What is a nutsert?

Nutserts are fundamentally a nut that attaches onto a steel sheet surface for bolting purposes, where a simple hole opening is unsuitable. Ideal for punched or drilled holes, they can be installed at any stage of the production, even after finish coat is applied. They are an easy solution that requires an air or cordless nutsert gun for medium to high volume workshops or a manual nutsert tool for the handy person.

How does a nutsert work?

This is a simple process that involves a few steps.   

  • Step 1. Thread the nutsert onto the mandrel of the tool, some tools self load by spinning  themselves to load the nutsert.  
  • Step 2. Place the nutsert into the pre-drilled hole and activate tool to begin swaging process. Tool’s mandrel will pull up nutsert causing body to collapse & bulge out 360°. 
  • Step 3. The nutsert has now bulbed & created a lip on the blind side of the material, firmly interlocking itself onto the material.   
  • Step 4. Nutsert tool will either automatically or manually reverse out of the nutsert.

Nutserts vs. Rivnuts

There are numerous descriptive labels associated with these types of fasteners including nutserts, rivnuts, threaded inserts and rivet nuts. Essentially, they are the same product, the different names or labels relate to different company’s brands, trademarks, or type. Overtime some of these brands have become the default product name.   

7 Nutsert Benefits.

Nutserts provide a quick, reliable, and low-cost system of inserting a thread in thin steel sheeting or tubular material. Nutserts offer many benefits over other fasteners such as a nuts & bolt. An innovative invention by BF Goodrich who first used them to mount de-icing boots to aircraft wings in the 1930’s.

7 Key Nutserts Benefits

  • One side assembly for fast installations as access to the rear is not required.
  • Highly resilient, forming a permanent superior thread for the attachment of a bolt/screw.
  • Easy installations with minimal training. Nutsert tools are robust & readily available.   
  • Can be used to assemble two or more materials, like a rivet.
  • Installs into galvanised or pre-painted material without damaging surface.
  • Using nutserts is safer than welding with no harmful vapours, heat or dust. 
  • Installs into a wide range of material gauges due to its high grip range tolerance.

3 Nutsert body types and their key features

When determining which nutsert suits your application, consider the body type, there are 3 main body types.

Round Body Nutserts

These are the most popular type of nutserts, especially the knurled body nutserts due to their great resistance to spinning whilst being installed and vibration resistant after installation. Our range of this type of body is called Nutsert xtralok. Predominantly, they have a low-profile wide flange head with the option of open or closed end nutserts in steel, stainless and aluminium. 

There are a couple of round body options, including the smooth body rivnuts, the slotted shank Plus Nuts or Jack Nuts. and the rubber body Well Nuts. The slotted body nutserts are ideal in lightweight material like plastics, fiberglass, and composites. Whilst the well nuts are great when seeking to isolate shock or vibration.

Hexagon Shape Nutserts

Hexagon shaped nutserts are designed for use in punched hex shape holes and provide exceptional resistance to spinning (i.e., they cannot be unscrewed). Compared to the knurled body nutsert, the Hex nutsert is 10 times more resistant to  spinning, clever huh!. Here at Aerobolt we have two options, this includes (1) Half Hex (half hex & half round body) and (2) Full Hex shape for extra strength (predominantly hex shape body). We also have open or closed end hex nutserts in steel or stainless.  

Threaded Studs Nutserts

This is a nutsert with a protruding stud (thread) that enables a mating part to be attached to the surface. They are excellent option for a strong load bearing bolt in thin steel sheeting.

After you have selected the body type you will need to determine the correct thread size for your application, and material grip range. Nutserts sizes are predominantly metric and start from M3 through to M12 with a select range of imperial sizes. Material grip range is the material gauge the nutsert will pull up in, this is critical in ensuring you have selected the right fastener. These two factors are essential in ensuring you have made the correct selection. Also review material type, head style, and torque to turn resistance.

Selecting the Right Tool for Nutserts

After you have selected the correct nutsert to suit your application, you will need to consider tools. There are 3 main options: air, cordless or manual nutsert tool.

Air nutsert tools: For frequent nutsert installation, pneumatic (air-powered) is the easy choice. Air nutsert tools offer fast installations with consistent results. Some of the pros include: Easy to use—the tool spins the mandrel to thread the nutsert, then retracts to collapse the body of the nutsert with little physical exertion required. The tool will pull to either a set pressure or a set stroke. Cons: Require an air source such as a compressor, possibly limiting mobility and making remote use impractical.

Manual nutsert tools: For the occasional installation of nutserts, manual tools are your most cost-effective option. They work by adding the nutsert to the end of the tool, squeezing/torquing, and retracting the tool from the now applied nutsert. Some of the pros include: Inexpensive, easy concept, great for the handy person. Cons: They require physical force to use.

Cordless battery nutsert tools: Cordless nutsert tools run on battery power and provide incredible versatility, hence allowing you to install nutserts from practically anywhere. Like pneumatic tools, battery-powered tools are basically point-and-shoot. Pros: Mobility, speed. Cons: Batteries have limited charge before needing to be plugged in again, cost.

101 Nutsert Applications

Nutserts have 101 uses which make them suitable for various applications such as; automotive manufacturing, aviation, balustrades, commercial kitchens, commercial furniture & fit-outs, electrical appliances & switchboards, Emergency vehicles,  Farming equipment, HVAC (Heating, ventilation & air conditioning), medical equipment, military equipment & vehicles, Playground equipment, sheet metal fabrication, solar installations, refrigeration,  RV Vehicles, Trucks & Trailers, Ute canopy bodies, Utility vehicles and so much more.