Rivets are increasingly becoming the fastener of choice for manufacturing and repairs because they are inexpensive, are easy to install, and provide a secure connection. And as more rivets are being used for construction, field repairs, and in the workshop, more professionals are using a cordless rivet gun to get the job done.
When you look at the growth of the U.S. market for riveting tools, sales are strong and expected to continue to grow 4.5 percent from 2019 to 2025. Demand for battery-operated rivet guns is outpacing sales of pneumatic rivet tools.
Their increased power and easier handling are making the battery rivet gun the tool of choice for both residential and commercial building and construction. Wireless operation, shorter recharge times, and lower cost also are making the cordless rivet gun more popular for manufacturing applications as well, especially with the increase in automobile production.
Cordless Rivet Guns: A Diverse Tool for Diverse Applications
There are many reasons why battery-powered rivet guns are gaining in popularity:
They are highly portable.
Unlike pneumatic rivet guns that require a hose and compressor, battery rivet guns are self-contained and can be used anywhere—no hoses or power cords are needed. This makes them extremely versatile. They can be used on a construction site, for field repairs or repairs in the shop, and in a factory for applications such as aircraft manufacturing. Anywhere you need a riveting tool, chances are that a cordless rivet gun can do the job.
They are easy to operate.
Handheld rivet guns have an ergonomic design that makes them easy to operate, even in tight places. With a portable rivet tool that is both lightweight and powerful, you can use it all day long, especially if you have extra battery packs. Operator fatigue is less of an issue than with heavier pneumatic tools.
They are highly versatile.
When you match the rivet tool to the job, ensuring you have the right amount of torque, you can use it with different types of rivets and lockbolts, including blind rivets as well as tubular, solid, split, and drive rivets. For example, cordless rivet guns are ideal for Huck bolts, which have become popular for a wide range of applications. The nosepiece of a cordless rivet gun is easy to change, so you can use one gun for multiple tasks.
A Word About Batteries for Cordless Rivet Guns
Because cordless rivet guns are powered by rechargeable batteries, you should know the characteristics of the different battery types.
Lithium-ion batteries have become the preferred type of power source for cordless rivet tools. They deliver more power and longer operating times in a smaller package. They also offer a faster recharge time, which makes them ideal for construction projects and applications where your rivet tools are in continual use.
Nickel-cadmium (NiCad) batteries were used with some of the early cordless tools and are still used in many consumer-grade tools. They are durable and reliable and can be recharged many times. They also tend to be lighter which lightens the weight of the rivet tool.
When choosing the right cordless rivet gun, you also want to shop for the right type of battery. In addition to the battery type and weight, consider battery power as well. Batteries come in 12-, 14-, 16-, 18-, 18.8-, and 20-volt configurations. The higher the voltage, the more torque is available from the tool.
As battery technology also continues to progress, portable rivet guns become more compact and lighter, many weighing under 10 pounds. A single battery charge can drive hundreds of rivets, and it’s easy to swap batteries. Recharge time for newer batteries is usually under two hours.
What to Look for in a Cordless Rivet Gun
While pneumatic rivet guns and cordless rivet guns can do the same job, more people are choosing battery rivet guns for their size, cost, and portability—but there are still big differences between portable rivet guns. Here are some considerations when shopping for battery-powered rivet tools.
When you are talking about handheld tools, weight is a critical factor. When you are using a rivet gun for long periods of time, even a few ounces can make a big difference. Cordless rivet guns tend to weigh anywhere from 2.5 to 5.5 pounds, so choose a tool with a lighter weight that still delivers the power you need. Also, be sure to check the weight specifications with and without the battery.
We noted the difference between battery types. Be sure to look for a battery that delivers the right power for the job. If you look for a higher-voltage power tool, it will deliver more torque, but it also will tend to maintain a charge for a shorter period. Be sure to balance factors such as power output, charge time, and battery weight.
Every type of rivet is set differently, and the pull stroke is the distance that the tool has to pull the mandrel to set the rivet. The pull stroke for most cordless rivet tools ranges from 0.797-0.827 inches (20-21 mm). Some tools have an adjustable pull stroke.
To set rivets made of different materials requires different degrees of force. The traction power is the amount of force the tool exerts to set the rivets, usually expressed in pounds or newtons (N). One pound is 4.45 N, and most cordless rivet tools have a traction power ranging from 8,500-24,000 N (1,911-5,395 pounds).
The professionals at Bay Supply are experts in battery-powered rivet guns and can help you find the right tool to suit the task. Feel free to contact us, and we’ll help you find the rivet tool for your needs.