The Endless Possibilities of Paper Clips – A Review

Pile of paper clips

As you may be aware, a certain fruit recently saw fit to make a purchase using my Amazon Prime account. Though the aforementioned party has met with a timely and appropriate fate, his legacy has been carried forward in the form of a parcel containing an alleged one-thousand paper clips. I could simply return them but in keeping them I am certain that I will not need to purchase paper clips again for my remaining years. One less thing to worry about…which is nice.

Too many paper clips
No one needs this

For those unfamiliar with the paper clip, it is a length of thin metal wire bent and formed in a purposeful manner with the intended application being that it can temporarily hold sheets of paper together in a desired order. These particular paper clips are 1.25″ in length.

Some would say that the paper clip is superior to the staple or the three-holed punch in that it doesn’t damage the stationary upon which it is used and is inherently a non-committal means to affix sheets of paper together. Others would say that the digital age is the death knell of these antiquated means of distributing documents. With that in mind I took it upon myself to find alternative uses for these paper clips in an attempt to re-establish their relevancy in these modern times. My findings are outlined below and if you wish to have a printed copy, perhaps fastened together, then feel free to buy your own damn paper clips.

Paper clips can be used to hold a small amount of leafy greens together.

Paperclips and food
Honestly try plastic ware

Perhaps if you have a recipe for a tiny salad, you may find this useful. You will want to find alternate means to contain the other components of your lunch –  a mark in the negative column for the paper clip. Being one who prefers to eat salads of a considerable size, this application is lost on me.

Paper clips can be bent into various shapes.

Bent paper clips
You have questions. I don’t have answers.

If you consider yourself to be a creative or artistic person then this application may have more merit. I recommend refraining from presenting anything but your most impressive creations to any unfortunate persons nearby – they may put on a face of mild interest before filing you away in their mind as a person of questionable priorities. I do not possess the requisite talents to make anything beyond that of which a young child is equally capable. Regardless, it is a nice way to occupy yourself when bored. Note that the use of pliers to make more intricate bends is frowned upon in the freehand-clip-bending community.

Paper clips can be hurled into the eyes of an enemy

Handful of paper clips
Never too prepared

If you happen to be accosted by a person with ill-intent, or just know a person that you happen to not like very much, a handful of paper clips to the face is sure to dissuade and intimidate. The first reaction, after being initially caught off-guard, is bewilderment as any person who carries a number of paper clips at the ready should be avoided. Not the most effective means of defense but it is relatively inexpensive and sends a message.

Paper clips can be strung together to make a shitty chain

Chopsticks hanging by paper clips
Chopsticks at the ready

No real world application unless you enjoy hanging light-weight objects from your ceiling and lack aesthetic taste.

Paper clips can be hidden throughout the home to cause mildly humorous confusion

There are potential seconds of amusement to be had. If you have a curious child in your home, consider placing them on surfaces no lower than waist height or that mildly humorous confusion can quickly turn into genuine concern when the paper clip makes a surprise appearance among the contents of a soiled diaper.


By themselves, paper clips have little alternative real world application. Sure you could combine them with other office supplies, like rubber bands, to make something worthy of your time but I wanted to make an effort to assess their value on their own. I honestly thought there would be more potential here but, in hindsight, perhaps I should have returned these to Amazon and gotten my $7.00 back.