A Step-By-Step Guide on How to Use POP Rivets | Fasteners 101

How to measure the two pieces of material for a rivet.

So we're going to demonstrate to you how to do it.

Let's just look at this as if it's in a place where you can't see the backside.

Even though we're gonna show you the backside.

All you need is a nail or a screw, a flathead screw.

Something that has some type of lip on it that you can grab the backside with.

That's what we're looking for.

You would put the nail in the hole and just pull it.

Take a sharpie or a marker and just pull up on the nail and then put a mark on your nail.

You see there's the mark. You then take a caliper or your tape measure and then you measure it.

Which this comes out to about 0.478.

This is an 8-8. So this grip range is between a quarter-inch and a half-inch.

We needed a 0.479, which falls in that range.

This rivet goes between 0.25 and 0.50

So let's review the different materials available and types of rivets.

So this is a structural rivet. This particular rivet is steel and steel; the mandrel is steel and the hat is steel.

This is what they call a blind rivet.

These three are aluminum rivets. These are just typical pop or blind rivets.

We also have what we call a white rivet with an aluminum mandrel.

So here's the mandrel and that's the white hat.

So when you put the rivet in and complete it, all you're gonna see is a white finish.

Like for a white soffit or a brown soffit.

They come in different colors depending upon the finish that you're installing them in.

These are zinc rivets. These are large flange, you can see here the large dome flange on this hat.

So it covers more surface when you're installing the rivet.

Sometimes you need more surface if you're holding a larger piece of material.

These are copper brass rivets.

The mandrel is brass and the hat is copper.

However, the mandrel is actually steel with a plating of brass on top of it.

These are 100% copper rivets.

A lot of roofers use these rivets for flashing, many other applications, soffits, downspouts, so many applications.

These are stainless blind pop rivets. I have several different types.

This is what we call a closed-end pop rivet. You can see here the back is square and solid.

So these are waterproof.

So if you install these in a water application, these will not leak or build-up water up inside the tubular part of the rivet.

These are also stainless countersunk pop rivets.

So you'll see that there's a 33-degree hat on here so when you install this rivet it'll be flush with the material.

These are installed in a lot of things like tracks that you're putting a rail in or something along that,

that you just don't want any type of head sticking up.

Then we have what we call multi-grip rivets.

With multi-grip, they're based upon increments of 2.

So a multi-grip will go from 4-2, 4-4, and 4-6. So it'll cover three different lengths.

So that's why they call them multi-grip rivets.

So I'm going to install several rivets.

The first one I'm going to install is this copper rivet with the standard rivet tool/hand tool.

Mandrel goes into the tool first. Like this. All the way in. I'm going to place it. I'm using a piece of structural steel.

This is just for demonstration. I pre-drilled the holes already.

Then you just put it in and you squeeze it until you get the snap.

And that baby is installed.

Pushed it in.


One thing I would caution you on is to drill the correct size hole for the rivet.

The rivet should have no slack when you drill a hole. It should be tight right against the rivet.

Actually, you should force the rivet in place a little bit. It should be like friction fit.

That's what you get after you pop the rivet. You get the broken mandrel.

It cuts the mandrel right off. This is the multi-grip. I've never used one of these myself but here's the first time.

So it's double pull. So it keeps pulling it in.

You can see it in the back here. There it goes. So it's a double-action. You have to push to lever twice.

That's the front. They're all finished. They're all in there very well.

And then I'm going to show you the back. That's the side that you wouldn't see.

That's why they call them blind rivets. Because the backside-

You put them into a hole that you're trying to fasten two pieces and you can't get to the back of it,

with a, you know, with a nut and try to hold it, that's why you put a screw in.

This is the perfect application. There you go.