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Will Your Rivet Tool Withstand Your Workload? Matching the Right Tool to the Job


Will Your Rivet Tool Withstand Your Workload?

Whether you oversee an assembly line, manage a repair shop, or are a do-it-yourself enthusiast, you always want to use the right tool for any task at hand. Failing to follow this basic principle can dent productivity and negatively affect the quality of whatever you are constructing or repairing. That’s disappointing for a DIY fan or hobbyist and it’s costly for a business.

Unfortunately, many businesses try to get by with the wrong tools, either out of necessity or because they are unaware of the options available to them. This is especially true with rivet tools. Companies don’t match their workloads and product needs to the riveters in their shops or toolboxes—and productivity suffers. Workers may subsequently need more time to apply rivets correctly and with precision, and even then, you still might be faced with a finished product that doesn’t live up to your standards.

Companies shouldn’t settle for this scenario, particularly with their rivet tools. A good first step is to thoroughly assess your needs. Do you set just a few rivets a day, or hundreds? Are the materials being riveted brittle or heavy-duty? Are there any other workpiece-related issues that might require specific tooling or a nose tip setup? Is there compressed air or electric supply available at the worksite? Answering these questions and others gets you closer to choosing riveting tools that can maximize productivity, performance, and safety.

Take a look at six common styles of rivet tools, their uses, and their pros and cons. Knowing what you need for your business is the first step. Matching those needs to the right tools is the second.

Manual Riveting Tools

Manual riveters don’t use a power source other than the manual force of the user to set the rivet. Operation is simple: place the rivet in the tool, set it in the spot to be applied, and exert pressure on the handles or trigger to activate.

  • Uses: Occasional rivet setting; automotive and truck repair; home/hobby use; workspaces where there is no compressed air or electrical power available

  • Pros: Inexpensive; simple to use; can be used in places where other power sources aren’t available; can set rivets in hard-to-reach places (especially with a long-arm manual riveter)

  • Cons: Not ideal for anything more than occasional rivet placement; user fatigue; may not have enough fastening force to set rivets in difficult holes/materials

Pneumatic-Powered Tools

Pneumatic riveters use compressed air to deliver an impressive amount of force and set the rivet. The tool requires an air source to operate.

  • Uses: Industrial; construction; any environment where riveting is a common task

  • Pros: Versatility; power; wide range of options and prices

  • Cons: Always requires an air source; limited range outside of workspace

Battery-Powered Tools

No air, no problem: Battery-powered riveters deliver fastening power in a self-contained tool that offers outstanding mobility and versatility.

  • Uses: Industrial; remote environments; tight workspaces where a pneumatic tool might not be feasible

  • Pros: Can be used almost anywhere and taken on the road; requires little space to operate and store; lightweight design; eliminates tethering to an air line or power supply source

  • Cons: Expensive; batteries must be charged; might need replacement batteries on hand to be switched out if charge runs out; might not deliver enough power for heavy-duty rivets

Air Riveting Hammers

Air riveting hammers take pneumatic tools to the next level. This powerful riveter is perfect for applications involving the need to install solid rivets.

  • Uses: Industrial; applications requiring solid or semi-tubular rivets (not blind rivets); environments where user needs to set rivets in areas located far away from the edge of the workpiece; workspaces focused on conforming to the requirements of major OEM truck body manufacturers.

  • Pros: Heavy-duty capabilities; can set large diameter solid rivets; pneumatic powered

  • Cons: Requires air source, which can limit mobility; possible user fatigue; hammer action can result in damage to surface of the workpiece

Hydraulic-Powered Tools

This kind of riveter uses hydraulic force or a combination of hydraulic and pneumatic (pneudraulic) force to deliver sure fastening ability to its applications.

  • Uses: Heavy-duty industrial; automotive

  • Pros: Lightweight; ergonomic design; versatile

  • Cons: Leaking hydraulic fluid might be an indicator of damaged hoses and couplers; requires hydraulic power unit; more expensive than other power riveters

Compression Squeezer Rivet Tools

Also known as air yoke riveters, compression squeezer rivet tools clamp the rivet from both sides. They’re used for solid and tubular rivets and come in two general styles: alligator yoke and c-yoke. An alligator yoke tool offers versatility, uniformity, and accuracy. C-yoke riveters feature silent squeezing action and are ideal for applications in which two-man operations are impractical.

  • Uses: Aircraft sheet metal fabrication; transportation; automotive; medical equipment; trade show display construction

  • Pros: Specialized tools for applications that might otherwise be difficult with traditional riveting tools; pneumatic and cordless models available

  • Cons: Unique capabilities might not be compatible with other riveting needs; non-manual compression squeezers are expensive; limited access from edge of workpiece

The Right Partner with the Right Tools

A great thing about riveting tools is a wealth of options available to users, but the number of options can also make the selection process daunting. A top-notch distributor can help match your needs to the tools and rivets that make the most sense for your business and your users. Moreover, great partners offer great customer service—they’ll be with you before, during, and after your purchase.

When you require the right tool at the right time for the right job, the right distributor can make all the difference. Bay Supply's factory trained installation system sales specialists are available to consult with you to ensure proper rivet tool selection and provide support after the sale.

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