thatsnowinnebago (Forum Supporter)
thatsnowinnebago (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/6/20 4:17 a.m.

The time has come for me to step up my blind fastener game. What do I need to know in order to be a badass rivnutter? Which tool should I get? Which rivet nuts should I use? 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
4/6/20 5:03 a.m.

I have the Astro Pneumatic rivnut setter that you can find on Amazon for fairly cheap. Keep in mind that the company name is Astro Pneumatic and the rivnut setter is entirely manual. It comes with a moderate supply of rivnuts that will get you started. From there you'll need good drill bits that are ever so slightly bigger than whatever rivnuts you use. I keep them in the case separate from all my other drill bits so that I don't lose them. I can't speak to the quality of any particular brand as I haven't had an issue with any of the 30 or so that I've used so far. They go in well and none have spun. The tool works well, You need a bit of space to use it, not just for the operation of the tool but for leverage to force the handles together. I know other people on the forum have had good luck with the tools that use a drill to set the rivnut in more compact areas. Ask any questions you have, they're remarkably simple once you get to using them. 

I get all my supplies from Aircraft Spruce & Supply.

EvanB (Forum Supporter)
EvanB (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/6/20 6:25 a.m.

The Astro style tool works well, along with any of the other long handle styles. I much prefer those to the hand riveter style, those ones only get you enough torque to do 1/4 and smaller and the 1/4 isn't easy to do. 

These ones work well also and are good for tight spaces. You can turn the handle to set the rivnut or put a ratchet in the recess on the handle for more torque. 

https://www.amazon.com/AVK-Industrial-AA112-Hi-Torquer/dp/B071HW68X2

That one does not come with any of the mandrels so you would need to buy them separately for each size you do. 

alfadriver (Forum Supporter)
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/6/20 6:32 a.m.

In reply to EvanB (Forum Supporter) :

I've had good luck with the hand rivet style, but for aluminum inserts.  Good for cheap jobs.

EvanB (Forum Supporter)
EvanB (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/6/20 6:37 a.m.
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to EvanB (Forum Supporter) :

I've had good luck with the hand rivet style, but for aluminum inserts.  Good for cheap jobs.

Good point, aluminum are fairly easy with them. The last job I did with them was using steel inserts so that was fresh in my mind. 

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
4/6/20 7:17 a.m.

I have used a Smitty Built one for years. Works perfect for 90% of what I do.

79rex
79rex Reader
4/6/20 7:21 a.m.

If you plan to use it more then once, resist the temptation of the harbor freight rivnut tool.  It is nice to fit in tighter spaces.  But quality is garbage.  

alfadriver (Forum Supporter)
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/6/20 7:28 a.m.
EvanB (Forum Supporter) said:
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to EvanB (Forum Supporter) :

I've had good luck with the hand rivet style, but for aluminum inserts.  Good for cheap jobs.

Good point, aluminum are fairly easy with them. The last job I did with them was using steel inserts so that was fresh in my mind. 

I think my grip isn't strong enough to squeeze a steel insert with that tool.

But I use my HF version all the time.  Had I not broke a solar panel, the tool would have been used to put a small panel on my greenhouse.

The key is to know what you are going to use it for- just like every other tool.  

GPz11
GPz11 Reader
4/6/20 8:42 a.m.

I've got a Astro 1427 one off Amazon. The only issue I've had with it is the aluminum collar partially stripped and you have to be careful when changing from one size to another.

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
4/6/20 8:57 a.m.

I started using the one that looks like a rivet gun when assembling the Molvo. I hate nut-and-bolt assemblies and self tapers even more.

As mentioned, even the 1/4" is iffy with the little guns, so I will not hesitate to step up to the long handled one when the opportunity/need comes along. The results are much quicker and elegant hand doing a weld/nut. For stuff like mounting accessories on a firewall that is already painted, it is the only way to go.

 

The actual inserts are kinda spendy at Princess Auto, soI might look into bulk e-bay buy.

 

 

Pete

 

Trent (Forum Supporter)
Trent (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
4/6/20 9:17 a.m.

I started my rivnut career with a simple stack of washers and a bolt then the Marson threadsetter tool. The rivet gun variety. I later moved on to the astro butterfly set tool. These days I have regressed to the original hand crank style

For rivnuts up to 8mm/3/8" I really prefer these.  These allow you to feel exactly when the nut is set so you don't over compress them and inadvertently turn them into riv-locknuts. I can also use this style tool to fix rivnuts that have loosened up or weren't set correctly and spin in the panel.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
4/6/20 10:11 a.m.

I have the Astro as well and like it a lot. DO NOT get a one-hand squeezy style one. The HF one sucks, and even the good ones aren't as good at the Astro butterfly style. If you simply must get into tighter spaces occasionally, get one of the hand crank deals that Trent uses in the post above.

thatsnowinnebago (Forum Supporter)
thatsnowinnebago (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/6/20 10:24 a.m.

Thanks everyone! The first use I've got planned is to install a pair of Quickfists on the inside of my truck's bed to mount a shovel. There's plenty of room back there to use the big lever style installation tools. Seems like that's a good place to start. It also seems like I'll eventually end up with the crank style as well.

Brotus7
Brotus7 HalfDork
4/6/20 2:48 p.m.

I made my own tool.  It's really just a piece of aluminum with a hole drilled thru it and a countersink for the rivnut flange.  It works pretty well for what it is.

 

pirate
pirate HalfDork
4/6/20 3:28 p.m.

All Rivnut tools are not created equal. I bought one from a aircraft supply company and quickly destroyed it pulling steel Rivnuts. I purchased another which could be used for steel and aluminum both.
 

Also no one has mentioned Nutsert's. Nutserts are pretty much the same as Rivnuts but the flange diameter and thickness are much smaller. Nutserts allow parts to sit pretty much flush to the surface the Nutserts installed in. Where the flange on Rivnuts usually creates a gap due to the flange thickness. Nutserts  rely on a serrated or splined outside diameter to grasp the hole diameter it is being inserted into. I find they don't install as easily as Rivnuts.

fidelity101
fidelity101 UltraDork
4/6/20 3:42 p.m.

they are simply amazing

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) UltraDork
4/6/20 4:55 p.m.

This is very much inline with my current interests.

 

thatsnowinnebago (Forum Supporter)
thatsnowinnebago (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/14/20 4:21 p.m.

Welp, I ordered the Astro Pneumatic one on Amazon. Delivery is supposed to be May 12th (thanks 'Rona). I'll report back then. If I remember. 

 

Edit: amazon just sent me a shipping confirmation so it'll be here Thursday! The Rona can still berkeley itself though. 

jerrysarcastic (Forum Supporter)
jerrysarcastic (Forum Supporter) New Reader
4/14/20 11:59 p.m.
Trent (Forum Supporter) said:

I started my rivnut career with a simple stack of washers and a bolt then the Marson threadsetter tool. The rivet gun variety. I later moved on to the astro butterfly set tool. These days I have regressed to the original hand crank style

For rivnuts up to 8mm/3/8" I really prefer these.  These allow you to feel exactly when the nut is set so you don't over compress them and inadvertently turn them into riv-locknuts. I can also use this style tool to fix rivnuts that have loosened up or weren't set correctly and spin in the panel.

Can you share a bit more info on this tool? Google is being surprisingly unhelpful in finding one for me to add to my tool stash, but it looks like it solves my primary gripe about the butterfly style tool: As great as they are when working on the bench, I never seem to have room to use them in the actual place I want to set my rivet, like that tight spot on the firewall.

thatsnowinnebago (Forum Supporter)
thatsnowinnebago (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/17/20 12:07 p.m.

Initial reviews are positive: rivnuts are rad. Installing my shovel mount took maybe ten minutes, from marking the holes to actually strapping the shovel in. The tool itself was pretty easy to use, thanks to the tips here. I could feel when the inset started collapsing so I just got it snug. Easy peasy. The hardest part was finding a 9/32" drill bit.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
4/17/20 12:50 p.m.

We have an actual pneumatic tool at work. It's a wonderful thing. Bzzzap! Rivnut. 

Our Preferred Partners
hKpvo3Aoeqo8SWJnht0txfSdNlEOBnSbWZSAwFkwSKAzIbfmR9dX50uP8oIfNXON