How a Rivet Gun Works

A rivet gun is a tool used to drive a metal bolt or fastener called a rivet. A rivet consists of a head on one end and a cylindrical shaft with a flat base. These fasteners are used in automobile chassis applications, airplane manufacture, infrastructure projects, and many more. In order to secure the rivets in place, a rivet gun is required. Most rivets are powered pneumatically. Unlike an air hammer, this tool has a more precise driving force.

Rivet Gun Types and Features

There are various types of rivet guns. The one-shot rivet gun can drive a rivet in a single blow and is designed for heavy riveting. It is heavy and large as compared to other types. When the trigger is pulled, the tool strikes a single blow. The most popular type of rivet gun is the slow-hitting gun which can strike numerous blows. Once its trigger is pulled, it can strike about 2,500 bpm or blows per minute. The fast-hitting gun can also strike numerous blows within the range of 2500-5000 bpm. However, this type is suited for softer rivets because it only strikes light weight blows. For close range riveting, the corner riveter is more appropriate to use. A squeeze riveter works differently from the other types so that it compresses the rivet when air is released instead of creating a blow.

Rivet Gun Anatomy

A rivet gun is usually hand-held. Most of these tools come with a pair of handles but some models may be computer controlled. The most popular models are air-operated or pneumatically powered guns. The tool has a regulator, a rivet holding head, and a throttle valve. The valve is activated when the trigger is depressed. Simultaneously, air is forced through the gun’s head and piston. The pressure created from the air’s release blows a rivet through holes in a metal sheet.

Using the Rivet Gun

The rivet is placed into the head of the gun and positioned precisely where the metal is to be fastened. Pre-drilled holes are made on the metal or the material to be riveted. Once the trigger is pulled, air pressure created by the gun forces the rivet through the piece of metal. It is then secured into place by the backer buck. The backer buck is placed behind the area and is used to compress the reverse side of the rivet. The head of the gun is reloaded with another rivet and the same process takes place.

Manually Operated and Computer-Controlled Riveters

While most rivet guns are air-controlled, pop riveters are hand-operated. These types of riveters do not need to use an air compressor. These riveters are designed for home use and easy riveting applications. The tools also have a head and a backer buck for riveting precision. For heavy riveting applications, computer controlled riveters rely on computer technology for any riveting project. The process involved in riveting depends on the product model and design. These tools can be commonly seen in industrial plants.