From the plane that takes you on vacation, to the buckle on your belt, to the motherboard of your computer, everything is connected by rivets. Riveters are very economical tools that are extremely useful in a wide variety of tasks, from auto mechanics to the making of footwear and accessories.

Naturally a riveter for the panels of an airplane will not be the same as the one used to join the straps of a purse. On the market, you will find all kinds of riveters from manual, to hydraulic to electrical riveters. In this article, we will explain everything you need to know to choose the best riveter for your own needs.

Key Facts

  • Riveters are tools that are very simple to use. Riveting is one of the oldest forms of joining materials known to man. Riveters work by applying pressure on a rivet that opens on both ends and joins two pieces together.
  • Rivets are usually made of some kind of metal–usually aluminum or steel alloys. The strongest rivets are made of steel treated to withstand high pressure. These types are used in vehicles exposed to high atmospheric pressures.
  • On the market you can find simple, lightweight and economical manual riveters for use in both a professional workshop and at home. There are also pneumatic and electric riveters, recommended for high-pressure work and for joining harder materials. Finally, there are industrial riveters. These can weigh more than 250 lbs. and are usually attached to the floor on a heavy base.

Ranking: The Best Riveters on the U.S. Market

If you want to attach plates, join pieces, save time and speed up your workshop and home repair tasks, then you need a riveter. Choosing the best riveter for your purposes can be complicated, especially if you’ve never used one before. To help you choose your riveter, we have analyzed the market, and compared and selected the five best riveters available.

No.1: Astro 1423 13-Inch Heavy Duty Hand Riveter

The Astro Pneumatic 1423 13-Inch Heavy Duty Hand Riveter is ideal for working in hard-to-reach places. It is one of the most versatile and powerful hand riveters available, taking the hard work out of setting large diameter blind rivets with a patented internal geared mechanism. A one-piece collet case eliminates the need to adjust the tool when changing rivet diameters.

By being the shortest full capacity 1/4″ riveter in the market, the Astro1423 requires less space to perform pesky jobs like fixing window regulators and hood struts. Includes 5 nose-pieces: 1/8-Inch, 5/32-Inch, 3/16-Inch, 1/5-Inch, and 1/4-Inch.

No. 2: Astro Pneumatic Tool PR14 Air Riveter

The Astro Pneumatic PR14 Air Riveter is designed for more heavy duty industrial application of rivets from 3/32 to 1/4-inch. This tool will increase productivity in any field. It’s range of use includes industrial, mechanic shops and body shops. Specifications: Rivet Capacity: 1/4-inch, Overall Length: 10-7/8-inch (280mm).

Net Weight: 3-1/2-pound (1.6kg), Pulling Force is 633 pounds, Stroke: 15mm, Motor: 1/2hp, Air Inlet Thread NPT: 1/4-inch, Air Hose I.D. Size: 3/8-inch (10mm), Avg. Air Consumption.: 2.320 Liter/Stroke, Air Pressure: 90-120psi.  This riveter is great for the serious mechanic.

No. 3: REXBETI Professional Rivet Setter Kit 

This REX036 14″ hand rivet nut tool set is lightweight, easy to use and versatile. The ergonomic long arm and rubber-covered handle offers enough force to easily rivet materials without any unnecessary hassle. It comes with 6pcs SAE/Metric interchangeable mandrel parts and 60pcs rivet nuts in rugged carrying case.

The REX036 is the simple, powerful, hand-powered solution to securely fastening rivets. Designed with a long and soft handle that comfortable fits in the palm of your hand, ensuring you get maximum torque out of every use. The solid carrying case lets you pack up and take your rivet tool set wherever you need it.

No. 4: Q&R 17″ RIVET NUT TOOL

This great tool has a shorter handle with double compound hinges that maximize leverage. Includes Hand Nut/Thread Setting Riveter and 11 interchangeable mandrel pieces. Sets include sizes in Metric and SAE. Ergonomic handles with double compound hinges maximizing leverage and for easy operation.

This delicately shaped, but heavy duty hand riveter is ideal for working in hard-to-reach areas. Great for on-the-go modifications. Versatile and powerful hand nut/thread setting riveter, takes the hard work out of setting rivets. Ergonomic grip for easy operation.

No. 5: DoubleSun 14-Inch Hand Riveter

The 14’’ Double Sun hand riveter rivet gun kit has easy-changing mandrels and nose pieces. Ergonomic handle design and double compound hinges increase leverage for less hand strain. Comfortable and labor-saving non-slip rubber handle. High-thickness steel stamping handle for your toughest jobs.

High hardness high-frequency hardened gun head,high quality alloy steel,closed tight,strong and sturdy. 6 PCS metric & SAE mandrels and 90 PCS rivet nuts. Easy and convenient rotating disassembly nut, with SAE & metric mandrels, extra mandrel pins and mandrel quick-change tool.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Riveters

If you have decided to buy a riveter, before doing so, you should compare the different options available on the market and make sure you understand what you can about the tool. To help you in this process, we have developed a complete buying guide with answers to the most common questions about riveters.

In addition to manual and industrial riveters, there are several types of pneumatic riveters in the market.
(Source: Dmitriy Shironosov: 67859210/ 123rf.com)

What exactly is a riveter?

A riveter is a tool that is popular because it is very practical and economical. It has a design similar to that of a punch or a clamp, but it varies in size, and it’s function is different than just clamping or punching. The function of the riveter is to jointwo pieces of the same or different material together using a third piece–the rivet. Depending on the type of rivet or riveter used, the thickness of the material and the rivet may vary.  You can rivet almost any material that can be cut.

There are different types of riveters, from compact manual models, to industrial riveters. Some of these tools, especially the huge pneumatic ones, can weigh more than 250 lbs. These tools are used to rivet very hard metal plates, for example, for the fuselage of an airplane, for ships or even for parts of buildings.

How does a riveter work?

Manual riveters work by pressure. Normally, different mandrels are available with posts for the different types of rivets that exist. A rivet or tube of the appropriate size is placed on the mandrel and pressure is applied with both handles until the rivet is deformed on the ends, preventing the two materials from coming apart.

Pneumatic riveters work with compressed air. These tools use the air of a compressor and, just by pulling the trigger, launch the rivet with force. This type of equipment is used for jobs that require a lot of pressure, for example, to rivet metal or steel plates, but the basic principle is the same.

Rivets are fasteners that are used to permanently join two or more pieces of material.
(Source: pawelproc: 105532922/ 123rf.com)

What types of riveters are available on the market today?

Riveters usually vary depending on the role they play. We have already explained that you can find both manual and pneumatic riveters on the market today. However, you will also find other tools with some characteristics that you should understand before choosing the best tool for your home or work situation.

Next, we are going to explore what types of riveters are available on the market and some of their characteristics:

Riveter Type Features
Hand Riveters The most common. More economical. It has mandrels for different sizes. Known as pop riveters.
Accordian Riveters Manual operation. Only used with short rivets: 2,4, 3,2, 4,0, 4,8, 5 and 6 mm. They are usually more suitable for professional jobs.
C-Clamp Riveters Different sizes according to their function. It is operated by pedal and works along side an oleo-pneumatic pump. They have different dies according to the function to perform. Dies are used to extract rivets. Allows drilling aluminum sheet.
T-Column Riveter It weighs more than 250 lbs. Powered by pneumatic pedal. They work with compressed air. They have valves to regulate air flow and pressure.
Bench Riveter Very similar to that of T-Column. It weighs 100 lbs. It has interchangeable punctures.

What types of pneumatic riveters exist?

In addition to the manual and industrial riveters discussed in the previous section, there are several types of pneumatic riveters on the market. These tools are suited for professional work. Usually, harder rivets are used in these riveters that would be impossible to hand rivet.

Next, we detail, in a table, the different types of pneumatic riveters that you will find in the market and some of their characteristics:

Use Characteristics Types
Manual pneumatics

Operate in a simple way
Light and compact
Pickup cup
Stem Suction
Cycle Counter
Interchangeable Noses
More efficient, because they use less air

For threaded inserts

Pneumatic Impact

Bench or Stand

Larger size
Weight from 60 kg
Industrial use
They are not portable
They are subject to a bank or a column

Radial metal deformation

Double metal radial deformation

Hexagonal Threaded Inserts

What are some of the uses of a riveter?

A riveter is used mainly in mechanical workshops. Its primary use is to fix rivets to pieces of materials that will be attached to each other. Rivets are the two-piece connector where the riveter plays the role of the connecting tool. In this way, when introduced by a cylindrical tube the three pieces are joined.

The sizes and materials of the rivets vary depending on the pieces to be joined. Riveters are used in aeronautics, automobile manufacturing, computer parts manufacturing, mechanical workshops, carpentry and all kinds of construction-related professions.

What are riveters?

Rivets are fasteners that are used to permanently join two or more pieces of material. They consist of a cylindrical tube called a rod that has a head at one end. The heads have a larger diameter than the rest of the rivet so that when inserted into a hole it can be fitted tightly. It is used to join the two pieces snugly before riveting.

The rivet is one of the oldest joining methods that exist. Today, its importance as an assembly technique is more relevant than ever. This is due, in part, to the development of automation techniques that make this joining process cheaper and more precise than others. Riveting is mostly used in automotive, military industrial and home appliance manufacturing.

What types of riveters are available?

In the same way that it is with riveters, in the market you will find several types of rivets. Each of them is used for a specific type of union. Rivets are very useful and are a very economical and easy-to-use joining method in most industries. Here are the main types of rivets that exist:

  • Compression Rivets: The most common. Formed by a stem and a head that flattens and joins both parts.
  • Blind Rivets: Can work with stretching mandrel, with guided pin, threaded or chemically expanded.
  • Punch rivets: This type of rivet uses a hammer for installation.

What are the recommended uses for a riveter?

You should keep in mind that, when joining two materials, you must have the appropriate rivets. To determine which rivet is correct for the job, you can’t forget that the thickness of both surfaces is critical, since, depending on the thickness, the the rivet should be longer or shorter. The diameter of the hole is also important, as well as the thickness of the materials to be joined.

Here are some basic recommendations on the use of rivets and riveters:

  • The fastening level achievable with a rivet is less than what can be achieved with a screw.
  • Joining by rivets is not reversible, which ends up making maintenance difficult.
  • Removing the rivet is simple, although it requires the use of a drill with a diameter equal to that of the rivet.
  • Once removed, the rivets cannot be reused.
  • Rivets are not suitable for joining thicker materials.

Shopping Criteria

Riveters are one of those tools that should be in in everyone’s toolbox. They should also be present in any workshop, be it mechanical, plumbing or electrical. In order to choose the best riveter on the market, we suggest the following purchasing criteria for you to have a look at:

  • Operating Mechanism
  • Weight
  • Ergonomics
  • Materials
  • Accessories

Operating Mechanism

It is important that you consider the operating mechanism when choosing a riveter. In the market today you can find three basic types of riveter mechanisms: manual, electric and pneumatic. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages and each will be suitable according to the needs and uses that each person has.

Manual riveters are used more for DIY work and household jobs. They have a wide variety of applications, but they need manual strength to use. Pneumatic and electric riveters are more often used in professional and industrial fields, since they exert greater pressure.

Weight

Weight is a fundamental factor when selecting the model and design of your riveter, since it will effect how fast you get tired during use. Manual riveters tend to weigh much less, since they require more effort.

Electric, and especially pneumatic riveters are very heavy tools, since their operation is automatic. Some models of pneumatic riveters can weigh 250 lbs. Manual riveters designed for domestic use, do not usually exceed 1 lb. and the electric ones usually do not weigh more than 10 lbs.

Ergonomics

Whether for a workshop, home or carpentry, it is important that the riveter is a high-quality and economical tool. But it is also important to have an ergonomic design that makes continuous operation feasible. Old riveters were heavy and ended up damaging the hands and arms of their users.

Most modern riveters have handles with padded grips. Most are made of light metals and have a handle coated with some kind of non-slip plastic, gel or rubber and are comfortable to grip. This prevents the arms or hands from suffering from fatigue during work.

Materials

When pricing a riveter, you should ask yourself what materials the manufacturers used in their construction. Based on these materials, you can get an idea of the cost of the tool. Consider that the better the materials are, the more expensive the riveter will be. In this regard, you will find riveting tools for all budgets.

In the case of manual riveters, look for them to be made of metals that combine steel bodies with some type of handle coating that improves grip. Pneumatic and electric riveters are usually made of metal and high resistance plastic to make them more attractive and functional.

Accessories

If you are going to buy a riveter, users and experts recommend that you analyze whether the model you have selected includes accessories. Choose a model with the largest number of pieces for the lowest price and you can acquire all the accessories you need without having to make additional expenditures for your first use.

There are some riveters that incorporate a case complete with all the tool’s accessories. The case, although it may not seem like it, is a most useful accessory, as it allows you to keep the tool protected and organized. Most tools also have interchangeable heads. Others include several packages of rivets of different sizes and thicknesses.

Summary

Riveters are indispensable tools for any workshop and, if you are a DIY enthusiast, they can not be missing from your toolbox. If you are looking for a method to join two pieces of metal, the rivet is the most suitable, since it is economical, safe, fast and very durable.

On the market, you will find are many types of riveters, with very different functionalities and designs. Each one is designed for a specific use. Before choosing the perfect riveter for you, think about your needs, the space you have and the use you intend for it.

If you liked this article, leave a comment or share it with your friends and family so that they can also find the best riveter on the market.

(Source of Featured Image: cuchina: 90995935/ 123rf.com)

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