Rivet guns or pneumatic hammers are a special kind of tool used to drive rivets. They can join metal or plastic sheets together through a drilled hole. Because of these guns, repairing different components in the house becomes a lot easier. Since they are available in so many sizes and structures, here are our best rivet gun selections so that you know which ones to get.
Our Best Pick
Astro PR14 Air Riveter is the winner for us since it can provide pressure of up to 2600 pounds and can help in high-speed production. It can also work with five sizes of rivets and has a quick release air valve for efficiency.
Our Budget Pick
Astro 1423 13-inch Heavy Duty Hand Riveter is affordable and can handle five rivet sizes on its own. It is short but has full capacity and a patented structure maximizing leverage. The ergonomic grip, core collection bottle and one-piece collet case also make it a good choice.
Quick Comparison Between The Best Rivet Guns
2. Tacklife HHR1A Pop Rivet Gun
The company of Tacklife specializes in manufacturing tools which make people’s lives easier, this includes hand tools like this hand rivet kit. It includes an HHNP1A rivet gun along with a number of necessary pieces.
This riveter differs a lot in shape and structure from our previous rivet gun. It is built keeping the pumping rod style in mind. With such build, you can change the rivets faster with less effort and also reach places which are typically difficult to operate on. The rivet nut gun also possesses a sturdy body of high strength. Its nut tool made of 1.8mm thick steel that enhances the gun’s strength.
Aluminium rivets are rust proof. Rivet head and head wrench is included. This tool is for professional use and suitable for car and motorbike modifications.
You can have more relaxation periods since there will be no need to disassemble the toolkit. The unique inner hex sleeve is loaded with spring. So, it will automatically lock in the rotation of hand installed mandrels. Utilize the double compound hinges of its cushioned handles to maximize leverage and make the whole process even easier.
4. Malco 2IN1 Hand Riveter
Since 1950, Malco Products has been producing specialty tools including crimpers, seamers and hundreds more for professionals. Their hand riveter manages to keep up their legacy in terms of both design and functionality.
The 2IN1 model has a stylish color combination of dark red and silver. With this, a normal single-handed squeezing action will generate enough power to set most of the regular sized rivets. For setting the ones with bigger diameters, it features a single long stroke and a short ratchet action.
Three nosepieces of different sizes are provided with it. These sizes include 1/8 inch, 5/32 inch and 3/16 inch. They can all be easily stored in handle but popping them up takes some strength.
Its body is made of heavy-duty steel. The sturdy construction and the material together make it a very durable product by ensuring minimum wear. It is finely polished and plated with nickel-chrome for that shiny finish.
For more convenient handling, it has a red vinyl cushion grip and hand stop. There is a jaw-grip adjustment wheel on the outside which makes it easy for the user to open and close the jaws with fingertips. This mechanism will help you fit mandrel of any size with maximum stroke efficiency.
5. Campbell Hausfeld CL153900AV Pop Rivet Gun
For almost two centuries Campbell Hausfeld has been making quality equipment which helps people to finish their projects on time. Among them is this pop rivet gun that is well-structured and easy to handle. It is also one of the most well-received products from Campbell Hausfeld with hardly any complaint from the customers.
It can provide the best service in automotive and construction assembly tasks. With a pulling force of 2000 pounds, it has the ability to handle tough and strenuous jobs. Four nosepieces of different sizes are provided with this rivet gun. It can set rivets up to 3/16 inch thickness with the hardened steel jaws.
6. Stanley MR100CG Contractor Grade Riveter
Stanley is one of the oldest players in the tool-manufacturing industry. It has been here for more than 170 years producing various homely and professional tools. This riveter belongs to the latter group and is meant for people who are expert at such jobs. For example, it is one of the few riveters which can manage to install boat snap studs.
The eye-catching color combination of black and yellow makes it easier to find. It is made of rugged contractor-grade die-cast metal and thus can last for a long time.
The long handle allows easy squeezing. With this gun, you can reach places other ones normally can’t. It comes equipped with removable ejector spring. Four sizes of steel and aluminum rivets are included here. They are 1/8 inch, 3/32 inch, 5/32 inch and 3/16 inch in diameter respectively. The leverage though is not good enough and thus breaking off the soft rivets with it is a bit challenging.
7. Dorman 743-100 Rivet Gun
Dorman has “New Since 1918” in their tagline and proves it in every product they bring. This company is among the leading suppliers of exclusive tools and mainly targets the automotive industry. This 743-100 model from them is one of the best rivet guns in the market because of its convenient structure and satisfying performance.
It can be used to set up five sizes of rivets. However, installing the largest ones might seem a bit difficult. It has long handles to provide extra leverage. All the rivets can be stored in a bottle attached to the middle of two handles. An open-end wrench is also included in the kit along with the rivets. This rivet gun can work the best for installing window regulator.
8. Astro 1423 13-Inch Heavy Duty Hand Riveter
The 1423 model features the patented structure of Astro Pneumatic Tool which boosts power while reducing shock! Its unique internal geared mechanism makes it a versatile and powerful hand riveter. It is one of the shortest rivet guns in the market with 13 inches arm, but that does not affect its capacity at all!
Despite being 40% shorter than most standard riveters, it maintains the same power due to its uniquely designed double compound hinges. These hinges are included in its shorter handle which maximizes the tool’s leverage. It is an ideal tool if you need to work with hard-to-reach areas.
Five nosepieces sized at 1/8 inch, 5/32 inch, 3/16 inch, 1/5 inch and 1/4 inch diameters respectively come with this riveter. They can be of any material including steel, aluminum and copper. One-piece collet case makes it easier for you to adjust the tool while switching rivet diameters. It has ergonomic grip for easy operation and core collection bottle for easy disposal.
9. Marson 39000 HP-2 Professional Hand Riveter
The HP-2 modeled rivet gun from Marson is one of the best rivet guns according to many customers. It has long handles which makes popping the rivets very easy. These handles are also very comfortable to work with since they have thick cushion-molded vinyl grips.
Using this gun, you can prevent pin rotation which in turn causes premature tool failure or elongates the engaging holes. That is because it has square shoulder fulcrum pin made of steel treated with cold-formed heat.
Its upper handle is made of drop forged carbon steel and the rest of its body is formed of high-strength aluminum alloy. With each of these guns, you will get a service wrench and four mounted nosepieces for free. The nosepieces will come in sizes 3/32 inch, 5/32 inch and 3/16 inch.
10. Arrow Fastener RHT300 Professional Swivel Head Rivet Tool
The most attractive part of this rivet tool is its twisting swivel head. Because its head can turn full 360 degrees, you can do the riveting in difficult corners and at different angles easily. This rivet gun can tackle any kind of task – heavy, medium or light. It is ideal for HVAC, sheet metal, automotive, storm doors, gutter and lawn furniture.
Moreover, because of the extended nose, this rivet gun can reach the hard-to-get places. There is also a spring-loaded handle so that you can load and eject rivets easily. You can even lock the handle when not in use to store the stored rivets safely.
Its rugged all-steel construction is complemented by the soft vinyl hand grips for comfortable use. You will receive four nosepieces with this tool along with a nose changing wrench. It is very lightweight at just 15 ounces and can operate on four rivet sizes – 3/32 inch, 1/8 inch, 5/32 inch and 3/16 inch.
Things to Know Before Buying the Best Rivet Gun
How to use a rivet gun?
First, you need to put on your safety glasses and wear gloves for protecting hands. Then drill holes in the two metal sheets and lay them down so that the holes overlap. Fasten them with tape or pliers. Now, place the required rivet into the pop rivet tool such that the pin shape stays towards the tool. Put some pressure on its handle and push the top through the sheets so that it goes through. When the rivet is placed correctly, apply pressure on the sheets and keep pulling the handle simultaneously until you hear a loud popping noise.
Types of rivet guns
This is the biggest and heaviest of all rivet guns. It sets a rivet with a single blow and is made for heavy riveting only.
Rivet guns of this category can strike thousands of blows in a short time. If you pull its trigger, ti can generate about 2500 blows in a minute on average.
Similar to slow-hitting guns, this one can also strike many blows in a minute, but in higher numbers. The fast-hitting guns usually have the capacity to strike up to 5000 blows per minute. Its blows, however, are very lightweight and only soft rivets should be used with this type of gun.
It is much more compact in size than other types and thus can be used in close spaces.
Here, the rivet is compressed from both ends by squeezing it with air pressure. You first have to adjust it properly and then it will generate uniform rivet bucks.
Choose the best rivet gun for you depending on what specific tasks you need it for and what rivet sizes you will have to work with. If you are not sure about how to make it work, ask help from a professional to avoid any possibility of injuries.