Rivet Gun and Rivet Tools
Install POP rivets with simple to use tools in Manual, Battery, and Air Powered varieties
A rivet requires a tool that keeps the rivet hat firmly pressed against the installation surface while simultaneously pulling the mandrel away from it. These tools are commonly referred to as rivet guns, riveters, rivet tools, or riveting tools. Not only are there many things to call a rivet gun, but there are also many varieties.
Types of Rivet Guns
- Hand Rivet Gun
- Lever Riveter
- Battery Powered POP Rivet Gun
- Pneumatic Rivet Gun
While not all rivet guns were made equal, it is easy to identify the type of rivet gun needed for an application.
Learn more about Rivet Guns, how they work, as well as a breakdown of the Pros and Cons of each type on our Pop Rivet Gun Instructional Guide.
Hand Rivet Gun
Hand powered POP rivet gun work with a simple lever and squeeze technique. The first step when using one is to choose the appropriately sized nose piece. Rivet guns normally come with several options to fit a range of blind rivets. Hand-operated riveters fit various rivets, usually made of steel with a rubber grip, and offer the cheapest cost.
Hand Rivet Guns are an excellent choice for the occasional user. If you find your project having just a few rivets, then this will do the trick. The biggest con on this riveting tool is the squeeze and the amount of time it takes. Used repeatedly, it can be very stressful on the hands, wrists, and forearms, making it less than ideal for projects requiring many rivets.
Types of Rivet Tools
Types of Pop Riveting Tools Transcript
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Bob: Welcome back to Albany County Fasteners - Fasteners 101. Today we're going to teach you about the different types of rivet tools. So let's get started.
So we're going to review rivet tools. This is your standard hand rivet tool. This is good for most installations of rivets all the way up to a #6. Nothing special about it. It's a hand tool. It's made for the DIY guy or the contractor that just puts in a couple of rivets every now and then or he's putting in a soffit and needs to install some rivets. Its mainly used for simple, easy installations.
This is a pneumatic rivet tool. You need to have an air source to supply air to it. You need about 80 pounds of air, 60 to 80 pounds. This is a great tool. It's fast. Great for production.
And then we have the big bolt cutter type. This is made for structural type rivets, 1/4 inch rivets or larger. You put your rivet in there and you snap that baby. This is for large rivets. Stainless or Aluminum, this will handle large rivets.
And that's it.
Lever Riveting Tools are the next step up in rivet guns. They also come with nose pieces but work with a broader range of rivet sizes. Lever rivet tools tend to be more heavy-duty than a hand rivet gun and are easier on the user. Due to their larger size and lever action, they don't require much physical strength to use. They also come with a collection bottle that catches the snapped mandrels after installation.
To install a rivet using the riveting lever gun, first, open the arms all the way. Then insert the mandrel into the nose piece. Once the hat reaches the nose piece, insert it into the installation hole. Then squeeze the two handles together. This will pull the mandrel in and snap it off. Now hold the lever rivet gun so the nose piece is in the air, and open the arms. This will release the hold on the mandrel, and it will fall into the bottle catch.
A lever riveting tool is an excellent tool found on many job sites. It makes installing blind rivets easier than using the hand riveter but is still manually done. It does come at a higher price point than the standard hand riveter, however. This fact is offset by the fact that this riveter comes with the ability to use a broader range of rivets, including larger sizes.
How To Install Rivets With A Lever Rivet Tool
Structural Rivet Installation With a Lever Riveter Transcript
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Bob: Welcome back to Albany County Fasteners, Fasteners 101. I'm Bob and today I'm going to demonstrate the installation of a structural rivet, stainless steel, with this monster tool.
So I have my Norseman. My 1/4 inch Norsemen-Viking CTD bit. It's a new bit. I'm just going to add some lubricant to it and then I'm just going to drill some holes to demonstrate the installation of a structural rivet.
That's one. This is 3/8" steel that we're going through. Two. We'll do three holes. Amazing bit. That's our third hole. So I have a structural rivet here. As you can see this rivet is stainless steel. This is one of the hardest rivets to put in place. Stainless steel does give you a little more resistance, but not as much as everybody thinks.
I have my bolt cutter type riveter tool and I'm going to install the the rivet. To put the rivet in here, you need to-you'll see it only goes so far in. It's important that the rivet sits all the way into the tool and the only way on this tool that the rivet will go all the way into the front of the nose is by opening the arms.
So I have opened the arms all the way and you saw that the rivet now falls all the way in place. I'm going to insert it into the hole and now I'm going to crimp the rivet. That's one...and two.
So it's a two-step process. I'm going to do three of these. That's the first one. I drilled three holes, and here's the second one. So as you can see the first one pulls, starts to pull, the back of the rivet in to lock it in and then the second one pulls the balance of the mandrel through and then once it reaches its breaking point it just snaps the mandrel off and then you get a flat surface.
And then I have the last one I'm going to do. Now you just, I don't know if you heard that but, the pieces of the mandrel that are left over are actually dropping in here. Into this little cup, and I'll show you once I finish putting this last rivet in.
So you have to, to get that to drop and clear the hole, you actually have to bring the arms all the way out. So I'm going to slide the other one in, lock that in place first, and then the second one.
So I put three of them in. All three are tightly fastened. This is a 3/8" piece of steel; this is only for demonstration purposes to show you how this tool can install your rivets very effectively.
I off-screwed the cup and these are the mandrels that have been cut off after the crimping process. Those are the three that I just did and I'll show you a close-up of the actual rivet. This is the finished side. I'm going to show you now-just waiting for focus here-and now I'm going to show you the back side.
That's the backside. There's no play in this it's very solid. It's in place and locked in.
So if you were fastening two pieces of structural steel together, this is the tool and you'll want a structural rivet.
Battery Powered POP Rivet Gun
Battery Powered POP Rivet Gun come in many varieties. The two main types function the same way, except for the last step. One type of battery-powered rivet gun spits the mandrel out from the front of the gun. The other type pulls the mandrel into a mandrel holder, so you do not need to worry about them until emptying the catch.
Battery-powered riveters are great for the job site. They offer the versatility of not having a cord and the ease of simply pushing a button to install the rivet. Choosing the version with the mandrel catch is typically more expensive than the other battery-powered option. The catch version makes installations faster by collecting the mandrels for you but be careful not to over-fill the catch, or the gun may jam.
RK401CR Cordless Riveter Review
RK401CR Cordless Riveter Review Transcript
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Bob: Welcome back to Albany County Fasteners - Fasteners 101. I'm Bob and today I'm going to review and demonstrate this cordless Riveter. So let's get started.
I have here the model RK401CR. This is a Rivet King commercial professional Riveter. It comes with one battery, comes with one charger. You get the power cord, get the instruction manual, you get three-in-one wrenches. This has three different nuts that you can remove with this one wrench. It has three additional nozzles. There's one in there right now and it does (is compatible with) rivets from 3/32" to 3/16."
The battery here, slides in very easily. It has a quick release so you pop it right in. Pop it right off. Slides nicely into the charger. If it's plugged in, it will just start charging. This is actually nice because it just slides right in and it's quick to charge.
It probably weighs about, I don't know, four or five pounds I would say approximately. It's a nice unit. It's a well balanced unit.
What's really nice about this is that after the mandrel-I'll just demonstrate right here. You put your rivet in, this is a number 6 rivet, and I'm just going to pop it in and see what happens to the mandrel. It'll actually slide back and drop into the back and you can hear that. I'm just gonna drop them out now so you can see. Here are the broken mandrels. So you don't have to sit there and waste your time trying to pull it out of the nozzle that's it. Another one. There you go and another one. 1-2-3.
I'm now going to demonstrate it by having the rivets installed into steel. I'm going to now show you how fast this rivets.
So as you can see, it rivets very quickly. This was only for demonstration purposes. It does a nice job at riveting. It's very tight, it's clean and as you can see the mandrels are pulled out of the back. Very nice unit. It's a must-have if you use rivets on a regular basis, it's a nice tool.
Pneumatic Rivet Gun
Pneumatic Rivet Gun is powered by compressed air to very quickly and easily install blind rivets. With a built-in catch, the pneumatic rivet tool is easily the fastest way to install rivets.
The downside to pneumatic riveters is that they require a hosed connection to compressed air. This limits their versatility and portability more than any of the other tools available. Still, if the project requires installing a large number of rivets, this is undoubtedly the best tool to use to get it done. It also comes at a significantly lower price point than the electric-powered tools.
How to use a Rivet Pneumatic Air Gun
Pneumatic Rivet Gun Transcript
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Bob: This is a pneumatic rivet tool and obviously you need to have an air source to supply air to it. You need about 80 pounds of air. 60 to 80 pounds. This is a great tool. Fast. Great for production.
So now i'm going to demonstrate to you the installation of the pneumatic rivet gun. This is a a really cool tool. It's quick it's fast so if you're in a production line that you want to produce quick action riveting, this is the tool for that.
So I'm just going to install the mandrel into the rivet tool. This is a large flange rivet I'm installing. So I'm just going to install it. Watch this.
Fast action. Quick. Material doesn't matter. It can be stainless, it can be aluminum, could be steel, it doesn't really matter what you put in. This tool will get the job done fast.
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