A randomized, prospective study was performed to test the null hypothesis that there is no difference between the cost of stapling and suturing for skin closure of selected linear lacerations. Appropriate wounds were randomly assigned to be closed by staples or sutures. Wound lengths, skin closure times, and the number of staples or the number and types of sutures used were recorded. Costs for materials and labor were calculated. The average total cost per case was $17.69 (with suture kit) and $7.84 (without suture kit) for the staple Group compared with $21.58 for the suture Group (P = .0001 for each). It is concluded that stapling is less costly than suturing and that the advantage appears to increase as laceration length increases.