How to Operate a Blind Rivet Tool

What You'll Need
Blind Rivet Tool
Metal or Plastic Sheets
Blind Rivets
Safety Goggles

A blind rivet tool is a specially designed device that is used to fasten blind rivets or pop rivets. A blind rivet is a tubular and nail-like pin with a mandrel through its center. While other types of rivets are used for heavy metal applications, blind rivets are used for lighter applications, such as fastening thin sheets of metal or plastic together. Most rivet tools are air-powered, while a few are hand-operated. An ordinary blind rivet tool is hand-operated. Nowadays, anyone can make use of a riveting tool with ease. This article is a simple guide to operating a blind rivet tool.

Step 1. Preparation

Safety is a must when operating with any type of tool that may cause harm to the body. Safety goggles, as well as gloves, should be worn at all times. Take the two metal or plastic sheets to be fastened, lay one on top of the other, and clamp them for stability. Drill holes into the sheets where you want them fastened. The holes on the sheets should be slightly larger or exactly the same size as the circumference of the blind rivets. 

Step 2.  Load the Blind Rivet Tool with a Rivet

Place a blind rivet into the tool. The tubular pin of the rivet should be inserted into the tool itself. The head of the rivet should rest against the tool’s nose piece. Position the rivet tool and gently insert the blind rivet into the drilled hole and push it through the metal or plastic sheets. The rivet should go all the way through both sides of the sheets. Double check if the rivet is placed correctly.

Step 3 – Squeeze the Blind Rivet Tool

Once the rivet is in place, and nothing is in its way, squeeze the handles of the tool until you hear a pop. The popping sound is a signal that the head of the rivet has now been locked into place, fastening both metal sheets. The pin of the rivet is broken off during this process while the head of the rivet expands to lock the metal sheets into place. When this happens, it is now safe to let go of the handles.

Step 4. Reload

To give the tool another go, reload it with another blind rivet and follow the same steps above. When working with multiple sheets of metal, it is best to drill all the needed holes first before proceeding to fasten them with rivets. When all holes are drilled, you can work with the riveting without stopping to drill more holes.  This way, a lot of precious time can be saved.

Some rivets may require some smoothing before they can be loaded to a blind rivet tool. Before inserting them to the tool, sand through the rough edges. This allows you to insert them to the tool without having them stuck. Also, use scrap metals or plastic sheets for practice and before you undertake a DIY project that requires you to use a blind rivet tool.