Have you ever heard of someone interested in learning car driving without understanding the gears? doesn’t make sense right?

The same thing can be likened to an individual understanding of a riveter without knowledge of what a rivet looks like.

What is a Rivet?

What is a Riveter?
A POP or Blind Rivet

Rivet has been extant for so long and this date back as early as 3000 BC, when rivet made its first appearance in Egypt as a joining material which would later become a fastener for the manufacturing of several tools and objects.

The old and typical way of installing a rivet (i.e. for a buckboard) was by pounding the metal shaft down while holding a buckboard against the back of the assembly.

British inventor Hamilton N. Wylie was working for an aircraft company when he saw how installing a rivet which requires access to both sides of the assembly can be highly laborious and time-consuming.

Wylie called the attention of his company back then and with another company teamwork effort brainstormed and created a rivet design with a mandrel head that would pop off after the rivet was set.

The new fastener was called a pop rivet after the “popping sound” was heard when the rivet tool broke off the mandrel head inside the shank.

This birth the popular name POP Rivet also commonly known as blind rivet due to its common use for one side installation because you cannot get to the back.

POP or blind Rivets are comprised of two important parts: the body and the mandrel. The mandrel goes through the inside of the body and gets pulled during installation.

As the mandrel is pulled through the body, it deforms the back of the body.

Once the deformed portion grips against the back of the installation material the mandrel snap leaving a clean-finished application.

Hence, Blind or POP rivets are known as incredibly useful fasteners designed to hold two materials together with a clamping force commonly known as a Rivet Gun.

And for the purpose of this topic, we would be looking more at what a Riveter or Rivet gun is.

What is a Rivet Gun?

A rivet gun is a vital and major tool for installing a rivet. The riveter is the main tool that enacted the clamping force in driving the rivet installation.

Some find it confusing to differentiate between a riveter and a rivet gun. For the record, they are all same tools with different names.

Riveters are also commonly and widely known as rivet guns, pneumatic hammers and rivet hammers.

There are several types of rivet guns out there but in order to get familiar with them.

You have to first understand their categories. This would help to know the right one suitable for a particular application.

Types of Riveters

  • Hand Rivet Gun
  • Heavy Duty Lever Riveter
  • Cordless Battery Riveting Tool
  • Pneumatic Rivet Gun

Hand Rivet Gun

Hand rivet guns remain the best and excellent choice for an occasional user.

It is a rivet gun generally made of steel with a suitable rubber handle grip and still stands as the rivet gun with the cheapest cost.

Hand rivet gun works with a much simple but classic lever and requires manual squeezing from the operator.

What is a Riveter?
Hand Rivet Gun

To use any hand rivet gun, you must also get the pop rivet that fits into the rivet gun nose piece.

It takes a little amount of time to use a hand rivet gun for a rivet but when used repeatedly for a long time, the operator’s hands, wrist and forearms face the pain.

This makes it inadvisable for a project requiring many blind rivets

Heavy Duty Lever Riveter

What is a Riveter?
Heavy Duty Lever Riveter

Heavy duty lever riveter is quite much easier and simpler to use compared to the hand rivet gun although it is still operated manually.

It comes at a fairly higher price than the hand rivet gun with the advantage of using a much wider and larger range of blind rivet sizes.

As the name implies, heavy duty lever riveter is much heavier than a hand rivet gun.

It is much accepted compared to the hand rivet gun due to the reduction in the physical strength needed for its operation.

Another good thing about a heavy duty lever riveter is its bottle catch of snapped mandrel after installation.

Cordless Battery Riveting Tool

What is a Riveter?
Cordless Battery Riveting Tool

Cordless battery riveting tools are modern fastening tools popular in use due to their efficiency.

Just at a push of a button, a rivet is installed and this makes strenuous and challenging work much easier and fun.

They are designed in a durable, portable and easy maintenance form.

It comes with good innovative seamlessly high-performance featuring a patented quick disconnect nose housing and jaw case for fast cleaning and self-maintenance of the front end.

The catch version for cordless battery riveting tools makes installation quicker by gathering the mandrels for the operator.

Also, the operator must be very cautious so as not to overfill the catch which might end up destroying the rivet gun.

Pneumatic Rivet Gun

What is a Riveter?
Pneumatic Rivet Gun

Pneumatic Rivet Gun with a built-in catch still remains the easy, fastest and most efficient riveting tool in rivet installation.

It’s popularly used in several projects such as transportation, construction, satellite and a host of others.

For a rivet installation, a pneumatic rivet gun uses compressed air to drive and bind two or more elements together.

This made it require “technical know-how” for its operation which noticeably limited its flexibility.

Aside from this little disadvantage, a pneumatic riveter gun unarguably remains the best in a large number of rivets installation.

How Does a Riveter Work?

The rivet gun is used on the rivet’s factory head, and a bucking bar is also used to support the tail of the rivet.

The riveter trigger gets squeezed and opens the throttle valve, releasing the flowing of the pressure to the piston.

This moves the piston for a port opening to free the air pressure for escape, and then the energy moves from the hammer of the rivet gun to drive the work and the rivet against the bucking bar.

As a result, the tail of the rivet is compressed for the desired result.


Although one riveter type might be quite better than another, they are all efficient when used for the best application needed.

To get a new riveter, you must first ask yourself some honest questions such as the cost, efficiency, technical knowledge and how suitable it is for the purpose you intend to buy for.

If you can answer these questions you wouldn’t waste money or stumble upon problems of getting the best rivet gun or riveter for your desired application or installation.

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