With the inventions of bolts and screw, this has brought stiff competition for Rivet guns. But despite that, they are still the best form of binding items on blind surfaces. They are strong and much secured. The only way to unbound something secured by the rivets is through destroying them. Unlike screws which are easily removed by sharp and strong objects.

They are applied in various industries which include: flashing work, auto-repair, and mobile-home repair. Rivets are modifications of nails in order to provide a more diverse and firm bonding of objects. Their name was coined after the sound they create when fixing the rivets.

In most cases, they get applied when bonding metal sheets or at times plastics and other types of materials. If you need the equipment and you are not sure how to use it, below are simple and clear guidelines that will give you an insight on what to do.

Steps of using the tool

  1. Prepare the hole

You have to create a hole through drilling. This hole must pass through the two surfaces you need to bind together. Also, the surfaces must be lying side to side with no gap in between to ensure firm attachment after binding. Therefore, to drill the proper hole, you will need a drill for perfect formation.

The size of the hole you will drill will dictate the size of the rivet you are going to use for binding. Therefore, ensure the measurement of both the drilling tool bit and that of the binding nail are equivalent.

For instance, a 21 drill bit will create o.4 cm hole, which will, in turn, require a similar size of the binding nail (0.4 cm) for the binding process. It should also have a proper nozzle to ensure a firm attachment.

Note: when the binding is taking place at the airport or where aircraft are available, a pneumatic drill is the most preferred. The twist drill on the other end may cause a fire hazard due to the sparks it creates during drilling.

  1. Pick a size that will be ideal for the binding materials

If the installation is at your premises, there are chances that you will be using a small size binding tool (about 1/8 inches) the larger binding nails are available but they are mostly applied for outdoor. They may include 5/32 & 3/16 inches. What’s key in this case, is to ensure the drill hole and that of the binding nails will match.

Below you are provided with a chart that clearly outlines the rivets size and the drills that are equivalent to it:

Diameter of the rivet (inch)

The Drill number

The size of the drill (inch)
























Apart from being a tool, it can be a very dangerous weapon. When the gun with the nails are set for use without a retainer, then the throttle is accidentally opened, the binding nail can be projected as a normal bullet and cause severe destruction on whatever place it will land on. Therefore, caution must be taken at all times when handling the tool.


  1. Nozzle attachment

In most cases the gun is bought with up to three nozzles which you can interchanger depending on the size of the binding pin you will be using. The nozzles have a form of attachment which serves to secure the pins in place prior to using. When the pins and the tool are set to use, the handle has a lever which sets lose the attachment when there is the need to interchange.

  • The wrench comes in handy when you need the attachments removed. You begin by counterclockwise turning of the attachment by using the wrench. After its set loses from the guns handle, turn it clockwise to screw it on the nozzle by using your hands.
  • To tighten, turn the small wrench continuously counterclockwise until it’s tight enough.


  1. Fixing the rivet

Begin by inserting the longer side of the binding pin into the nozzle of the tool. The other end of the pin which is sturdy and short is inserted into the drill hole of the materials waiting for binding.

  1. Launching the tool

Before launching, check first whether the binding pin is set well in the tool and has also passed through the binding materials. If they are both well, then ensure the tool is parallel to the surface of the materials you will be binding.

Then afterward, press the tool against the surface firmly with one hand, and the other should hold the tool from above to keep it steady. Maintain it steady with enough pressure applied on it at a steady rate just before pressing the trigger.

  1. Pressing the trigger

While you press the trigger, pressure should be applied constantly on the tool. With every press on the trigger, the metal pin in the binding pin will be drawn in through its body. Once the pin gets to the narrow end of the binding pin, compression of the bound materials will be set off. This will continue until the pin snaps. And this will be confirmed by a pop sound.

  • After the pop sound, you can discard the pin left behind in the nozzle.
  • By any chance, you make an error while binding, use an electric drill you used to make the hole and remove the pin. Alternatively, if you have a rivet remover, then use it to remove the pin.


How to choose the rivets

Matching materials

When binding the materials, ensure the binding pin material you will be using, matches with that of the materials being bound. In the market, there are many types of binding pins based on the materials they are made of. For instance, materials made of aluminum should be bound with the binding pins made also from aluminum.

When purchasing go for packs containing a variety of binding pins. This will give you a wide selection whenever you need to bound something. The variety can be based on sizes and materials.

There are some materials which are susceptible to corrosion, for instance, the steel mandrels. Steel mandrels are susceptible to corrosion, and in the process, they to cause a reaction with the materials which surrounds it. Thus this would not be a durable material for long-lasting projects. Therefore, during purchase, avoid such metals, or pairing them with an aluminum or stainless steel body.

For non-metallic binding such as leather materials, use materials such as aluminum, brass, or copper to fasten them. This is because leather is a natural material which has a higher moisture retention capacity. Thus such metals have no susceptibility to rusts which may damage them.

Flat rivets are the best option

These are featured with large heads which covers a wide surface area. Binding objects using this method is efficient and reliable. But there are places where its effectiveness is limited by temperature fluctuation. As a result of that, the materials’ may get loose easily.

 Thus they are the best in securing a surface that has shape fluctuation due to temperature change. This, materials include granular and polymer, materials. There are also handy in situations where the round heads binding pins are not reliable.

Dome rivets are ideal for situations which are standard

Among the binding pins, it’s the most common of them all. This is due to the simplicity in both application and versatility. They come in handy in occasions where safety and reliability are of the essence.

For example, our modern aircraft are composed of thousands of this type of binding pins. They are used in the creation of its structure; this is because they are also very light despite being used in large numbers.

  • When you need to apply them but still you are not certain about what they are capable off, you can go through their details which are highlighted on the package. This will include the maximum weight they can support.
  • When you are dealing with materials which are very close or same as carbon steel, this type is the best. Also, they are applicable in instances where the materials are bound close to their edge.
  • Am sure you have heard of the roundheads binding pins, they are the same as dome headpins. It’s only the name application which differs.

Interlocks binding pins for power fastening

If your materials will be subjected to shear and pull out forces, then these types of pins are what you will need. For maximum effectiveness, they are available in larger sizes. Thus the ordinary small rivet gun cannot contain them. They are mostly applied for structural uses and closing large gaps. Through this, they prevent the movement of the sheets.

Leakage proof rivets

They are known as “seal rivets” they are featured with longer ends which serves to create the water barrier during installation. They are versatile and multifunctional in the application. They are applicable in areas with temperature fluctuations as well as thickness fluctuation.

Also, they can work on any kind materials that need s fastening. Therefore, when you are in need of watertight seals, they can offer similar service and of good quality. Moreover, they are inexpensive than the actual waster tight seals.

High strength occasions

Multi-grip rivets are ideal for this kind of situations. This is because, as compared to other types, they have a broader grip range. This enables them to fill the hole entirely due to their “bulbing” property. When you accidentally make oversize, misaligned or irregular holes, they fit well in such situations. Also, when you are not certain about the maximum length of the binding pinhole, they are very handy. In addition, they are vibrations and weatherproof.

Blind rivets versus solid rivets

Blind rivets are the best when you are uncertain or you can’t reach the opposite end of the materials. While to install the solid rivets, you have to be certain or be able to access the opposite end. This is because the binding pin has to be hammered in order for it to fasten the materials being bound.

Thus, Blind rivets are the best option here. Apart from being reliable, they are simple to install. The standard types are the best if you are on a fixed budget and only require holes which are regular in shape and have proper alignment.

When you are dealing with a project that requires best structural joints, avoid this type of binding pins. Instead go for solid rivets and in this case, use a pneumatic rivet gun. Through this, you will have guaranteed structural integrity.

If you are dealing with projects that have to ensure the bound materials are waterproof, avoid this type of binding pins. They are poor water sealants and will allow intense leakages. In this case, you can opt for “Seal rivets”, they are best in sealing and are waterproof.

This particular type of binding pins has limited strength which can support the weight. Therefore, if you need to bind a structure which will support weight, check the package of the binding pins to be certain about the Maximum weight they can support.



When you need to secure items together at a low cost, the binding pins are the best options. They are very reliable, simple installation and require the least manpower. The alternatives are the screws and bolts which can serve the same purpose. But what makes the binding pins special is the fact that they can bind even the thinnest of the materials with the utmost integrity.

Moreover, they have a wide range of materials which they can bind together securely and firmly. They include- plastic sheets, metal sheets, cardboard and other materials. As mentioned earlier, what makes them even the best, is the ability to bind materials which you cannot access the back surface whether it’s thick or thin. Thus, whether you choose to use a pop rivet or the stronger pneumatic gun, be sure to follow the above guideline and you will never go wrong.