Shop Rivet Nuts – What Are They & How Are They Used?

Rivet nuts in different positions



Let’s go nuts learning all about rivet nuts at! Now look, we know comparing fasteners to fishing isn’t winning us any humor points. But finding ideal options can be slippery! Sure standard bolts and locks get the basic job done. However, when dealing with thin stuff or one-sided access, many run into…well…snags! Enter our adaptable friend since the 1930s – the rivet nut. Securing parts where no fastener has been secured before! Okay, Captain Kirk references aside, whether your challenge is aviation panels or furniture fittings, these proven fasteners offer a uniquely flexible solution worthy of revisiting. Let’s dive into how they unrelentingly optimize and enhance where it counts!

What are Rivet Nuts?

Engineers specifically design rivet nuts, also known as RIVNUTs®, to function as internally threaded inserts that actively grip and fasten themselves completely onto only one side of an assembly’s materials. Originally used in aircraft production in the late 1930s, these nuts pair with standard sized bolts and come in round, square, splined or hexagonal shapes allowing flexible installation. Read on as we explore everything about these nifty fasteners – from uses to types to installation and benefits that make them a versatile fastening solution across industries.

How do Rivet Nuts Work?

The rivnut first gets forcibly inserted into just one side of a material using a specialty rivet gun. An externally threaded fastener like a bolt then screws into the rivet nut from the other non-insertion side to secure additional components. So while rivet nuts only require access to one side, they facilitate two-way fastening. This also allows disassembly without damaging the threads or fully removing rivnuts.

When are Rivnuts Used?

Rapid insertion, slim shape but robust material strength make rivnuts ideal fasteners in weight-sensitive sectors requiring frequent assembly like aerospace and automaking. Avoiding welding or threading also cuts costs and production time. Tailor-made for any situation facing space barriers, shifting part adjustments, intense vibrations or easily damaged thin material connections too. Their versatile, adaptable grip handles it all.

How to Install Rivet Nuts

To install a rivet nut, have a drill, appropriately sized drill bit, and a rivet nut tool available. Installing rivet nuts is as easy as following the 5 steps below:


1 – Drill a pilot hole with the same diameter as the rivet nut to be used in the workpiece.

2 – Take the rivnut and thread it until flush onto the mandrel of the rivet nut tool.

3 – Pull the opposite end of the mandrel as far back as allowed and thread the adjuster back to contact it.

4 – Install the rivet nut using the rivet gun by inserting the rivet nut into the drilled pilot hole and squeezing the handles of the tool until it reaches a stop.

5 – Remove the rivet nut tool by unscrewing the mandrel from the rivet nut.


Be careful not to apply too much force on the rivet nut during installation as this may ruin the internal threads of the rivet nut.


Different types of Rivet Nuts

nuts in different positions on white background

Round: Grip smooth circular holes firmly by integrating knurled sleeve textures that dramatically increase installation resistance to vibration or spin-out forces. Closed-end variants actively block liquid seepage by barricading the backside assembly access point.

Hexagonal: Seize enhanced strength capacity demands by forging hexagonal shank shapes with exacting size dimensions to interface with hex drilled holes. Their geometry allows significantly heightened torque capability and shear/tensile load-bearing performance.

Slotted: Tackle variable material layer depth challenges by intentionally engineering longitudinal slots along the shank walls. The slots’ empty volume traversing their whole length creates an adaptable overall fastener thickness optimized for inconsistently distanced mounting points.

Floating: Give designers flexibility to intentionally misalign threaded angles by providing deliberate threaded interface slack. The inserted floating nut’s internal threading can angle up to 30 degrees in any direction depending on parts needing adjustment.

Studs: Broaden mounting versatility by separating the rivet nut anchor and male threading into two components. The anchored insert side facilitates security while the stud end enables standard nut fastening options.

Final Takeaways

While the name doesn’t spark immediate enthusiasm, we hope this deep dive revealed the hidden versatility and meaningful advantages rivet nuts provide across countless application contexts. Their accessible one-sided installation opens reliable fastening opportunities closed off to traditional nuts and bolts. Combined with durable thread engagement, vibration dampening, swift automation scaling, and lightweight strength retaining, rivet nuts punch far above their perceived weight class!

Still not convinced these innocuously named fasteners deserve a spotlight in your next production run? Consult with our sales team to explore the full breadth of proven rivet nut solutions. You’ll find an expert ready to help in every fastener circumstance!