won’t just size their products in a different manner, but they’ll also vary between brands.

For instance, the Spacepower Store has paper clips in the following sizes.

Paper Clip Size Length Width
Small 1.1 inches

2.79 centimeters

0.25 inches

0.64 centimeters

Medium 1.3 inches

3.3 centimeters

0.26 inches

0.66 centimeters

Large 1.97 inches

5 centimeters

0.23 inches

0.58 centimeters

Choosing the Right Paper Clip

While paper clips might seem like any size will work, that’s not always the case. There are a few key things to pay attention to when choosing a paper clip size for your office, which are as follows:

Size: The length and width. For the most part, your business may be able to get by with standard 1 or 1.1-inch (2.54 or 2.79-centimeter) paper clips. However, it ultimately depends on how many sheets of paper you wish to clip to each other. In general, larger paper clips can hold larger stacks of paper together.

Wire Gauge: The thickness of the paper clip. Thicker paper clips will have a more difficult time snapping. So, thicker paper clips can keep heavier stacks of paper together as opposed to paper clips made from a thinner wire.

Finish: Steel, rubber-coated, plastic, and color options. You can choose paper clips that are as unique and colorful as you wish. However, for most businesses, especially when dealing with external parties, you might want to stick to the traditional galvanized steel finish.

Paper Clip Uses

Paper Clip Uses

Paper clips can be used for a lot more than simply keeping stacks of paper together. Below, I’ll briefly go over ways you can utilize paper clips around your home.

Replacement Zippers

If the zipper on your favorite jacket or pair of jeans has snapped off, you can fashion a makeshift zipper using nothing but a paper clip. Simply insert one of the tail ends of the paper clip through the zipper’s loop until the paper clip is fastened securely.

Unclogging Spray Bottles

To get rid of any solid materials inside of a spray bottle’s nozzle, you will need to use the tiny end of a straightened paper clip. You can straighten a paperclip by carefully uncurling the wire until it sits as flat as possible. Now, take one end and poke it into the spray bottle’s nozzle. Give it a few test sprays to see whether or not the clog has cleared.

Hanging Ornaments and Curtains

Eventually, the hooks on your Christmas ornaments or curtains will go missing. When it does, you can use paper clips as replacement hooks. Simply slide one of the outer tail of the paper clip through a hook until it is safe and secure. Now, hang your ornaments wherever you want or your curtains on the curtain rings.

Painting Easter Eggs

When it comes to painting Easter eggs, you will need as much precision as possible to add intricate, minute details to the shell. You can do this by straightening a paper clip and dipping one end into a cup of paint. This is a great way to add decorative dots all over Easter eggs.


You can either leave 2 or 3 paper clips on the page you’re reading, or you can slightly uncoil the paper clip to create decorative bookmarks. Some people have even come up with clever heart-shaped bookmarks by fastening 2 paperclips together and positioning them at 45-degree angles.

Removing SIM and microSD cards

This is a classic use of a paper clip. If you need to remove the SIM card or microSD card from your smartphone, or if you need to hard-reboot an electronic one, uncurl a paper clip and stick the tiny end into the tiny hole of your smartphone or gadget. The thinner the paperclip, the better.

Phone Stand

You can create a DIY phone stand for your smartphone using 1 or 2 paper clips. Simply pull out the larger coil of the paper clip until the rounded heads create a 45-degree angle. Now, take the other end of the paper coil, uncurl it, and curl it upward to keep your phone in place. The round head on the opposite end of the paper clip will serve as a stand on which your phone rests.

Fishing Hook

If you’ve run out of fishing hooks and the bait shop is closed over the weekend, you can do the next best thing by uncurling a paper clip. Leave one end of the paper clip curled upward to place bait on.

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Baron Cooke has been writing and editing for 7 years. He grew up with an aptitude for geometry, statistics, and dimensions. He has a BA in construction management and also has studied civil infrastructure, engineering, and measurements. He is the head writer of

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