Some joints are just impossible to join by hand. If you are needing to get at the front and back of two places to secure a fastening, there are loads of occasions when this simply cannot be done! You may think that isn’t a situation that you are ever going to be in, but anyone who regularly works on their cars or completes DIY jobs at home will know how often you are going to need a rivet gun. A rivet gun is designed to secure two materials together even when you can only get to one side of them – although they may not be a tool that you use often, they are invaluable as without them you are going to have a hard time getting the job done!
We know that a rivet gun isn’t exactly a tool that you purchase every day, which is why we created this article with all the key features that you need to consider before making your purchase!
Best Pick – Enegitech Rivet Gun
- Power Riveter: It delivers monster torque up to 40Nm/354in.lbs which makes it 4 times faster than hand riveter, can pull up to 800 rivets with a 4.0Ah li-ion battery (Not include). Even faster than pneumatic machines and also easy to carry.
- Brushless Motor: Compared to brushed motor, it won’t have spark and you don’t need to replace the carbon brushes, provides you much safety and convenience. The BL Brushless motor enables the tool run cooler and 50% more efficient for longer life.
- Automatic Operation: Intelligent one-button operation, takes only 2-5 seconds for one operate (depends on the materials of rivets), greatly improve work efficiency.
- Widely Used: Can be use on aluminum, copper, stainless steel nails; suitable for following nosepieces: 3/32-inch(2.4mm), 3/16-inch(4.8mm), 5/32-inch(4mm), 1/8-inch(3.2mm), ideal for automotive and construction assembly work.
- What you get: Enegitech Blind Rivet Tool ET06, 30-Day Money back guarantee, 12-Month warranty, 24-Hours customer services.
How Does A Rivet Gun Work?
You may be wondering exactly how a rivet gun works – its frustrating when you are using a tool with no idea what is going on on the inside. Here is a video that gives you a closer look…
Only Got 5 Minutes?
Here is where we have included all that key information that you need to know before purchasing a rivet gun! If you are looking for those key facts on construction, features and rivets then this is where you need to be!
Rivet Gun Features
Want to know what makes the best rivet gun – keep reading for those key features you should be considering before making your purchase!
It goes without saying that arguably the first thing you need to consider is the number of rivets that are included with your rivet gun! This is going to affect the number of jobs that you are able to complete before you are going to have to purchase more rivets, which will not only save you time but also money if you are going to be using your rivet gun regularly. We found that rivet gun sets tend to range from just 50, all the way up to 200! Although, it is important to note that we did find some deals that are literally just the rivet gun with no rivets included – this is a good option if you already have rivets available as will save you money, but is a faff if you are going to need to purchase them separately.
It is also worth looking at the different sizes of rivets that come with your rivet gun, as a good selection will make it much easier to work on different jobs quickly and easily. Some come with just one size of rivet, whereas others will come with 4 or 5!
The most popular bolt sizes are; M3, M4, M5, M6 and M8, so these are going to be the compatible rivets that you want to go for! There are two main types of rivets that you are going to be working with blind rivets – named as such because you might not be able to access the other side of the sheet material – and rivet nuts which allow you to insert an threaded rivet which can then be reused.
The weight of your rivet gun is going to impact on the amount of time that you can work with your rivet gun before becoming fatigued. It is much easier to work with a lighter model, particularly if you are trying to get into hard to reach places as you will be able to work with just one hand and at more awkward angles.
We found that the weight of rivet guns really depended on their design and build material, but they tended to be just over 1kg for most “middle of the road” models. However, if you aren’t going to be using your rivet gun regularly and weight is an important factor for you then there are some closer to 500g.
There are two real factors that you need to consider when looking at the length of the rivet guns that you are trying to choose between. On the one hand you want a long enough handle that will allow you to get into some of those hard to reach places, but also too long of a handle can make the tool really quite cumbersome to work with. Most models tend to have a handle length of just under 30cms but there are some more compact models that have a shorter handle.
Almost all rivet guns that you find will be made out of metal, but there are different metals that are used depending on your budget and the type of rivet gun that you want. Some will be made from aluminium which is a super light metal but also strong enough to handle most jobs. But if you are wanting the strongest of rivet guns then opt for one made from steel – these will be more expensive but are going to be able to withstand anything that you are wanting to throw at them.
TOP TIP: If you are looking for a durable but also light rivet gun then you can find some that offer the best of both worlds….A strong aluminium body with a forged carbon steel upper handle will be everything that you need and more.
Best Budget – Rolson 44409 Four Head Rivet Gun
- Four Head Rivet Gun with 75 Rivets
- Heavy duty hand riveter
- Supplied with a selection of rivets to fit the four interchangeable tips
- A spanner is included to interchange the heads
- Four different head sizes supplied 2.4, 3.2, 4.0, 4.8mm
Best Rivet Gun Features
The features above are those crucial ones that you need to focus on when you are choosing between different rivet guns, but it can still be quite difficult to choose between models even when you have narrowed it down by length and weight etc. We have itemised some of the features that we found with the best rivet guns so that you know whether you have found one that is the best of the best.
It is well worth looking at the handles of your rivet gun to see if these have been designed by comfort in mind! If you are going to be using your rivet gun regularly then choosing one with ergonomic, comfort grip handles will make the job a lot easier. This is usually achieved using types of rubber over the top of the metal length. Look out for models that have grooves allowing for anti-slip grip to help you keep a steady hand.
Most rivet guns will come with a handle clip that allows you to “lock” the handles closed when you are not working, but it is worth double checking that this is included with your rivet gun as it allows you to keep your tool both safe but also compact when you are not working! Make sure this clip is easy to slide over the other handle but that also won’t slip off when you are carrying your tool around.
TOP TIP: If you know that you are going to be switching between rivets regularly then look out for handles that you can store in the base of the tool. This will save you having to take your carry case wherever you go and allow quick interchanging of the nose pieces when you are working on a big job.
Pneumatic Rivet Guns
There are many rivet guns now available on the market that are pneumatic models. These use air to help the tool do the work for you, saving you from a lot of manpower and time that you would have to put in otherwise. Not just this, but we have all been in the situation of trying to work at an awkward angle that just stops us from being able to exert the amount of power that we normally would. That is the time to pull out the pneumatic rivet gun…because it is doing the job for you, with around 2000 pounds of pulling power, it will be able to work in even the most awkward of locations.
Admittedly these are going to be slightly more complicated to use and expensive but if you know that you are going to be working with multiple rivets on a regular basis then as far as we are concerned it is well worth the extra money!
Some also come with quick-release air valves that allow you to return the cylinder quickly back into its starting position. This will save you even more valuable time.
Admittedly choosing a rivet gun that is going to work effectively is more important than the carry case that it comes with, however we still think choosing one with a good case will impact on your overall experience when you are using the tool! Look for one that will allow you to safely carry your rivet gun but also a selection of rivets between jobs that you are working on.
The best cases that we found were designed so that the rivet gun could be slotted into place when not in use and it had multiple compartments to help you keep your rivets ordered in size.
TOP TIP: Look out for a case that comes with a clear front, this will make it much easier to see how many of each rivet size you have left before you start working! No more frustration getting half way through a job to realise that you’re all out of the size that you need!
- 360° swivel heads are great features if you know that you are going to be working in some tight to reach places as you can adjust the tool to whatever conditions you are in. This is also great if you know that the sheet material isn’t going to be sat flat on a work surface when you are completing DIY jobs.
- Grabbers – Many rivet guns come with “grabbers” as part of the tool. These are crucial for literally grabbing hold of the rivet that you are working with or for removing rivets when necessary. Check that these are going to be easy to use and not get in the way of the rest of the tool whilst you are working.
- Belt hook – Perfect for if you are moving between tools and positions when you are working. This will allow you to simply hang your rivet gun up or hook it onto your belt when you don’t need it, which saves the faff of having to find where you left it when you are working.
- Rubbish disposal – Who knew a little cup could bring so much happiness? We found some rivet guns that came with small “cup” like containers for any used rivets. This saves you from having pockets full of old rivets or them scattered all over the floor at the end of a working day!
- Colour – A brighter colour rivet gun is going to be nice and easy to spot quickly when it is muddled in with all of your other tools! Not just that but it saves it from becoming muddled in with dirt and debris if you are working on panelling or other high-debris jobs with your rivet gun.
Best of the Rest
- This rivet knife has strong tension and can pull aluminium rivets, iron rivets and stainless steel rivets.
- With self-priming design, you can use it with one hand and save time and effort.
- Equipped with oil filling hole on the top, convenient for filling oil, no need to disassemble the cylinder.
- Universal rotating air intake connector makes riveting work flexible.
- Widely used in decoration, automotive, container, electrical appliance, instrument and other mechanical engineering.
- Equipped with a able ejector / automatic ejection of the outer back part made of rivet and pliers
- Made of steel and aluminium rivets with 2/3/4 and 5 mm diameter, made of stainless steel 3 mm and 4 mm diameter
- Box contents: 1 x 6 MR blind rivet pliers, heavy design, 1 x wrench, 1 x rivet head for blind rivets with 2 mm, 3 mm, 4 mm and 5 mm diameter
- Accepts aluminium, steel & stainless steel rivets for wide range of applications
- 4 nose pieces & wrench store in handle for versatility and convenient storage
- 【Pop Rivet Gun Kit】--- This Rivet Gun Comes with 4 Different Sizes of Rivets: 3/32"(2.4mm), 1/8"(3.2mm), 5/32"(4.0mm) and 3/16"(4.8mm).
- 【200 PCS Rivets】--- There Are 200 PCS of Rivets in Total: 50 PCS of 2.4mm Rivets, 50 PCS of 3.2mm Rivets, 50 PCS of 4.0mm Rivets and 50 PCS of 4.8mm Rivets.
- 【Convenient Design】--- Ergonomic Design for Labour Saving, These Pop Rivet Gun Come with A Little Wrench to Change Nuts, Comes with A Box for Easy Carry to Separate the Different Sizes of Rivets for Quick Access.
- 【Durable】--- The Pop Riveter is Made of Aluminum Alloy, Which is More Durable and Lighter.
- 【Wide Use】--- Convenient Tool for Home and Workshop. Can Be Used for Steel Plate, Wooden Board, Shelf, Furniture, Etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
What warranty comes with a rivet gun?
Most rivet guns come with between a 2 and 3 year warranty depending on the model and whether it is manual or powered. Some companies offer extended warranties providing the tool is registered within 28 days of purchase. It is always worth checking exactly what is covered under your warranty, as it is rare to find one that will be covered for commercial use.
Do you need a rivet gun to fit rivets?
In theory, no you don’t. However it is going to be considerably more work than necessary if you try to attempt it without a rivet gun. Not only that, but you are still going to need special tools and fastenings such as bolts that have their own nuts but can also fit into rivet nuts. This is going to be especially difficult if you are working in an area where you cannot get to the back of the wall/sheet that you are working with.
How do I know what size of rivets I need?
It is easy to work out the size of rivets that you need for any job that you may be completing. You simply need to add together the thickness of the two pieces of material that you are fastening together, then add one and a half times the diameter of the rivets stem.