Rivet Guns – Which one should I buy?

Rivet Guns - Which One Should I Buy?

Which Rivet Gun Is Best For Me?

Selecting the right rivet gun depends on several factors with the most important consideration being you and your application. There are hundreds of rivet guns on the market and selecting “the right one” can be somewhat challenging. Have no fear, we have the technical know-how to guide you with a range of professional rivet guns that include popular brands such as Pop®, Makita®, Far®, Masterfix®, & Gesipa® plus a few alternative options that we have lab tested for quality and value. In this blog, we are reviewing air rivet guns, and cordless rivet tools plus touching base with all important matters such as setting force, stroke and other features that will make your job easier.    

What are the main types of rivet guns?  

There are 3 main rivet gun categories: air, cordless and manual. Selecting the right power category depends on how often you install rivets, your specific application and installation volume.

Air rivet guns:

For frequent rivet installations in fabrication workshops, an air-powered rivet gun is the easy choice. Air powered riveters offer quick installation with consistent results. They are the fast and efficient option. Sometimes referred to as pneumatic or hydro-pneumatic rivet guns, but to keep things simple we call them air rivet guns. 

Pros: They are easier to use and require less effort compared to the cordless & manual options, plus they are cheaper than cordless. Professional air guns feature rivet vacuum & rivet holding capacity, this means the gun draws up the rivet and holds it in place as you align it with the hole and they automatically extract the waste pin to the collection bottle after installation (you don't have to tilt the gun to push through the waste pin).   

Cons: These guns require an air compressor which may limit mobility. 

Manual rivet tools: 

For the occasional installation of rivets, or where power is not available, manual rivet tools are cost-effective and easy to use. They work by adding the rivet to the end of the tool, squeezing the handles, and retracting the tool from the installed rivet. There are numerous different types of hand rivet tools, including the popular Pop® Rivet Tool, (pic. on the right) this is a plier type where you hold one handle and push in with the other. There is also the long handle lever type rivet tool where you put pressure on both handles for extra leverage.

Pros. an inexpensive option, easy to use and ideal for the handy person.

Cons: They require muscle force.

Cordless battery rivet guns:

Cordless rivet guns run on battery power and provide incredible versatility, allowing you to install rivets from practically anywhere. This makes the cordless rivet gun option ideal for onsite construction projects. Like air tools, battery-powered rivet guns are basically point-and-shoot.

Pros: Mobility and speedy installations.

Cons: Expensive & not as powerful as air, batteries have limited charge. These guns don't have the convenience of rivet suction & holding capacity prior to installation or the automatic pin (mandrel) extraction feature after installation. This means they are not as easy to use compared to a professional air rivet gun.

How do I select the right rivet gun?

You are now a step closer to determining the right rivet gun, after reviewing the power options we will need to consider the following criteria:

  • Rivet type: Are you installing standard rivets or structural rivets like the Huck rivet Magna-Lok?
  • Rivet material: Not all rivet guns will support all metal types.
  • Diameter: Ensure a rivet gun that installs the right rivet body diameter for you.   
  • High setting force suits high volume because they have a quicker setting cycle.  
  • Stroke: Longer stroke means single trigger installations, important with long rivets.
  • Rivet suction & rivet holding capacity as you align the rivet to the hole, making your job much easier.    
  • Automatic pin extraction after installation, this means you don't have to tilt the tool to push the pins out.  

Other considerations include; weight, dimensions, shape, cost, etc. For instance, when reviewing shape we have a couple of options that differ from the traditional tool shape. A pistol rivet gun has a separate air barrel and head configuration which makes for lighter work, whilst a pencil shape rivet gun may suit delicate work due to its unusual shape.

An important feature is rivet holding or suction capacity, this is when the tool vacuums up and holds the rivet in place whilst you align the rivet with the hole. Also look out for automatic waste pin (mandrel) extraction to the collection bottle after installation. Both of these features assist in making your riveting work easier.  

Which are the best air rivet gun for standard blind rivets?

There are several pop rivet air guns to select, if you are installing large volumes of standard type rivets, the Masterfix® EZM2000 would have to be your first option for an easy to use tool with a fast cycle time and the capacity to hold the rivet whilst working. This tool is renowned for its reliability, power, and so much more. For low volume rivet installations, the RT-55 has become very popular due its price point and reliability, *however this rivet gun doesn't have the rivet holding capacity nor the pin extraction feature.  

(Eg. Multi-grip rivets, Open end pop rivets, Closed end or Sealed rivets etc)
Rivet Gun Model Weight (Kg) Dims. L x H (mm) Force (kN) Stroke (mm) Type Dia. Size (mm) Price Approx.
RT-55 * See above 1.3 265 x 230 7.0 14 Standard Rivets 2.4, 3.2, 4.0 & 4.8 $120
RT-RAC83 1.7 200 x 220 5.4 19 Standard Rivets 2.4, 3.2, 4.0, 4.8*
* Alu. only
RT-10182 1.7 295 x 278 10.5 20.5 Standard & Structural Rivets 2.4, 3.2, 4.0, 4.8 $890
RT-10171 2.8 325 x 340 17.3 25.5 Standard & Structural Rivets 4.8, 6.4, 7.8* $1230
RT-EZM2000 1.65 275 x 272 12.5 21 Standard Rivets 4.0, 4.8 & 6.4 $1600
RT-GT3 1.9 312 X 317 14.0 25 Standard  & Structural Rivets 3.2, 4.0, 4.8, 6.4 $2000

Which are the best cordless rivet guns for standard rivets?

When working on construction sites, cordless rivets guns are sometimes worth their weight in gold. Here at Aerobolt, we have a comprehensive range of battery-powered tools including the popular Gesipa® PowerBird® that can effortlessly install both 4.8- & 6.4-mm rivets in all material, as well as the well regarded award-winning Pop® 2500 Cordless, or the entry level CQ625 cordless gun. The CQ625 is ideal if you are looking for a cordless rivet gun for the first time and the European options seem a little on the expensive side. This tool has proven popular with many customers for its reliability and its capabilities.

Rivet Gun Model Weight (Kg) Dims. L x H (mm) Force (kN) Stroke (mm) Type Dia. Size (mm) Price Approx.
RT-CQ625 2.1 270 x 290 15.0 27 Standard 3.2, 4.0, 4.8 & 6.4 $530
RT-PB2500 1.7 320 x 240 8.5 25 Standard & Structural 2.4, 3.2, 4.0 & 4.8 $1400
RT-GABRT6PRO 2.0 280 x 290 10.0 25 Standard & Structural 2.4, 3.2, 4.0, 4.8* $1750
RT-PB3400 2.4 336 x 275 18.0 30 Standard & Structural 4.8 & 6.4 $1800
RT-GPBRT8PRO 2.0 280 x 290 15.0 25 Standard & Structural 2.4, 3.2, 4.8 & 6.4 $2000

Which are the best air rivet guns for structural rivets?

Structural rivets are one of our specialties and we highly recommend Far®. The air rivet gun RT-10171 installs diameters 4.8 & 6.4mm (3/16" & 1/4") structural rivets + standard rivets and list below a few other options. Aerobolt has lab tested a few other rivet guns that install both type of rivets and the results to date have been less than satisfactory.     

Rivet Gun Model Weight (Kg) Dims. L x H (mm) Force (kN) Stroke (mm) Type Dia. Size (mm) Price Approx.
RT-10182 1.7 295 x 278 10.5 21 Standard & Structural 2.4, 3.2, 4.0, 4.8 $890
RT-10171 2.8 325 x 340 17.3 25.5 Standard & Structural 4.8, 6.4, 7.8* $1230
RT-10172 2.8 325 x 340 22.7 19.5  Structural 6.4, 7.9* $1800
RT-3000 Gun: 1.5
Pump: 7.1
430 x 205  21.6 28.0 Standard & Structural 4.8, 6.4, 7.9* $3600

Which are the best rivet guns for Structural Rivets & Huck Bolts?

When installing Huck bolts (pin & collar lock bolts) and structural rivets, there are only a few options to review, consider the HG-10224 and the HG-10U05 or the popular Huck Makita Cordless Gun. All these rivet guns are renowned for their quality and reliability.  

Rivet Gun Model Weight (Kg) Dims. L x H (mm) Force (kN) Stroke (mm) Type Dia. Size (mm) Price Approx.
HG-10U05 2.4 240 x 340 22.7 19.5 Structural 4.8, 6.4 & (7.9 Rivets) $1300
HG-10224 2.8 275 x 322 19.0 21 Structural 4.8, 6.4 $1700
HG-BV4500AUS 2.5 358 incl. nose x 285 20.0 30 Structural 4.8 & 6.4 $2700
HG-10256 5.0 200 x 380 44.4 22.35 Structural 7.9, 9.5 $6200

How do you use an air rivet gun?

Here we provide a step-by-step process of how to use an air rivet gun.   

  1. Determine you have the right rivet for the application. 
  2. Ensure the rivet gun has the correct size nose tip and or associated jaws.
  3. Next, align your material to be joined as desired and drill the hole for the rivet.
  4. Load the rivet into the rivet gun pin tail (mandrel) first, so the body is pointing out.
  5. Insert the body of the rivet all the way into the hole. Rivet head should be sitting on top of the material.
  6. Squeeze the trigger until you hear the snap sound that indicates the pin tail has been removed.
  7. Most power rivet guns have a built-in receptacle to collect the pins once it is removed.
  8. Congratulate yourself. Job well done!

Frequently Asked Rivet Gun Questions.

Do your rivet guns come with a 12-month warranty?

Yes, all of our power rivet guns come with a 12-month warranty. We import numerous tools from around the world and when there is an issue, we resolve the matter quickly here in Australia.

Where can I get my rivet gun serviced?

Repairing your rivet gun is part of our 100% commitment in providing a total rivet solution. We service and or repair rivet guns from Far®, Masterfix®, Pop®, Gesipa®, Avdel,® Lobster®, plus more. Visit the tool service and repair page here.  

Do you hire rivet guns?

Yes we do, we are Australia's #1 rivet gun hire company with over 25 years experience in supplying to a wide range of customers. Aerobolt can offer flexibility with hire and provide daily, weekly, and monthly options. Visit the tool hire page here. 

Can you assist me in my rivet gun selection?

Sure we can, call 02 9755 3747 or contact us to organise an appointment.  

Do you deliver guns throughout Australia?

Yes, we can deliver Australia wide through our network team of courier companies. In Sydney we offer same day delivery if you order before 10.00 am. Deliveries to regional New South Wales or major Australian cities such as Melbourne, Brisbane & Adelaide including regional South-Eastern Australia are delivered within 1- 2 days. (subject to numerous factors)

Why does my new rivet gun keep failing?

This might be a warranty issue, as a direct importer of numerous rivet guns we can resolve most issues in house, even warranty issues where the fault is with the tool itself. We aim to minimise the wait and don't need the go ahead from the the manufacturer. 

Why have my rivets failed?

There are several reasons why your rivets has failed. The issue could be a dodgy rivet or an installation issue. Either way we offer a wide range of technical services, including rivet testing services. We have teamed up with a NATA approved lab. that undertakes laboratory rivet testing services. Should you have a rivet failure, let us know so we can review your application and or have your rivets sent to the NATA approved lab for laboratory rivet testing.   

Rivet Gun Selection Summary

Rivet guns are used in numerous manufacturing and construction sectors. Rivets are one of the world’s most versatile fastener and come with a wide range of types for an endless list of applications. Today we covered the best rivet guns to install these fasteners because all the benefits associated with rivets mean very little if you are not using the right rivet gun. Often the best rivet gun is the one that can easily handle your rivet installation volume. The rivet guns we have outlined are a small sample of the extensive range available in Australia. There are many other very good rivet guns from the likes of Pop®, Lobster®, Stanley® and so much more.

The Huck Aerobolt site has extensive information on rivet guns. To discuss your requirements, simply call on 9755 3747 or contact our friendly team who are 100% technically minded and can assist with selecting the right rivet gun (at the best price) to suit your application.